7 qualitative interview standard stages

1. Ice breaking part. “Have you got some problems to find this place

2. Gratefulness. “Thanks you for having agreed to the meeting

3. Research purpose: “This interview is part of a greater research project on…

4. Inform about confidentiality: “Nothing said by the participant will be attributed to them

5. Request to record the interview. “If you´ll excuse me I would like to record the interview to avoid taking notes all the time

6. Guide questions

7. Thanks again. “Thanks you for having agreed to the meeting


9-step checklist to conduct an in-depth interview

1. Encourage participants to provide further details when talking on crucial topics and bringing them to the interview guide when digressing.

2. Measure carefully when and in which sequence you ask certain questions. It mainly applies to the centered question. What is a centered question? Among all possible questions, a number of them are usually crucial for the research. You could actually ask these questions right away and make interviews shorter. However, it would be at the expense of reliability. In other terms, going to the point at the beginning of the discussion may inform about the sponsorship and, in consequence, affect the spontaneity and data credibility. This is actually the most common mistake.

3. For this reason it is recommendable moving from opening and more general questions like “could you please tell me about your favorite brand” up to the centered one: “what´s your opinion about brand “A”.

4. Furthermore, you can also ask comparative questions, i.e. about more brands, not only yours. Thus, you avoid the problem spontaneity and also obtain key information in comparison with competitors: “Now I would like to know your opinion on a number of brands…” 

5. After having follow all those steps it is commonly useful asking specific questions about your brand toward the end of the interview “what comes spontaneously to your mind when you see this logo?”

6. Whenever participants appears willing only to give monosyllabic answer, these being little more than “yes” or “no” try to formulate depth-provoking questions like “what do you mean by?” or, something that usually works, use long pauses to signify that you want to hear more. In other words, the silence is also a way of enquiring.

7. The most relevant information normally comes after confrontational questions. Whenever there is some contradiction on responses, a good interviewer should confront respondent. You can also use statistic or whatever material that contradict the responses and confront the participant with another point of view.

8. Toward the end of the interview it is common to formulate both confirmatory like “are you saying that…?” and summarizing questions like “Summarizing your opinion, you would be willing to buy this product if…”. Both provide final results with more consistent and also let interviewer give further explanation in case of misunderstanding.

9. Apart from the questions included on the guide in advance, you might, as long as you consider convenient and fruitful, include ad hoc question.


Lewis, Philip, Mark NK Saunders, and Adrian Thornhill. Research methods for business students. Pearson, 2009.

Silverman, D. (2011). Interpreting qualitative data. Sage Publications Limited.

What is a market research interview?

What does first spontaneously come to your mind when listen the word “interview”? May be a conversation between a journalist and a relevant personage on television? May be a job interview? Although an interview for market research may have many things in common with a job interview, there are a number of particularities to bear in mind. A market reserch interview is a purposeful discussion between two or more people (Kahn and Cannel, 1957) Bellow you can see what are the essentials of an interview.

1. Open-ended questions. Unlike in a questionnaire, the interviewee is not forced to choose among a set of options like bellow:

  1. Strongly disagree
  2. Disagree
  3. Neither agree nor disagree
  4. Agree
  5. Strongly agree

On the contrary, the interviewee has absolute freedom to answer and does not need to stick to any preset categories. Actually, this is the essence and advantage of such technique, i.e. the possibility to obtain a spontaneous and non-conditioned answer. Some of examples are:

  • “Tell me about your relationship with your supervisor”
  • “How do you see your future?”
  • “What is the purpose of government?”
  • “Why did you choose that answer?”

3. Representation. When doing a research on trainers shoes consumptions, you must interview young people, adults and elder, or whatever other relevant categorization. It is going to assure a correct representation of the phenomena. Take into account that representation does not imply representativeness. When applying interviews in your research, the sample is usually low, 15 or 20 cases is enough. But these figures are insufficient to do inferences. On the contrary, other techniques like survey are precisely designed for reliable inferences.

4. Interaction. As well as other qualitative techniques as focus group, interaction is both the main advantage and handicap. On the one hand, the direct and close interaction interviewer-interviewee allows a deeper understanding. However, the way interviewer behaves may affect the answers. How do should behave? This question will be answer in future posts, but here is enough to say that a good interviewer must be neutral and refrain from giving his or her personal opinion.


Kahn, R. L., & Cannell, C. F. (1957). The dynamics of interviewing: theorie, technique, and cases. Cited in Philip, Mark NK Saunders, and Adrian Thornhill. Research methods for business students. Pearson, 2009
Martínez, P., & Rodríguez, P. M. (2008). Cualitativa-mente. ESIC Editorial.
VALLES, M. (2002). Entrevistas Cualitativas, CIS, Cuadernos Metodológicos nº 32S, Madrid. Trabajo personal de lectura y comprensión Trabajo personal para obtener informaciones de diversas fuentes Trabajo personal de análisis y síntesis.

