In-Depth Interviews

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The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute develops, conducts, and analyzes in depth interviews to provide valuable data to inform decisions of government and businesses.   In-depth interviews are a qualitative research technique used to gather detailed information on individuals’ beliefs, attitudes and thoughts on a topic.  Similar to focus group research, in depth questions are less structured and the interviewer has flexibility with the direction of the interview.  This method differs from focus groups in that the in depth interviews are conducted one-on-one allowing the interviewer to as tailored follow up questions.  The interviews may from 30 minutes to over an hour and are conducted by a highly skilled researcher.

Samples sizes for in depth interview projects are usually small and not generalizable, but results are valuable especially when used in conjunction with other methods of data collection.

In-depth interviews are often used:

  • To gather information from professional people
  • When qualitative information is needed from respondents in remote/distant locations
  • The research is regarding sensitive or confidential topics
  • To uncover underlying motivations and behaviors of individual respondents

An example of a recent project where we utilized this technique was in the State of Hawaii where we talked to agency officials about their experience with eGov services.