Depth Interviewing Skills

Join us for a training course in partnership with the Social Research Association.
  • Event time:
    28th September 2023 09:15 – 29th September 2023 17:00
  • Format:

This live online course provides an understanding of, and experience in using, the skills and techniques involved in conducting qualitative interviews. (NatCen trainers) * Price: £330 for SRA members, £440 for non-members.  It runs over two days and uses Zoom software *


This two-day course gives participants an understanding of, and experience in using, the skills and techniques involved in conducting qualitative interviews to a high standard. It will be delivered via a combination of taught and practical sessions. The trainers all have extensive experience of conducting in-depth interviews for qualitative studies.

Course objectives

By the end of the workshop, participants will be:

  • able to locate where the in-depth interview sits on the continuum of interview approaches
  • able to identify the key features and objectives of in-depth interviews
  • familiar with, and able to put into practice, the essential skills of in-depth interviewing: active listening; open questioning and probing
  • able to design and use a topic guide
  • able to explain the attributes which are required to fulfil the interviewer role
  • able to demonstrate awareness of, and competence in, different aspects of managing the interview process
  • experienced in conducting in-depth interviews through the practical sessions included in the course


  • the depth interview in social research
  • in-depth interviewing skills: active listening, open questioning and probing techniques
  • designing and using a topic guide
  • interviewer attributes
  • managing the interview process
  • considerations before the interview
  • stages of the interview
  • working with specific populations, dealing with sensitive or difficult topics and situations
  • practical interviewing issues

Who will benefit?

This course requires some prior knowledge or experience of conducting qualitative research.

You will find the course useful if:

  • you are relatively new to qualitative research, or just starting to conduct in-depth interviews
  • have experience of doing qualitative interviews but lack training
  • you commission or manage qualitative research in central or local government, health or other applied sectors


  • Mehul Kotecha
    Qual Innovation Lead and Senior Researcher
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    Mehul Kotecha joined NatCen as a Senior Researcher in March 2008. He has led on a number of qualitative studies including evaluations of back to work programmes (e.g. process evaluation of the Support for the Very Long-Term Unemployed Trailblazer programme), research into financial and material circumstances in old age (e.g. exploring the relationship between material deprivation and pensioner poverty and a study which explored older people's attitudes towards the principle of automatic awards of Pension Credit), and research into education and skills (e.g. a study exploring motivations and barriers to part-time post-16 education).

    Mehul has worked with a diverse range of respondents and has experience of a range of qualitative methods - including in-depth interviews and focus groups. Prior to this, Mehul was a Research Fellow at the Institute of Primary Care and Public Health, based at London South Bank University - where he also received his doctorate in Sociology.

  • Sarah Frankenburg
    Research Director
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    Sarah Frankenburg is a Research Director working in the Household Surveys team. She has previously worked on the English Housing Survey and on a series of evaluation projects looking at early years and school age interventions.

    Before working at the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen), Sarah worked at a small social research organisation where she specialised in researching issues concerning adults with learning disabilities and people in contact with the criminal justice system.

    Sarah has an MSc in the History and Philosophy of Science from Imperial College London and University College London, and a BSc (Hons) in Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method from LSE.