Orientation Observation In-depth interviews Document analysis and semiology Conversation and discourse analysis Secondary Data Surveys Experiments Ethics Research outcomes



Social Research Glossary

About Researching the Real World



© Lee Harvey 2012–2020

Page updated 29 April, 2020

Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2012–2020, Researching the Real World, available at
All rights belong to author.


A Guide to Methodology

4. In-depth interviews

4.1 Introduction to in-depth interviewing
4.2 Types of in-depth interview
4.3 Methodological approaches to in-depth interviews
4.4 Doing in-depth interviews

4.4.1 Constructing an interview guide
4.4.2 Setting up the interviews
4.4.3 Interviewing Rapport Probing Foreign language complications Remote interviewing Telephone interviewing Asynchronous interviews Follow-up interviews Focus groups

4.4.4 Recording interview data

4.5 Analysing in-depth interview data
4.6 Summary and conclusion

4.4 Doing in-depth interviews Remote interviewing
Remote interviewing is when the researcher and the respondent are spatially separated and using a communication device to undertake the in-depth interview. This can be done synchronously, where each person takes turns in an on-going conversation or asynchronously, where the researcher sends a question or questions and at a different time, the respondent replies.

Telephone interviews are a form of synchronous remote interview and are aural unless there is a visual connection, such as through some camera-linked Internet connections. On-line chat is another form of synchronous remote interview.

Email interviews are the main form of synchronous remote interview. The researcher sends an email with a question or questions and follows up the response. Where this involves follow-ups and several exchanges of emails, this is similar to an in-depth interview. Where just one email is sent with a single email response, the interview begins to resemble an unstructured on-line questionnaire (see Section 8).


Next Telephone interviewing