Personal interviews

Personal, or in-depth, interviews are a qualitative research method, where individuals are interviewed in private on a given research topic.

The number of participants varies but it is common to interview 10 to 15 individuals for each research project. Sometimes personal interviews are used alongside other quantitative or qualitative research methods, such as focus groups or surveys.

Personal interviews are particularly effective in obtaining people’s understanding or attitude towards a certain subject. Just like focus groups, they are well suited for topics on which there is little prior knowledge or if topic is of a sensitive nature. Personal interviews are often preferred to focus groups when the topic is sensitive or if well known or competing individuals are being interviewed.

The aim of personal interviews is to get insight into the ideas and attitudes of people on a given topic but to never generalize based on the results.

The interviews usually take place at the University but can also be done at the respondent’s home or work place, whatever suits the respondent. There are many different methods of choosing participants, depending on the nature of the research. Participants may come from a predetermined group of people (e.g. CEO’s of companies) or they may be chosen randomly from the national register and asked to participate, given they fulfil the conditions of the research. The interviews are recorded and then analysed later.

Comprehensive experience, precision, and good organization are key issues to ensure good results from personal interviews. The employees of the Institute have extensive knowledge and experience in this field.

The Institute’s project managers can provide further information via telephone +354-525-4545 or via email