Archetypes Interview Questions

Thomas helps researchers find the best candidates for their tests. He also makes sure that everyday operations and test sessions run smoothly.

We’ve all met them. The tester who talks too much or too little; who’s too slick or too khhhh-phhhho-khhhh-phhhho (more on that later). The good news is, even if you can’t change their behaviour, you can tweak yours to effectively manage them and get the most out of your interview session. Without further ado, meet six of the most common tester tropes and their kryptonite. Of course, any resemblance to actual events or people is entirely coincidental.


The second-largest challenge with video interviews is technology. There are always challenges that are out of your hands, sometimes the video platform really isn’t working or an emergency comes up and you need to reschedule. In these cases, you should always reach out to the person who set up the interview and let them know as soon as possible. At Archetype, we will understand and make accommodations to reschedule.

We’ve all grown accustomed to the headaches of bad Wi-Fi connections and the whims of Zoom, Skype, and Teams over the last year. However, a great interview can turn sour with too many technological mishaps. In business today, it’s expected that you know how to utilize video conferencing technology because it is essential to any role. These details will ensure you show your competence with video software.

Check your environment. Pick a quiet place to do your interview where you won’t be interrupted. Make sure the room is well-lit so that we can see you. Try not to sit in front of a window because it can make a shadow. You can also use a ring light and set it up on your computer to help with lighting.

Prep your technology. It’s best to do these types of interviews on your laptop. Silence all notifications and your nearby cell phone to avoid the inevitable buzz or ring while you’re speaking, just like you would during an in-person interview. Have a piece of paper and pen nearby just in case you need to jot something down.

Test Your Connection. Run a quick test to ensure your audio and video are fully functioning. Also, make sure you are in a location with a strong Wi-Fi connection.

Frame yourself correctly. Make sure we can see your whole face, and the camera is not angled too far up or too far down. Leave some space above and below your head and neck.

Market sizing questions are fairly straightforward, solved in 6-10 minutes with 6-9 steps (including 1+ levels of segmentation). You are calculating the annual sales of a good or service, although the interviewer could alternatively ask you to calculate total units sold. Market sizing questions are common in Big 4 interviews, as one piece of longer MBB cases, and at the undergraduate level across firms.

Another type of market study question would address a company declining in market share. In this scenario, you need to focus on overall company growth/decline and how it has been affected by competitors, market changes, and customer loss. You are looking for a way to grow in context to the current market and competition.

Revenue- or cost-focused profit questions aren’t necessarily posed as profit questions (the word profit isn’t used in the set-up). For example, maybe a company is integrating a new software infrastructure and they want to know if it’s a “good idea”. The focus is on quantifying the benefits of new business infrastructure solutions – benefits that translate to increased sales or reduced costs.

It’s important to note, that in all likelihood, your case interview won’t be a singular type, but a mix of multiple from those below. That said, you still need to have a solid understanding of each of them, and be able to leverage different parts of them to create your own framework to meet the business problem presented to you.

In many market sizing cases, the interviewer has no clue of the exact solution – nor does she care. When this happens, the market sizing prompt is an estimation question. In an estimation problem, the emphasis is more on how you arrived at your conclusion (Did you go off on a tangent? Did you state your assumptions? Could you defend your assumptions? Could you gut check your answer?) rather than the conclusion itself.

Want to know more? Check out the book How to Get to Know Your Characters with Character Interviews:

archetypes interview questions

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