Depth interview

Depth interview
See also

Depth interview a discovery-oriented method that involves conducting intensive individual interviews with a small group of respondents. It can be used for a variety of purposes, including needs assessment, program improvement, problem identification and strategic planning. An in-depth interview is a conversation of a person with trained staff. The aim is to examine a person's perspective in terms of a specific idea, program or situation[1].

In-depth interviews involve not only asking questions but also systematic recording and documenting responses combined with an intensive study of deeper meaning and understanding of the response. Therefore, in-depth interviews often require repeated conversations with the target group during the study[2].

Features of Depth Interview[edit]

Open-ended Questions[edit]

Questions must be formulated so that respondents respond in an exhaustive way using their own words, so it is important to start with the questions "Why"or "How"[3].

Semi-structured Format[edit]

Refers to conducting an initial interview. The conversation should be debatable, so if possible, questions can be asked according to previously provided answers[4].

Seek Understanding and Interpretation[edit]

This concerns listen carefully, reflect on what the interlocutor is trying to convey. The interviewer's goal is to strive for clear and precise information[5].

Recording Responses[edit]

Answers are usually recorded and supplemented with written notes that cover verbal and non-verbal behaviors. They may contain personal reflections on the conducted interview[6].

Conducting an Depth Interview[edit]

1.Thematizing at this stage, it is important to specify the purpose of the interview. For example, what we want to know and which target group[7].

2.Designing related with the information which will be acquired during the interview process[8].

3.Interviewing at the beginning it is important to enter and clarify the purpose. The interviewer's function is to listen and observe. To calm the interlocutor and guide him in a comfortable manner by talking[9].

4.Transcribing it consists in creating the literal text of each interview using a recording[10].

5.Analyzing it concerns the re-reading of the transcription, information that emerges from the obtained responses[11].

6.Verifying involves checking the reliability of information[12].

7.Reporting creating written or oral reports that describe the results of the conversation. It is important to share the results with other stakeholders to encourage to future interviews[13].

Advantages of Depth Interview[edit]

The basic advantage of an in-depth interview is that they provide much more information than, for example, a survey. The information obtained is relatively more accurate. The conversation can take place in a freer atmosphere, which can generate more insightful responses. We need fewer participants to obtain useful information. You can monitor changes in tone, choice of words or body language[14] [15].

Disadvantages of Depth Interview[edit]

Data analysis takes a lot of time. The process can be expensive compared to other methods. The person conducting the interview should be trained in conducting interviews and analyzes. In turn, participants must be carefully selected to avoid mistakes, which may result in a longer verification process. Interviews cannot be generalized, they concern individual people[16][17].

Good Features of Interviewer[edit]

The interviewer guides the consumer through the entire interview process, which is why it is important to establish relationships and create a good environment. His task is to remain neutral, he should not express his own opinions or suggest answers. They care about the individual needs of each participant. He should managing time effectively and keeping the interview on schedule. Interviews can be conducted effectively face-to-face or over the phone[18].


  1. Boyce C., Neale P.(2006)
  2. Guion L.A., Diehl D.C., McDonald D.(2011)
  3. Guion L.A., Diehl D.C., McDonald D.(2011)
  4. Guion L.A., Diehl D.C., McDonald D.(2011)
  5. Guion L.A., Diehl D.C., McDonald D.(2011)
  6. Guion L.A., Diehl D.C., McDonald D.(2011)
  7. Guion L.A., Diehl D.C., McDonald D.(2011)
  8. Guion L.A., Diehl D.C., McDonald D.(2011)
  9. Guion L.A., Diehl D.C., McDonald D.(2011)
  10. Guion L.A., Diehl D.C., McDonald D.(2011)
  11. Guion L.A., Diehl D.C., McDonald D.(2011)
  12. Guion L.A., Diehl D.C., McDonald D.(2011)
  13. Guion L.A., Diehl D.C., McDonald D.(2011)
  14. Pascale K. (2015)
  15. Boyce C., Neale P.(2006)
  16. Boyce C., Neale P.(2006)
  17. Pascale K.(2015)
  18. Pascale K.(2015)


Author: Anna Korzeń