8 Rules for interviews

September 17, 2015
  1. Adopt a beginner’s mind Listen with a “fresh pair of ears” and avoid interpretation. Explore unexpected jobs, pains, and gains in particular.
  2. Listen more than you talk Your goal is to listen and learn, not to inform, impress, or convince your customer of anything. Avoid wasting time talking about your own beliefs, because it’s at the expense of learning about your customer.
  3. Get facts, not opinions Don’t ask, “Would you…?” Ask, “When is the last time you have…?”
  4. Ask “why” to get real motivations Ask, “Why do you need to do…?” Ask, “Why is___important to you?” Ask, “Why is___such a pain?”
  5. The goal of customer insight interviews is not selling (even if a sale is involved); it’s about learning Don’t ask, “Would you buy our solution?” Ask “what are your decision criteria when you make a purchase of…?”
  6. Don’t mention solutions (i.e., your prototype value proposition) too early Don’t explain, “Our solution does…” Ask, “What are the most important things you are struggling with?”
  7. Follow up Get permission to keep your interviewee’s contact information to come back for more questions and answers or testing prototypes.
  8. Always open doors at the end Ask, “Who else should I talk to?”

Osterwalder 2014 p.112-3

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