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In an in-depth interview, the aim is to determine the attitudes, motives and needs of the interviewee. As a rule, in-depth interviews are conducted as individual interviews. The moderator follows a guideline that defines certain topics of the interview. This structuring makes the interviews comparable with each other. However, the interviewer is very free in shaping the conversation and can thus flexibly respond to the interviewee and their specific situation. This makes the interview more like a natural dialogue, so that the interviewee feels comfortable and can give authentic information. A rigidly adhered to catalogue of questions would not allow for this. This openness to the individuality of the interviewee and the personal contact create space for new insights.
Individual interviews are suitable, for example, for…
thorough testing of communication material, prototypes, mock-ups, and questions of any kind on a small scale (short interview of 20-50 minutes)
in-depth exploration of topics, reasons for use, needs, motives, trends (in-depth interview of 45-90 min)
ethnographic immersion in the consumer world (in-depth interviews with visits/observation 60-120 min)
topics that should not be exposed to group dynamics (in the case of sensitive topics or major individual differences in customer needs or the respective lifestyles of consumers)