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In-depth Interview:

In-depth, qualitative interviews are excellent tools to use in planning and evaluating Extension
programs because they use an open-ended, discovery-oriented method, which allows the
interviewer explore the respondents feelings and perspectives on a subject. This results in rich
background information that can shape further questions relevant to the topic. The key
characteristics of in-depth interviews are the following:

Open-ended Questions: Questions need to be worded so that respondents expound on the


topic, not just answer yes or no. Many open-ended questions begin with why or how,
which gives respondents freedom to answer the questions using their own words.

Semi-structured Format: Although it is important to pre-plan the key questions, the interview
should also be conversational, with questions flowing from previous responses when
possible. For example, if an interviewee remarks that The elections are approaching, an
appropriate response would be, How do you feel about the candidates involved?

Seek Understanding and Interpretation. It is important to use active listening skills to reflect
upon what the speaker is saying. The interviewer should try to interpret the conversation and
should seek clarity and understanding throughout the interview.

Recording Responses: The responses are typically audio-recorded and complemented with
written notes (i.e., field notes) by the interviewer. Written notes include observations of both
verbal and non-verbal behaviors as they occur, and immediate personal reflections about the
interview.

In sum, in-depth interviews involve not only asking questions, but also systematically recording
and documenting the responses to probe for deeper meaning and understanding.

Advantages & Disadvantages:

The primary advantage of in-depth interviews is that they provide much more detailed

information than what is available through other data collection methods, such as surveys.

They also may provide a more relaxed atmosphere in which to collect information

people may feel more comfortable having a conversation with you about their program as

opposed to filling out a survey. However, there are a few limitations and pitfalls, each of
which is described below:

Prone to bias: Because program or clinic staff might want to prove that a program is working,
their interview responses might be biased. Responses from community members and program
participants could also be biased due to their stake in the program or for a number of other
reasons. Every effort should be made to design a data collection effort, create instruments, and
conduct interviews to allow for minimal bias.

Can be time-intensive: Interviews can be a time-intensive evaluation activity because of the


time it takes to conduct interviews, transcribe them, and analyze the results. In planning your
data collection effort, care must be taken to include time for transcription and analysis of this
detailed data.

Interviewer must be appropriately trained in interviewing techniques: To provide the most


detailed and rich data from an interviewee, the interviewer must make that person comfortable
and appear interested in what they are saying. They must also be sure to use effective interview
techniques, such as avoiding yes/no and leading questions, using appropriate body language,
and keeping their personal opinions in check.

Not generalizable: When in-depth interviews are conducted, generalizations about the results
are usually not able to be made because small samples are chosen and random sampling
methods are not used. In-depth interviews however, provide valuable information for programs,
particularly when supplementing other methods of data collection. It should be noted that the
general rule on sample size for interviews is that when the same stories, themes, issues, and
topics are emerging from the interviewees, then a sufficient sample size has been reached.

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Compiled by AMR Group (Marketing Research in Vietnam-Nghien Cuu Thi Truong Viet
Nam) on 2014
Source: Strategic Initatives

For more articles, like us: www.amr.com.vn

For enquiries, email Mr. Nguyen Thanh Tung (CEO of AMR Group)
research@vinamr.com.vn

This article is compiled by AMR Group to provide updated information on markets. AMR Group
puts the best effort to obtain the most accurate and timely information available from various
reliable sources. The article should be best considered a reference and indicative only. It is not
an offer or advice for any actions related to any assets. AMR Group provides no warranty or
undertaking of any kind in respect to the information and materials found with, or linked to the
report and no obligation to update the information after the report was released. AMR Group
does not bear any.