Useful open questions
Listed on this page are some examples of open questions. You will find some that feel natural to you and you can practice using those in your work. Try to pick three or four that you feel most comfortable with and make them part of every reference interview you conduct.
- What kind of information on ________________ are you looking for?
- Would you tell me more about....
- Could you tell me what you're working on?
- It would help my work for you if you would tell me....
- Would you explain…
- What specifically about____________ are you looking for?
- Would you explain that to me in more detail?
- I'm not certain I understand....
- Can you give me an example?
- What would you like to know about _____________________________?
- When you say _______________, what do you mean?
- Can you describe the kind of information you would like to find?
- If I could find the perfect book to help you, what would that book have in it, or what would the title of that book be?
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This page was last updated on April 28, 2003.