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Demo: Creating an Interview Guide- Problem Scenarios

Watch Alex Cowan to learn about how to create an interview guide using problem scenarios.
In this video, we’re going to look at how to put together questions specifically to get at the problem hypothesis. Now I’ve mentioned, it’s okay to have a little redundancy here and what we want to make sure of as we talk about the problem scenarios is that we have a specific view of a example of them doing whatever it is that’s of interest to us. So we might ask them here, can you tell me about your process for heading to a new job?
What’s the first thing that happens? This helps. A question formulation like this helps get at the idea that you want a sequential narrative of what they’re going to do, what happens next. Now, you can see the question form here that there’s this alternative thing. If you feel like you’ve been through a specific example with them and you feel pretty good about that example, what you can do is play that back to them in brief. Hey, I heard that. This is the first thing it happened, then this, then this, then this and that make it them to fill in some details for you which may help get at the details of that problem scenario.
Then we want to look at what’s difficult, what’s hard. So, what’s hard about getting two jobs? What’s hard about completing jobs? What’s hard about making sure the customer is happy?
These are all things that we might find are relevant in the experience of the HVAC technician and then this is basically just more leading version of these previous questions which you should feel free to skip if you feel like you’ve got nice, high-quality answers. But we might ask here, what are the top five hardest things about dispatch and so forth. You can fill this out for the rest of the items we covered before and this is how we would want to do if, for example, our subject said to us, well, we asked them what’s the hardest thing about getting a jobs? Well, I don’t know driving is always tough.
Well, basically it’s okay, but then we might go to our top five version of the question to try and get more of a specific list. And here we have a very similar formulation, but more directional about where they see themselves going. So, what do you want to do better this year?
Is something you would want to precede with or do first and then you could follow up if you don’t get what you think you want, or what you think could get with something like what are the top five things to do better this year?
And here, this could be a lot of different things. This is kind of throw away question. Hey, why isn’t this or that on your list? If you’re curious, why they missed it? And that is about as leading a question as you can ask, but that’s okay at this point, because we’re at the end of the interview. So we looked at how to finish up an interview guide to get at both the problem scenario, as well as the persona stuff that preceded this. Next, you’ll go out and talk to real subjects, get answers. It’s kind of like skiing. It’s going to feel a little bit awkward the first few times you do it.
But as you do it more, it’ll get better and better. Don’t expect the first one to go really well and don’t let that discourage you. Try it a few times. Iterate on your interview guide. Iterate on the circumstances under which you interview them. You’ll definitely want to iterate on the way you take notes. I like to take notes on the laptop. I can type relatively fast and I like to have those nice full transcripts that I mentioned are so important. So, I would try that out. You can also try recording interviews.
Most subjects will react relatively okay to that, but I think what you’ll find is that you’ll have trouble finding time to actually go back and transcribe the whole thing. But give that a try, maybe that’ll work for you or maybe you have somebody who can do that transcription for you. If you have a team where someone else can come and take those notes for you while you lead the interview, that’s great and that works really well. Those are a few tips. Give this a try. There’s some supplemental things in the lesson materials and good luck talking to these real subjects.
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