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 allows the interviewer flexibility with the direction of the interview.  This method differs from focus groups in that in-depth interviews are conducted one-on-one, allowing the interviewer to tailor follow-up questions.  The interviews may from 30 minutes to over an hour and are conducted by highly skilled researchers.

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

A recent project that utilized this technique was for the State of Hawaii, where we talked to agency officials regarding their experience with eGov services.