How to Conduct a One on One Survey Interview

Want to know the fastest way to figuring out what your target audience wants?

Using social media and conducting surveys can help with these things as I’ve shown in part 1 and part 2 of this series but the fastest way to figure out what your target audience wants is to just ask them directly.

Yup that’s right all you have to do is ask someone who is in your target market and you will be on a surefire path to finding out exactly want products and services your audience want to buy.

I recently did this and it has added a level of clarity to my business that you can’t get in any other way.  There’s nothing like sitting down with someone over a cup of coffee or chatting with them live on Skype in real time and asking them questions to help you get in the head of your customers and clients.

In this article I’m going to share everything from the tools, the questions, and the exact process you should use to conduct these one on one interviews.


A Quick Word About Fear

Before I jump into the meat of this article some of you might have a little fear about doing this in the back of your mind, and I want to address this before I start.

I know when I was about to do this for the first time I was scared out of my mind.  A million questions were flying through my head. What are people going to think of me, what if they don’t like me, what if I say the wrong things, what if, what if…

Then I saw this quote…

I’d rather live a life of “oh wells” than a life of “what ifs” – Pat Flynn

As scared as I was to do this for the first time I knew that I had to do it.  It was a necessary step that I needed to go through in order to figure out what my customers really wanted.

So if this is a fear of yours don’t worry to much, this is actually simpler than it sounds, and if you follow the steps I’ve laid out in this article it should go smoothly.  Also don’t worry about what others think I’ve found of the people that are seeking you out will want to talk to you and won’t mind helping you out.


Tools You’ll Need

As you’re getting started their are some tools you’ll need to make things to run smoothly. Below is a list of tools I used to conduct my interviews.

  • Skype.  The first tool you’ll need is Skype which is an internet phone service and as long as you’re calling people via Skype to Skype and not someones cell or home phone the call is completely free.
  • Something to take notes.  Next you’ll want something to take notes with whether it’s Microsoft Word, Evernote, or a pad of paper and a pen you’ll need something to take detailed notes with.
  • Pamela.  Another tool I also use while doing these interviews was Pamela, a tool that allows you to record your Skype calls.  This tool works in tandem with Skype and runs right around $30.  I also like to offer a recording of the call to the person I’m interviewing when I’m finished and this tool makes this very simple to do.


Where to Find People to Interview

Once you have the tools you need, start looking for people who you could possibly interview.  This might be tough in the beginning but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible though.  So if this is a problem for you I’ve put a few ideas together to help out.

Ask a friend or family member.  This may not work in all cases because none of your friends or family may fit your target audience but in my case it did. I have a brother who is currently looking to start his own side hustle and he fits my target audience perfectly.  So anytime I have a question, a lot of times I like to run it past him and get his thoughts.

Use Facebook Groups.  Another way to go about this is to find people via Facebook groups.  Facebook groups are the forums of today.  All you have to do is join a few groups related to your topic and find people that you feel who could use some help and ask them.

Survey Volunteers.  Another way to find people to interview is to ask them at the end of a survey.  In part 2 of this series I showed how to conduct surveys and all you have to do is include a question at the end of your survey asking if anyone would be willing to do a small one on one interview / coaching call to just enter their name and email.  The great part about doing this is that people who voluntarily sign up are much more likely to do the interview.

Email List.  Finally, if you have an email list this is probably the best place find people who would be willing to an interview.  However I know that everyone doesn’t have an email list but I thought I would mention it just in case.


How to Conduct a One on One Survey Interview

Now that I’ve covered the tools and places you can start to look for people who you could interview it’s time to get down to business.  Below are the exact steps I used to conduct my interviews.

Step 1: Get the Word Out.  The first step is to getting the word out and I’ve shown you ways to find people to interview, however when I’m getting the word out I don’t call it a one on one interview but rather a I frame it as a 20 minute coaching call.

This is really important right here.

