Every day I get the opportunity to speak with customers who are creating quizzes. One of the questions that comes up a lot is “How Do I Ask Good Questions?” with the sub-text meaning of “How Do I Ask Questions People Want To Answer So They’ll Opt-In At The End Of My Quiz?”
Good news is there really are some things that make great questions, and those things can be reduced down to action-items in a blog post like this one. It feels odd to be writing about how to ask questions, because it’s such a part of daily life, but with the way technology has evolved and really built a world of isolation it’s more rare to find people who are truly great at asking questions, and that makes it difficult to write quiz questions.
Thus this guide was created to help understand what makes up a good question, and this will hopefully provide you with not just a better framework for asking your quiz questions, but also for asking better questions in your entire business.
0. Ask People About Themselves
If you want to get virtually anyone talking, ask them about themselves. Did you know that 40% of the words we’ll say in our lives are about ourselves? and that we actually get a dopamine rush when we say things about our person? We’re pre-disposed to really enjoy chatting about our own life and telling others about it.
However, this doesn’t work if you are generic. “Tell me about yourself” is not a good question, actually it’s not even a question at all. You have to be specific with the questions you ask “How did your meeting go today?” “What did you think of the movie you saw yesterday?” things like that.
In the context of a quiz the same is true. Don’t ask people “Who do you want to be?” but rather ask something like “Which famous person do you most look up to?” and then list specific people.
Humans like to talk about themselves, and if you take away one thing from this entire guide it’s that you should ask people directly about themselves if you want to create quiz questions that will be engaging and get your quiz takers to complete your quiz.
0.5 Ask Attentive Follow-Up Questions
The best way to show you are paying attention to someone is to ask relevant follow-up questions. With interact branching logic you can set up a quiz where each question leads to different questions depending on how the initial question is answered. This way you can ask good follow-ups and show that you are really paying attention and actually care about what the person is saying, not just leading to the same thing either way.
1. Ask The Questions People Want to be Asked
As we go through our days there are questions that pass through our minds. Some are small like “what should I eat for lunch” others are big like “what should I really be doing with my life?”
Within each segment of our lives there are a sub-set of questions we ask, in work we might ask “how can I be better at my job” or at the gym we might think “Am I doing the right workouts?”
Then we go down another level further and we might ask “How do I communicate better at work?” or “How do I improve this one particular workout?”
The point I’m trying to make with all of this is that we have questions we want answered and if you ask us those questions we’re going to be willing to take a guess at answering them. When you’re in a conversation this is an amazing way to chat with anyone you don’t know very well, simply discover what questions they are asking themselves and begin a conversation around those.
In the context of creating quizzes and asking questions in that context, you can capitalize on the same concept of tapping into questions that people already ask themselves.
This takes a special understanding of your audience to know what types of questions they are asking themselves, and that requires time and effort, but it’s so worth it because if you are asking people the questions they already ask themselves within your quiz it will demonstrate that you get what they are going through and when you pitch your products or services at the end of the quiz it won’t feel like a sale so much as a helpful suggestion from a peer.
The question pictured below shows perfectly how you can ask questions people already ask themselves, and also have answers that are what they would say in real life. It comes from a quiz titled “Do You Have What It Takes to Be A Multi 6 Figure Business Queen?” so the audience is specific. The question asks “I want to be a multi 6 figure business owner because…” which, if you’ve ever pursued starting a company you know that this question pops up all the time because you spend a massive amount of time trying to start the company and it’s only natural to wonder “Why I am I doing this?.” Therefore the question asks the same thing that people are already asking themselves and shows that the quiz creator “gets it.”
2. Ask Problem-Identifying Questions
Like a diagnosis. Some of the most interesting questions to answer are ones in which it feels like the person is figuring out where your issues are. This one doesn’t work in every scenario or for every quiz, but we all want help solving problems we have, and a question that aims to pinpoint what your issue will be intriguing at the least.
For example, I used to fix computers as a job, and when someone would come to me with an issue I’d ask questions to figure out what was wrong. Obviously the person answering those questions was super interested in finding out what their answers meant as it related to what was going on with their computer so they were super engaged with answering the questions.
