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23 Case Study Questions Every Marketer Should Ask
December 16, 2022
By Joe Gillespie
Case studies offer one of the most powerful types of content in the inbound marketer’s toolbox.
When done right—with descriptive storytelling and a powerful visual presentation—a case study can deliver a clinching message to leads in the decision stage of the buyer’s journey . Prospects who already know they need a solution to their problems read the case study and see how your company has helped others, which nudges them closer to becoming customers.
That said, case studies are a different animal from other inbound marketing content, such as blogs , e-books, pillar pages, and infographics. Most content in the awareness and consideration stages of the buyer’s journey doesn’t self-promote much but, instead, simply gives the reader information. The decision stage, however, is a chance to persuade leads that your solution is their best option.
Shifting gears usually isn’t much of a problem for marketers, but switching to the case study format can be. The process is more journalistic—you conduct interviews, gather information, and weave a narrative—and that can be daunting for someone more accustomed to blogging than article writing.
Don’t stress out: Case studies aren’t difficult if you take your time, are diligent about gathering information and writing the content, and ask the right questions. And we can help with the questions! Below are 23 to ask when conducting the interviews.
Case Study Questions to Ask Your Project Manager
Usually, you will interview someone at your company—maybe a project manager, salesperson, client manager, customer liaison, or other colleague who deals with customers—who worked with the client you are profiling for the case study.
Often, this interview will occur first and give you a good launching point for subsequent interviews with the customer’s representatives. You might already know the answers, but ask these questions anyway. You may get a deeper explanation from your interview subject and something quotable you can use in the case study.
(Note: I’m using product , solution , and service interchangeably throughout these case study questions; simply use the term that best applies to your company during the actual interviews.)
- What initial challenges did you encounter with the client that could be overcome with our product? This question is good to establish what problem the customer was experiencing and how your organization was poised to help.
- What process did you follow during implementation? Again, this may be obvious to you but is worth hearing from the PM. A little bit of process info in your case study can go a long way toward showing leads how you, step by step, can help solve their problem.
- What roadblocks for implementation did you help the client overcome? Highlighting how you assisted shows that no matter how messy a customer’s status with its previous solution is, you are positioned to overcome the hurdles that get in the way.
- How have we helped the client since implementation/introduction? Some customers are good to go after your solution is implemented, but others rely on additional support—be sure to find out what that support entails.
- What kind of success did the client enjoy with our product? Results, results, results!
- Did we go above and beyond with our service? If the answer to this is no, that’s OK, and perhaps you don’t want to set unreasonable expectations—even if you did go above and beyond—with the case study, which is also fine. That said, showing how you went the extra mile or were unusually innovative stands out to readers looking for a company that will take care of its customers.
Case Study Questions to Ask the Client
If a client has agreed to be the subject of a case study, they obviously are happy with the service you provided. Take advantage of this enthusiasm by asking open-ended questions and letting your interviewee gush about your organization and your solution.
Some of the case study questions listed here may seem redundant to the ones you asked internally, but ask them anyway. You want both perspectives, and often, the best quotes you hear and use will be from the client.
- Can you give a brief description of your company? If you aren’t familiar with the client, ask for some basic background. Yes, you usually can find such information online, but this is a good icebreaker to get the interviewee talking.
- How did you first hear about our service? If the client learned about you via other case studies or articles in outside publications or websites—or they simply knew about you by reputation or word of mouth—you definitely want to include that in the case study. For the reader, this info strengthens your industry presence and thought leadership. This question is also a good lead-in to learn about how the deal between the client and your company was finalized.
- What challenges/problems necessitated a change? Listen carefully to the answer to this question. Ideally, the challenges and problems the client was facing are exactly what your organization’s product addresses.
- What trends in your industry drove the need to use our product?
- What were you looking for in a solution?
- What made our solution stand out over others that you researched? Ideally, you want the interviewee to say how great your product is. This and other questions lead them to be your greatest advocate.
- What feature of our product was most appealing?
- How did you implement/introduce our solution? The rollout, and the steps taken to get to that point, can make or break the success of the solution. Ideally, the client will say the process was seamless and that your product and team were the reasons for such ease.
- How did our team help with implementation?
- What was the initial reaction to our product? In other words, how did the client’s users and customers accept and utilize the solution?
- How has our solution helped since implementation? Dig into the success realized by your product. This is important because it provides the basis of the case study: “X Company Used Our Solution and Achieved X Hundred Percent Growth.”
- Has this solution saved money and/or increased productivity?
- Can you share any metrics/KPIs that show the success you have enjoyed with our service? The more hard numbers, the better.
- What have you been most impressed with? Here’s another chance for the client to gush.
- What surprised you about us? Hopefully, the customer will share the positive unexpected—things that make you stand out amid the competition.
- What plans do you have to use our solution in the future? After initial success, many companies expand the use of a product, either to more people or additional applications. This info is also important to include in the case study because it shows that the client is not only sticking with your product but also using it to foster more growth and productivity.
- Is there anything else we should know? If you’ve been thorough, the answer to this is likely no, but the question still offers a chance for the interviewee to conclude.
A case study is a wonderful inbound marketing opportunity for your organization. Ask these questions, and use the answers to write a case study that helps your product and your company shine in the eyes of leads.
This blog was originally published on 2017 and has been updated since.
Easily craft compelling customer interviews & provide leads with the information they need to make an informed decision.
Case Study Questions Template
About the author
Joe Gillespie is Director of Inbound Copy for SmartBug Media. He graduated from Marquette University with a B.A. in journalism and, before coming to SmartBug, was a two-decade veteran of the newspaper industry. Read more articles by Joe Gillespie .
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100 Best Case Study Questions for Your Next Customer Spotlight
Published: November 29, 2022
Case studies and testimonials are helpful to have in your arsenal. But to build an effective library, you need to ask the right case study questions. You also need to know how to write a case study .
Case studies are customers' stories that your sales team can use to share relevant content with prospects . Not only that, but case studies help you earn a prospect's trust, show them what life would be like as your customer, and validate that your product or service works for your clients.
Before you start building your library of case studies, check out our list of 100 case study questions to ask your clients. With this helpful guide, you'll have the know-how to build your narrative using the " Problem-Agitate-Solve " Method.
What makes a good case study questionnaire?
The ultimate list of case study questions, how to ask your customer for a case study, creating an effective case study.
Certain key elements make up a good case study questionnaire.
A questionnaire should never feel like an interrogation. Instead, aim to structure your case study questions like a conversation. Some of the essential things that your questionnaire should cover include:
- The problem faced by the client before choosing your organization.
- Why they chose your company.
- How your product solved the problem clients faced.
- The measurable results of the service provided.
- Data and metrics that prove the success of your service or product, if possible.
You can adapt these considerations based on how your customers use your product and the specific answers or quotes that you want to receive.
What makes a good case study question?
A good case study question delivers a powerful message to leads in the decision stage of your prospective buyer's journey.
Since your client has agreed to participate in a case study, they're likely enthusiastic about the service you provide. Thus, a good case study question hands the reins over to the client and opens a conversation.
Try asking open-ended questions to encourage your client to talk about the excellent service or product you provide.
Free Case Study Templates
Tell us about yourself to access the templates..
Categories for the Best Case Study Questions
- Case study questions about the customer's business
- Case study questions about the environment before the purchase
- Case study questions about the decision process
- Case study questions about the customer's business case
- Case study questions about the buying team and internal advocates
- Case study questions about customer success
- Case study questions about product feedback
- Case study questions about willingness to make referrals
- Case study question to prompt quote-worthy feedback
- Case study questions about the customers' future goals
Case Study Interview Questions About the Customer's Business
Knowing the customer's business is an excellent way of setting the tone for a case study.
Use these questions to get some background information about the company and its business goals. This information can be used to introduce the business at the beginning of the case study — plus, future prospects might resonate with their stories and become leads for you.
- Would you give me a quick overview of [company]? This is an opportunity for the client to describe their business in their own words. You'll get useful background information and it's an easy prompt to get the client talking.
- Can you describe your role? This will give you a better idea of the responsibilities they are subject to.
- How do your role and team fit into the company and its goals? Knowing how the team functions to achieve company goals will help you formulate how your solution involves all stakeholders.
- How long has your company been in business? Getting this information will help the reader gauge if pain points are specific to a startup or new company vs. a veteran company.
- How many employees do you have? Another great descriptor for readers to have. They can compare the featured company size with their own.
- Is your company revenue available? If so, what is it? This will give your readers background information on the featured company's gross sales.
- Who is your target customer? Knowing who the target audience is will help you provide a better overview of their market for your case study readers.
- How does our product help your team or company achieve its objectives? This is one of the most important questions because it is the basis of the case study. Get specifics on how your product provided a solution for your client. You want to be able to say "X company implemented our solution and achieved Y. "
- How are our companies aligned (mission, strategy, culture, etc.)? If any attributes of your company's mission or culture appealed to the client, call it out.
How many people are on your team? What are their roles? This will help describe key players within the organization and their impact on the implementation of your solution.
Case Study Interview Questions About the Environment Before the Purchase
A good case study is designed to build trust. Ask clients to describe the tools and processes they used before your product or service. These kinds of case study questions will highlight the business' need they had to fulfill and appeal to future clients.
- What was your team's process prior to using our product? This will give the reader a baseline to compare the results for your company's product.
- Were there any costs associated with the process prior to using our product? Was it more expensive? Was it worth the cost? How did the product affect the client's bottom line? This will be a useful metric to disclose if your company saved the client money or was more cost-efficient.
- What were the major pain points of your process prior to using our product? Describe these obstacles in detail. You want the reader to get as much information on the problem as possible as it sets up the reasoning for why your company's solution was implemented.
- Did our product replace a similar tool or is this the first time your team is using a product like this? Were they using a similar product? If so, having this information may give readers a reason to choose your brand over the competition.
- What other challenges were you and your team experiencing prior to using our product? The more details you can give readers regarding the client's struggles, the better. You want to paint a full picture of the challenges the client faced and how your company resolved them.
- Were there any concerns about how your customers would be impacted by using our product? Getting answers to this question will illustrate to readers the client's concerns about switching to your service. Your readers may have similar concerns and reading how your client worked through this process will be helpful.
- Why didn't you buy our product or a similar product earlier? Have the client describe any hesitations they had using your product. Their concerns may be relatable to potential leads.
- Were there any "dealbreakers" involved in your decision to become a customer? Describing how your company was able to provide a solution that worked within those parameters demonstrates how accommodating your brand is and how you put the customer first. It's also great to illustrate any unique challenges the client had. This better explains their situation to the reader.
- Did you have to make any changes you weren't anticipating once you became a customer? Readers of your case study can learn how switching to your product came with some unexpected changes (good or bad) and how they navigated them. If you helped your client with troubleshooting, ask them to explain that here.
