I’m always testing new case study questions in my interviews.
Below are my go-to questions at the moment.
Most I developed on my own. Some were stolen from Michael Hague.
I’ve broken them down to different sections that highlight different phases of your case study’s journey.
Keep in mind, it’s not always the question itself that gets you the gold — it’s the follow up.
Asking “Can you tell me more about that?” will get you all kinds of rich detail.
If something strikes your interest, has you confused, or you think there’s more juice to get out of it, don’t be afraid to follow-up and have them clarify.
23 Case Study Questions
The “Before” Picture — This is where you get a feel for what their life was like before and the struggles they had.
What was your life like before you joined X?
What was the biggest challenge or struggle you had before joining X?
Crisis — This is the turning point where the struggle became unbearable. Finding out what was at stake makes this more emotionally compelling. Having a goal creates momentum in the story — so the reader knows it’s going somewhere. And asking about other things they tried lets you separate yourself from the competition.
Can you tell me about a moment you realized “that’s it, this has to change”?
What was the #1 goal you wanted to achieve? Why was that important to you?
What other things did you try to achieve that goal?
Why didn’t they work?
How’d you find out about X?
What was your biggest fear or reservation about joining?
Can you tell me about the moment you decided to join X?
Persuit — This is where you share what it was like to use your product. Ideally, you want to share helpful information here that will allow the reader to move closer to their goal even if they don’t buy. That way your case study isn’t just fluffy marketing — it’s actually useful.
Can you tell me about the first time you used X? What was it like?
What were the [most helpful lessons/turning points/biggest takeaways] you got from using X? How did you apply them?
What surprised you most about using the program?
Conflict — If the case study was just “then they found our product and it was all sunshine and rainbows” the story would be boring. And probably not true. Showing the struggle they had even after using your prodcut let’s your reader know what it’s like to use it. It’s actually good to show that the fears they have may come true yet they won’t be the end of the world — they can bounce back and use your product to overcome them the same way your case study person did.
What was the hardest part about using X?
Did anyone discourage you from trying? Or make the process harder?
Did you ever feel like you wanted to quit? How’d you overcome that?
Climax — Here’s where they hit their goal — or the moment they did something else that was just as good to them as hitting that goal.
What was the first “big win” you got using X? A moment you realized “Oh wow, this works”?
What was the biggest, most exciting result you achieved? Can you tell me about that moment?
Were there any other major milestones?
Aftermath — This shows how their life has reached a higher level than it was in the “before” picture. How they have a different day-to-day and outlook on life.
How is your life different now? Why is that important?
Can you tell me about a moment where you thought something like “I can’t believe this is my life now”
Now that you’ve had this success, what are you excited about next?
What advice would you have for someone who was in the same situation you were in before the program?
Anything else you want to share?