Your 6 Step Guide to Recruiting for In-Home Interviews in Market Research

In-home interviews are an excellent methodology to collect feedback from consumers in their natural environment. One of the common drawbacks of in-person focus groups is the setting is unnatural.

Participants are meeting a moderator whom they have never met before. They are sitting around a table with a group of 8 to 12 strangers. There is a creepy one-way mirror with people behind it watching and listening to every word. It all adds up to a less-than-optimal setting to conduct market research.

Some of the best moderators do a great job at eliminating this bias. They build rapport immediately, make participants forget about the one way glass (unless they have something in their teeth), and almost instantly put the fact that the groups are being audio and video recorded in the rear view mirror. A moderator knows he or she has done a good job, when respondents completely forget they are in a focus group. They are just openly sharing thoughts and feelings with a group.

In-home interviews are a way to talk to consumers in their natural settings where online shopping decisions are made and products are being used. Ask yourself, is it better to ask about food and beverage usage in a strange focus group room or right in-store where the products are bought or in the kitchen where they are prepared and cooked?

The closer you can get to the natural environment, the more accurate and reliable your market research will be.

In-home interviews are an excellent way to collect feedback from participants in their natural setting and a place where they spend a lot of time. Their home.

Your 6 Step Guide to Recruiting for In-Home Interviews in Market Research

Here is your 6 step guide to conducting a successful in-home interview recruit. This will ensure you recruit properly, obtain quality individuals, and gather insightful data.


Step 1: Design a Screener

Before you get started with the recruit you must determine who you want to talk to as part of your in-home interviews. The recruitment screener should ask questions related to the goals and objective of your market research. Here are some demographic questions to think about: age, gender, income, children in household, ZIP Codes, education, employment status, etc.

In addition to demographics, you'll want to ask some behavioral or attitudinal questions around the product or service you are testing. Do you want to talk to those who have purchased the product in the past 3 months? Those who have not purchased? Those who are aware of specific brands? Those who are unaware? Determine what your goals are and script a screener accordingly. Those who do not meet your requirements are disqualified.


Step 2: Program a Screener

The next step is to either program the survey yourself or work with a market research company in Upstate, NY to program your screener. Here are 6 capabilities a professional market research company can offer with its survey tools that you may not have access to in-house. Regardless of whether you are completing the recruit online or through CATI (by phone), your screener will need to be programmed to allow for routing, skip logic, and ordering sequences.


Step 3: Send Invitations

After your screener is programmed and tested, you should be ready to send invitations and reminders. This is the fieldwork portion of the recruit. These invites will go out through a panel or even on paid social media advertisements. Monitor these completed surveys that roll in to ensure they are accurate and your skip logic is working appropriately. The benefit of using online recruitment for in-home interviews is the fieldwork can be completed in as little as one or 2 days.


Step 4: Review Interested Participants

Once you have a pool of participants for your in-home interviews, the next step is to review which participants best fit your criteria and the mix you desire. As part of the screening process be clear that completion of the survey does not guarantee participation. Mention that the market research company in Upstate NY will follow-up with qualified and selected participants for the next steps.


Step 5: Place Confirmation Calls and Schedule Date(s) and Time(s)

After you've decided on your select number of participants for the market research study, place your confirmation calls. You should create a schedule and select the date and time that works best for your moderator (and team) and is most convenient for the respondent. Be aware of travel time between homes to give your moderator and team enough time to travel to the next location.

For example if your interview starts at 11:00 a.m. and lasts 90 minutes, you should not schedule the next interview right at 12:30 p.m. This is much too tight of a window. Schedule accordingly.


Step 6: Send Confirmation Email, Reminder Call, and Reminder Text

After you've finalized the schedule and selected your participants, you are not done quite yet. It takes a thorough reminder process and confirmations to ensure the participant is ready to go and they'll be available at the stated date and time.

Send a confirmation email (or letter) after you've finalized a time. This should include information on the project, what will be discussed, and what, if anything, the participant should prepare. It should also restate the exact date and time of the in-home interview.

In addition to the email, place a reminder phone call to the participant 24 to 48 hours before the scheduled interview just to confirm. If they cannot participate, this gives you a small window to replace them. Lastly, send a confirmation text the morning of the in-home interview or at least 3 hours before the scheduled time. All of this helps limit churn and attrition.


Contact Us

Drive Research is a market research company in Upstate, NY. Do you have questions on an upcoming in-home interview market research project? Want a quote?

Contact us at 315-303-2040 or send us an email at info@driveresearch.com.

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