How to conduct an effective in-depth interview (IDI)

An in-depth interview (IDI) is a data collection process that allows interviewers to collect high-quality, detailed information from interviewees. Researchers often engage directly with respondents face-to-face, over the phone or on the internet. During in-depth interviews, researchers and participants have the freedom to explore additional points and change the direction of the process when necessary.

In-depth interviews can be very beneficial when a detailed report on a person’s opinion and behavior is needed. In addition, it explores new ideas and contexts that give the researcher a complete picture of the phenomena that occurred.

The benefits of conducting an in-depth interview include the following:

  • They allow the researcher and participants to have a comfortable relationship to generate more in-depth responses regarding sensitive topics.
  • Researchers can ask follow-up questions, obtain additional information, and return to key questions to gain a better understanding of the participants’ attitudes.
  • The sampling is more accurate than other data collection methods.

Here are some steps to conduct an effective in-depth interview:

  1. Obtain the necessary information about the respondents and the context in which they operate.
  2. Make a script or a list of topics you want to cover. This will make it easy to add secondary questions.
  3. Schedule an interview at a time and date of the respondent’s convenience.
  4. Start with general questions and then move on to more specific ones.
  5. Use open-ended questions that encourage respondents to talk freely.
  6. Listen actively and take notes.
  7. Probe for more information when necessary.
  8. Summarize what you have heard to ensure that you have understood correctly.

Related Posts