Good Question!

I listen to podcasts while I wash the dishes. It’s my little bit of “me time” in a busy day!

Recently, while scrubbing away at a pan I was struck by how often someone being interviewed began their response by saying, “That’s a good question…” They said it a lot, and every time they sounded very sincere and genuine – almost delighted to have been asked.

Many years ago in a short presentation skills seminar I was told that saying “that’s a good question” was a good way to stall and play for time to think. It could help to create a good impression and – as a presenter – engage with the person asking the question.

All those things can be true but stood in my kitchen with my hands covered in bubbles it hit me that it was also a really positive attitude to take into the viva.


Now, I don’t mean that every time your examiners ask something, you have to smile and say, “That’s a good question!”

But rather than worry in advance about what might come up, or ponder in the moment what your examiners could mean, just think that all of the questions you will be asked will be good questions.

Every single one.

Good because the topic is good.

Good because they get you to talk about something great.

Good because they challenge you.

Good because they highlight something that needs to be talked about.

Good because they help you get one step closer to the end of your viva and passing.

Your role in the viva is to engage with the discussion and respond to questions. Will some of them be tough? Probably – but start with the idea that they will all be good to give yourself a helpful way to engage throughout your viva.