How has your perception of the product changed since you've become a customer? Get the interviewee to describe how your product changed how they do business. This includes how your product accomplished what they previously thought was impossible.
Case Study Interview Questions About the Decision Process
Readers of the case study will be interested in which factors influenced the decision-making process for the client. If they can relate to that process, there's a bigger chance they'll buy your product.
The answers to these questions will help potential customers through their decision-making process.
- How did you hear about our product? If the client chose to work with you based on a recommendation or another positive case study, include that. It will demonstrate that you are a trusted brand with an established reputation for delivering results.
- How long had you been looking for a solution to this problem? This will add to the reader's understanding of how these particular challenges impacted the company before choosing your product.
- Were you comparing alternative solutions? Which ones? This will demonstrate to readers that the client explored other options before choosing your company.
- Would you describe a few of the reasons you decided to buy our product? Ask the interviewee to describe why they chose your product over the competition and any benefits your company offered that made you stand out.
- What were the criteria you used when deciding to buy our product? This will give readers more background insight into the factors that impacted their decision-making process.
- Were there any high-level initiatives or goals that prompted the decision to buy? For example, was this decision motivated by a company-wide vision? Prompt your clients to discuss what lead to the decision to work with you and how you're the obvious choice.
- What was the buying process like? Did you notice anything exceptional or any points of friction? This is an opportunity for the client to comment on how seamless and easy you make the buying process. Get them to describe what went well from start to finish.
- How would you have changed the buying process, if at all? This is an opportunity for you to fine-tune your process to accommodate future buyers.
- Who on your team was involved in the buying process? This will give readers more background on the key players involved from executives to project managers. With this information, readers can see who they may potentially need to involve in the decision-making process on their teams.
Case Study Interview Questions About the Customer's Business Case
Your case study questions should ask about your product or solution's impact on the customer's employees, teams, metrics, and goals. These questions allow the client to praise the value of your service and tell others exactly what benefits they derived from it.
When readers review your product or service's impact on the client, it enforces the belief that the case study is credible.
- How long have you been using our product? This will help readers gauge how long it took to see results and your overall satisfaction with the product or service.
- How many different people at your company use our product? This will help readers gauge how they can adapt the product to their teams if similar in size.
- Are there multiple departments or teams using our product? This will demonstrate how great of an impact your product has made across departments.
- How do you and your team currently use the product? What types of goals or tasks are you using the product to accomplish? Get specifics on how the product actively helps the client achieve their goals.
- If other teams or departments are using our product, do you know how they're using it? With this information, leads can picture how they can use your product across their teams and how it may improve their workflow and metrics.
- What was the most obvious advantage you felt our product offered during the sales process? The interviewee should explain the benefits they've gained from using your product or service. This is important for convincing other leads you are better than the competition.
- Were there any other advantages you discovered after using the product more regularly? Your interviewee may have experienced some additional benefits from using your product. Have them describe in detail what these advantages are and how they've helped the company improve.
- Are there any metrics or KPIs you track with our product? What are they? The more numbers and data the client can provide, the better.
- Were you tracking any metrics prior to using our product? What were they? This will allow readers to get a clear, before-and-after comparison of using your product.
- How has our product impacted your core metrics? This is an opportunity for your clients to drive home how your product assisted them in hitting their metrics and goals.
Case Study Interview Questions About the Buying Team and Internal Advocates
See if there are any individuals at the customer's company who are advocates for your product.
- Are there any additional team members you consider to be advocates for our product? For example, does anyone stick out as a "power user" or product expert on your team? You may want to interview and include these power users in your case study as well. Consider asking them for tips on using your service or product.
- Is there anyone else on your team you think we should talk to? Again, the more people can share their experience using your product, the better.
- Are there any team members who you think might not be the biggest fans of our product or who might need more training? Providing extra support to those struggling with your product may improve their user experience and turn into an opportunity to not only learn about their obstacles but turn them into a product fan
- Would you share some details about how your team implemented our product? Get as much information as possible about the rollout. Hopefully, they'll gush about how seamless the process was.
- Who from your company was involved in implementing our product? This will give readers more insight into who needs to be involved for a successful rollout of their own.
- Were there any internal risks or additional costs involved with implementing our product? If so, how did you address them? This will give insight into the client's process and rollout and this case study question will likely provide tips on what potential leads should be on the lookout for.
- Is there a training process in place for your team's use of our product? If so, what does it look like? If your company provided support and training to the client, have them describe that experience.
- About how long does it take a new team member to get up to speed with our product? This will help leads determine how much time it will take to onboard an employee to your using your product. If a new user can quickly get started seamlessly, it bodes well for you.
- What was your main concern about rolling this product out to your company? Describing their challenges in detail will provide readers with useful insight.
Case Study Interview Questions About Customer Success
Has the customer found success with your product? Ask these questions to learn more.
- By using our product can you measure any reduced costs? If it has, you'll want to emphasize those savings in your case study.
- By using our product can you measure any improvements in productivity or time savings? Any metrics or specific stories your interviewee can provide will help demonstrate the value of your product.
- By using our product can you measure any increases in revenue or growth? Again, say it with numbers and data whenever possible.
- Are you likely to recommend our product to a friend or colleague? Recommendations from existing customers are some of the best marketing you can get.
- How has our product impacted your success? Your team's success? Getting the interviewee to describe how your product played an integral role in solving their challenges will show leads that they can also have success using your product.
- In the beginning, you had XYZ concerns; how do you feel about them now? Let them explain how working with your company eliminated those concerns.
- I noticed your team is currently doing XYZ with our product. Tell me more about how that helps your business. Illustrate to your readers how current customers are using your product to solve additional challenges. It will convey how versatile your product is.
- Have you thought about using our product for a new use case with your team or at your company? The more examples of use cases the client can provide, the better.
- How do you measure the value our product provides? Have the interviewee illustrate what metrics they use to gauge the product's success and how. Data is helpful, but you should go beyond the numbers. Maybe your product improved company morale and how teams work together.
Case Study Interview Questions About Product Feedback
Ask the customer if they'd recommend your product to others. A strong recommendation will help potential clients be more open to purchasing your product.
- How do other companies in this industry solve the problems you had before you purchased our product? This will give you insight into how other companies may be functioning without your product and how you can assist them.
- Have you ever talked about our product to any of your clients or peers? What did you say? This can provide you with more leads and a chance to get a referral.
- Why would you recommend our product to a friend or client? Be sure they pinpoint which features they would highlight in a recommendation.
- Can you think of any use cases your customers might have for our product? Similar industries may have similar issues that need solutions. Your interviewee may be able to provide a use case you haven't come up with.
- What is your advice for other teams or companies who are tackling problems similar to those you had before you purchased our product? This is another opportunity for your client to talk up your product or service.
- Do you know someone in X industry who has similar problems to the ones you had prior to using our product? The client can make an introduction so you can interview them about their experience as well.
- I noticed you work with Company Y. Do you know if they are having any pain points with these processes? This will help you learn how your product has impacted your client's customers and gain insight into what can be improved.
- Does your company participate in any partner or referral programs? Having a strong referral program will help you increase leads and improve customer retention.
- Can I send you a referral kit as a thank-you for making a referral and give you the tools to refer someone to us? This is a great strategy to request a referral while rewarding your existing customers.
- Are you interested in working with us to produce additional marketing content? The more opportunities you can showcase happy customers, the better.
Case Study Interview Questions About Willingness to Make Referrals
- How likely are you to recommend our product to a friend or client? Ideally, they would definitely refer your product to someone they know.
- Can you think of any use cases your customers might have for our product? Again, your interviewee is a great source for more leads. Similar industries may have similar issues that need solutions. They may be able to provide a use case you haven't come up with.
- I noticed you work with Company Y; do you know if they are having any pain points with these processes? This will help you learn how your product has impacted your client's customers and gain insight into what can be improved.
Case Study Interview Questions to Prompt Quote-Worthy Feedback
Enhance your case study with quotable soundbites from the customer. By asking these questions, prospects have more insight into other clients and their success with your product — which helps build trust.
- How would you describe your process in one sentence prior to using our product? Ideally, this sentence would quickly and descriptively sum up the most prominent pain point or challenge with the previous process.
- What is your advice to others who might be considering our product? Readers can learn from your customer's experience.
- What would your team's workflow or process be like without our product? This will drive home the value your product provides and how essential it is to their business.
- Do you think the investment in our product was worthwhile? Why? Have your customer make the case for the value you provide.
- What would you say if we told you our product would soon be unavailable? What would this mean to you? Again, this illustrates how integral your product is to their business.
- How would you describe our product if you were explaining it to a friend? Your customers can often distill the value of your product to their friends better than you can.
- What do you love about your job? Your company? This gives the reader more background on your customer and their industry.
- What was the worst part of your process before you started using our product? Ideally, they'd reiterate how your product helped solve this challenge.
- What do you love about our product? Another great way to get the customer's opinion about what makes your product worth it.
- Why do you do business with us? Hopefully, your interviewee will share how wonderful your business relationship is.
Case Study Interview Questions About the Customers' Future Goals
Ask the customer about their goals, challenges, and plans for the future. This will provide insight into how a business can grow with your product.
- What are the biggest challenges on the horizon for your industry? Chances are potential leads within the same industry will have similar challenges.
- What are your goals for the next three months? Knowing their short-term goals will enable your company to get some quick wins for the client.
- How would you like to use our product to meet those challenges and goals? This will help potential leads understand that your product can help their business as they scale and grow.
- Is there anything we can do to help you and your team meet your goals? If you haven't covered it already, this will allow your interviewee to express how you can better assist them.
- Do you think you will buy more, less, or about the same amount of our product next year? This can help you gauge how your product is used and why.
- What are the growth plans for your company this year? Your team? This will help you gain insight into how your product can help them achieve future goals.
- How can we help you meet your long-term goals? Getting specifics on the needs of your clients will help you create a unique solution designed for their needs.
- What is the long-term impact of using our product? Get their feedback on how your product has created a lasting impact.
- Are there any initiatives that you personally would like to achieve that our product or team can help with? Again, you want to continue to provide products that help your customers excel.
- What will you need from us in the future? This will help you anticipate the customer's business needs.
- Is there anything we can do to improve our product or process for working together in the future? The more feedback you can get about what is and isn't working, the better.
Before you can start putting together your case study, you need to ask your customer's permission.
If you have a customer who's seen success with your product, reach out to them. Use this template to get started:
Thank you & quick request
Hi [customer name],
Thanks again for your business — working with you to [solve X, launch Y, take advantage of Z opportunity] has been extremely rewarding, and I'm looking forward to more collaboration in the future.
