[Product Interview Prep] How to crack the case study round The Product Folks Way

We have come a long way from the very first Product Teardown. Every month, there is a spike in the number and quality of entries, and this month we had more than 500 registrations 🤩 🎯

We have also experimented with the product teardown framework this month by introducing one kickoff and three working sessions with the hosting company. We are loving the response so far and thus I am taking this opportunity to share with you a how-to guide to win a seat at the finalists' table and win the Product Teardown game. Hop-On! it's gonna be an exciting ride! 🚀 🔛

Here’s how to win the product teardown like a pro:

  • First thing first, don’t start making the presentation: I know this sounds basic but I have seen a lot of people making this mistake. Start with a document, collect your thoughts, do the whole exercise here until you are sure you have everything required to make the deck.
  • Stating the goal and laying out the approach: This is the first and most crucial step of doing the product teardown. Many people skip this step and jump directly to creating user personas but think about it, If you get this wrong, the whole exercise will go in vain. Here is an example: Grofers Problem Statement was “Increase Product Adoption on Toys and Babycare and private brands within the categories”. Now it looks like one problem statement right? But it isn’t! Let’s break it down:  *Adoption of Toys and Babycare  *Promote own brand Now, that you have identified, you have two problems in hand, layout the approach to solve these problems. Make a list of things you have to do to solve this problem. This will act as your guiding north star during the whole exercise. Check out these examples from previous teardown's finalists:

  • Research and groundwork: Many people skip this step but I personally am a fan of this step. Starting from reading the company's vision, going through their blogs, news articles to see what’s their approach and how they take product decisions to reading their app reviews online. This will give you an edge over other participants!

  • User Interviews and User personas: Next step is making user personas but before that how about talking to a few of your friends who are regular users of the app? I know this sounds like a lot of work but if you don’t have enough time you can create a 3 question survey and send it to your friends or Facebook groups to get insights from actual users. I participated in a teardown where I had never heard of the product before, or worse, couldn’t empathize with the users. I created a 3 question survey (because who has time to fill surveys) and passed it to Facebook group members asking for a favor (who I didn’t know btw). I not only got some amazing responses stating their pain points but also got some crazy ideas for the solution section. Some examples from previous teardowns:

Next, once you understand what kind of people hang out on the app, state user types clearly and create user personas from them. Check out examples from previous teardowns:

  • Customer Journey Analysis: This is the step where you will diagnose the app/website one small step at a time. You can read product critique articles to understand this better. Go through the app from the login page to the cart (if there is) and analyze it as its user. This is again, a very important step as the more painful point you capture, you are already ahead of others. 🙌

  • Solutions: Once you have all the problems listed, prioritize problems and start by writing solutions for them one by one. Don’t judge your suggestions just yet, list them all and when you complete the list, pick the best ones. Refer to previous teardown decks to get inspiration for mockups.

  • Prioritization: In the previous product teardowns, one question that is famous among the hosting company is "which solution you would prioritize?" So, don’t be in a hurry after listing all the solutions. Use frameworks like the Effort-impact matrix, RICE framework to prioritize solutions and win those extra brownie points. Refer to these examples:

  • Make a presentation: Now, that you have the whole document ready, It’s time to create mockups and make the presentation! Bring out your creative inner child and make the best artwork of your life…! Oh! Don’t forget to go through previous teardown’s finalists' decks for some wild inspirations..!

Product Teardown Decks: https://www.theproductfolks.com/teardowns

Previous Product Teardown Videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdNFFHkGICg&list=PLHJHMiGyA5ULZij-SiHGt15x079Ty2mic&ab_channel=TheProductFolks

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