Why Is A Job Interview Important
Job interviews are important because they give you insight into whether you want to hire a candidate. Often in conversation form, the questions asked in an interview can show you a persons skills, job capabilities, and how they contribute to the success of a team or organization. You can use job interviews to compare candidates or build a list of future talent options for other open positions.
Dont Lead The Witness
If youâve ever been in an interview and heard the facilitator ask, âWouldnât it be great ifâ¦â, thatâs leading the participant to a certain answer. Donât do this! Let the participant tell you what they think, in their own words, without prompting from you. This is easier said than done, and it takes a lot of practice to curb the habit.
Get in the habit of sitting with silence for a little longer than you would in normal conversation. If a participant pauses while giving an answer, give them a moment to finish their thoughts. Avoid filling the silence with examples or leading statements. For example, if you ask âHow do you share research with your teammates?â, donât follow up with, âDo you meet in person? Send emails, orâ¦?â. Let your participant come to their own conclusion, even if that takes a moment.
If youâre trying to get better about asking leading questions or sitting in silence, ask the notetaker or observers to help you track when youâre doing these things in an interview. They can help you see things you may not in the moment and improve your habits!
Gain Deeper Insights Into Topics
If you have a problem that requires further research, user interviews help you to understand the users experience or opinion about a concept or product.
Its a more intimate setting to listen to your target audience talk about an issue and gain a deeper understanding of the topic. They highlight the best features of the product and areas of improvement.
More than just words, youre listening for clues around how they express themselves when talking about pain points, wishes, and needs.
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During The User Interview
Here is a list of things to consider for when you start the interview:
Welcome the interviewee
Introduce yourself and give the interviewee an overview of what the research is for, how it will be used, and their role in the process. Not only does this help start building rapport between you, but it is also polite and gives reassurance to a nervous user who may not feel comfortable just yet.
Start with easier questions
You can ask them about themselves and have a short conversation that is off-topic, or ask simple questions like How old are you? Asking simple questions that have an easy answer will give interviewees the confidence to continue in the interview, and help them relax into the interview.
As you ask questions, ask follow-up questions
If what the user said is interesting, feel free to ask more questions about the answer to see whether it gives you more useful information. Likewise, if you didnt understand the answer, ask the user to rephrase it or explain it to you further.
Keep positive throughout the interview
It can be hard to do an interview when you or the interviewee is uncomfortable. Its important to keep a positive attitude about the interview and use open body language and gestures. Also, dont feel obliged to pill in pauses or silence. If you are giving your best impression, the user will respond in kind and give you a positive interview experience.
Make Note Of The Questions That Dont Work
Some questions are duds. They may not elicit much information. Other questions just confuse people. Occasionally you may have a questions that causes people to react negatively.
Even if you commit to not swapping out a user interview question during a round of user interviewing, you should make note of which of your questions dont work so that you can make sure not to use them in future user research.
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When To Choose Interviews
User interviews, as we mentioned, can be used throughout the product development cycleâfrom ideation to testing to post-launch listening.
Interviews are used:
- During initial discovery to uncover broad patterns and themes relating to peopleâs experiences, problems, behavior, and opinions.
- To test concepts and early ideas for possible solutions, before heavy design work gets underway.
- As a followup to usability tests or other evaluative methods, when itâs important for you to have users articulate their decisions or experiences.
- After a product has launched, as a means of understanding evolving customer needs and expectations.
My Experience W/ User Interviews So Far
Ive done 4 projects with User Interviews so far, for a total of $105:
The first was a mens style study, and it was specifically for bald men. Check and mate!
It was a super short online survey, and took less than the 15 minutes suggested.
The other was actually an interesting phone call about the FIRE movement. Since I love talking about that stuff anyway, it was a fun way to make $30.
Next, I got paid $15 to share my opinion about online investment websites, and $50 to test and give feedback on an online video editing tool.
So thats $105 for a little over an hour and a half, or the equivalent of around $60 an hour. All from home.
Ive done a handful of other screener surveys but havent been selected for more projects yet.
As you click into the screener surveys, youll get a better sense of who theyre looking to connect with. Ive aborted some after a couple questions, realizing I wasnt a great fit.
