Why is it good to ask questions?

In discussions and meetings over the past few weeks, I noticed that we all ask too few questions! We talk a lot, but there are seldom questions. At the same time, they are very powerful: They also offer the opportunity to lean back once - you give the other space and maybe even a good feeling. At the same time, we confidently take a position and can steer conversations.

“Would you like to know something else?” We often hear this question - in projects, meetings, in conversations with managers or in job interviews: This is your chance! Instead of saying no or being silent, you can seize this moment and make it yours.

Because with questions you take a position - this may steer your career in the right direction, but questions also help us in everyday situations. We show our counterpart: I am completely with you and ready to engage in an exciting exchange with you and have valuable impulses for this!

Yes, I ask questions! Make this your attitude and claim to yourself

Because with this you take up space for yourself - in situations of any degree of severity: in an interview, during small talk at the coffee machine or during a tug-of-war with your partner when overtime is due again. With questions you steer the direction of the conversation. This helps to find and develop your own point of view.

At the same time, you act on an equal footing. Among other things, this is of particular importance when communicating with the project manager or your manager. Because you show where you want to go in your job. In job interviews, you have a major influence on the first impression and show self-confidence.

Taking a position with questions # 1: In projects, meetings, in between and in employee appraisals!

You cannot fail to communicate, to use the words of communication scientist Paul Watzlawic. Competence, commitment, will to develop - Whenever you ask questions to your supervisors or project managers, you convey a message. Skilfully tackled, you can use it to set the course with foresight.

Because the influence of executives on our careers and our chances of advancement is greater than we think. Keep this in mind - especially before or in discussions with your manager. There are many opportunities - from weekly project updates to joint trips to the customer to official employee appraisals. The key to success is: Develop a A feeling for suitable opportunities and make it clear to yourself in good time what you want to achieve and express this skillfully.

You can give your career valuable impetus with the following questions to the project manager or manager:
  • What do you see as my contribution and maybe mineparticular success in this project or in my job? Where do you see my main strengths? Let yourself be surprised whether it is your organizational skills or your lucky touch with the customer. The external perception from the outside can provide you with important clues. And with this question you stand out as ambitious, proactive and open - that alone is an impression that sticks.
  • You can also ask further questions what development opportunities You have on the next project or what else you would have to do to qualify for a specific position.
  • What could be difficult for me (as a woman) on the way to the next level? With this question to a female supervisor, you can answer interesting "Insider tips" to get. When put to a male manager, you will learn more about the reservations to expect. The answer may say more about the manager's personal attitude than about the actual hurdles. Both are extremely exciting for you and your path!
  • Networking: Are there colleagues to share experiences? Managers are usually well networked in the company and across locations and can provide you with valuable contacts. You can get to know people who hold key positions in the company or experienced experts who can give you (insider) tips.
  • Particularly important for employee appraisals: Here the question often arises, where do you see yourself in 5 years. Change your perspective: Where do you see you me in 5 years? See how best to get there and how he or she can support. Perhaps the company also has special development programs for women? Who asks wins!

Taking a position with questions # 2: In the job interview

In the interview, you shape the first personal impression of yourself. Seize this opportunity and show your counterpart that you are a motivated and committed applicant who knows what she wants:

  • you want to Job and family agree well and therefore attach great importance to flexible working hours or the opportunity to work part-time? Then the following points are probably burning under your nails: Which part-time models or home office regulations are there?
    Many companies are now relying on flexible working models in order to boost their attractiveness as an employer and to find skilled workers more easily. This is your chance! Information can often be found on the company's (career) website or on portals such as kununu. You can easily follow up on this in the interview and ask for more details.
  • Goodbye career kink! Are you among the women who do despite having family in part-time job Not Foregoing responsible tasks or a management position want? Then address this in the job interview and ask whether there are already employees in such positions in the company. Also exciting: In which working time models are you employed - is there a four-day week or a five-day week with shortened days? Look for best practices in other companies in advance and think about the framework conditions you would like. Also important: despite part-time work, what about training opportunities or invitations to important meetings?
  • Is it important to you in general? to exchange on the job and sometimes ask for advice to be able to? Then find out whether there are mentoring structures or business buddies in the company who can support you and promote networking. Because in exchange with colleagues, tricky situations can be solved more easily, established patterns can be recognized or new perspectives can be found. If you ask, you might even get something going and be considered innovative from the start! Do you dare!
Don‘t forget: answer strategies for worst case questions

What you shouldn't forget in your preparation: Unpleasant or inappropriate questions that you are asked and that can make you sweat. Especially those that shouldn't actually be. For example, about your family planning or your religious affiliation. Reacting confidently here is of crucial importance. Prepare your response strategy.

For example, not to be irritated, but rather prefer to ask counter-questions “To what extent is religious affiliation relevant for this position?” Or do you generalize: “Family planning? Yes, that is an important issue. There are already many examples of how companies promote the compatibility of family and job. "

Conclusion: Be aware of the power of your questions!

Ask, ask, ask - this is your chance! A confident demeanor and good preparation are half the battle. We would be delighted if we were able to inspire you and if you approach your concerns confidently in your next conversation. Have the courage and ask the questions that drive you!

We look forward to exchanging experiences with you and are curious to see whether your counterpart could give you good answers! Let us know in the comments! We wish you a lot of fun and new ideas on women @ work!

Further reading recommendations: