The questions to ask to get great employee testimonials

Cover image - The questions to ask to get great employee testimonials
Profile photo of Val Brown
Profile photo of Daniel Stefanovic
Val Brown, Daniel Stefanovic
Last updated
August 2022
Read time
7 minutes

Employer branding should be one of the most critical aspects of your recruitment strategy. After all, your employees are the face of your company and how your company is viewed as an employer is becoming increasingly vital.

As many as 86% of women and 67% of men wouldn't work for a company with a bad reputation as an employer, and 92% of people would consider changing jobs if offered a role with a company with an excellent corporate reputation. With the current climate in the labor market, almost 90% of HR professionals agree that recruitment is becoming more like marketing.

With that in mind, employee testimonial videos are the perfect way to show off your company. When done right, they can be a potent weapon in your employer branding arsenal, helping you attract top talent, improve engagement, and boost your company's reputation.

But what are some of the best questions to ask? How can you structure these questions to ensure you receive the right kind of responses?

Below we’ve compiled a list of the only questions you need to ask to create powerful and compelling employee testimonials.

Start by asking your employees these open-ended questions

It's essential to start with open-ended questions at the beginning of your employee testimonial to establish rapport, build trust, and encourage your employees to open up. These questions should be general enough to be answered without too much thought or preparation but specific enough to give you the information you're looking for.

Here are some examples of open-ended questions you can ask.

1. Can you tell me a bit about yourself and your responsibilities?

This introductory question serves two purposes. First, it lets your interviewee get comfortable with you and gets them talking by reeling off some of the fundamental aspects of their job.

However, it plays an even more important role when it comes to potential employees, as it will quickly let them know whether this testimonial applies to them or whether they should skip to a more relevant one.

2. Can you walk us through your average day?

A good follow-up question as it expands on the first question above. By asking about their average day, you can give prospective employees a glimpse into what it's like to work at your company on a day-to-day basis.

This question also allows you to segue into more specific questions about what your employees like about their job, which we'll cover in more detail below.

3. What gets you most excited about coming to work?

When people get passionate about something, it really comes across, especially in their voice. It has a much more powerful effect than if we were just reading a list of benefits. That's why this open-ended question is perfect, as it tees up your employee to talk about the things they love the most about their job.

This question is also a great way to get some insight into what your employees value most about working for your company, providing potential employees with a better idea of whether your company is the right fit for them.

Shift to asking your employees closed and precise questions

While open-ended questions certainly give you a lot of valuable information, they can also be hard to control. That's why it's essential to move on to closed and precise questions relatively quickly. They hand the element of control back to you, the interviewer, and help you get the specific information you need.

These questions should be more focused and should center on specific aspects of your company. Generally speaking, these questions will use “WH” words (who, what, why, when, how etc.) at the beginning to better direct your employees to specifics and numbers. You can also insert the odd “yes”/”no” question in there, too, as the responses to these questions tend to skew positive.

Here are some examples of closed and/or precise questions you can ask.

  • What company perks do you like the most?
  • What’s the best thing about our on-site restaurant?
  • Which projects have given you the opportunity to grow at our company?
  • Tell us about the last time you went above and beyond for a client?
  • Why do you feel so valued at our company?
  • What's the most valuable skill you have learned while working here?
  • What is the best thing about our company culture?
  • Tell us about a recent project you completed for a client?
  • Why does it matter to you to work somewhere with purpose and meaning?
  • In a word, describe your experience working with the company?
  • What is it about our company’s mission that you identify with the most?
  • How do you strike the right work/life balance at our company?
  • When are you given an opportunity to have your voice heard?

Questions that should feature in every employee testimonial

No matter the industry or company, certain questions should be featured in every employee testimonial. These types of questions provide potential employees with some of the most valuable information, giving them the best idea of what it's like to work for your company.

On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend us?

Firstly, given this specific prompt, rarely, if ever, will an employee say anything other than a 9 or 10. That gives you a short, to-the-point, and decisive response, which you can then use as a hook at the beginning of the testimonial video.

Alternatively, you can insert this question at the very end of the testimonial to underline just how satisfied your employees are with working for your company. Viewers will often remember the first and last thing they see/hear in a video, so this is a great way to ensure your employees' positive sentiments are front and center.

What were your reservations before joining us?

One of the key questions to ask for employee testimonials is about any reservations they may have had before joining the company. Asking this question is a great way not only to show that you're interested in feedback but also to demonstrate that you're always looking to improve the employee experience.

Your employees' reservations may be about your company specifically or about the industry in general. In any case, their answer will give potential employees an immediate sense of relief after seeing how your company has alleviated those specific concerns.

Additional tips for employee testimonials

While we've covered all bases with the types of questions you should ask, there are a few additional tips to keep in mind when conducting these interviews.

Avoid asking too many open-ended questions

Open-ended questions are great for establishing a rapport with your employees and getting them to open up. However, it's important not to ask too many of these types of questions during an employee testimonial.

Remember, you want your employees to stay on message and to focus on the company's core values and selling points. Asking too many open-ended questions may cause your employees to go off on a tangent or to start talking about topics that aren't relevant to the testimonial.

Asking heaps of open questions can also lead to repeated information from the same interview and generate broad statements that don't offer much value to potential employees.

Encourage specifics and numbers

On a related note, vagueness is your enemy when conducting employee testimonials. You want your employees to be as specific as possible when answering your questions and to back up their answers with numbers and data whenever possible.

For example, rather than saying, "I've had a great experience working here," your employee might say, "I've worked here for two years, and I've never been happier. In that time, I've been able to lead three successful projects."

Research has shown that those who are more detailed and specific sound more credible, informed, and knowledgeable. Thus, by encouraging your employees to give specific answers, you're also increasing the overall impact and effectiveness of the testimonial.

Standardize your closed questions

One mistake many companies make when creating employee testimonials is randomizing the closed questions they ask their interviewees. This may seem like a small mistake, but it can significantly impact the quality of your testimonials.

By standardizing your questions across employees, you can create a gallery of answers to the same questions – perfect if you're looking to structure your employee testimonial videos by question instead of by person.

Let the interviewee repeat the question

One of the best things you can do to get better, more reusable video snippets is to let the interviewee repeat the question within their answer. For example, “What is the best thing about our company culture? – The best thing about our company culture is ..."

Giving them this prompt will give you a lot more video content that you can extensively repurpose and promote across all kinds of internal and external marketing channels, including video-friendly platforms such as social media.

Recap: the only questions you need to ask to create powerful employee testimonials

Employee testimonials are a powerful way to show potential recruits what it's like to work for your company and enhance employer branding. However, they can quickly go wrong if you don't ask the right questions.

By following the advice in this article, you can be sure you're asking the right employee testimonial questions – resulting in impactful, positive, and persuasive employee testimonials every time.

By starting with open questions that establish a rapport, you can then move on to more closed questions that encourage specifics and data. Remember to avoid asking too many open-ended questions, and to standardize your closed questions to ensure consistency across all testimonials.

Now that you understand what constitutes great testimonial questions, why not use that knowledge to capture employee responses with Our software helps businesses create high-converting testimonial videos to attract top talent.

With a clever video editor made for storytelling, we make it straightforward for you to create impactful video content without any prior experience. So, if you're looking for a quick and hassle-free way to improve your employer branding, sign up for today!

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