Presenting an answer to a case study question given by an interviewer could be much more than just identifying one’s problem-solving skills. The case study is given to analyze you as a problem solver, your approach to solving the problem, your ability to ask right questions and your solution to the problem.
In case of interviews, interviewer generally provides enough information about the hypothetical business problem. They expect you to ask questions for more information. They want to see your ability to identify the key problems to solve.
I have listed the steps to crack your case study interview as per my experience as a job seeker and interviewer.
Step 1: Understand the needs of your audience
Know whom you are sending your casestudy to
Is it a recruiter?
They can be experienced or non experienced. If they are technical recruiter they have an eye to pick the best candidate and take your profile to the next level, but if they are not much experienced then they will scan for the keywords like research, ideation, etc, and depend on the designer’s opinion.
In India, they generally rely on the designer’s acceptance.
Is it a Head or Pro designer?
They are experts and they will analyze you thoroughly before taking you to the next level.
They will analyze the ability to solve complex business problems. They will also, identify that are able to work within constraints. For them, ownership matters a lot with the ability to collaborate well with the stakeholders.
They will evaluate you on the approach you take to solve the problem and the quality of the solution.
In India, 80% of companies are looking for a product or UX/UI designer with the ability to do user research :)
Is it a Product Manager?
Yes, you need to work in collaboration with them.
They will judge your approach, ability to understand the business and user goals, they want to know how fast you can propose solutions, and are able to work in restriction.
Of course, they will talk about technology, collaboration, and metrics in interviews.
Step 2: Ask questions before you start
They want you to ask questions. So, clear all your doubts before getting started with case study assignment.
- Ask about their expectations from the assignment
- Ask about your doubts related to the assignment
- Know their assumptions about the problem and target audience
- Ask about final deliverables
🚩 Get Started with the case study assignment
Step 3: Take a Realistic Approach
Define the approach that you have actually followed.
Here, is it the simple process that I generally follow to do my case study assignments
Step 4: Quick User Research
The interviewer is interested in the method you have used to find the insights, but it is not necessary to do in-depth research. Try to spend 3–4 hours out of 4 days of your time to collect the user information.
Here are few ways that you can use to collect data quickly.
- Mention the sites that you have referred to
- How old is the data
- Who is your user and why you have chosen them
- How you have interacted with these user (call or questionnaire)
- What kind of questions you have asked them
- Is there any recording? if, yes you can provide the links for there references
It is always recommended to write about what is your understanding and learnings from the research. As it helps the interviewer to know about your ability to identify the user needs and their pain-points before jumping onto a solution.
Step 5: Ideation
Ideation should be fun and strategic. I generally follow these steps to get the best out of the ideation process.
I have explained the steps by taking a problem statement.
1. Breakdown the problem
- 🔧 Break them into pieces: one-tap check out, recommendations, proper categorization on basis of cuisine, mood, etc
- 💡 Choose the key problem: Select 3–4 key problems that you want to focus on. like categorization and recommendation.
- ⛏ Further breakdown of the problem: Eg: recommendation basis of: nearby, frequently ordered, best is budget, time of the day, etc
2. Identify pain-point, motivations, and opportunities
I have explained this with an example.
3. Define Customer Profile
At this point, you can easily define the customer profile. If you are still struggling to identify that then there is some gap in your research.
- Demographics: Gender, Age, Salary, Where he stays? To whom he lives?
- Motivations to order food: Lives in a nuclear family that’s why prefer eating lunch at the office or order food online
- Painpoints while ordering food: Forget to order food as I am in meetings
- Needs for ordering food: I need healthy options as I am regularly ordering outside food
- Behavior — General pattern: Forget to order food as I am in meetings
- Social Forces — External factors that encourage decision making
4. Define Customer Journey
Mention all the online and offline touchpoints of the user to complete the task.
Step 6: Excecution
What are your final deliverable for the project?
- Digital Wireframes
- Visual Screens
I have explained this in the YouTube live session at
Step 7: Final Presentation
It is important to present your case-study well, but before that, you should have a good understanding of the Job Role (UX, UX/UI, or product designer), and the audience.
There are 2 approaches that you can take to present your case study.
1. Visual Heavy
• 60% visual information
• Use bullets
• Avoid long sentences
• Focus on the use of imagery, icons, and illustrations to explain the process
2. Text Heavy
• Use bullets
• Use long sentences
• Use smileys to break the monotony
• Use infographics like icons, imagery, and illustration to make it more readable
This is a format that I generally use to write case study for an interview. I have evolved this over time and it helps me to work on the assignments faster.