In-depth interviews (IDIs) are a form of qualitative research where an interviewer uses a script or moderator's guide to conduct a formal research interview with a participant. They differ from surveys in they typically last much longer (upwards of 15 to 20 minutes or more) and focus more on obtaining open-ended exploratory feedback rather than data to be quantified. IDIs are one of, if not the most insightful methodologies in market research because they allow for extensive one-on-one time with each participant rather than having to divide two hours of time among ten participants in a focus group. In-depth interviews can be conducted in-person, over the telephone, and even online.
At Drive Research, our company manages in-depth interview projects regularly. Drive Research highly recommend IDIs. We believe they are the most informational and least biased form of qualitative market research. Here are 5 tips we employ during every project to help us produce the best quality IDIs for our clients:
- Always use the first minute or two to explain the purpose and process of the interview. Mention what the research is being conducted for, mention how the feedback will benefit the participant at the conclusion of the project, mention the length of the interview, and mention the process and payment for honorariums.
- Don't treat the participant as one of 10 interviews you are doing. Treat them as if they were the only interview. Focus your efforts on each IDI individually and probe regardless of whether or not you've heard identical feedback from your first 15 participants. They may provide you with a different perspective.
- Repeat their name throughout the interview. It helps build report and lets them know you are actively involved.
- Repeat-back prior information from previous questions. This points to your ability to listen and interpret their feedback. If a participant says they saw a television commercial for the Honda Civic last week, acknowledge that later in the interview when you ask about awareness of vehicle advertisements and repeat a detail they discussed with you.
- Be patient and positive. Acknowledge a great answer or feedback when you hear it and thank them for their detail. It will encourage further insight on future questions.
Drive Research is a market research company in Syracuse, NY. We specialize in all forms of qualitative and quantitative research including in-depth interviews (IDIs.) Questions about how these IDIs can help your business?