Create the Perfect Questionnaire

Definitions, tips, and examples to get you started!

What is a Questionnaire?

A questionnaire is a set of questions used to gather information from a single individual. The information can be either qualitative or quantitative. Although used interchangeably, a questionnaire is slightly different from a survey.

  • A survey is designed to gather information from a group of people with the intention to summarize results and form a general opinions about the population
  • A questionnaire is set of questions to obtain useful or personal information from individuals

Questionnaires do not need to be delivered in the form of a survey. For example, you might just create a questionnaire for an employee at work. The questions you ask would help you gauge the employees skill set and could serve to help the employee understand what skills he or she needs.

Put simply, a survey is designed with the intentions to summarize data from a group of people. A questionnaire is used to obtain information about an induvial, which doesn’t have to be part of a survey.

Tips on Creating a Questionnaire

Be Relevant:

Make sure that respondents remain focused by only showing them relevant questions. Use logic to skip irrelevant questions. For example, if you have a set of questions pertaining to males and females, put those questions on different pages and use logic to only show the appropriate ones.

Be Brief:

The question text and number of questions should be held to a minimum to keep respondents motivated to complete your survey.

This is key! From December of 2016 to September 2017, we asked over 30,000 of our survey respondents what is the most important factor when taking a survey? Being brief / survey length was the most important.

Do a Test Survey:

Send practice questionnaires to ensure people understand the questions. People will be able to give feedback on the questionnaire design; you can make improvements as needed.

Answer Choice Order:

Answer choices should progress from the least sensitive to the most sensitive (e.g strong dislike to strong like) and from the more general to the more specific.The creator should also ensure that the answer to a question is not influenced by previous questions.

Stay Anonymous:

People might not fill out your questionnaire if they fear their answers can be tracked back to them (most common for employee engagement surveys). To combat this, simply make your questionnaire anonymous! This feature is free on SurveyKing and guarantees your respondent’s answers are truly anonymous.

What Type of Questions to Ask?

There are two types of questions you include on your questionnaire. Closed answer questions (such as multiple choice) or open ended questions (e.g. a respondent filling out a text box). Generally it is a good idea to use both.

Closed Answer Questions:

Closed answer questions, such as multiple choice, only allow responses to choose from a pre-defined selection of choices.

Answer choices that can be placed into a category are refereed to as nominal data. They can range from two options (dichotomous ) such as male or female, or include complex lists from which the respondent can choose (polytomous).

Open Ended Questions:

Open ended questions allow people to express answers in their own words in as much detail as needed. For example: "What did you dislike most about the last event?"

SurveyKing incorporates word clouds for these open ended questions. Using this you can easily organize a list of most commonly found words or phrases in your data.

How to Collect Questionnaire Data

Email Invitations:

Send your questionnaire out via an email campaign is one of the most effective methods you can choose. You can track when a respondent opened and completed a questionnaire. You can also send reminders and thank you messages to people with ease. When it comes to the data analysis, you can filter and segment your questionnaire results by email domain or by email campaign type.

Web Links:

Using a web link the easiest way to send a questionnaire. Post the link to social media or share on your website. You can create multiple web links for one survey and then filter and segment the results by web link.

Embedded Questionnaires:

An embdded questionnaire is perfect to place on your website! You can have a user click a button to complete the questionnaire, or even have the form appear automatically! Most often these type of embeds are used by online businesses to easily capture customer data.

Questionnaire Examples & Templates

Need to write a questionnaire, but want a little guidance on the right questions to use? We have you covered! Our pre-written templates make it easy to pick through a series of questions, understand the difference between open questions and closed questions, and quicky start collecting the data you need.

Our sample template questions are created by our research staff to ensure you ask questions the right way AND get accurate results. You can send the templates as is, add or subtract additional questions, and customize the template themes to fit your own style.

Our Most Popular Templates:

Customer Feedback Survey

Find out what your customers really think. Includes questions related to customer and product satisfaction. Also includes a Net Promoter Score® Question to gauge customer loyalty.

Net Promoter Score®

This is one of our most popular survey templates. Used by brands around the world, find out how well your brand is performing and identify areas where your company can improve.

Hotel Stay Feedback

Find out what your guests like or dislike about their most recent stay. Use a transactional link for this survey and send out to guests on their email receipt.

Teacher Evaluation

Find out how students feel about their instructor. One of the most popular templates, it is used by public and private universities around the world. Customize as needed for your class/school.

Parent Feedback

Unique to SurveyKing, use this template to get information from a student's parent. This is useful to make sure parent-teacher conferences have all items covered.

Employee Satisfaction

Do your employees like their jobs? Keeping your employees happy is the key to a great productive workplace. Questions include thoughts about opportunities to advancement and interactions with management.

Benefits Survey

Many employees will choose employment based on a benefits package. See how well your benefits package stacks up and see where your company can make improvements.

Department Performance

Another unique but popular survey template from SurveyKing. Find out how well your department is performing. This template includes questions to identify areas of waste, areas that are not efficient and require too many man hours, and a continuous sum question to see where a hypothetical budget should set.

Whistleblower Survey

Find out how employees view your corporate culture. Enable the anonymous survey feature and this form becomes the perfect solution for whistleblowers to report wrong doings.

Event Preference

Are you planning an event? Trying to send out wedding invitations? Find out the best date for that event and any other information with this premade form.

Post Event Assessment

Perfect to get feedback from a recent event. Share this survey on social media or your website, so anyone who heard about or attended the event can give feedback.


Automate invitations to an event and track guests. Get away from manual paper invitations!