14 Interview Questions Pre- and Post-MVP [Templates]
Before you build a prototype, you want to learn as much as possible about people’s challenges. When you are testing it, you need to understand whether you're actually solving those challenges.
No matter the product you’re building, you can benefit from talking to users.
Without feedback from users, all you have is assumptions. Conducting interviews is one of the best ways to find out if your assumptions are right or wrong, and to understand really well why. That way you spend less time building things that people don’t need.
🙅 DONT - What not to ask:
Questions about generic behavior (what do you usually do?)
Questions about behavior in a hypothetical future (what would you do?)
Also, avoid talking too much about your idea or product. Ask questions and listen carefully.
What to ask before you build a prototype:
😤 CHALLENGE - What's your single biggest challenge? - Your product is just a means to an end for the customer: they’ll buy it if it solves their challenges and improves their life.
🧐 LAST - Talk me through the last time it happened - To learn more about the circumstances in which the person we’re interviewing encountered the challenge most recently.
💔 CONSEQUENCES - What were the consequences? - Aim to understand what the second-order effects of experiencing the problem were; its consequences and the consequences of those consequences. Dig into the stories about when things went wrong until you find the full pattern of pain. It will lead you to the most surprising insights.
🧮 COST - How much does this problem cost you today? - What’s the cost of having to deal with the problem today? You want to get to a number here.
🗓 FREQUENTLY - How frequently do you encounter this problem? - You want to learn about the frequency of the problem for two reasons. One, because the more the customer is experiencing a problem, the more receptive they’ll be to a solution. And two, because if the problem happens frequently, you’ll get more chances to test if your product actually solves it.
🛠 DONE - What, if anything, have you done to try to solve this problem? - We want to know what they’ve already identified as potential solutions. How do they think when it comes to finding a solution for their problem? What are their requirements—i.e the criteria that they’re looking to meet?
😕 DISLIKE - What don't you love about the solutions you've already tried? - You’re not interested in the features of those solutions. You’re interested in how they addressed the customer’s challenges and what part(s) of the challenges they left unaddressed.
What to ask when you’re testing your prototype:
😒 EXPERIENCE - How's your experience with the product been so far? - You want to know what experience people are having with your product. Is it making their lives better? Is it meeting their expectations?
💯 SHARED - Have you shared the product with anyone? - If somebody shared your product with their friends, that’s the strongest type of endorsement you can get. If they didn’t share it with anybody, they probably don’t like it too much.
🤥 DISLIKE - What don't you love about it? - People tend to be hesitant about giving negative feedback, but if you explicitly ask for it, you make it easier for them to do so.
😻 LIKE - What do you like most? - Here you want to learn about the parts of the product that work.
🤨 CONFUSING - Is there any part of the product you find confusing? - These types of issues are important and usually easy to fix.
🔍 EXPECTING - Is anything missing that you were expecting? - If you stop at the surface level, the information you’ll get out of this question will be a list of feature requests. Your job is to understand the problems they want those features to solve and then find the best way to solve them.
💬 SHOULD - Is there anything I should have asked you today that I didn't? - With this one you make sure you didn’t leave any stone unturned and that you get the full picture of what you’re investigating.
To summarize: Ask the right questions and listen carefully
To help you get started I created two templates that you can copy to your Google Drive and use for your interviews:
If you’re curious to learn more, you can read the full article here.
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