Ask the Right Questions3:23 with Hope Armstrong
Jumpstart your interviews with this list of recommended interview questions.
Types of questions:
- Sequence. Walk me through your day.
- Exhaustive list. What are all the situations where you pull out a piece of paper and write something down?
- Quantitative/inventory. How many times did you take notes yesterday?
- Suggestive opinion. Some people have very negative feelings about taking notes while driving a car. What are your feelings about it?
- Activities. What do you typically do when you get ready for a trip?
- Exceptions. Can you tell me about a time when you had a problem taking notes with an app?
- Reenactment. Could you please show me how you do that?
- Failures. What would be the worst-case scenario?
- Fill in the blank. After you ask a question, hold yourself back and give them time to respond.
The following is a list of recommended interview questions. 0:00
These are just examples. 0:04
You don't need to ask all of these types of questions in every interview. 0:06
Remember, your goal is to gather stories about their recent past. 0:10
You're looking for insights into user needs and pain points. 0:15
[SOUND] Sequence, walk me through your day. 0:18
Let's take yesterday for example. 0:22
Be ready for interviewers to say something such as, but it was not a typical day. 0:25
Don't worry about that, no day is a typical day. 0:30
Ask them to walk you through yesterday anyway. 0:35
For example, tell me about the notes you took on a piece of paper yesterday. 0:38
Examples help your interviewee avoid generalizing or averaging. 0:43
If they say something such as, there is a smart way and a stupid way to take notes. 0:48
An example of both will clarify things. 0:53
[SOUND] Exhaustive list, what are all the situations where you pull out 0:56
a piece of paper and write something down? 1:01
Are there any others? 1:04
Try to exhaust a comprehensive list from your interviewees. 1:06
Quantitative or inventory. 1:09
[SOUND] How many times did you take notes yesterday? 1:11
Quantities do not matter for any statistical calculations and interviews. 1:16
They do matter to give you an idea of what your interviewee means. 1:20
For example, if the interviewee says, I take a lot of notes. 1:24
You might ask, how many times did you take notes yesterday? 1:29
To understand what the interviewee means when he or she says a lot. 1:33
Ten times a day might be a lot for one person or very few to another. 1:38
Suggestive opinion. 1:43
Some people have very negative feelings about taking notes while driving a car. 1:45
What are your feelings about it? 1:50
This is an example of a question that asked about their opinion. 1:53
Keep in mind opinions are less of interest to you. 1:57
You asked questions that help you generate stories about recent behavior. 2:01
This question might generate such a story. 2:05
[SOUND] What do you typically do when you get ready for a trip? 2:10
Can you tell me about a time when you had a problem taking notes with an app? 2:16
Exceptions can teach you a lot about frustrations and challenges, 2:21
interviewee's experience. 2:25
Could you please show me how you do that? 2:28
If an interviewee says something such as, 2:31
I always do it with this app on my phone, ask them to show you. 2:34
Don't settle for 2:39
the story if they can't easily demonstrate what they're talking about. 2:40
In some cases, you will learn that the story doesn't really match the behavior. 2:44
Failures, what would be the worst-case scenario? 2:50
Can you tell me about a time when this didn't work? 2:53
This is an excellent way to attract stories about pinpoints, 2:57
frustrations, and challenges. 3:01
Fill in the blank, this is a technique you need throughout the interview. 3:03
After you ask a question, you'll feel a need to explain what you meant. 3:08
Especially if the interviewee is quite for a few seconds. 3:12
As humans, we feel silence must be filled in. 3:16
Hold yourself back and give them time to respond. 3:19
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