One of the most important aspects of a tarot reading is formulating and focusing on a question. When formulating a question, I always advise my clients that the tarot is better at essay questions then short answers.
Each card contains many layers of meaning and certain meanings are highlighted based on the cards around them, which means the reading may change based on the card combinations. Because of this, asking simple short answer, yes/no questions in a spread can be somewhat difficult to explain. If the client has a yes/no question, I would suggest pulling only one card, as you can usually delineate that card down to a positive or negative possibility based solely on what that card means.
When reading a spread, however, the cards do much better with room for “discussion” as they can be long winded at times, so I advise my clients to phrase open-ended questions. For example, instead of asking “will I get the job?” which is a short-answered yes/no question, I would suggest, “what is the outlook in getting this job?” This is a question that the tarot is designed to answer, as it opens up a larger dialogue and can provide much more information, guidance and insight then a swift yes/no question.
I also find that the tarot cards are insistent on self-empowerment and keeping the onus on the client. So if someone asks “when will I be married?” (a short answer question), the cards may not know, as certain events haven’t played out yet or the reader isn’t quite ready. A better question is “what can I do to get ready to meet the person I would want to marry?” With this question, the tarot can then present certain events, character growth or circumstances that must come together in order for romance to appear in one’s life to bring that life partner in.
I have also found that sometimes the spread does not answer the question the client has in their head, but instead it answers the question in their heart. Typically the tarot will answer the question with the strongest emotion tied to it. So if the client asks the tarot “will my boss give me a raise?” but she is truly troubled about the fight she had with her spouse the night before, the chances are the tarot will speak to the fight instead of the raise.