Customer Research International

One-on-One Interviews


  • Guided by an interview outline and conducted in person or by phone
  • Interviewer probes answers to gain an understanding of motivations, emotions and respondent’s unique thought processes


  • Useful when researcher wishes to drill down for more detail than is possible with a focus group
  • Useful for sensitive topics such as medical, gender and ethnicity issues
  • Allows for observation of respondent-product interaction (e.g., usability studies, observational, etc.).


  • Time consuming for interviewer and clients—if observing
  • Typically fewer respondents than with focus groups
  • Lose group-interaction benefit


  • Can focus all attention on one person’s attitudes, behaviors, etc.
  • No possible group effects
  • Ability to probe more sensitive issues
  • May cover more issues and present more stimuli per person