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How to Write a Q&A People Enjoy Reading


Your car is a big talker, but you can’t hear the conversation.

The chatter takes place between the vehicle and all of its computerized parts. Sure, we’re behind the wheel (for now), but the car oversees a dizzying number of operations — like an internal Q&A so everything hums along.

Now carmakers have agreed to make automatic breaking a standard feature by 2022. And as vehicles become smarter, it’s a reminder to improve our own questions and answers.

A Better Way to Q&A 

On company websites, we use a Q&A to interview clients or staff members, share information about new products or uncover another topic altogether.

The key with every Q&A is to have a conversation rather than ask questions independent of each other. Why? The latter is boring. Here’s an example of a Q&A for a new employee.

Uninteresting Q&A

1. What’s your name?

John Doe

2. What’s your role at Acme Industries?

Assistant regional manager overseeing franchise operations

3. Where did you work before Acme?

I was a district supervisor at the sewage treatment plant in Arkansas.

4. What are some of your hobbies?

Bike riding, reading mystery novels and playing with my two kids

See what I mean? The Q&A is flat and emotionless. That’s because the questions have no common thread, and it’s not a conversation.

Here’s the same Q&A but this time, the questions follow a logical progression.

Interesting Q&A

1. What’s your name?

John Doe

2. What’s your role at Acme Industries?

Assistant regional manager overseeing franchise operations

3. You’re new to the construction industry. What were you doing before Acme?

I was a district supervisor at a sewage treatment plant.

4. Wow, what was it like working in a sewage treatment plant?

Let’s just say it was a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it.

5. True enough! What skills did you learn at your last job that you now bring to Acme?

So many different skills. Let’s see, I…

Do you see the difference? The second version is a conversation between two people. The first one feels rigid and impersonal. Plus, the second option is way more enjoyable to read. It has a comfortable, easy pace, and it flows along with little effort.

Remember: a Q&A is a dialogue between two people, and one question should spark the next.

See: The six most powerful words in networking

As you construct a website Q&A, ask yourself:

  • What piece of detail from the previous answer can I use to create the next question?
    • ex: “sewage treatment plant” leads to “what was it like working in a sewage treatment plant?”
  • Does the Q&A feel like a real conversation or a robotic exchange?
  • Do my questions sound like something a person would actually say? Or do they come across like corporate mumbo-jumbo?

Any other questions about the Q&A section on a website? 

Share below!

Featured photo: Boudewijn Berends (Flickr)

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