Qualtrics 360

Assessment Questions

What are your 360 assessment items?

Simply put, these are the consistent set of items that you want your employees to evaluate themselves and/or each other on. Most 360 assessments consist of 20-40 items, worded as behaviors. The most effective 360 assessments are based on a competency model (which often maps back to the organization’s desired culture or core values). This means that each behavioral item is designed to measure a particular competency and thus, it is common for organizations to cluster the items into the competencies that they measure.

Some example questions…

….and the Competency for that question

Encourages collaboration among team members Leadership
Is decisive when making difficult decisions Decision Making
Listens effectively to others Communication
Motivates others to adapt to organizational change Change Management

Tips for writing 360 items:

  • Aim for 5-10 behavioral items per competency (depending on the number of competencies), but try not to exceed 60 total assessment items
  • Write each item to focus on a single behavior and avoid common traps like “provides clear and concise feedback” — this is a double barreled item!
  • It’s good practice to start each item with an action verb (e.g., Communicates, Facilitates)
  • Avoid overusing adverbs (e.g., effectively, concisely) to qualify your action verb, especially if you are using a Frequency Scale (e.g., Never > Always)
  • Descriptive adverbs can be appropriate for Agreement Scales (i.e., Strongly Disagree > Strong Agree)
  • Think about whether your items could be interpreted differently by different raters
  • Be careful not to use jargon or overly technical language that some raters may not be able to understand
  • Avoid culturally biased items when administering 360s internationally, e.g., does a term or behavior mean something different in a different culture?
  • Look out for items that are not actionable. If you find one, consider rewriting or removing it
  • Mixing items throughout your survey (i.e., not organizing the items by competency) can lead to confusion and even distrust. Raters and ratees may question the motives behind this
  • Including a free text box for each competency allows for more targeted and actionable feedback. But be careful not to make the assessment too time consuming – doing so can lead to rater fatigue and ultimately less accurate ratings
  • Finally, it’s also good practice to include a final text box at the very end of the assessment – this allows the raters to provide specific feedback that might not have been covered by the items in the assessment


What do you need to prepare?

Prepare your final list of assessment items in our template spreadsheet file, clustered into competencies. We can then train you how to build the online assessment. To save rework later in the project, we recommend you get feedback / approval from all necessary stakeholders in your organization (Senior HR team, or senior leaders in your organization) in the template below before starting to build the online assessment.

When will this need to be completed?

Your Implementation Consultant will define deadlines with you further, but generally we will need you to finalize assessment items no later than three weeks before your desired launch date.

Click the link below to download the template for your assessment questions. Go ahead and start, make any edits you wish, and let us know when you’re done. If you want to see what an example survey template filled in looks like, we’ve included one for you below.

Download your template for questions!

Download an example filled-in template!