Great Questions For Generative User Interviews

Neal Samarakkody

The following is a great template for generative user interviews (as opposed to evaluative user interviews). The questions that are asked in an interview are based on the subject matter of the interview so there’s no canned set of questions that will always work. What’s really important is to understand the types of things that you want to learn about the user and riff off of their answers.


  • Briefly explain your role at your company and why you are talking to users.

  • Explain no right or wrong answers – it’s the user’s perception that matters.

  • Let them know that there will be time for questions at the end.

  • Explain why you record interviews.

  • Are you fine with being recorded?

Establish context

  • Can you tell me about yourself (for consumer products) or your role (for B2B products) and how that pertains to your usage of our product?

Journey deep dive

Use the following questions as conversation starters for diving into a user’s experience. Follow up answers with lots of why and how questions to understand motivations, concerns, attitudes, aptitudes, and skills. If possible, have users think out loud while using your product for the walk-through questions.

X = user journey related to scope of interview

  • Can you walk me through the steps you took while doing X?

  • Can you walk me through the first time you did X?

  • Can you walk me through the last time you did X?

  • What happened that made you realize you needed to do X?

  • How did you find where to do X?

  • What concerns did you have while doing X?

  • What were you hoping to have accomplished by doing X?

  • How long have you been doing X?

  • How did X in our product compare to X in a competitor’s product?


  • Do you have any questions for me?

  • Mention next steps for incentive, if applicable

  • Thank them for their participation