Depth Interviewing Skills


Two day, Foundation level. London. Price for SRA members: £390

** This course is now full, please contact if you would like to go on the waiting list for the next course **

Click here for more information   (NatCen course)


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.


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

Course tutor

Mehul Kotecha joined the NatCen Social Research 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). 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.

Dr. Martin Mitchell is a Research Director in the Social Attitudes team specialising in qualitative methodology and the policy fields of equality, diversity and discrimination. He first joined the Qualitative Research Unit as a Senior Researcher in April 2005. During that time he has worked on many qualitative studies involving the use of in-depth interviews, focus groups, observations and deliberative methods. Other research that he has worked using qualitative methods includes studies on attitudes to sexual offences sentencing; bullying in schools and the workplace; benefits reforms; and health promotion and drug prevention among young people. He has also taught widely on in-depth interviewing skills, qualitative sampling, research ethics and research governance. Before joining NatCen Martin worked as a Research Fellow at the Institute for Health Services Research, University of Bedfordshire. There he conducted qualitative and survey research with a wide range of health/ social service users and professionals across the primary care, acute and voluntary sectors. He also worked for five years as Lecturer in Sociology teaching on undergraduate courses in Sociology, Social Policy, Women’s Studies and Nursing.

Price for SRA members: £390. Use the discount code emailed to you.

VAT is not charged for SRA courses.

If you are unsure of your code, or haven't received one, please contact us.

Want to book 2+ people at the same time? Get in touch: admin[at]the-sra[dot]

Registration on the day is from 9.00 - 9.30 am.


Cancellation policy: Full refund if cancelled 21 days or more from the course date.  No refund if cancelled 20 days or fewer from the course date.

Registrations for this course will not be accepted after 17 October 2018 at noon.

We are sorry but registration for this event is now closed.

Please contact us if you would like to know if spaces are still available.