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Ask About Specific Experiences Using The Critical Incident Technique
Tell me about a time when is a famous interview question. However, humans are notoriously bad at recalling past experiences.
Instead, the critical incident technique mines more specific experiences by asking people to remember extreme situations.
- What did you like the most/least?
- Tell me about a time when you were really frustrated by/had an awesome experience with?
While you want to know how someone uses or thinks about your product on a daily basis, the deeper insights will come from when it either exceeded expectations or totally missed the mark.
What Other Options Did You Consider When You Made Your Decision
There are often a variety of possible solutions for a given need. For example, if a persons underlying motivation for making a purchase is to have reliable transportation to and from work each day, their options may include a car, a bicycle, and public transportation.
Once the user has decided on the type of transportation that best fits their needs, such as a car, they must also decide the make, model, and color of the car they want to buy.
Its easy to become fixated with competition thats directly related to your product. Instead of focusing on the decision to buy a sedan over an SUV, for instance, take a step back to explore other options the customer could have chosen. You might be surprised to learn your product is competing with a solution you hadnt previously considered.
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When Should You Conduct User Interviews
User interviews can be utilized at several points in the design process and, each time, they will provide key insights to ensure your project stays on track and remains user-centered. You should conduct user interviews:
At the beginning of a project, even before youve defined a clear concept. The information you collect during these initial user interviews will help you get a better understanding of your potential users, their wants and needs and what kind of solution you should aim for. The insights you gather will also help you develop your user personas and journey maps, as well as aspects of the product, such as features and workflows.
During the early stages of product development. Once you have an early prototype, you can conduct usability tests with your users to gain valuable feedback before the product gets properly implemented and mass produced. You should round up the observation part of the usability tests with user interviews. This will help you better understand users behaviors, how they perceive the product and any frustrations they face.
After the product has been put to market. Just because your product has been shipped, it doesnt mean the user interviews have to stop! You should continue to conduct user observations and interviews to give users even more of an opportunity to show you how they interact with your product.
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Decide Whom To Recruit
As a rule of thumb, you should recruit participants that represent your end-users. Characteristics could be as narrow or broad as the scope of the project. However, its crucial to have a diverse group and to consider accessibility, such as how disabled users would interact with your design.
To prevent bias, avoid recruiting your colleagues, family members, or close friends. They may feel obliged to say nice things about the product which defeats the purpose of the research.
Also, avoid recruiting many participants from one profession. Interaction Design describes this risk asdeformation professionelle.
For example, if youre creating a robot vacuum and you only invite women 35 and older, you risk alienating men or younger people who may have a need for the product. This demographic provides feedback based on their knowledge of similar solutions and it could lead to dysfunctional products that are unable to please. Make sure youre capturing participants across all segments of your audience.
However, none of this would be possible if you havent mapped out buyer personas to guide recruitment.
How Usertesting Can Help You Conduct User Interviews
User interviews can be conducted in-person or remotely, whichever is most convenient for you and your user. A major challenge with live interviews and in-person focus groups is the high costboth in terms of time and money. Live interviews and focus groups take weeks or months to complete and most people need feedback much sooner than that. You should also keep in mind that user interviews typically require more of contributors time versus an unmoderated testand contributors will need to feel comfortable being on camera .
To overcome these challenges, UserTestings Live Conversation is an integrated solution that makes it fast and straightforward to conduct user interviews with real people. With self-service scheduling using the UserTesting on-demand Contributor Network, you only need one business day lead time to get the rich insights available via face-to-face conversation, without the hassle and time typically required to schedule and recruit for live user interviews.
And no matter how specific your target audience is, UserTesting has a global contributor network that will fit your demographic needs and is consistently maintained by quality assurance practices. If youre not yet a UserTesting customer, you can always schedule calls with your own panel of customers or users and hold user interviews over Zoom.
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Always Try To Record The Session
Video or audio recording an interview can be a good way to collect all important information. Obviously, recording should only be done with the permission from the interviewee. Be prepared to abandon recording if your interviewee is uncomfortable or reluctant.
When possible, its best to record the conversation so you can refer back to it later.
How To Run A User Interview
Good notetaking is one of the most important parts of a user interview, but its also something thats really easy to get wrong.
