In-depth interviews are a qualitative research method in which a researcher conducts extended, semi-structured conversations with participants to get detailed insights on a specific topic. The goal is to understand the participant's perspective on the topic. In-depth interviews are often used in market research, social science research, and other fields where researchers want to understand people's experiences, motivations, and perspectives.
In-depth interviews offer detailed, rich data about a person's thoughts, perspectives or even experiences on a topic and thanks to their flexible format, they allow researchers to follow up on unexpected or intriguing responses. That's why in-depth interviews obtain high-quality data that's impossible to gather from qualitative research methods. Even though it's a qualitative method, researchers can carry out in-depth interviews with diverse participants to expand their perspectives on the topic.
For in-depth interviews, you should come prepared by drawing up a list of topics and questions to guide the conversations. However, remain flexible so you can easily follow unexpected or simply interesting answers. During the interview, you should ensure that the participant feels at ease. Create a comfortable environment and show genuine interest in the participant's perspective and experience.
So what not to do? It's important to avoid asking leading questions that could suggest a particular answer or influence the participant's response. You also shouldn't interrupt or make assumptions about the participant's experience. Last but not least, don't ignore the ethical considerations, like informed consent, confidentiality or the participant's safety.
In-depth interviews are an excellent qualitative research method that will offer you what quantitative methods can't: a thorough, comprehensive perspective on the subject. In other words, the best choice is to do both and let the insights from in-depth interviews complement the results of your qualitative research.