In-depth interviews are also referred to as IDIs or one-on-ones. They are a form of qualitative research used to uncover beliefs, behaviors and motivations of respondents. An in-depth interview is traditionally conducted in person or over the telephone with the researcher asking questions of an individual respondent.
Depending on the subject matter and context, interviews last from 30 to 60 minutes each. In-depth interviews can take place anywhere the respondents are — at work, home, a public location, a research facility or by telephone.
Although IDIs are designed to focus on the issues being researched, the actual interviews are somewhat flexible in the sense that respondents may direct the discussion to areas that are significant to them or to important ideas that the researcher had not originally considered. In these situations, it is important for the interviewer to thoroughly understand the client’s needs to know when to pursue a respondent’s off-topic comment.
When conducting in-depth interviews, it is imperative that respondents be treated respectfully throughout the research process. It is also important to schedule the interview at a time and place that are convenient for the participant.