A Complete Jobs to be Done Interview

Seeing an ethnographic, story-based interview come to life

My interview notes. We discuss interviews immediately afterward, including consideration of improvement opportunities (my blue-highlighted notes). Interviews are recorded and transcribed as well.

We in business need to first and foremost become an expert in the problem we solve for our customers. I like to think of us as anthropologists first, entrepreneurs, product people, marketers, etc. second.

There are many resources under the design thinking and human-centered design umbrella that can be applied to understand the problem we solve for our customers. I frequently “grab” ethnographic-style interviews from my toolbox. Jobs to be Done is one framework that can guide how we approach this kind of interview.

The video below is a complete, unedited “JTBD” interview about the problem that buying a guitar solved for the interviewee, Vid. I lead in the conversation, keeping in mind two supporting concepts — the customer experience map, or “timeline,” and the “four forces,” which promote or block Vid’s progress. Interview partner Brandon Hunt listens deeply to the discussion and asks follow-up questions to ensure we obtain the insights we are seeking.

Our goal was to capture a complete story of how Vid:

  1. Experienced a specific struggling situation.
  2. Became motivated to make a change.
  3. Shaped up a vision of a better future.
  4. Took action and made a series of decisions based on different options.
  5. Finally purchased a black Fender acoustic guitar.

As you listen to the interview, write down the insights you hear applicable to strategy, product, customer experience, marketing, customer success, even operations.

Continue Reading:

Thanks to Brandon (interview partner) and Vid (interviewee) for making this video possible.

Updated October 14, 2022



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John Gauch

John Gauch


Help teams build & scale products, experience, teams and businesses | Business Manager and Business Designer | Fractional COO.