The alternative interview

How to ask solution-oriented questions?

Typical key questions to help people along.

Asking solution-ortiented questions can have a powerful impact. It brings people closer to their own wishes and desires, and focuses the attention on the positive things and on the possibilities rather than emphasising the impossibilities. This makes it easier to find solutions.


Two important starting points

Two starting points play an important role with this interview method:

  • When something seems to work, then continue along those lines
  • When something does not work, stop and try something else


Four key questions

Examples of four key questions:

  • What are you hoping to achieve?
  • What difference would that make?
  • What will be effective?
  • What would be a sign of more progress? Or: What will be your next step?



Working with solution-oriented questions is described in detail by Bannink and Jansen (2017; 2019)