IDIs are interviews that explore the topics being investigated to gain a deep and detailed knowledge of them.
For successful IDIs, the selection of the respondent(s) is of great importance. In fact, the selection of respondents must be accurate and targeted so that the chosen sample responds correctly to the parameters related to the very objective of the survey.
Equally important is the role of the moderator who, in addition to the training and psychological skills required to ensure the active participation of the respondent and the free expression of opinions and views, must have a specific background related to the survey topic. This is the only way in which he/she will be able to raise questions to go deeper into the topic in question, also on the basis of insights arising during the discussion itself. Indeed, although there is a guide that the moderator follows, the structure of the IDI is flexible and may be adjusted as the discussion proceeds, so as to avoid leaving out areas deemed appropriate for the respondent.
Since this is an in-depth interview, the moderator has the chance to get to the root causes of the respondent’s likes/dislikes, perceptions or beliefs. Through psychological techniques the moderator tries to gain a deeper perspective of the topic and fully understand the respondent’s point of view, also thanks to the possibility to develop a relationship with the respondent, making him/her feel at ease. In this way, it is possible to obtain honest feedback and to note expressions and body language, signals that can be rich qualitative data.
As a consequence, the output of such interviews are detailed reports, also including interpretations that the moderator is able to provide about the information, attitudes and considerations provided by the interviewed sample. The aim is to reach a comprehensive and overall view of the topic that goes beyond the meaning explicitly expressed in the discussion.