How To Conduct An Interview For Research

Eager to learn about how to conduct an interview for research? You’re in the right place! This article will explore everything you need to know, including tips for preparation, best practices, FAQs, and more.

Conducting research interviews is not just helpful, but in fact an indispensable method to gather comprehensive and in-depth information about your subject. It offers a unique opportunity to delve into participants’ experiences, opinions, and insights, enabling the collection of rich qualitative data that can be truly invaluable to your research. It’s particularly invaluable when utilizing advanced tools like LiGRE Software! 

We’ll tell you more about LiGRE later in this article, but for now, let’s go over everything you need to know about how to conduct an interview for research. 

What Is A Research Interview?

A research interview is a carefully planned and structured conversation that follows a specific format. It involves the interviewer asking targeted and well-defined questions to a participant to gather valuable information related to a research topic. 

Unlike casual conversations, research interviews are conducted with a clear purpose – to gain detailed insights essential for academic or professional research endeavors.

Researchers create these interviews to:

  • Delve deeper into the subject matter
  • Explore various perspectives and experiences
  • Uncover valuable data that advances knowledge in a particular field

Through this systematic approach, researchers gather comprehensive and robust information that informs their studies and contributes to the existing body of knowledge.

Different Types of Research Interviews

Not all research interviews are created equal – different types of interviews have been developed to suit different research needs. 

Here are some of the most commonly used types of research interviews you might employ:

1. Structured interviews

These have predefined questions, and every participant is asked the same set. It aims to ensure consistency and comparability among responses. The primary benefit of structured interviews is the systematic approach to data collection.

2. Semi-structured interviews

Semi-structured interviews fall somewhere in between structured and unstructured approaches. It involves a pre-planned set of questions, though responses are more open-ended than structured interviews. 

This method gives participants some leeway to express their thoughts on the topic without having to answer only pre-framed questions.

3. Unstructured interviews

Unlike structured and semi-structured interviews, unstructured interviews don’t have any predetermined set of questions. This approach involves a flexible conversation that allows the researcher to explore different topics. 

It can provide surprising new insights into a research topic – but care should be taken when analyzing the data since responses may not be as standardized or structured as in other methods.

How to Conduct a Research Interview: Preparation

To ensure you get the most out of your interviews, you should take some essential steps before you meet with participants.

Decide on your topics and questions 

Think carefully about the types of questions you want to ask and any potential topics that might come up in conversation. Make a list of all the issues and aspects most important to explore, so you can be sure to cover them in the interview.

Prepare a participant consent form 

Developing a consent form is essential if you intend to use and/or publish any information gathered during your interviews. 

The form should include:

  • An explanation of what the research involves
  • Potential risks or benefits
  • How the data will be used and stored

It should also ask participants to sign and provide their contact information for follow-up questions.

Choose your environment 

Think carefully about the setting of the interview. Where will you conduct it? Will it be in person or online? Will you need to rent a space or hire equipment for recording? Try to choose a private and comfortable environment so participants feel relaxed during the process.

Set expectations 

Be sure to explain what participants can expect from the interview at the start, such as: 

  • How long it should take
  • What topics will be discussed
  • The format of the questions

This helps participants feel more at ease, and it can also save time during the interview process. 

Conducting the Interview

Now that you’ve prepared for the interview, it’s time to start. 

Here are some tips to keep in mind when talking with participants:

Asking the right questions

Use open-ended questions to help participants express themselves freely. Also, sprinkle in qualitative interview questions that dig deeper into their personal experiences and perceptions.

Probing and follow-ups

Sometimes, a response might require further elaboration. Use follow-up questions to extract detailed insights or clarify ambiguous answers.


It’s crucial to actively listen to the participant rather than dictate the conversation. One way to show your interest is by summarizing what they say with your own words and asking if it’s accurate.

Avoid leading questions

Leading questions can deliberately or inadvertently influence a person’s response, so try to avoid them at all costs.

Practice empathy

Ultimately, you’re trying to understand the participant’s perspective. With that in mind, it helps to approach each conversation with an open mind and plenty of empathy.

Post-Interview Process

Once the interview concludes, transcribe the conversation. Using tools like LiGRE Software can assist in analyzing the qualitative data, spotting patterns, and deriving meaningful conclusions.

Read about the top 10 free transcription software tools here.

How to Conduct an Interview for Research: FAQs

Let’s focus on some of the other common questions researchers have about conducting interviews to ensure we’ve covered everything you want to know.

What is the proper way to conduct an interview?

The right way involves preparation (understanding the topic, drafting a guide), creating a comfortable environment, asking open-ended and probing questions, and thanking the participant post-interview.

What is a research interview, and how do you conduct one?

A research interview is a structured conversation to obtain detailed insights about a specific research topic. It involves preparation, execution, and post-interview analysis.

How to do a qualitative research interview?

Focus on open-ended questions that tap into the participant’s experiences, feelings, and perceptions. Allow them the freedom to express and probe when necessary. We also talk about open-ended questions in this article.

How do you structure a research interview question?

Start broadly and gradually focus on specific areas. Ensure they are open-ended, neutral, and relevant to the research topic.

What are good qualitative interview questions?

These delve into personal experiences, feelings, and perceptions. For instance, “How did you feel when…?” or “Can you describe an experience where…?”

Conclusion: How to Conduct a Research Interview with the Help of LiGRE

Conducting research interviews can be a rewarding experience, especially when you’re equipped with the right tools and knowledge. Using platforms like LiGRE Software and the above guidelines can make the process efficient and result-driven. 

Create a free LiGRE account today to discover all it has to offer!

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