Practical tips for effective questioning and probing techniques


Practical tips for effective questioning and probing techniques

Decide in advance the questions you want to ask HCPC witnesses about their statements. If you disagree with anything, explain why you disagree and ask them to comment. You may also want to raise any issues that support your case but which are not in their statements. It could be detrimental to your case if you raise fresh matters afterwards that were not put to the witnesses during their evidence.

You should try to keep the tone of your questioning neutral despite how the witness may react to your questions. You need to ensure you remain polite and ask questions in a respectful manner.

Question Types

There are several known types of questioning techniques that may assist you when you need to cross-examine a witness. Some of the most common questioning techniques that have been used at hearings include:

Open Ended Questioning

This style of questioning is used to initiate a question of find out more information about a particular situation. These questions can be used to explore the witnesses’ opinions or perspective more deeply and often start with ‘what’, ‘why’ and ‘how’.

Closed Ended Questioning

This style of questioning is often used to find our or confirm very specific details, or to validate your understanding of a situation. Closed questions can also be used to conclude your questioning.

Funnel Questioning

This technique is useful for gathering very specific information about the past (using closed-ended questions), which allows for a clear establishment of facts about a situation or to help set a scene. Once the facts have become clear, you can ask effective open-ended questions that will enable further exploration of opinions or issues.

Probing Questions

This technique involves asking for more information about a previous statement. This is useful if you need more information to clarify a situation or if you need to sort out an issue by uncovering layers of details, opinions or feelings.

This is not an exhaustive list and you may wish to do your own research online.