The Advantages of Using a Questionnaire

by Andra Picincu - Updated October 29, 2018
Anonymous questionnaires on sensitive subjects are more likely to be answered honestly.

Questionnaires are commonly used for research, surveys and job interviews. This method allows you to reach a large number of people and obtain the information you need to make better decisions. For example, if you're a business or HR manager, you can use questionnaires to learn more about potential hires and determine whether or not they're a good fit for your organization. Some of the benefits of questionnaires include their convenience, flexibility and scalability.

Ways to Use Questionnaires

This cost-effective research tool has a wide range of applications in business, medicine, marketing, education and other areas. Compared to other methods, questionnaires are a relatively simple way to collect data and involves lower costs. The results are easy to process and can provide useful insights into the subject's strengths, weakness and preferences.

The justification for using questionnaires in research is that they allow users to collect massive data in a short time. Additionally, they allow you to address a large number of issues in a standardized way.

A pharmaceutical company, for example, can use questionnaires to survey customers worldwide about their experience with a particular drug. This information may provide insight into its effectiveness and safety, potential side effects, mechanism of action and other key aspects.

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HR professionals often use pre-interview and pre-employment questionnaires to identify the best candidates for a job. Most times, subjects are required to answer a few questions online or in-person, such as:

  • What are your biggest strengths?
  • Why do you think you're a good fit for this role?
  • What do you plan to do if...?

This type of questionnaire allows HR managers to assess respondents' behavior, intentions, opinions and expectations. A traditional resume or cover letter may not cover these aspects.

Marketers rely on questionnaires to determine how customers feel about a particular product or service. Health organizations can use a food frequency questionnaire to collect data on the consumption of certain foods and beverages, portion size and eating habits over a specified period. This research tool also makes it easier for businesses to request customer feedback.

The Benefits of Questionnaires

Questionnaires are a simple, effective way to gather information. Depending on your budget, you can post them on your website or social media pages, send them by mail or display them in your store. Since all respondents are asked the same questions, you can easily compare the results. Additionally, you'll get a high response rate, especially if you allow subjects to remain anonymous.

There are various types of questionnaires, and each has distinctive characteristics. Mail questionnaires, for example, are most suitable for addressing sensitive issues. Respondents can take their time to answer each question, which leads to more accurate results. Furthermore, this research method allows you to cover large geographical areas.

The downside is that not all respondents will get back to you. Additionally, you may not be able to reach people who lack proficiency in English.

Internet-based questionnaires, which are often referred to as online surveys, typically have higher response rates. The information can be automatically entered in a database and analyzed using software. It costs you nothing to post online surveys on your website or send them by email.

The strengths of questionnaires in research are well-documented. Organizations worldwide use this research method to collect the data they need to develop better products, identify flaws in their service and improve customer experience. Other advantages of questionnaires include their low cost and ease of use.

Disadvantages and Limitations

Now that you know the pros of questionnaires, you might wonder what their limitations are. Many times, this research method fails because of incomplete responses or poorly formulated questions. Also, data quality is not as high as with other methods, such as in-person interviews. Low response rates, human errors during data entry and incorrectly filled forms are common drawbacks.

About the Author

Andra Picincu is a digital marketing consultant with over 10 years of experience. She works closely with small businesses and large organizations alike to help them grow and increase brand awareness. She holds a BA in Marketing and International Business and a BA in Psychology. Over the past decade, she has turned her passion for marketing and writing into a successful business with an international audience. Current and former clients include The HOTH, Bisnode Sverige, Nutracelle, CLICK - The Coffee Lover's Protein Drink, InstaCuppa, Marketgoo, GoHarvey, Internet Brands, and more. In her daily life, Ms. Picincu provides digital marketing consulting and copywriting services. Her goal is to help businesses understand and reach their target audience in new, creative ways.

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