Ethnomethodology: how people make sense of their life

Introduced by the American sociologist Harold Garfinkel, ethnomethodology is, together with symbolic interactionism and dramaturgical, one of the most garfinkelrelevant perspective in the field of qualitative research. This tradition concerned with studying routines of everyday life and their production. How people make sense of their lives? The order and harmony of our lives depends on simple but very rooted behaviors. Watch this video before providing further details. The first scene is enough (you´d better omit the rest of the video)

What happens when girls cheer on the waiter? Is their behavior part of our routine? Is the social order or harmony interrupted in this situation? Read now this passage on an experiment developed by the founder of this tradition, Garfinkel:

Garfinkel asked some of his students to act like guests when they return home, in front of their families. From fifteen minutes up to one hour, students maintained a polite distance, talked about general issues rather than personal topics, requesting permission to use the bathroom or to take a glass of water, expressing his gratitude to the “host” for their kind hospitality. Two of the forty-nine families thought the students were joking and ignored the behavior; the others were upset or teased. Family members requested explanations: what happens? What is it? You’re sick? What kind of creature are you? Why are you angry? Are you getting crazy or stupid?

Both in the video and in the passage, people involved behave unconventionally. What does it mean? Everyone share a number of conventional assumptions with the member of one´s social group, community, town or city, country or culture. These assumptions are part of our everyday life. Saying hello when arriving home, shaking hands or being grateful. When it happens that one behaves against such assumptions, one social disorder takes somehow place.

What does it mean in terms of market research? Do you buy products that are against your conventional assumptions? Many marketing campaigns have actually failed because of lack of sensitivity with some conventional assumptions. Like the suggested in this post. Do you know any other case? What do you think about this campaign launched by Polish tourism organization in 2005 in France? Do you think it goes against French conventional assumptions?

against conventional assumptions


Craig J. Calhoun, Donald Light, Suzanne Infeld Keller. Sociology. McGraw-Hill, 2000.
Flick, U. (2009). An introduction to qualitative research. Sage Publications Limited
Garfinkel, H. (1967). Studies in ethnomethodology (p. 1). NJ: Englewood Cliffs.

Beiras e Feijoo

Gañou Feijoo porque a política reduciuse á mera xestión. Tamén gañou Beiras porque lembrounos que a política, ademais, é unha ferramenta de transformación social.

O mundo cara onde camiñamos non é para todo o mundo

Que Amancio Ortega doe 20 millóns de euros non é un problema en si. O verdadeiro problema é que detrás da crecente demanda de Caritas se agocha o modelo de sociedade ao que nos están levando as políticas neoliberais. A maior porcentaxe de poboación por baixo do umbral de pobreza ten como contrapunto unha maior porcentaxe de persoas con ingresos moi altos. Estes últimos, iso si, coa posibilidade de lavar as súas conciencias (ademais de desgravar e facer publicidade indirecta) E é precisamente con este tipo de artimañas como a dereita adoita transxiversar a realidade. Ás veces ata conseguen que os propios usuarios dos servizos de beneficencia lles voten. É como a pescadilla que se morde a cola. Esquécense algúns que cando hai equidade (véxase Estado de Benestar), non fai falla a caridade.Am

Aniversario da miña filla

Ser pai non deixa de ser algo sorprendente. Está un impaciente no corredor do hospital e de súpeto encóntraste celebrando o primeiro aniversario. Teimaba por que nacera o día oito, por aquilo de coincidir co día da Muller. Mais pasaron uns minutos das 12. Tanto ten! Así celébranse os dous días. Momentos inesquecibles! Mamar semella ser o único que ten un significado nos primeiros días. Mamar e apertar a manciña cando achegas o dedo. Ou unha cousa ou a outra. Como se o dilema nacese con nós. O regazo materno ou ollar cara o descoñecido. Como unha especie de instinto social. Como pai un aprende que ser o segundo pode ser o máis marabilloso. A vida cobra un novo significado. O que noutrora semellaba imprescindible resultaba non selo. Os nosos pais soben de golpe dous ou tres pasos no pedestal. Un alcanza a comprender moitas cousas. E as dificultades que entraña. Noites en vela, renuncias de todo tipo. Hai cousas que se botan en falta, como durmir, sobre todo durmir. Hoxe foi un día especial, Kaja e máis eu rememoramos moitos destes intres.