[Name of your company] is building a library of case studies to include on our site. We're looking for successful companies using [product] to solve interesting challenges, and your team immediately came to mind. Are you open to [customer company name] being featured?
It should be a lightweight process — [I, a product marketer] will ask you roughly [10, 15, 20] questions via email or phone about your experience and results. This case study will include a blurb about your company and a link to your homepage (which hopefully will make your SEO team happy!)
In any case, thank you again for the chance to work with you, and I hope you have a great week.
If one of your customers has recently passed along some praise (to you, their account manager, your boss; on an online forum; to another potential customer; etc.), then send them a version of this email:
Hey [customer name],
Thanks for the great feedback — I'm really glad to hear [product] is working well for you and that [customer company name] is getting the results you're looking for.
My team is actually in the process of building out our library of case studies, and I'd love to include your story. Happy to provide more details if you're potentially interested.
Either way, thank you again, and I look forward to getting more updates on your progress.
You can also find potential case study customers by usage or product data. For instance, maybe you see a company you sold to 10 months ago just bought eight more seats or upgraded to a new tier. Clearly, they're happy with the solution. Try this template:
I saw you just [invested in our X product; added Y more users; achieved Z product milestone]. Congratulations! I'd love to share your story using [product] with the world -- I think it's a great example of how our product + a dedicated team and a good strategy can achieve awesome results.
Are you open to being featured? If so, I'll send along more details.
Case Study Benefits
- Case studies are a form of customer advocacy.
- Case studies provide a joint-promotion opportunity.
- Case studies are easily sharable.
- Case studies build rapport with your customers.
- Case studies are less opinionated than customer reviews.
1. Case studies are a form of customer advocacy.
If you haven't noticed, customers aren't always quick to trust a brand's advertisements and sales strategies.
With every other brand claiming to be the best in the business, it's hard to sort exaggeration from reality.
This is the most important reason why case studies are effective. They are testimonials from your customers of your service. If someone is considering your business, a case study is a much more convincing piece of marketing or sales material than traditional advertising.
2. Case studies provide a joint-promotion opportunity.
Your business isn't the only one that benefits from a case study. Customers participating in case studies benefit, too.
Think about it. Case studies are free advertisements for your customers, not to mention the SEO factor, too. While they're not promoting their products or services, they're still getting the word out about their business. And, the case study highlights how successful their business is — showing interested leads that they're on the up and up.
3. Case studies are easily sharable.
No matter your role on the sales team, case studies are great to have on hand. You can easily share them with leads, prospects, and clients.
Whether you embed them on your website or save them as a PDF, you can simply send a link to share your case study with others. They can share that link with their peers and colleagues, and so on.
Case studies can also be useful during a sales pitch. In sales, timing is everything. If a customer is explaining a problem that was solved and discussed in your case study, you can quickly find the document and share it with them.
4. Case studies build rapport with your customers.
While case studies are very useful, they do require some back and forth with your customers to obtain the exact feedback you're looking for.
Even though time is involved, the good news is this builds rapport with your most loyal customers. You get to know them on a personal level, and they'll become more than just your most valuable clients.
And, the better the rapport you have with them, the more likely they'll be to recommend your business, products, or services to others.
5. Case studies are less opinionated than customer reviews.
Data is the difference between a case study and a review. Customer reviews are typically based on the customer's opinion of your brand. While they might write a glowing review, it's completely subjective and there's rarely empirical evidence supporting their claim.
Case studies, on the other hand, are more data-driven. While they'll still talk about how great your brand is, they support this claim with quantitative data that's relevant to the reader. It's hard to argue with data.
An effective case study must be genuine and credible. Your case study should explain why certain customers are the right fit for your business and how your company can help meet their specific needs. That way, someone in a similar situation can use your case study as a testimonial for why they should choose your business.
Use the case study questions above to create an ideal customer case study questionnaire. By asking your customers the right questions, you can obtain valuable feedback that can be shared with potential leads and convert them into loyal customers.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in June 2021 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
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Essential Case Study Questions to Ask Your Best Customers
Picture this: a customer is looking to replace their email marketing software . As they evaluate different options, they look for products with features that suit their needs and preferences. Most importantly, they want proof that your product works.
You can tell the story yourself, but the problem is that 9 out of 10 customers won’t trust what you say about your brand . Instead, they want to hear from other customers who have used your product and reaped the benefits. This is where case studies come in handy.
A case study gives skeptical customers evidence backed by data, numbers, and analysis. It’s an impactful direct endorsement from satisfied customers that tells others, “come buy this product: it enables me to achieve these results and will work for your business, too.”
Where to Use Case Studies
Case studies are an important part of your content marketing strategy . Here are a few places you can feature your case studies to drive social proof and conversions:
- Your website: 92% of potential customers look for social proof before making a purchase. Adding excerpts of your case studies on key web pages and on focused landing pages will improve conversions.
- Nurture emails: If you have a case study about a feature or product a customer is looking to buy, send a targeted, nurture series featuring the case study.
- Sales and marketing team: When the customer is in the consideration stage, you can send them targeted case studies. Sales and marketing teams should also learn to use case studies at the right moments in the buyer’s journey.
- Newsletters: Case studies are a great resource for your newsletter series, whether you’re looking to build new relationships or strengthen existing ones.
- Marketing videos: Making video case studies or testimonials helps potential customers see what your product can achieve from a third-party perspective and may convince them to buy. Actually, 2 out of 3 customers claim they’d make a purchase after watching a testimonial video.
- Blog posts: You could also use quotes from case studies to add credibility to information in your blog posts and articles.
Identifying the Right Customers for Case Studies
Not all customer stories lend themselves well to case studies. For a case study to really woo your customers, it has to be authentic, believable, and captivating.
When picking candidates for case studies, consider the following:
- Company size: The size of the company that suits your case study comes down to what you want to achieve. If you want to add more SMBs to your customer base, then write a case study about a small business; and vice versa.
- The challenge: Evaluate your target audience and pinpoint the problem you want to solve. Then, identify the specific product feature that solves that problem. Lastly, search through your customer base and pick a customer that had a similar problem and used the same feature to solve it. Chances are, if you use that customer as a case study, the story will resonate with the target audience.
- The results: Remember, for the case study to have a significant impact, it has to showcase cold, hard data. For this reason, pick a customer with solid numbers to back up their anecdotal results. Gather direct quotes, as well, to spice up the case study and improve narrative flow. You’re telling a story, after all, so make it exciting!
- Other things to consider include: pick a customer you’ve recently worked with, and ideally, one requiring minimal layers of approval. This way, your proposal to feature them in your case studies will get approval in time — and you won’t have to delay for months while you wait for legal to provide their stamp of approval.
Fundamental Case Study Questions to Ask in Your Interview
Asking your customers the right questions can make or break your case study. The questions you ask will vary depending on your industry and the angle of your case study, but here are some essential ones to start with:
- How did you find out about us?
- When did you start working with us?
- What was the beginning of the engagement with our company like?
- What problems were you looking to solve?
- Did you evaluate our competitors or other solutions to your problem?
- What made you decide to go with us?
- How did our product/solution solve your problem?
- Did you need any help using our product/solution, and how did you get help?
- What are some of the main benefits of using our product/solution?
- What are the three biggest things you love about our company?
- What would you say to other people considering us?
1: What’s Your Background?
Getting your customer’s backstory is a great way to set the stage and tone for your case study. It might even help steer your case study down a path you hadn’t considered before. Better yet, these personal stories engage potential buyers, helping them to relate to your customer base.
2: How did you find out about us?
3: when did you start working with us, 4: what was the beginning of the engagement with our company like, 5: what problem were you trying to solve.
Every buyer is working to address a problem. Your case study should focus on one problem, so ask what problem the user was trying to solve. This question will give the reader (and you) insight into how people perceive and use your product.
6: How Was The Problem Affecting You?
Most buying decisions are based on emotions rather than logic. Expand this question by asking how the problem was affecting impacting the customer’s bottom line, what difficulties it was causing and how it made the person feel. Ask open-ended questions and try to elicit emotional responses as much as possible.
7: What Possible Solutions Did You Consider?
There are always multiple ways to solve any problem. Those who read your case study will trust the testimonial more if they can see that the customer considered other solutions. Buyers always start with a list of options and then narrow down the list until they find the perfect fit.
8: Why Did You Choose Our Product or Service?
Case study readers will be interested in the decision-making process previous buyers have gone through. If they identify with the process, they are more likely to buy the same product.
9: What Would Have Happened If You Had NOT Made The Purchase?
Asking this question reiterates the original problem. Hopefully it’s the same one the reader is trying to solve. It emphasizes the consequences of postponing a purchase and increases the likelihood of the reader making the decision you want him or her to make.
10: What Risks Did You Consider?
Every decision has risks. If you ignore them they won’t go away, so you need to address each risk to reassure your prospective customer. This helps the reader to overcome their natural aversion to taking risks. Risk analysis has two main components; how likely it is, and how severe are the possible consequences.
You can reduce perceived risk by including a ludicrous over-the-top warranty that offers much more than the standard money-back guarantee everyone offers.
11: What Reservations Did You Have?
This is similar to risk analysis and gives you another way to find why people might not be buying from you. If one person has reservations, other buyers might have similar feelings and need to confront them before making a decision to purchase.
12: Did you need any help using our product/solution, and how did you get help?
Provide potential customers with a taste of what it’s like working with your company. Do you have 24/7 support? Personalized account management? Give your customer service and support a chance to shine.
13: What are some of the main benefits of using our product/solution?
14: what measurable benefits have you seen.
This question gives your case study respondent an opportunity to address the value in your product and to spell out exactly how it solved their problem. It is more convincing as the final question because readers can see the feedback is credible. Praise is more effective when it’s given after a detailed risk analysis and consideration of alternatives.
15: What are the three biggest things you love about our company?
16: what would you say to other people considering us, bonus: can you provide creative assets.
Be sure to ask your customer for a headshot, company logo and other brand elements you can add to their case study to make it feel even more personal and authentic to your audience.
You know what you need and how your study needs to be structured. If you simply ask someone to give you feedback on a purchase, what you get is unstructured and rambling praise that lacks credibility. Structuring responses will save the respondents time and gives you something much more valuable.
Your best customers value your partnership and want to help you succeed. They will more than likely be happy to take part in a case study. All you need to do is to ask.
by Benchmark Team
Occassionally, the worldwide Benchmark Email team will collaborate on a post to deliver the latest and greatest news, tips and feature updates to all of you.
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10 Best Case Study Interview Questions to Ask
Ask these 10 interview questions to get valuable case study insights.
