Customer Interviewing: Crawl, Walk, Run

Customer Interviewing: Crawl, Walk, Run

Customer interviews make students anxious because they fear approaching strangers.

It’s our job to build their customer interviewing muscle.

Like the Make Entrepreneurship Relevant Slides, you can use these slides to get your students excited about interviewing customers.customer interviewing quick slide If you’d like to lower student anxiety around customer interviews, try this series of experiences:

CRAWL: Learn What To Ask

In your first class on customer interviews, consider using a lesson like the Customer Interviewing Cards to help your students learn:

  • What questions they should ask
  • What questions they shouldn’t ask
  • And, most importantly, why

Once your students have a good sense of what to ask during an interview, they’re ready to . . .

WALK: Interview Classmates

Students should get comfortable interviewing in a low-stakes environment, so have them start by interviewing 2 – 3 of their classmates.

It’s common for students to feel awkward conducting their first interviews. Let them know the awkwardness is normal and that’s why you’re giving them the opportunity to practice. Reassure your students that the more interviews they do, the more comfortable they’ll feel.

Bonus: Having students interview each other means each student gets interviewed as well.
When students get interviewed, they experience how validating it is to have someone listen to their problems.

When students realize that it feels good to be interviewed, they discover they won’t be bothering their interviewees. That insight alone can reduce their anxiety.

Note: The goal of classmate interviews is just to practice interviewing – they shouldn’t be used for real business model validation. Have your students start their classmate interviews off with, “What’s the biggest challenge you have as a student?” and then let the interview flow from there.

Click below to learn how your students can RUN and FLY with their customer interviews!


This spring if you’d like:

  1. Engaging activities
  2. Skills-based structure and
  3. Easy LMS integration

Get a preview of the Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum (ExEC).

What’s Next?

In upcoming posts, we will share more slides, videos, and exercises to engage your students.

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  • “The best class I’ve taken!”  We all want a Dead Poets Society moment in our entrepreneurship class. One professor using the Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum got hers!
  • Teaching Customer Interviewing. This card and the online game is a powerful way to teach students the importance of customer interviewing, and the right questions to ask.

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