never ask anyone what they want.
— Erika Hall, Just Enough Research
But to be honest: interviewing strangers is not the easiest task for everyone. So let’s get started! Here are some recommendations to get the most out of your interviews.
- Gain deep understanding and insights of needs, constraints and delights
- Learn about the interviewee’s perspective
- Promotes learning in the context
- Limitations for statistical conclusions (e.g. “70% of the interviewees ask for..”)
- Depending on the situation and the interviewer the interviewee’s responses might be influenced by what he thinks the situation requires
Don’t prepare every question or even details and subquestions. Think about key topics you want to explore and decide on 2-3 questions for your interview.
One conducts the interview and asks the questions, the other one writes down the answers.
A story helps to generate a more holistic understanding of your interviewee.
Dig deeper to understand the motivation, needs, pain and gain points of your interviewee or to get to the root of a problem. Ask why even when you think you understood the interviewee’s answer.
Moments of silence indicate that your interviewee has to think about your question. This often leads to deeper insights.
Try to listen with an open mind and stop interpreting your interviewee’s answers
Ask for permission to take a picture from your interviewee (if your interviewee doesn’t want to be photographed, ask to take a picture from any remarkable accessory: e.g. his bag, shoes…). This helps you afterwards to remember the person.
View on Responsibility