When preparing a question, the most important thing is to know what information you wish to obtain. Many interviewers find it is very useful to write the information they wish to obtain first, before writing out the questions.
Generally speaking, a question must be designed in the simplest and clearest form possible. The idea here is to make the questions as concise as possible and for the whole world to understand it the same way.
For example, a question such as “If the general elections were today, who would you vote for?” is better than “Who would you choose?” because the latter could be interpreted in different ways (who do you like best, for example). Likewise, "Assuming the general elections were today, who would you give your vote to?” is a question which is too long and complicated.
It's important not to use words which could have an influence on the respondent's response. For example, “On a scale from 1 to 10, how would you rate an omelette chewing gum flavour?” is better than “On a scale of 1 to 10, how much would you dislike the flavour of an omelette chewing-gum?”
And, lastly, be consistent: if you ask a question about Renault, you should ask about Citroen in the same way.
- Use clear language, which could be understood by anyone
- Avoid asking personal questions
- Be brief
- Follow a logical order
Within the closed questions category, there are several types, namely:
. Questions which only have two possible responses: "Yes" or "No". They allow the opinion of the respondent on a certain subject to be clearly distinguished.
Multiple choice questions
. Give the respondent a series of options. Allow respondents to identify preferences, consumption levels, uses and activities. For example: What brand of soft drinks do you consume? 1) Coca-Cola 2) Pepsi 3) Fanta 4) Sprite
. Questions in which the respondent gives a value judgment and which are used to denote trends. For example: How would you rate the quality of product X? 1) Excellent 2) Very Good 3) Good 4) Sufficient 5) Poor
. The filter questions are those which, depending on the answer given, will allow other unnecessary questions to be skipped in order to make the survey more effective and efficient. For example, if you are carrying out a work environment question amongst your employees, you may be interested in entering a series of specific questions for each department for which we will place the following filter question: Which of the following departments do you belong to? And depending on the respondent's response to this question, the following question will concern the specific department to which he or she belongs.
Open questions (those in which the respondent freely expresses his opinion) are good for obtaining shades of meaning, but they are the most difficult to analyze.