Reframer is a qualitative research tool weve developed to simplify the process of capturing notes from your interviews. It allows you or anyone else in your team to capture observations and keep all your notes in one place. By using tags such as positive or confused to later filter your data, you can quickly analyze your findings with ease. Reframer makes it easier to find the insights youre looking for.
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Listen And Ask Clever Questions
If they start telling you something that seems irrelevant at first, bear with them a bit. The detour they make might lead you to the diamond you are mining for with interviewing. We cant stress enough: Discovery interviews explore stuff you would have not thought of otherwise.
Dont misunderstand, take the lead during the interview and keep track of time but remain flexible and truly curious about what the respondents have to share.
Especially so, as some interviews prove to be tricky. Dont worry, weve met less talkative respondents, too. You can always use little tricks to make them more engaged in the conversation. You can find out more by guiding the respondents to share more. How? If you feel that your respondent did not tell you everything you needed to know, use probing or summarizing questions.
If you simply repeat what they just said, people tend to add more details to it. Also, you can check if you really understand the point they are making. Silence is a great tool, too. If you are patient enough and dont rush to ask another question to fill the silence, people usually make an extra effort to answer your initial question. Additionally, you can always point out nicely that they are experts and you need more details or further explanation of the topic.
When you have asked all your user research questions and got all the answers you needed, move on to the last part of the interview.
Where Do You Conduct A User Interview
The environment of the interview room can set the tone for the rest of the interview. If you were being interviewed, youd like to be in a comfortable, warm, and inviting environment that is semi-formal in appearance where you can relax.
Whether the interview is in your office, in a rented space, in the users own environment, or in public, choosing the right environment can help you have a good user interview. Here are some considerations to remember when choosing your location:
Is the space comfortable?
Is there access to a toilet and heating? Can you spend an hour sitting comfortably? Can you provide a glass of water or tea as a refreshment?
Is the location convenient for your target users?
If your user is vulnerable or unable to commute to the interview location easily, this will delay the interview process and may prevent you from getting the information you need from your target audience.
Is the location a brand-neutral zone?
If your location shows favouritism to a particular brand or company, it can unconsciously bias the interviewee, who may feel more inclined to favour the brand in their answers also.
If users are remotely being interviewed, consider whether technology would be a challenge for them and what the best communication method is for carrying out the interview.
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User Interviews: How To Get The Best Insights From Your Users
If you want to build a successful product, its important to do user research. This means understanding your users needs and wants. A crucial way to do this is by conducting user interviews.
User interviews are a key part of any product development process, but they can be tricky to get right. To get the maximum benefit from your user interviews, you need to make sure youre asking the right questions and that your users feel comfortable giving candid answers.
In this post, well discuss how to get the most out of your user interviews. We have some tips on how to make sure that youre getting the best insights from your users. Keep reading!
Prepare A Discussion Guide
Interviewing users requires effort. You might spend several weeks preparing for the sessions, several days talking to your users, and several days analyzing results. You want to make sure all that effort wont be thrown away. Thats why its essential to spend time to properly plan your questions.
The questions should be selected according to the learning goal. A wrong set of questions can not only nullify the benefits of the interview session, but also lead product development down the wrong path.
The questions you select for the interview will be a core part of your discussion guide. The guide is a set of questions that you intend to ask and get answers to . It serves as a guideline to ensure the consistency throughout your interview process.
Discussion guide typically contains of two sections of questions intro questions and product-specific questions.
User intro questions:
- What does your typical day look like?
- What are some of the apps and websites you use on a regular basis?
- Ask any lifestyle questions that are related to your topic / product.
Product specific questions:
You can find more questions for your discussion guide in Starter questions for user research.
Keep the following things in mind when preparing a question script:
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Questions For Gathering User Behavior:
- What are the most important tasks you or other people need to perform in using ?
- How would you describe your past and current experience with ?
- How often do you use or see yourself using ?
- How do you normally get to ?
- If answer is direct URL ask Do you use a bookmark for this?
- If answer is web searching ask What terms do you typical search for?
- If answer is a link on another site ask What sites?
- If answer is a bookmarked link ask Do you remember how you first obtained the URL?