Your Guide to Asking Good Questions at redpepper
If you’re thinking about interning at redpepper, you probably have a few questions. If you find yourself actually becoming an intern here, you’ll definitely have more than a few. Here’s the great thing about redpepper: you get to ask them. You’re actually expected to ask them. You’re here to learn, you’re here to grow, and one of the most effective ways you can do that is by asking questions.
Now that we’ve agreed that questions are a good thing, it’s time to come to terms with the fact that not all questions are good questions. I’ve done some thinking on what makes a good question and I’m here to share what I’ve come up with with you.
How to ask good questions:
Listen: if you want to ask good questions, you’ve gotta learn how to be a good listener first. Nobody appreciates when someone asks a question that was addressed 5 minutes before. Actively listen while the people around you are talking—jot down some notes if you need to—this will help you gather your thoughts and frame your questions.
Be Proactive: if possible, try to find the answer yourself before you ask the question. More often than not, the answer is either right in front of you or can be uncovered with just a little digging.
Have a Purpose: don’t just ask a question to ask a question. Most of the time, people can tell if you’re being inauthentic. Asking just to seem interested is a waste of everyone’s time. Don’t be that person.
Think it Through: understanding why you need to know the answer to a specific question can help you ask it in the most efficient way. Use the why to structure the how.
Ask for Clarification: here’s a secret, you can ask more than one question! If something isn’t clear to you the first time around, you can keep asking until you feel like you understand the answer.
Be bold!: most importantly—don’t be afraid to ask questions! They are one of the very best ways to learn and grow and, if you are giving thought to the guidelines above, your questions will be appreciated!
redpepper also has a regular time set aside for interns called “Coffee and Questions” where you have an hour to ask ALL your department-specific questions to the members of each department. Pro tip: Think through the department and write down your questions before, listen as they talk and ask about anything else that might come up. This is your time to gain an understanding of how redpepper works!
So.. ask questions! Ask them in your interviews for the position. Ask them when you get here. Ask them in your everyday life. There’s no such thing as a dumb question (unless it’s one without a purpose!).
Clare Thomas, Production Services Intern