A one-to-one interview is a research method in which the interviewer meets with one respondent at a time to ask questions.
This type of interview is used to collect qualitative data from respondents about their opinions, beliefs, or experiences. One-to-one interviews are usually conducted in person, but they can also be done over the phone or online.
One-to-One Interview Methods
Here are some common methods used for one-to-one interviews:
These interviews involve a predetermined set of questions that are asked in a specific order. The questions are usually closed-ended, and the interviewer may use a rating scale to measure the interviewee’s responses.
These interviews are more flexible and allow the interviewer to ask open-ended questions and follow-up on the interviewee’s responses. Unstructured interviews can be useful for exploring a topic in-depth and gaining a deeper understanding of the interviewee’s experiences and perspectives.
These interviews combine elements of structured and unstructured interviews. The interviewer may have a set of predetermined questions but can also ask follow-up questions and explore the interviewee’s responses in more detail.
These interviews are used to assess a candidate’s past behavior and performance in specific situations. The interviewer will ask the interviewee to provide examples of how they have handled certain situations in the past, and then evaluate their responses based on a set of predetermined criteria.
These interviews are used to gather information about a specific topic or industry. The interviewee may be an expert in the field or have experience working in the industry. Informational interviews are useful for gaining insights into a specific field or industry and can help the interviewer make more informed decisions.
One-to-One Interview Types
There are several types of one-to-one interviews, including:
One-to-one job interviews are used to assess a candidate’s qualifications, skills, and fit for a specific position. The interviewer may ask questions about the candidate’s past experience, education, and job-related skills.
These interviews are conducted to evaluate an employee’s job performance. The interviewer will assess the employee’s strengths and weaknesses and provide feedback on their performance.
Research interviews are used to gather data for research purposes. The interviewer will ask questions about the interviewee’s experiences, opinions, and attitudes on a specific topic.
These interviews are conducted to provide guidance and support to the interviewee. The interviewer may ask questions about the interviewee’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and provide feedback and advice.
Investigative interviews are used to gather information about a specific event or incident. The interviewer may ask questions about the interviewee’s involvement or knowledge of the event and gather information to make an informed decision.
How to Conduct One-to-One Interview
Here are some steps you can follow to conduct a successful one-to-one interview:
Define the Purpose of the Interview
Before conducting the interview, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve. Define the purpose of the interview and make sure your questions are aligned with your goals.
Choose the right location
Select a quiet and comfortable location for the interview, free from distractions and interruptions.
Introduce yourself and explain the purpose of the interview
Start the interview by introducing yourself, explaining the purpose of the interview, and reassuring the interviewee that their participation is voluntary.
Ask Open-ended Questions
Ask open-ended questions that encourage the interviewee to share their thoughts, opinions, and experiences. Avoid leading questions that may bias the interviewee’s responses.
Pay attention to what the interviewee is saying and show interest and respect for their perspective. Allow them to fully answer your questions without interrupting or cutting them off.
Take notes during the interview to capture the key points and insights. This will help you to remember important details and analyze the information later.
Thank the Interviewee
At the end of the interview, thank the interviewee for their time and contribution. Provide them with an opportunity to ask any questions or raise any concerns they may have.
Analyze the Information
Review your notes and analyze the information gathered from the interview. Look for patterns and themes that emerge and use this information to inform your decision-making or further research.
When to use One-to-One
One-to-One interviews can be used in various situations, including:
One-to-One interviews are often used in research studies to gather in-depth information from participants. They allow researchers to explore topics in greater depth and get a better understanding of the participant’s experiences and perspectives.
Employers use One-to-One interviews to evaluate the qualifications, skills, and fit of job candidates. It allows them to get a better understanding of the candidate’s personality, communication style, and work experience.
One-to-One interviews are often used to assess employee performance. Supervisors can discuss performance goals, provide feedback, and identify areas for improvement.
One-to-One interviews are a common tool used by counselors and therapists to help clients address personal or emotional issues. They provide a safe space for clients to discuss their feelings and develop coping strategies.
One-to-One interviews can be used to gather feedback from customers about products or services. Companies can use this feedback to improve their offerings and provide better customer service.
Advantages of One-to-One Interviews
There are several advantages to using One-to-One interviews:
One-to-One interviews allow for more in-depth information to be gathered compared to other methods such as surveys or focus groups. The interviewer can ask follow-up questions and explore topics in greater detail.
One-to-One interviews are flexible and can be tailored to the specific needs of the interviewer and interviewee. The interviewer can adapt their questions and approach to suit the individual they are speaking to.
One-to-One interviews allow for a personalized approach, where the interviewer can build rapport with the interviewee and make them feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts and experiences.
One-to-One interviews can be conducted in a private setting, which allows the interviewee to speak more freely about sensitive or personal topics. This can help to build trust between the interviewer and interviewee.
One-to-One interviews can help to build a better understanding of the interviewee’s perspective, experiences, and needs. This can be valuable in research, counseling, or customer feedback contexts.
In One-to-One interviews, the interviewer can provide immediate feedback to the interviewee, which can be helpful in counseling or performance evaluation situations.
Disadvantages of One-to-One Interviews
While One-to-One interviews offer many advantages, there are also some potential disadvantages to consider:
One-to-One interviews can be time-consuming, both in terms of preparation and conducting the interview. This can be a disadvantage when trying to gather information from a large number of participants.
One-to-One interviews can require a significant amount of resources, including time, staff, and equipment. This can be a disadvantage for organizations with limited resources.
One-to-One interviews can be susceptible to interviewer bias, where the interviewer’s personal beliefs, experiences, or expectations can influence the interviewee’s responses. This can lead to inaccurate or unreliable information.
Social desirability bias
Interviewees may feel pressure to provide socially desirable responses to please the interviewer, which can lead to inaccurate or incomplete information.
One-to-One interviews provide in-depth information about a specific individual but may not be generalizable to the broader population. This can limit the applicability of the findings.
One-to-One interviews can place a burden on the interviewee, particularly if the interview is lengthy or requires a significant amount of emotional energy. This can lead to participant fatigue or withdrawal.