By calling it a coaching call you are giving value to the person you are interviewing.  You get to help them with some of the problems and questions they have and in turn you get to ask them a few questions to help you learn more about them.

Here is a blog post I put out when I was looking for people to interview.  You can use this as a template to help you out.

Step 2: Schedule Your Coaching Call.  Once someone ask to do a coaching call/interview you need to get a time scheduled to do the interview.  My suggestion here is to schedule at the earliest time possible.

It’s at this time things are at the top of their mind and more than likely where you’ll be able to get more out of them. If you wait they may forget about all the details and even the real reason they are doing the call in the first place.

Side Note:  Also when you’re setting up your coaching call remind the person you are going to interview to prepare 3 to 5 questions they might have.  This way you can keep things moving.

Step 3: Plan Out the Coaching Call/Interview.  Now that you have your first guest scheduled, you need to plan out exactly what you are going to do in the call.  Below is a brief outline of how I conduct my interviews.

  • Introduction.  In this section I ask you to introduce yourself and ask what kind of side hustle you have started or are thinking about starting just to help me get familiar with what you do.
  • Interviewees Questions.  Next we’ll dive into your questions and help answer them right on the call.
  • Your Questions.  Once we’ve covered your questions we’ll jump into my 3 questions to help me learn more about you.  (I’ll share more on the 3 questions you should ask in the next section.)
  • Wrap Up.  Finally we’ll wrap things up and once the call has finished I’ll send you the recording in the next couple of days.

Step 4:  Conduct the Coaching Call.  Now that you have everything planned out it’s time to do the call.  Keep the call like you would be chatting with a friend over a cup of coffee.  Start by breaking the ice and just getting to know each other a little.

I also feel it helps when you find a few things in common about each other at first.  This help the person you are interviewing to relax and take it easy.

Side Note:  In the next section I’ll cover the exact questions you should be asking after you’ve answered their questions.

Step 5: Review the Call.  Now that the call has wrapped up it time to review things a bit.  The best way to do this is to listen to the recording you did and the notes that you took.

Pay attention to the questions that they asked.  One thing I like to do is keep a word document of all the questions my audience ask me.  This can be everything from your basic questions like what is a side hustle, to how to do I start an Amazon FBA business.

Over time this will help you start to see patterns and trends.  It will also help you identify where people are struggling the most so you can help them.


The 3 Questions You Should Ask During Your Survey Interview

Before I wrap up this article you might be wondering what questions should you be asking in the interview and their are really only 3 questions I want to know the answer to.  In this section I will share them plus give you a little insight as to why I ask them.

Question #1:   If you could have the ideal result when it comes to _______, what would it look like?  Feel like?

This question is called the paradise question.  The point of this question is to get the person to share what the ideal result would look like and feel like when it comes to your whatever your topic or niche is.  By knowing this it allows you to get a starting point of what people want and then you can work backwards from there.

Questions #2:  What frustrations, questions, and roadblocks, are in the way of you achieving that result?

The second question is the roadblock question.  Now that you’ve gotten this person to share the result they want they more than likely are having some issues achieving this result and the goal of this question is to figure out what is getting the way of them hitting there goals.

Question #3:  If I custom designed a training or coaching experience to your exact needs what would this look like?

The final question is known as the bridge question.  This question is designed to tell you exactly what they need to get past the roadblocks and achieve the paradise they shared in the first question.  This question gets down to the meat of exactly what kind of product or service you should create for them.

Side Note: As one final bit of advice while your asking these questions remember to go deep with them.  You want people to share their answers in their own words.  So if someone is giving you one word replies to your questions just ask WHY, and keep drilling till you get down to the heart of the matter.

Are You Doing One on One Survey Interviews

Now that I’ve shared what it takes to do a survey interview give it a shot, I think you’ll be more than surprised at how easy it is to do.  Once you’ve done your first survey interview feel free to share how it went for you in the comments below.

If you have any questions about conducting these interview surveys feel free to ask them below in the comments.