Depth interviews

What exactly is a depth interview?

Depth interviews are typically a one-to-one discussion. They may also be interviews with two people.

Why would I choose to run a depth interview rather than a focus group?

For hard-to-reach business interviews

Depth interviews are often used to interview busy, hard-to-reach business professionals or senior personnel. These people often have time constraints. This means they’re unable or unwilling to attend a focus group. They also may wish to share their views with competitors.

For consumers

Sometimes it can be hard to find enough similar people who live close enough to each other to run a focus group. Depth interviews offer a good alternative if this is the case.

For sensitive issues

Do you need answers about topics which participants might not wish to discuss in front of others? If so, depth interviews are a perfect arena to find the answers you are looking for.

How do you carry out depth interviews?

Depth interviews can be conducted face-to-face, online or by telephone.

What does the moderator do?

The moderator plays a very important role in establishing rapport. They encourage the respondent to think deeply about the subject under review.

Our moderators are trained to draw out views. They also research the issues before the depth interview takes place. This allows them to probe further into any comments made, should that be necessary.

Do you record discussions?

Yes, after obtaining the permission of the respondent to do so. This allows our final report to include verbatim quotations to illustrate the views expressed.

What is your view on incentives?

Everyone’s time is valuable. Incentives can play an important part in encouraging someone to take part. However, they should not be too generous. We need to avoid people with little to contribute inventing characteristics so they are selected.

Depending on the project, a suitable incentive might be a membership subscription, cash, a gift voucher or letting the interviewee see the final report. A donation to a charity of the participant’s choice can also encourage participation.

Next steps

Would you like to discuss how depth interviews could transform how you view your business or organisation? Call us on 0800 6523740, email us at, or fill in our enquiry form.

  • Working with PCP is a pleasure – they are my ‘go to’ research company. I have worked with them for two years and nothing has ever been too much to ask. Peter in particular is always very helpful and happy to answer numerous questions. He always offers his expertise too so that you feel in safe hands throughout working with them. The whole team are polite, flexible and always happy to help. On many occasions I have given very tight deadlines and PCP has never let me down. I would definitely recommend working with them.

    Emma PrinceConsultant at Claremont Comms
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