When you’re striving to improve your product, brand, or marketing, conducting case study interviews with your customers can provide invaluable insight into your business. Yes, customer case studies can provide content that your sales and marketing teams can use in order to attract additional attention from prospective clients. But they can also give you fresh insight into your business’s strengths and weaknesses so you can identify opportunities for growth, particularly if you ask the right case study interview questions.
If you’ve never done a case study before, you may be struggling to wrap your head around how to approach this process—how do you write case study interview questions that are productive and impactful? Read on to learn what you need to know in order to conduct a great case study interview, even if it’s your first time.
What is a case study?
One of the most difficult tasks of a business is proving to potential customers that you really can do all you say you can, so that they feel confident in signing on to work with you. One of the best ways to go about showcasing your professional skillset and attracting new business is through case studies—in particular, by interviewing former or existing customers in order to simultaneously conduct market research and generate marketing materials.
The kind of customer interviews conducted for the purpose of business case studies can be tricky to execute. You want to learn about what went great in your collaboration, while also soliciting feedback that could help steer the improvements you foster within your own company. How do you do both of these things at once?
Plainly put, it’s no small feat. There are many challenges in conducting these kinds of interviews with customers, including:
- Limited staff resources: Your staff members are busy people—finding time for them to plan, structure, and conduct these types of case study interviews can be tricky .
- Difficulty scheduling time with willing customers: Your customers are equally busy individuals—and it’s even harder to sell a customer on carving out their time for work like this than for your own staff members.
While there are certainly hurdles involved in getting this information collected, the effort can really be worth it in the end. The insight customers are able to share with you as a business owner is priceless—and the fact that these case studies can also become impactful marketing tools is an added bonus. But in order to make things easier on yourself and more efficient, preparing carefully constructed, highly targeted case study interview questions is essential.
How to write the best case study questions
How do you actually write a case study interview question that’s sure to get at the heart of a customer’s most honest feedback, while also serving as a testimonial your marketing staff can use to generate new interest in your business? It’s a tricky task to take on, but not an impossible one. Here are some things to keep in mind as you set out to establish a set of case study interview questions that work well for your company.
First, you want to structure your case study interview like a conversation—while you’re looking for thorough information, you don’t want your customer to feel like they’re involved in an interrogation. The fact that they’re willing to participate in the interview is a sign that they valued your product, service, or collaboration. They’re doing you a favor by supplying this information for your company, so you want to capture the essential information in as few questions as possible—but you also want to ensure the questions you ask are succinct, friendly, and flow naturally from one to another.
Strive for open-ended questions that give customers the opportunity to expand on the parts of their experience that they remember most fondly. While you’re looking for specific information, you also want your customer to feel they have room to share what they found important about working with you.
To give you a sense of what kinds of questions you should include in your survey, here are the top 10 best case study interview questions to ask in 2023:
- What problems were you facing before you chose to work with us?
- Out of the many businesses available to help, what made you choose ours?
- How long have you been using our product/resource/service?
- How many people on your team are involved with our product/resource/service?
- How has our product/resource/service helped to improve your initial problem?
- Can you provide a measurable example of how the problem has improved?
- What concerns did you have about our product/resource/service initially? How do you feel about those concerns today?
- Have any new concerns or issues arisen since you started using our product/resource/service? How could we improve, if so?
- What features or developments could make our product/resource/service even more useful or beneficial for your company?
- Would you recommend our product/resource/service to a trusted peer in your industry? Why or why not?
When approaching a case study, you should always start with a genuine desire to hear feedback from your customers and provide improvements to their issues wherever possible. Spend sufficient time carefully defining your goal, crafting a collection of succinct questions that help you get to the information you need quickly, and preparing appropriately to execute the interview. While your customers are eager to share their positive experiences with you, it’s important to respect everyone’s time along the way.
If you’re looking for a way to circumvent some of the hurdles that come along with differences in time zones or geography in this kind of work, consider a tool like Voiceform. By asking case study interview questions through Voiceform, you can interview a number of customers simultaneously, allowing them to engage the questions at a time that is most convenient to them. Plus, you’ll have access to insights that will make market research and creating marketing materials easier than ever. When you’re ready to begin, start your trial with Voiceform or book a demo !
We make collecting, sharing and analyzing data a breeze
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Case Study Interview Examples: Questions and Answers
- What would be your approach for introducing a product into a foreign market? What are the risks and benefits to consider i.e. producing in your own country vs producing in the new country, etc?
- Company ABC is struggling, should it be restructured? Identify the three main problems it's facing. What is the most important problem the company is facing? How would you recommend the company address this problem? How would you turn this company around? Provide your reasoning for your recommendation(s).
- A toy company has been experiencing decline sales for the last two seasons. Research suggests that introducing several new product lines is the solution. Develop a marketing strategy for the company's largest product line, including pricing, product packing, etc.
- A large chain of retail clothing stores is struggling with profitability. Bases on your review fo the company's financial statements, what problems can you identify? Can this company be turned arounds? How would you go about deciding?
- A new Eddie Bauer Store is being opened up in London. Discuss all the marketing issues regarding the opening of this new location.
- Take in information quickly and remember what you hear.
- Identify key issues, prioritize and logically solve problems.
- Make quick, yet accurate, decisions.
- Manage time efficiently.
- Perform under pressure.
- Be aware of resource constraints.
- Identify customer needs.
- Be original and creative.
- Please provide the total weight of a fully loaded Jumbo Jet at the time of take off.
- How many light bulbs are there in the United States?
- How many photocopies are taken in the United Kingdom each year?
- How much beer is consumed in the city of New York on Fridays?
- How many people sell AMWAY products in the United States?
- If there are 7,492 people participating in a tournament, how many games must be played to find a winner?
- How many golf balls will fit in the Empire State Building?
- How many car tire are sold in Canada each year?
- Given thhe numbers 5 and 2000, what is the minimum number of guesses required to find a specific number if the only hint you're given is "higher" and "lower" for each guess made?
- How do you determine the weight of a blue whale without using a scale?
- Take time to think before you answer the question.
- If given a pen and paper, take notes and write down key information. Use the paper to make calculations, write down ideas and structure your answer.
- Ask additional questions if you feel you are missing information. The interviewer is often expecting you to ask to find missing information.
- Use lateral thinking and be creative. There isn't always just one right answer. Just make sure your answer is backed up by sound logic and numbers that make sense.
- Make sure you know your math. At minimum you'll need to perform some basic arithmetic or mathematical calculations.
- These quesitons are often used to test your ability to structure, as well as your ability to think laterallly, make logical links and communicate clearly.
- Make mental calculations quickly by making sensible estimates and rounding numbers up or down.
- Does your answer make sense? If you're answer doesn't make sense, chances are you've made a bad assumpation, estimate or calculation. Go back and carefully check your work and provide a new answer.
- You can use business frameworks (SWOT, Porter's Five forces, etc.) or mind mapping to support your analysis and answers, as long as it makes sense.
- Many market sizing questions revolve around issues being faced by an organization or industry. Commercial awareness can be very important to answering market sizing questions.
- How would you work with a subordinate who is underperforming?
- You're consulting with a large pharmacy with stores in multiple states. This company has improved sales but experienced a decrease in revenue. As a result, it is contemplating store closings. Explain how you'd advise this client?
- You are working directly with a company's management team. It is organizing a project designed to significantly increase revenue. If you were provided with data and asked to supervise the project, what steps would you take to ensure it's successful?
- You have been assigned to work with a small company that manufactures a popular product. However, a competitor begins selling a very similar product which incorporates state of the art technology. What would you advise your client to do?
- You have been assigned to advise a company with a large Western European market. Company management wants to open the Chinese market. What advice do you have for this company?
- The firm has assigned you to consult a company intending to drop a product or expand into new markets in order to increase revenue. What steps would you take to help this company achieve its objective?
- You have been assigned to consult a shoe retailer with stores throughout the nation. Since its revenue is dropping, the company has proposed to sell food at its stores. How would you advise this client?
- Vault Guide to the Case Interview
- Vault Career Guide to Consulting
- Case in Point: Complete Case Interview Preparation
- Mastering the Case Interview
- Ace Your Case! Consulting Interviews (series 1-5)
- Bain Case Interview Preparation
- BCG - Interactive Case
- Cornerstone Research Cases
- Deloitte - Case Interview Preparation
- Gotham Consulting Case Studies
- McKinsey Interview Prep
- Mercer Case Study
- Oliver Wyman - Practice Case Studies
- pwc Case Studies
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Building trust with your target audience is essential to the success of your business and marketing strategy. One way to do this is to prove that your products work and solve their pain points.
How can you do that? With the help of case studies. In a case study, you take an opportunity to show just how effective your product or service can be. But for a compelling case study, you need to ask the right questions and deliver valuable insights.
We'll share the most burning and needed case study questions you can ask your clients to find out what they want. These questions will also help you to tailor your products and services to meet their needs better.
What is a case study?
Businesses must comprehensively understand their potential customers' needs and behaviors when it comes to decision-making and product development. Case studies are an excellent tool for understanding the behavior of a particular individual, organization, or event.
A study seeks to investigate practically every area of the user's life, looking at the activities and motivations that make up who they are. This analysis is invaluable to businesses as it gives them the insights they need to develop products and services tailored to their customer's needs and wants.
Not only do case studies provide valuable data, but they can also be used in various fields, such as social work, education, and medicine. Companies can use the collected data to show the effectiveness of their product or service for a specific problem.
Also, case studies can help with successful marketing. You can use them to showcase the successes of your business's strategies and tactics, giving potential customers a better understanding of how the services or products could benefit them.
What are the benefits of case studies?
Case studies can be invaluable tools in the business world. They comprehensively understand a business's situation, allowing all stakeholders to analyze data, understand the context, and draw lessons from a real-life situation.
You can use them to build trust with your customers. These studies prove that you have solved similar problems of other clients in the past.
Some of the significant benefits of case studies:
- Accumulates a considerable amount of data
- Assists in the development of hypotheses
- Increases brand reliability and loyalty
- Creates a case for more investigation
- Reveals fresh insights into a subject
- Uses storylines to bring in consumers
The methods of a case study
Case studies are generally qualitative and are constructed on interviews, observations, and in-depth subject analysis. They can describe an event or phenomenon by providing detailed information about its context and circumstances.
While various steps are involved in conducting a successful case study, the following points outline the general process for how a content writing business can do this.
Identify a subject
The subjects could be previous customers who have had success working with your business and are willing to provide insight into their experiences. It should be someone who can accurately represent the business and will be a positive reflection on its services.
Listen carefully to everything the subject says. Use the collected data to illustrate your service's success in solving the subject's issues. It should include quotes from the subject, compelling statistics, and other relevant information showcasing your strategy's effectiveness.
