IN DEPTH INTERVIEWS
The value of individual In-Depth Interviews in Qualitative Research
Qualitative researchers aim to gather an in-depth understanding of human behaviour and the reasons that govern behaviour. The in-depth interview method investigates the why and how of decision making, allowing you to explore consumer perspectives on a range of matters.
What is an In-Depth Interview?
“In-depth interviewing is a qualitative research technique that involves conducting intensive individual interviews with a small number of respondents to explore their perspectives on a particular idea, program, or situation.”
Interviews are the primary mechanism for motivational research in market research. Motivational research is based around psychological theory and involves interpretation and understanding respondent’s subconscious – access through elicitation techniques.
Typically, depth interviews have 1 moderator and (usually) 1 respondent but this can vary. They typically last for anywhere between 30 mins and up to 3 hours depending on the context.
When to choose In-Depth Interviews
Here are a couple of scenarios where depth interviews make the most sense:
- Where focus on an individual’s unique circumstance/ history needed e.g. Tracing how life insurance attitudes were formed within a family or seeing how a product is used and stored in-home
- Where a high degree of clarification needed e.g., A tight chronological step-thru of a complex customer service issue
- Where topic highly personal or emotionally challenging e.g., How infant mortality affects a family member
- Where use of specific language needs to be understood e.g., Cognitive interviewing – tracing the linkages in expressions used
- Where the audience is very rare or widely scattered e.g., Surgeons or other specialist medical workers
- Where the outcomes could be commercially sensitive e.g., More ‘honest’ data derived when a feeling of security experienced
Advantages of In-Depth Interviews
There are many advantages, especially for motivational and discovery research. For instance:
- Great for sensitive subjects
- Get in-depth insight into individual behaviour
- Good for people who are hard to reach and hard to convene together in a group
- Can be good when over claim is a problem (moderator can spot inconsistencies faster and probe)
Disadvantages of In-Depth Interviews
The disadvantages tend to be dependent on the context of the research question and the cost benefits of the research process. Is it better for instance to run 24 depth interviews or 4 focus groups? It really depends on the need for deeper insight. Some of the disadvantages are
- Time based: involves a great deal of interviewer time and involvement
- Travel based: and can require enormous amounts of travel and cost of travel (although zoom can now overcome a lot of former battles here)
- Respondent can feel interrogated and put on the spot and can give answers that just try to please.
- Can be exhausting for respondent.
Some tips for creating better In-Depth Interviews
Here are some ideas that can ensure both you nail your interview:
- Schedule your interview at a time that suits the participant. Do not forget to add the scheduled time both in your calendar and the participant’s one. Send reminders or get a recruitment agency to manage this for you.
- Run face to face (in person) interviews at centrally located group rooms which can provide one way mirrors for client viewing and can record the interview for you. It also provides a neutral place for a more engaging interview.
- Make sure that you have some backup participants (i.e recruit a couple extras) in case life gets in the way for some participants. This ensures you have a clean data capture within a reasonable time frame.
- Explain the purpose of the session and the topic areas and any areas of confidentiality.
- Make sure that you encourage the participant to detail feelings, motivations, moods, product features etc.
- Use projective and enable techniques to help you get more out of the session.
- Use a skilled moderator if you can, they are well worth the investment.
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
Using depth interviews to uncover more power in your brand is worth the investment. We can do this using desk research, team workshops and consumer co creation sessions. If you want to know more or looking for some assistance with concept crafting or prototype testing, drop us a line at email@example.com , visit our website at www.rubychacha.com.au or call us on 8094 6800.