Group Interview Introduction

The “Group Interview” method is a qualitative research method. In general, interviews are used to find out what people know, think, feel and want. Group interviews are mainly used to gain insight into a group of people and what needs they have. A group interview is also referred to as a group conversation because of its dynamics.

Preferably, group interviews are used when the topic of conversation does not include personal issues, but rather to generate ideas. As a result, a group interview offers less depth than an individual interview. Nevertheless, this form provides an interesting view of the larger group of people that are designed for. It is important that all participants make their voices and opinions heard.

The positive dynamic of a group interview is that participants stimulate and inspire each other and come up with comments and ideas that do not occur to them in an individual interview.

The advantage of group interviews is that responses from participants often have an inspiring effect and the other participants are given new thoughts. The conversation then becomes more like a brainstorming session. It is wise that the group conversation is recorded and recorded so that it can be analyzed later. Group interviews are very useful for orientation.

Social desirability must be taken into account and that some in a group react in an inhibited way and do not dare to speak up. Discussion leaders must therefore ensure that everyone’s voice is included.

The degree of structure of group interviews depends on various factors. When a more structured approach is chosen, there is a good chance that more topics will be covered. While with an open approach relatively fewer topics are covered. When information is needed quickly, group interviews are a good way to start.


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Group interview

Executing the Method

  • Step 1: Compose a group

    To organize a group interview, a group of people must be assembled. Identify which group of people will be interviewed. Also, appoint one moderator to ask the questions and lead the conversation based on the topic list. A few team members can take notes and record what is said.

  • Step 2: Choose location

    Choose a neutral location where the group interview will take place so that all people have access.

  • Step 3: Topic list

    In order to conduct a group interview, it is wise to write down a few topics, concepts or terms. Prepare this list based on the question: "What do I want to know exactly?" During a group interview, it is useful to check the topic list every now and then, so that nothing is forgotten.

  • Step 4: Start group interview

    Provide recording equipment and start the group interview. Make sure that everyone has the floor and pay attention to the body language of the participants so that it can be anticipated. Summarize the statements of the respondents during the interview and feedback the saying so that no misunderstandings arise.

  • Step 5: Draft

    During the group interview, the moderator got a picture of the group of people. If the discussion leader wants more information from a participant or needs more depth, this setting is very useful to determine which participants you still want to interview individually or invite to a co-creation session.


Advantages & Disadvantages

  • Efficient way of gathering information, because more people are present at the same time, which means that the research takes less time.

  • A group interview demands a lot from the moderator, who must continuously respond to what is happening in the group, keep the questions and the goal in mind.