Hints for Developing Your Own Sample of Focus Group Questions
No matter why a focus group is formed, you can help your members have a more productive session by asking questions that grab their attention and get them thinking beyond the obvious. Here are a few pointers to help you in developing your own questions to motivate participants to open up and provide more honest and complete responses.
1. Introductions - Begin the session with a set of questions that will enable focus group members to get to know each other better. Ask them about their favorite hobbies and interests and what they enjoy the most about the activity.
2. Fun Starter Question or Activity - Ask a fun question or incorporate a team building game to get the group's creative juices flowing. For example, ask them to think of three words to describe their favorite hobby.
3. Format - When choosing focus group questions, be sure to include a mix of multiple choice questions to provide structure and direction and open-ended questions to allow for further exploration and discovery.
4. Ratings scale - Select an appropriate ratings scale to measure different levels of approval. Try to select scales that have more than five variations to give respondents more flexibility. For example, this scale has 7 levels to measure the level of satisfaction: completely satisfied, very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, neither satisfied nor unsatisfied, somewhat unsatisfied, very unsatisfied, and completely unsatisfied.
5. Specificity - Avoid vague open-ended questions that simply ask "why." The word "why" has a negative connotation because it makes the respondent think their first answer was not good enough. Instead of asking "why" you should rephrase the question to ask respondents to provide some specific examples of what they liked or did not like about the item in question.
6. Closing - Remember to thank the participants for their assistance and candor, and then ask them if there is anything that could be done to improve their experience as a member of the focus group.