Analyze and interpret data
After collecting the essential data, analyze and interpret the information. Flesh out the story that the data are telling and decode their implications. Doing so will help your agency create a compelling case study that accurately conveys your service's value.
Write the case study
Now you can craft a narrative that explains the project in detail, including information about the strategies and results.
For added credibility, include quotes from the client or other third parties involved in the project and visual elements such as screenshots, images, or graphs. It will help show the reader the tangible results and make the report more persuasive.
Publish the study
Finally, publish the study on your website and other digital platforms. It will showcase the expertise and results of your services and position the business as an authority in the field.
By following these steps, your content writing agency can effectively conduct a case study to promote the services and drive more business.
Still trying to figure out how to start one? Check these wonderful examples .
The categories of case study questions
Most of the case study questions fall into these categories.
These questions allow you to make informed assumptions from data and business knowledge to determine the market size.
Business case study questions
These inquiries measure your analytical skills and ability to make judgment calls in light of the available data.
Value proposition questions
In addition to business principles, research techniques, and intuition, these questions assess the capacity to recognize client behavior and preferences.
Logic and reasoning questions
These questions are more general and primarily connected to non-business themes, measuring analytical thinking and creativity.
Of course, there are other question types, many of which cross two or more categories. These classifications are meant to help you prepare case study question lists.
The best ways to perform a business case study interview
Once you've found your subject willing to talk to you about how your service led to their company's success, you'll need to draft your interview questions. It will help your readers know your company's contribution to their success.
Gather as much information about the client as possible. It includes their background, history, financial status, and anything relevant to the case study you're trying to write. You can even contact the sales team to learn more about customer preferences.
Once you've gathered all that data, it's time to conduct a mock interview with someone familiar with the client.
Ask open-ended questions
These encourage the interviewee to talk and expand on their answers. For example, you can ask, "What was the biggest challenge you faced when working with X?" They might respond, "Our team didn't have much experience with a writing solution."
You could follow up with, "How did our content writing service company help your team overcome that challenge?"
When performing a business case study interview, recording and transcribing your conversations can be very helpful. They will work as sources and references whenever you need them.
How to format questions for your case study
Creating a solid structure for your case study questions can produce better results.
And one of the most important things you can do when creating a case study is to ask questions that give you the information you need to make a compelling case for your service.
You'll probably get stuck in a rut and ask the same old questions, but that will not help you sell anything. You want your case studies to be tailored to your interested leads as possible, so it's necessary to make your questions more specific.
For instance, you should inquire about the client's brand, other solutions they've tried in the past, and how they feel about the outcomes. And you can only ask those questions to a brand, a person, or an organization if you are familiar with them.
What defines a solid case study question?
A good case study question should initiate a dialogue and give the subject control over the narrative. Questions should be open-ended, allowing prospects to tell their story. You must know how to make these questions relevant to your product or service.
Case studies are the most effective when you present them as a solution instead of making them your company's advertisement. It shows the audience you care about your clients, whether they are big or small businesses, and want to help them grow. It lets them know your company is concerned with customer satisfaction and long-term success.
Well-crafted case study questions send a strong message to customers at the decision stage of their buyer's journey and turn them into loyal customers.
What makes a questionnaire perfect for a case study?
One of the most important things you can do when developing a case study questionnaire is to ensure that it doesn't feel like an interrogation. The last thing you want is to let your clients feel like they are being investigated.
To avoid this, create a list of questions that sound like having a friendly conversation. You just want honest answers from them to use the information in your case study report with integrity.
The following are just a few of the key topics your questionnaire has to touch on:
- The issues the client had before selecting your service.
- Reasons they chose your company.
- How did your products solve their problems?
- The measurable outcomes of the provided solution.
- Data and metrics (if available) that demonstrate the effectiveness of your products.
Need help with showing your service's worth to your potential customers? Try our expert white paper writers . They will craft compelling papers to educate your audience about your authority in your field or the effectiveness of your services.
The most important case study interview questions
Here we'll outline the most fundamental case study questions you should ask.
Begin with the background
When drafting case study questions, the first thing is to determine why you're doing it. Outline questions based on the primary issues you want to emphasize.
So, what questions will allow you to explain how you solved others' problems?
Ideally, you should ask previous clients about their company's history. It's an excellent method to introduce them to the readers. Then, begin the report by introducing the initial problems.
We'll provide a list of case study interview questions below that you can ask your clients to learn about their industry. Remember to modify them depending on the client's business and your objectives.
Give a brief description of your company and its beginnings.
The customer has the chance to describe their business at this point, including information about the company size, work environment, etc. In addition to getting helpful background information, it's a simple way to start a conversation with the client.
Who are your ideal clients?
The readers of your case study will get a better insight into their industry by knowing the target audience.
Explain your position inside the organization.
The interviewee's answer will give a better understanding of the obligations they're entitled to.
What are some of the most prevalent difficulties that firms in your industry face?
Request the subject to elaborate on this topic as much as possible. For example, they might struggle to find a service for writing high-quality content or plan an effective SEO strategy . That way, the readers can get some ideas about the topics to be discussed.
What concerns or obstacles prompted you to seek out our product or service?
Give specific examples of these challenges. Suppose your client took professional content writing services from you to solve their issues.
The readers should learn as much as possible about the issue since this will help them understand why others took your company's service. It will also make it easier for them to make a purchase decision.
Why was this particular problem a top priority?
If your customer has a particular problem, the readers will benefit from knowing about it. They will learn about which issues to prioritize.
How did this issue affect your business?
Explain the significant impact of the issue, so the readers become curious to seek your solutions.
What other viable solutions have you attempted in the past?
This will show readers that the customer considered alternative solutions before selecting your service.
How many people work in your company?
The client’s description will help your readers to compare their company size with the highlighted firm.
How long have you been operating your business?
From this information, your readers can evaluate if the challenges are more relevant to a fresh or starting firm or an established one.
Build your connection
The most important questions you can ask clients are about their connection with your business. Answers to these queries will give you a deep understanding of why they chose to work with you and what makes them repeat customers.
When speaking with a new client, find out what made them choose your company over others. In the case of repeat customers, ask them how they found you, the reasons to pick your content marketing service, and most importantly, what made them come back.
You can include some questions like the following:
When have you signed up as a client of ours?
The readers will feel more confident about your product's performance if they attribute a timeframe to it.
How did you discover our company?
Ask the subject about how they found your service. Was it through a referral, an online search, or a case study? It'll show that you are a dependable brand with a track record of producing outcomes.
From when have you been searching for a solution to your problem?
It will give the customers an idea about how difficult (or easy) it is to find a solution to that particular problem.
Why did you pick our business over the main competitors?
It will answer why the client chose your product over competitors. Let them explain this point in detail because it may bring in more leads.
How was the buying procedure for our service?
The readers will get the chance to know how smooth and straightforward the purchasing procedure of your service is. This is an essential point because many customers make the buying decision based on the purchasing experience.
How did you plan to use our product to enable the solution?
Your readers will better understand how they can use your product to solve their problems.
Allow your clients to explain your solutions
Now that you've established the primary problem and explained why your client picked your service, it's time to move into specific questions. Now you'll ask about your client's experience regarding your product. These queries will elicit the most valuable information for your target audience.
Try to ask direct questions to create a solid case study based on those answers. That way, potential leads experiencing the same problem will consider buying your service.
How did our product solve your problem?
This is one of the most critical questions since it serves as the foundation for the case study. It will educate your audience and convince them to try your service.
The responses are a testament that your business does an excellent job for the clients. It also gives you the ground to declare, "X firm utilized our service and accomplished Y."
Which aspects of the service you found most helpful?
The elements will help the readers understand the value of your service better.
Was this service a substitute for a similar tool you previously used?
The subject could have used other services first. If so, providing this data could influence your readers' decision-making process and convince them to select your product over competitors.
What are the benefits of choosing our company over others?
The subject should highlight the unique values they received by choosing your business over your competitors. It's crucial for persuading potential customers about the worth of your service over the competitors.
Did you get in touch with the customer support team at any point during the process?
Customers may encounter various issues when utilizing your service. User experience on customer assistance will persuade the readers that you have their back when it matters the most.
If yes, how was our customer assistance?
Readers will feel more confident if your clients perceive your customer service helpful.
How many employees in your company utilize our brand?
Readers can assess whether your solution suits their business needs with this information.
How many teams or departments in your company use our service?
This will illustrate how far your service has spread throughout departments.
How did you feel about the configuration and implementation process?
Readers can understand how accessible your service is from your clients' experiences.
Who was engaged in the execution of our product?
This will provide readers with a better understanding of who should be engaged when using your service.
How did the rollout go?
Find out as many details as you can regarding the rollout. We can only hope that they'll praise just how easy it was.
What kind of comments have you heard from your employees regarding our service?
If the conversation has gone well, you can anticipate positive feedback from your client's staff. So, this feedback will help you stay one step ahead of your competitors.
Define the product's advantages
Here comes the most crucial part of the interview. You'll ask the client about particular outcomes and the metrics they used to monitor the performance of your service.
How did our service handle your particular problems?
When it comes to solving issues, your clients can often better explain the contribution of your service than you.
What sort of measurable results did you observe?
Any data provided by your respondent will highlight the significance of your product.
How has your business changed since you started using our service?
Your clients now have the chance to emphasize how your solution helped them achieve their measurements and objectives.
Which metrics or KPIs did you track to see if our solution effectively resolved your issue?
It'd be best for the customer to provide as many figures and data as possible. The more, the better for you.
How did your original issue affect your business? Does the problem still exist or get fixed?
Let them comprehensively answer how the problem initially hurt their business and how your services resolved those hurdles.
What's your suggestion to other customers who’ll use our services for optimum results?
Suggestions from your existing client can play a vital role. Make sure that they specifically talk about the features of your service.
Fortify your relationship with the client
Now, we'll list questions that'll fortify your relationship with the client and make it long-lasting.
Ask them the case study questions listed below.
Do you believe our product was beneficial for your business? How so?
This is a great question to ask at the end of a case study interview. It's an excellent way to grab the attention of your potential customers. You can ask the subject how your company offers a valuable product and service and why they think that is.
How much time does a new employee need to become familiar with our product?
Your potential leads will know the estimated time to train a new employee to use your solution. It's good for you if a newbie can easily and quickly get up and running.
What are the reasons to recommend our service to a customer or friend?
Ensure that your client describes the aspects they’d emphasize when recommending to a customer.
Have you spoken to any of your coworkers about our product?
It’s a great opportunity to get more potential leads and a referral.
What would happen if your team didn’t use our service?
The answer will focus on the value your service provides and its importance.
What else can we do to help your company gain your objectives?
This can be helpful in terms of making sure you're giving them exactly what they want and need. It will also help with building a long-term relationship with them.
