Home > Research Services > Research Methods > FAQ > What is a depth interview?

What is a depth interview?

A depth interview is a loosely structured interview. It allows freedom for both the interviewer and the interviewee to explore additional points and change direction, if necessary.

Explanation of depth interviews

A qualitative data collection method, depth interviews offer the opportunity to capture rich, descriptive data about people’s behaviours, attitudes and perceptions, and unfolding complex processes. They can be used as a standalone research method or as part of a multi method design, depending on the needs of the research.

How is a depth interview carried out?

Depth interviews are normally carried out face to face so that a rapport can be created with respondents. Body language is also used to add a high level of understanding to the answers. Telephones can also be used by a skilled researcher with little loss of data and at a tenth of the cost.

The style of the interview depends on the interviewer. Successful depth interviewers listen rather than talk. They have a clear line of questioning and use body language to build rapport. The interview is more of a guided conversation than a staccato question and answer session.

The interview is conducted using a discussion guide which facilitates the flushing out of the respondent’s views through open ended questioning. Projective techniques can be incorporated into the interview too.

Sections on FAQ

Our industry expertise

The information provided by the B2B research was both insightful and thought provoking and the staff involved were excellent.

Drake Lane Associates

B2B International did a great job in what was a specialist and difficult study to bring clarity and useful recommendations.

Akzo Nobel