Tool KitAll ToolsInterviewing

One of the best ways to understand people is to talk to them.

Conducting interviews is a key part of doing primary research and learning what people want and need. Interviewing also helps identify barriers and obstacles that provide an opportunity for improvement.

Three Steps to Ace Interviewing

  1. Think about what you want to learn and use that as a starting point to write a list of five to seven questions.
  2. Schedule 30-minute time slots with interviewees and go prepared with your questions.
  3. Let the interviewee know that you’ll be taking notes. You can also ask to record the interview if you think you’ll want to go back to refer to it later.

Top Tips for Interviewing

  • Make sure to think about everyone who has a relationship to your challenge. People Mapping will help you identify those you need to connect with.
  • Ask open-ended questions that can’t be answered with a yes or no.
  • Use the phrase “tell me more” to get your interviewee to elaborate and provide additional information.
  • Stay on track! You may be enjoying your interview… especially if your interview subject is interesting and engaging. But, don’t forget the reason for the interview. Your goal is to learn as much as possible.
  • Ask the interviewee to tell you a story about the last time they were in a situation, used a product, followed a service, or did anything related to what you’re trying to learn.
  • Take very detailed notes of your conversation so you can refer back to them. If you only jot down the theme of your conversation, you may lose the substance of what your interviewee shared.
  • Consider going as a team of two to each interview — one person can speak and the other can take notes.
  • Write down your interviewees’ age, gender, and whatever else might be noteworthy about that person (Does the fact that your interviewee is a mom of two inform her opinion?). This will allow you to segment your insight and better develop solutions for different populations.


Ready to talk? Use this worksheet to guide your Interviewing.

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