What would it take for your company to derive the biggest return from our product?
You'll be able to provide more assistance to them through this information.
What feature of our company do you admire the most?
It’ll illustrate the value of your service in detail to the readers.
What makes you choose to work with us?
The subject is likely to talk about how professional and efficient you are. It may make the readers gain confidence in your work ethic.
Talk about the future objectives of your client
Try to get more involved with your clients by discussing their future objectives. They know what they want, but they want assistance in obtaining it. And your relationship with them will become stronger if you demonstrate that you're prepared to go above and beyond to assist them.
How can we assist you in achieving your company's goals?
You'll learn more about how you can support your clients more effectively.
What objectives do you have for the following three months?
Your organization can make a particular strategy to help the clients by learning their objectives.
How can we assist you in achieving long-term objectives?
If you know your customer's specific requirements, you'll be able to provide more effective solutions.
Case studies are an effective way to market your business, one that you should plan on integrating into your marketing strategy sooner rather than later. If you want your brand to stand out amongst thousands of competitors online, we urge you to set up a case study questions campaign for your business. You'll be amazed to see traffic and leads acquired through this content.
Are you looking to build more trust with your target audience? Let our industry-leading content writing agency help you craft the perfect case study questions to get the results you desire.
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9 Types of Questions in Actual Case Interviews
Case interviews at management consulting firms are among the most difficult job interviews, but they are also quite predictable. Once you know the types of questions they ask, preparation is straightforward.
Using years of experience at McKinsey, as well as field reports from thousands of candidates, I’ve crafted a list of 8 common case interview questions, and in this article, I’ll show you how to answer each of them.
Case interview questions – Overview
Types of case interview questions .
Most questions in case interviews belong to one of these 9 types:
1. Framework/issue tree questions 2. Market-sizing and guesstimate questions 3. Valuation questions 4. Brain teaser questions 5. Chart insight questions 6. Value proposition questions 7. Information questions 8. Math problems 9. Solution-finding questions
In this article, we’ll discuss how to answer each question, along with the necessary tips and tricks.
How to answer case interview questions
There are the fo ur basic steps to answer case interview questions:
- Step 1: Clarify any unclear points in the question
- Step 2: Announce approach and ask for time
- Step 3: Draw issue trees to solve the given problem
- Step 4: Pitch your answer and end with a takeaway conclusion.
This general outline may vary depending on each type and each question – for example, brain teasers or information questions need only the last step, while market-sizing and framework questions need all four steps to deliver the perfect answer.
Type 1 – Framework/Issue tree questions
These are on top of the list among popular case interview questions!
If the interviewer asks you to identify factors contributing to a problem or to break down an entity (such as the revenue of a business), he/she is telling you to draw an issue tree.
And to draw a spot-on issue tree, you need to master consulting problem-solving foundations , the MECE principle , and common consulting frameworks . You should check out our other articles on these topics before moving on, because mastering the issue tree is the key to acing every possible case interview.
You also need good business intuition to draw good issue trees, so that’s all the more reason to start reading every day.
Gastronomia – a gourmet restaurant chain has found the turnover rate among its highly-skilled chefs increasing dramatically for the last 3 years; this has led to a noticeable decline in food quality and increased training costs, among other negative effects.
Which factors would you consider when tackling this turnover problem?
Job: Factors from the job itself. Further divided into 3 sub-branches
- Compensations: are the salaries, bonuses, and benefits attractive enough?
- Difficulty: is the job too difficult?
- Nature: is the job too boring, too unengaging, too repetitive…?
Company: Factors from the work environment within the restaurant chain, surrounding the affected jobs. Further divided into 2 sub-branches
- Cultural environment: is the culture at Gastronomia compatible with the chefs?
- Physical environment: is the physical working environment at Gastronomia safe, comfortable, convenient…?
Competitors: Factors from outside the restaurant chain, related to competing job offers. Further divided into 2 sub-branches.
- Inside industry: are other restaurant chains competing with Gastronomia for skilled personnel?
- Outside industry: are there new career options or changes in existing alternatives that draw chefs away from restaurant chains like Gastronomia?
For detailed guides on issue trees, frameworks and their principles, see the articles on Issue Trees , Case Interview Frameworks, and MECE Principle
Type 2 – Market-sizing & guesstimate
These questions go along the lines of “How many trees are there in Central Park?” or “What’s the market size of pick-up trucks in the USA?”
The key to nailing market-sizing and guesstimate questions lies in not the closest results, but the most logical and structured approaches. In fact, the interviewer expects you to follow these four steps:
Step 1: Clarify: Make sure you and the interviewer are on the same page regarding every detail and terminology, so you won’t be answering the wrong question.
Step 2: Break down the problem: Break the item in the question (number of trees in Central Park, market size of pickup trucks) down into smaller, easy-to-estimate pieces.
Step 3: Solve each piece: Estimate each small piece one at a time; each estimation should be backed by facts, figures, or at least observations.
Step 4: Consolidate the pieces: Combine the previous estimations to arrive at a final result; be quick with the math, but don’t rush it if you aren’t confident.
Unless you come up with something about 10 times the reasonable estimate, don’t worry about being “wrong” – the interviewer is unlikely to have a “correct” number in mind, he/she just wants to see your structured mindset.
This question type is so common, we devote a whole article to it, and our Case Interview End-to-End Secrets Program have a separate package on these questions. Check out our comprehensive guide on Market-Sizing & Guesstimate Questions for more details!
Now, here’s a quick example for you to try and get used to this type:
How many smartphones are sold each year, globally?
- Smartphones are phones using exclusively touch-screens.
- “Sold” means sold to the end-consumers.
- The market size is calculated at present.
Break down the problem:
The global smartphone market can be divided into three segments – developed countries, developing countries, and undeveloped countries.
In each segment, the annual unit sales of smartphones depend on four variables:
- The percentage of “phone-owning age” people among the population
- The percentage of smartphone owners within the “phone-owning age” group.
- The average, annual, per capita “consumption” of smartphones for those owners.
Solve each piece:
- The population is 1.5 billion in developed countries, 5.5 billion in developing countries, and 1 billion in undeveloped countries.
- 80% of the world population is in the “phone-owning age” (Global life expectancy is 70 and everyone older than 15 years counts towards the “phone-owning age” group)
- 100% of the phone-owning age in developed countries will own a smartphone; the figure in developing countries is 75%, while in undeveloped countries it’s 10%.
- The average smartphone user replaces their phone every 3 years – so they “consume” 0.33 phones each year.
=> Estimated global smartphone market: 1.53 billion units per year
=> Actual 2019 global smartphone sales: 1.37 billion units (error margin: 11.7%).
This market-sizing question is solved using a four-step process, which is explained in this article: Market-Sizing & Guesstimate Questions
Type 3 – Valuation questions
Valuation questions are about estimating the monetary value of a business, and these are very popular in case interviews too!
Valuation questions are a blend of guesstimation/market-sizing, math, and business. They also require basic finance knowledge. There are three ways to estimate the value of a business:
- The NPV Method: take the net cash flow generated by the business, and discount it to the present to account for time value of money. Basically “this company is worth X dollars because it gives me Y dollars over Z years”. This approach works best when the cash flow from the business is positive and stable.
- The Market Method: take one index of the firm (which can be stocks or anything depending on the industry) and multiply it with an industry multiple (the value of one unit of the said index). In other words, “this company is worth AxB dollars because it has A traffic and each traffic is worth B dollars”. This approach works best when the market is transparent and data on similar firms are accessible – usually with major, established industries such as commercial airlines.
In real case interviews, you have to justify your approach then ask the interviewer to give you the necessary data.
Our client wants to sell his organic-food restaurant (called “Cato’s Cabbage Farm”) to retire. How much is his restaurant worth?
(Supposed the interviewer gives you the following data: his current income from the restaurant is $100,000 per year; two other restaurants in the neighborhood – one with 2 times more customers, and another about 0.75 times, have been sold at $1,800,000 and $1,000,000 respectively).
NPV Method: Cato’s Cabbage Farm value = $100,000 / 10% = $1,000,000
Assume the number of customers for Cato’s Cabbage Farm is 1 “customer unit”, then the two neighborhood restaurants get 2 and 0.75 “customer units”.
- Industry multiple: ($1,800,000+$1,000,000) / (2+0.75) = ~$1,018,182
- Cato’s Cabbage Farm value = $1,018,182 x 1 = $1,018,182
Type 4 – Brain teasers
Brain teasers are the least predictable case interview questions – but even these can be learned!
Brain teasers are riddles designed to test unconventional, creative, and logical thinking. A famous example of this is Accenture’s “How do you put a giraffe in a fridge?”.
Although not as popular as before, brain teasers might still appear in consulting interviews; therefore, you should spend some time to prepare.
Most brain teasers can be allocated into these seven types:
- Logical questions are pure logic riddles – there’s no trick, no illusion, no creativity.
In our Case Interview End-to-End Secrets Program , there are +200 brain teasers to help you prepare for these “unpredictable” questions. You can also read our article about Case Interview Brain Teasers for insights on all of these exciting brain teasers, as well as 30 example questions and answers!
How do you put a giraffe in a fridge?
Open the fridge, put the giraffe in, then close the fridge. The question never says how big the fridge or the giraffe is.
For the logic and approach behind each kind of brain teasers, see the article on Brain Teasers.
Type 5 – Chart insight questions
You can’t be a management consultant without mastering the use of charts – the complex, scary-looking real-world charts such as those included in our Case Interview End-to-End Secrets Program.
In management consulting and case interviews, most charts are one (or a combination) of these four basic types:
- Bar charts compare the values of several items at one point in time, or 1-2 items at several time intervals.
- Line charts illustrate time-series data, i.e trends in data over a continuous period.
- Pie charts illustrate proportions, i.e “parts of a whole” analyses.
- Scatter-plots use data points to visualize how two variables relate to each other.
To read these charts and answer chart-insights questions effectively, you must follow a structured, comprehensive process:
You can find a more detailed guide in the Charts section in our article about Consulting Math.
What can you draw from the following chart?
Trends in chart:
- Steady rise in the number of confirmed deaths to about 70-80 per million;
- Both changes started around March 10-11.
- These sudden rises can be explained by events occurring in early-March, and 2.
- If number of cases is kept low, the threat from COVID-19 will remain minimal, considering a mortality rate of only 2%.
Type 6 – Value proposition questions
No business or consulting candidate can succeed without understanding the customers!
Value-proposition questions are not only about correctly identifying customer preferences, but also about analyzing and delivering the answer in a structured fashion. The former relies heavily on business knowledge and intuition, but the latter can be trained methodically and quickly. Personally, I use a “double issue-tree” – essentially a table with customer segments on one axis and proposed values on the other:
For segmenting customers, you can use the following table. However, don’t over-rely on it, since there may be more relevant and insightful question-specific segmentations.
