In-depth interview: Expert opinions and exploration of sensitive topics
In contrast to focus groups, the in-depth interview makes it possible to concentrate on one respondent. These individual interviews are conducted by an experienced research manager in an open discussion style, in which the sequence of topics in the guide is adapted to the course of the conversation. In-depth interviews are conducted when, for example, expert opinions are needed, or when detailed information on consumer or product user needs is required. In-depth interviews are also preferable to group discussions when dealing with sensitive topics, e.g. in the medical field, or when observing competitors in a highly competitive market.
In-depth interviews can be conducted by video-call, face-to-face in the test studio or, for example, at the respondent’s workplace (“at work”) or “at home”. It is important to create an atmosphere that is as conducive as possible to the subject.
The interviewer and the test person have a semi-structured conversation in which the test person appears as an expert in the topic to be discussed. This creates the prerequisite that unforeseen explanations, interests and new insights of the interviewee can also be addressed. The interviewer uses exploration techniques as required, as in focus groups.