You can think of your business the same way, you help people solve a problem and that’s why they come to you, if you ask questions to find out what type of problem they have or what specifically is going on with them, that’s a great way to get people very interested in what you do.
3. Ask Consulting Questions
As a business person or even in real life outside of work, you are probably an expert in at least a few things. When someone comes to you for help in those areas you are really knowledgeable about, you most likely have a set of questions you ask in order to determine what their issue is and how you might be able to help.
If you are constructing a quiz, or even if you are just thinking about how to better serve your customers, you’d do well to write down those questions and think about which ones you really need or don’t need.
When building your customer on-boarding process, you’ll need to ask those questions at some point, and if you choose to use a quiz for that it will help automate the process.
Think of it like you own a physical store, and people coming to your website are shoppers walking in the door. Since I don’t know exactly what you do let’s make up an example where you are selling sunglasses. If someone walked into your sunglasses store you’d ask them questions like “What shape do you like?” “What shape is your face?” “What colors do you want?” “Are you looking for something bold or more subdued?” all of these would help you as the shop owner to figure out what the best sunglasses are for this person, and the person will be very intrigued to find out what their answers mean once you do make a selection and offer up a pair or two of sunglasses for them to try on.
4. Demonstrate Understanding In Your Questions
Your quiz questions should show that you know what you’re talking about. The example I always go to for this is if you were making a coffee quiz “What Kind Of Coffee Beans Should You Buy?” then you’d have to ask questions that are relevant to someone who really cares about coffee (raises hand).
So your questions would look like.
-How do you make your coffee?
C. French Press
Which notes you do like in your beans? (select all that apply)
These questions show that you know about types of coffee makers and the different notes that are commonly present in coffee. If I’m taking a coffee quiz and I’m not asked these questions, or if these questions are on the quiz but the answers don’t represent “good” choices that are actually valid, then I’m not going to trust the quiz because I know that it doesn’t actually understand coffee (or the person who made it doesn’t at least).
If you show that you know what you’re talking about within your questions it helps to build trust that will translate to the quiz taker being more likely to purchase from you as the expert because it’s much easier to buy something from someone who really knows their stuff than it is to purchase from just any old anyone who is trying to sell you stuff.
5. Start Questions With “Who” “What” When” Where” “How”
I got this one from a Ted Talk about how to have better conversations, and it’s honestly genius. When you ask questions that start with one of these “action” words it incites people to respond. It changes the question from being simply factual to being descriptive, and describing things is much more interesting than choosing from a list of facts.
The question pictured below is actually a perfect example. Instead of it being “Do you like change?” it is “How do you feel about change?” which has a different tone to it, a more personal and soft tone that opens up the possibilities. It feels more like a dialogue, a conversation where there isn’t a “right” or “wrong” answer but rather it will all be taken into consideration. That’s what you want a good question to do, to open up more conversation rather than just end in a short, definitive answer.
6. Put “You” in every question
Remember #0? the point where we said to ask people about themselves? one way to make sure everyone knows the question is about them is to put the word “You” in each question. This will be a good “gut check” to make sure your quiz questions are set up in a way that addresses the individual who is taking your quiz.
7. Ask Situational Questions
Hypotheticals are a ton of fun, and they also allow you to get a more unbiased answer from someone because they might not know how to choose an answer that reflects how they want to be seen versus how they actually feel about a subject. Making up scenarios and situations is a great way to ask fun questions.
As an example, instead of asking someone “How do you usually react in high-pressure situations?” you could say “Your biggest client is on their way for a meeting but your boss who is supposed to meet with them isn’t in the office, what do you do?” which is an example of a high-pressure situation and you can gather the same reaction from someone with the hypothetical situation, but it’s almost like being in a movie or an adventure instead of being just another question to answer.
Questions are incredibly powerful, people want to tell you about themselves and they want to connect – when you create questions that draw those things out you’ll end up with a quiz that is super engaging, keeps people on your website, and translates into more leads and sales.