In some cases, clarification is also necessary – both to avoid “answering the wrong question” and to narrow down the range of customers/values you need to cover in the answer.
What will a customer consider when buying a Toyota sedan?
Clarification: A sedan must be branded “Toyota” to be a Toyota sedan – cars with other Toyota-owned brands such as Lexus or Ranz do not count in this question.
Toyota sedans occupy the entry-level and mid-range price segments, so Toyota customers will be more price-conscious than, for example, Lexus customers.
They are also less likely to lean considerably towards one particular factor, so achieving a balance is extremely important.
- Comfort: Toyota sedans are mostly for everyday use, so customers should feel comfortable being inside the car.
- Utility: Toyota sedans are used for multiple purposes, so convenience for a wide range of uses is important.
- Purchase price: A car can be an expensive investment while Toyota’s low-to-mid-range customers are more price-conscious, so having a cheap/reasonable price is important.
- Fuel and maintenance: Maintenance and fuel costs over time are likewise inversely related to the decision to buy a Toyota sedan.
- Performance: Customers are usually drivers themselves, who often pay attention to the technical characteristics of the car (speed, acceleration, handling, etc.)
- Visual design: The car should possess the same level of visual appeal as other competitors in the same segment.
- Build quality: Parts of the car should be assembled in a reasonably good manner.
- Branding: The car should come from a well-known, reputable brand
- Personal preferences: Some customers choose specific cars simply because they “like” the car.
Type 7 – Information questions
In any problem-solving process, information is one of the overarching concerns!
“Information questions” essentially ask if the piece of data you use is obtainable in the first place. In real consulting work, data is not always available – client team members may refuse to cooperate or there’s simply no data on the subject.
There are many kinds of information sources in case interviews/consulting works, but I’ll divide them into primary and secondary sources. Primary sources means you must do the research yourself (or pay someone else to do it for you), such as customer surveys or mystery shoppings. If someone already did that research, and you use their results, it’s called a secondary source – you can get these from the client , the consulting firm you work for, or third-parties such as market research firms or external industry experts.
You can find out more about these sources and how to cite them in real case interviews through this free Prospective Candidate Starter Pack, which contains a glossary of data sources in consulting.
Our Prospective Candidate Starter Pack has a sheet containing all the possible sources of information in case interviews and consulting projects, among numerous other free resources; you can download and use it to answer these questions, by subscribing to our newsletter at the end of this article.
How do you assess your target customer’s preferences for sports cars?
Primary sources: customer survey, customer interviews, Secondary sources: industry reports, client sales reports, third-party expert interview, client expert interview
Type 8 – Math problems
A lot of information in case interviews and consulting work comes in the quantitative form, so you won’t escape Math by joining the consulting industry!
When you have to do the math, perform back-of-the-envelope calculations in a structured fashion, and say out loud what you’re writing. For one thing, it’s safe; for another, you show that you’re careful, organized, and reliable – just like actual consultants.
We have a Math Practice Tool right here! Use it every day, and you’ll be a master of mental calculations in no time flat!
We have a dedicated article on Consulting Math, which you should definitely read.
Type 9 – Solution-finding questions
What’s the point of analyzing a problem, if not to solve it?!
When dealing with solution questions, keep these four points in mind:
- Firstly, in case interviews as well as real consulting projects, solutions must always solve every root cause of a problem, so remember to check if your solutions are relevant and comprehensive.
- Secondly, every solution must be actionable – if your solutions are too expensive, too time-consuming, etc. for the client, they’re useless.
- Thirdly, the interview expects a highly-structured answer; so segment your solutions based on their characteristics (long-term vs short-term is the easiest segmentation)
Last but not least, deliver at least two solutions, preferably three to five. Otherwise, you’ll appear uncreative and lazy to the interviewer’s eyes.
Nailing these questions relies on having excellent business intuition; our Case Interview End-to-End Program has a dedicated Business Intuition package, but you should also train a habit of reading consulting and business articles daily, to sharpen your business mind.
A restaurant that relies solely on on-premise dining found the loss of adjacent parking space (due to termination of contract) harming their revenue. How can they fix that?
The solutions for the restaurant’s parking space problem can be divided into two types:
- Short-term solutions: Find new parking space around the neighborhood, or renegotiate for old parking space (possibly at a higher price).
- Long-term solutions: Introduce takeaway items and off-premise dining.
Reminders on case interview questions
The questions are not clear-cut in candidate-led cases.
There are two extremes in consulting case interview format: interviewer-led (McKinsey) and candidate-led (BCG, Bain).
Interviewer-led cases, on one hand, consist of multiple, clear-cut questions in a larger business case context; the candidate navigates through these questions to arrive at the solutions.
Candidate-led cases, on the other hand, have one big problem, which the candidate must break down into small pieces to identify the root causes and deliver solutions.
This list, therefore, is much more relevant to the interviewer-led format; nonetheless, this guide is still quite beneficial for candidate-led cases, because when solving that big problem, you’ll have to tackle small issues similar to the 8 aforementioned question types.
Mastering the fundamentals is crucial to consistent performance
Although it’s good to study the case interview questions, it is no substitute for mastering the fundamental principles.
Learning the exercises without the basics is like building a house without a foundation. My poor neighbor’s house developed a huge crack right down the center because of its weak foundation, so make sure to build your case interview prep a strong one by knowing the basics first.
Once you’ve mastered the fundamentals, you’ll become much more flexible – this quality is getting increasingly important because case interviews are getting less predictable, and more realistic.
If you haven’t, I advise you to read these articles (especially the first 4) before practicing the question types:
- Case Interview 101
- Issue Tree – The Complete Guide
- MECE Principle
- Case Interview Frameworks
- McKinsey Case Interview – Interviewer-led Format
- BCG & Bain Case Interview – Candidate-led Format
Expect the unexpected
If you study those nine question types, rest assured that you’ve covered the majority of questions in case interviews.
However, these are not all the possible questions you might be given. In actual cases, there are always questions that cannot be categorized neatly. If you do not prepare for these questions, it’s easy to be thrown off-balance.
So, how do you prepare for “the unexpected”?
- Master the basics: Focus your efforts on the basics, once you’ve mastered them it’d be comfortable to move on to higher, more sophisticated levels.
- Business Intuition : You need business intuition for a business-related job, it’s simple as that. Nearly every case concerns business in one way or another – even public sector cases. This is why we also teach business intuition in our Case Interview E2E Secret Program.
- Have mock case interviews : Practice case interviews with ex-consultants will help you get a sense of what might happen or how you might be evaluated in actual cases. Highly experienced coaches from MConsultingPrep will review your performance, giving you the most valuable feedback and actionable tips & techniques.
Scoring in the McKinsey PSG/Digital Assessment
The scoring mechanism in the McKinsey Digital Assessment
Case Interview End-to-End Secrets Program
Elevate your case interview skills with a well-rounded preparation package
Six types of charts in case interview are: Bar/Column chart, Line chart, Percentage chart, Mekko chart, Scatter plot chart, Waterfall chart.
A case interview is where candidates is asked to solve a business problem. They are used by consulting firms to evaluate problem-solving skill & soft skills
Case interview frameworks are methods for addressing and solving business cases. A framework can be extensively customized or off-the-shelf for specific cases.
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20+ Best Case Study Questions for Customer Interviews
Updated April 2023 : Case studies are a critical element of most SaaS marketing strategies. But what case study questions do you ask in the interview to ensure you elicit an authentic and compelling story?
In research we conducted this year, SaaS marketers ranked case studies the #1 most effective marketing tactic to increase sales—ahead of general website content, SEO, blog posts, social media and other marketing tactics.
Gathering the insights, data and customer quotes that make a case study resonate, however, takes some savvy when coming up with relevant case study questions for interviews with customers.
In this post, we’ll explore the best case study questions to ask at your next customer interview.
Prepare your case study questions in advance
The best case study questions for interviews with customers, find a convenient time for the interview, send the case study questions ahead of time, an email interview won’t cut it, take notes and record the interview, watch out for these 4 common interview mistakes.
20+ Best Case Study Questions for Customer Interviews is the 4th post in a 7-part series on best practices for case studies .
You’ll probably have just 20 or 30 minutes to capture your customer’s story so be thoroughly prepared before you even schedule the case study interview. Case study questions generally fall into these categories:
- who your customer is (background)
- what their pain is (challenge)
- why they chose your solution (solution)
- what results they experienced (results)
Usually, the most logical way to structure your case study questions is chronologically—it’s helpful to think of the case study as a story with a natural narrative arc:
- beginning (background and challenge)
- middle (solution, including implementation)
- end (results)
Do you need help with your case studies? Partner with Uplift to drive more sales with case studies that convert .
Use the 4 categories below to craft a list of case study interview questions you’ll want to ask your customers:
- Tell me a little about your company.
- What do you love about working there?
- Tell me a bit about your role.
- What are your goals? Your company’s?
- What business challenges were you facing that caused you to look for a solution?
- Why were these challenges such a big problem for your company? For you?
- What were you hoping to achieve with a new solution?
- What criteria did the new solution need to meet?
- How were you planning to meaure the success of the new solution?
- What solutions did you try before you came to us?
- How did you discover us?
- What did the vetting process look like?
- Why, specifically, did you choose to work with us?
- What services are we providing for you?
- What challenges do those services solve for you?
- Tell me a bit about the implementation process.
- How are we supporting you when you need it?
- How has our solution impacted or benefited your end users?
- How has our solution impacted or benefited your company as a whole?
- Do you have any measurable data you can share around the impact or benefits of our solution?
- Overall, what’s it like working with us?
- What’s next for your company and us?
- What advice would you have for others considering our solution?
Tailor these case study questions to suit the person you’re talking to. Eliminate any that seem repetitive or irrelevant—and highlight 1 or 2 from each category that are most important. Leave space and time for follow-up questions.
Learn how to write a SaaS case study in 9 steps.
Your customers are busy—and they’re doing you a big favor by participating in the case study—so be as flexible as possible when you’re scheduling the case study interview. And while you’ll likely want to talk to them for hours, be respectful of their time and ask for 30 minutes.
Some people worry that sending case study questions in advance will result in less candid and honest responses. Not true. You want your customer to be at ease during your case study interview, and you want them to have all the information and data they need at their fingertips.
Providing the case study questions for interviews with customers ahead of time will lead to a more informative and useful interview. It also helps ensure that you have enough time to cover all the important points. During the interview, you can jump in with follow-up questions to dive deeper into certain areas if needed.
9 components your case studies need to include.
