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.