In-depth interviews: all you need to know

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What are in depth interviews?

There are a lot of options available when you want to collect data for particular research. It can be online surveys, email surveys, user reviews on the social media platforms, focus groups, etc. but that’s one method that is traditionally used till now in-depth interviews.

In depth interviews allow you to dig deeper into the target audience, what their preferences are, and their experiences regarding the topic. The data collected from in depth interviews is rich in information and can serve you with quality and higher accuracy.

In depth interviews are nothing but a method of collecting information, which gives you qualitative data. It allows you to gather information about attitudes, personalities, behavior and much more about the person you are interviewing. In depth interviews allow you to gather as much information as you want by digging deep about every question if you want to.

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Why do you need in depth interviews?

  • In depth interviews allow you to have a one on one conversation with the interviewee and understand the reasons behind their opinions.
  • As the questions are qualitative in nature, it allows you as an interviewer to personalize it according to the interviewee and the situation.
  • Unlike in surveys if the respondent shows high chances of answering the questions in hurry and with incorrect data, in depth interviews eradicates this possibility.
  • Participants tend to avoid giving detailed information in a written format. but when you ask them to do the same verbally they tend to have a meaningful conversation and give out information.
  • when you talk in person to the interviewee, you get to understand that tone, perspective and what they must be really thinking. 
  • In depth interviews are the best way to understand the customer, their purchase behavior so that you can make accurate decisions. 
  • businesses can use the data from in-depth interviews to build meaningful marketing strategies and can have insights on customer needs.

Steps to carry out in depth interviews

  • Gain as much information as you can about the respondents and the environment that they operate in.
  • Take down the notes on the topics that you want to focus on while conducting the interviews, which makes it easier to add supplementary questions if needed.
  • Make sure that you schedule an interview according to the time and date that the respondent chooses.
  • Be confident while asking the questions and make sure that the respondent is confident they answered the questions with ease.
  • Determine a time limit on how long the interview shall be and stick to it.
  • It is very important that you observe and make notes on the interviewee’s body language and gestures while they talk. 
  • Make sure you adhere to all the conversation ethics and formalities throughout the interview.
  • Make systematic notes about all the questions and the interviewees’ answers and cross check it with them.

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In depth interviews characteristics

  • Flexible – In depth interviews have a flexible structure which allows the interviewer to cover all the secondary questions related to the topics.
  • Interactive – The entire interview process Is human and not machinery and dull. It allows a balance in the conversation they’re both the interviewer and the interviewee participate.
  • Deep – interviewers can gain a deeper perspective in understanding the interviewee and what they have to say. various techniques used in in depth interviews allows the interviewer to explore the topic and understand it thoroughly.
  • Insightful – in depth interviews can be very insightful for the interviewee. it allows them to learn more about the customers purchase behavior, perspective and market trends.

Limitations of in depth interviews

  • In depth interviews can be pretty time-consuming and all the information gained from the respondent has to be transcribed, organized and analyzed.
  • An interviewer who has no experience can affect the entire interview process and the data collected from it.
  • compared to other data collection methods, in depth interviews are costly.
  • you have to choose unbiased participants for the interviews, or else the process is going to be lengthy.
  • Most of the time participants expect some incentives or rewards in return for an interview.

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Hindol Basu 
GM, Voxco Intelligence

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