Don’t settle for a case study interview done by email. Not only are people more candid in conversation, but you’ll also be able to ask spur-of-the-moment questions and explore ideas as they’re presented.
Here are the 4 best ways you can conduct your case study interview:
- face-to-face (this is the best and most personable choice; try to arrange this if your customer is in your region)
- phone interview
- repurposing webinar
A recording and transcription of the case study interview will ensure accuracy and give you peace of mind. Down the road, you can also use the transcript for other marketing activities, such as grabbing testimonials and pull quotes, writing blog posts and more.
Use an app to record phone calls, or use Zoom or Google Meet to record video calls. Make sure you have permission to record the conversation.
1 . Using yes/no questions
Does your list have any yes/no questions? If so, be ready with follow-up questions. Better yet, revise the question so it’s open-ended to elicit a more thoughtful response.
2 . Not pushing for numbers
Don’t be afraid to ask for numbers, concrete examples or more information. You need these for a quality case study and this is your chance to get them. Don’t be afraid to repeat case study questions or rephrase them to make sure you get what you need.
3 . Not allowing the conversation to flow
You don’t need to be rigid about asking every single question on your list. The best insights are often unexpected so allow the conversation to flow a little—but don’t get too far off-topic or you’ll run out of time.
4 . Not listening to your customer
Don’t think you already have all the answers. Go into the case study interview with an open mind and be ready to listen.
Get help with your case studies
As a SaaS content marketing agency , we write case studies, ebooks and blog posts for high-growth SaaS companies like ClickUp, WalkMe and Lean Data. Check out our case study writing service .
21 Interview Questions to Help You Uncover Case Study Gold Get the powerful questions we use when conducting a case study interview, plus 7 interviewing dos and don'ts.
As the founder of Uplift Content, Emily leads her team in creating done-for-you case studies, ebooks and blog posts for high-growth SaaS companies like ClickUp, Calendly and WalkMe. Connect with Emily on Linkedin
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What Is a Case Study Interview? Sample Case Study Questions and Answers
What is a case study interview, standard case interview question, logical case study interview questions, business case study questions.
There are many types of job interviews that you will face in your job hunt- HR interviews , behavioral interview questions , panel interviews , group interviews , screening interviews , etc., are just a few to name. But each of them is equally challenging, some more than others.
Today, we will discuss another addition in this series of job interviews, Case Study interviews.
In this blog, we will dive deep into understanding what are case study interviews all about, followed by some crucial sample case study interview questions and answers to help you ace your upcoming interview.
A case study interview is one where recruiters ask hypothetical business-related questions, to which the candidates have to provide recommendations accordingly.
The reason for these case study interview questions is to test the candidate's problem-solving abilities and quick-thinking capabilities.
Although every interview requires thorough preparation, case study interviews need a little more attention to ace.
Case study interview questions
It is important to know about the types of case study interview questions before we go looking for answers. Case study interview questions are of 4 types, namely:
- Standard case study questions and answers
- Market sizing case study questions and answers
- Business case study questions and answers
- Logical/ trick case study questions and answers
Here are a few sample case study questions and answers to help you understand better.
How would you introduce a product into a foreign market? What are the risks and benefits to consider i.e., producing in your own country vs producing in the new country, etc.?
“My first step will be to study the targeted market and understand the customers’ demands and requirements. Next, examine the cost of production in the new country and compare it to domestic production. Once we have answers to these crucial factors, my next step is to draw up a marketing strategy that will appeal to new customers.Every customer base reacts differently to different advertisements. This makes it crucial to nail the right marketing recipe especially when introducing your product to a new customer base.”
If a company is struggling, should it be restructured? Identify its three main problems. What is the most important problem the company is facing? How would you recommend the company address this problem? How would you turn this company around? Provide your reasoning.
“If I see a company struggling, my first action will be to identify the problem areas and break it down to the most critical one. Once that is done, I will suggest a few reforms the company can undertake and give them 6 months to a year’s time. If the condition still does not improve, I would suggest a performance analysis of the problem areas, ask them to take a call accordingly. I am not pro to downsizing hence I suggest it as the final option when all other reforms have failed.”
Why are manhole covers always round and not square?
“The reason why manhole covers are round is because a square cover if turned diagonally will fall right through. On the other hand, round covers will get stuck if turned diagonally.”
There are 23 football teams playing in a tournament. What will be the least number of games played to find a tournament winner?
“Given there are 23 teams contending and each round will only present 1 winner, the final winner can only be declared after 22 rounds.”
How will you put a giraffe in a fridge?
“I’ll open the fridge, put the giraffe in and shut the door.”
Tip: Remember, no specifics were provided. So, keep your answer simple and witty.
A woman and daughter walked into a restaurant. A man walked past and the women both said “Hello, Father”. How is this possible?
“The answer is rather simple and have only 2 options. He’s either a church priest or his name is Father.”
How will you work with an underperforming team member?
“To work with an underperforming teammate, my first step will be to understand what drives them and the reason for their lack of optimum productivity. Once I have this information, I will try to give them a friendly advice and try to encourage them more to perform better with small gestures like a team lunch. If I am on the same work level with my teammate, I am not the right person to remind them of the implications of lagging behind. Hence my approach to keep them encouraged.”
Market sizing case study questions
- Please provide the total weight of a fully loaded Jumbo Jet at the time of take off.
- How will you weigh a blue whale without using a scale?
- How many people sell XYZ products in India?
- How many photocopies are taken in India each year?
These case study interview questions should be tackled carefully. Here are a few tips to face such case study questions and answers;
- Take time to gather your thoughts before answering
- Note down the key information and for calculations
- Be confident of your math skills
- Ask additional questions if you feel you are missing some information
- These questions test your ability to think laterally, logically, structurally and communicate effectively
- Use business frameworks like SWOT analyses to frame your answers
- Be aware of your market scenarios as most of market-sizing cast study interview questions test your awareness.
Hope these sample case study interview questions and answers were helpful.
In addition, when preparing to answer these questions, always carry a pen and notepad to note down information, basic calculations, etc. Secondly, ask more questions to collect more information you find lacking.
Apart from these, always practice case study interview questions and answers at home to build confidence.
All the Best!
47 case interview examples (from McKinsey, BCG, Bain, etc.)
One of the best ways to prepare for case interviews at firms like McKinsey, BCG, or Bain, is by studying case interview examples.
There are a lot of free sample cases out there, but it's really hard to know where to start. So in this article, we have listed all the best free case examples available, in one place.
The below list of resources includes interactive case interview samples provided by consulting firms, video case interview demonstrations, case books, and materials developed by the team here at IGotAnOffer. Let's continue to the list.
- McKinsey examples
- BCG examples
- Bain examples
- Deloitte examples
- Other firms' examples
- Case books from consulting clubs
- Case interview preparation
Click here to practise 1-on-1 with MBB ex-interviewers
1. mckinsey case interview examples.
- Beautify case interview (McKinsey website)
- Diconsa case interview (McKinsey website)
- Electro-light case interview (McKinsey website)
- GlobaPharm case interview (McKinsey website)
- National Education case interview (McKinsey website)
- Talbot Trucks case interview (McKinsey website)
- Shops Corporation case interview (McKinsey website)
- Conservation Forever case interview (McKinsey website)
- McKinsey case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)
- McKinsey live case interview extract (by IGotAnOffer) - See below
2. BCG case interview examples
- Foods Inc and GenCo case samples (BCG website)
- Chateau Boomerang written case interview (BCG website)
- BCG case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)
- Written cases guide (by IGotAnOffer)
- BCG live case interview extract (by IGotAnOffer) - See below
3. Bain case interview examples
- CoffeeCo practice case (Bain website)
- FashionCo practice case (Bain website)
- Associate Consultant mock interview video (Bain website)
- Consultant mock interview video (Bain website)
- Written case interview tips (Bain website)
- Bain case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)
- Bain live case interview extract (by IGotAnOffer) - See above
4. Deloitte case interview examples
- Engagement Strategy practice case (Deloitte website)
- Recreation Unlimited practice case (Deloitte website)
- Strategic Vision practice case (Deloitte website)
- Retail Strategy practice case (Deloitte website)
- Finance Strategy practice case (Deloitte website)
- Talent Management practice case (Deloitte website)
- Enterprise Resource Management practice case (Deloitte website)
- Footloose written case (by Deloitte)
- Deloitte case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)
5. Accenture case interview examples
- Case interview workbook (by Accenture)
- Accenture case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)
6. OC&C case interview examples
- Leisure Club case example (by OC&C)
- Imported Spirits case example (by OC&C)
7. Oliver Wyman case interview examples
- Wumbleworld case sample (Oliver Wyman website)
- Aqualine case sample (Oliver Wyman website)
- Oliver Wyman case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)
8. A.T. Kearney case interview examples
- Promotion planning case question (A.T. Kearney website)
- Consulting case book and examples (by A.T. Kearney)
- AT Kearney case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)
9. Strategy& / PWC case interview examples
- Presentation overview with sample questions (by Strategy& / PWC)
- Strategy& / PWC case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)
10. L.E.K. Consulting case interview examples
- Case interview example video walkthrough (L.E.K. website)
- Market sizing case example video walkthrough (L.E.K. website)
11. Roland Berger case interview examples
- Transit oriented development case webinar part 1 (Roland Berger website)
- Transit oriented development case webinar part 2 (Roland Berger website)
- 3D printed hip implants case webinar part 1 (Roland Berger website)
- 3D printed hip implants case webinar part 2 (Roland Berger website)
- Roland Berger case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)
12. Capital One case interview examples
- Case interview example video walkthrough (Capital One website)
- Capital One case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)
13. Consulting clubs case interview examples
- Berkeley case book (2006)
- Columbia case book (2006)
- Darden case book (2012)
- Darden case book (2018)
- Duke case book (2010)
- Duke case book (2014)
- ESADE case book (2011)
- Goizueta case book (2006)
- Illinois case book (2015)
- LBS case book (2006)
- MIT case book (2001)
- Notre Dame case book (2017)
- Ross case book (2010)
- Wharton case book (2010)
Practice with experts
Using case interview examples is a key part of your interview preparation, but it isn’t enough.
At some point you’ll want to practise with friends or family who can give some useful feedback. However, if you really want the best possible preparation for your case interview, you'll also want to work with ex-consultants who have experience running interviews at McKinsey, Bain, BCG, etc.
If you know anyone who fits that description, fantastic! But for most of us, it's tough to find the right connections to make this happen. And it might also be difficult to practice multiple hours with that person unless you know them really well.
Here's the good news. We've already made the connections for you. We’ve created a coaching service where you can do mock case interviews 1-on-1 with ex-interviewers from MBB firms . Start scheduling sessions today!
The IGotAnOffer team