How to Conduct Expert Interviews

How to Conduct Research Interviews


  1. Have questions prepared beforehand with clearly worded phrases and allowing for open-ended responses.
  2. In line with the legal compliance signed off on, acknowledging both you and the expert will not discuss anything confidential or proprietary – make sure your questions do not ask about sensitive information.
  3. Have a way to take or record notes to best transcribe the conversation.


  1. Explain the purpose of the interview.
  2. Address terms of confidentiality, such as who will get access to what is discussed during the interview, and how responses will be used.
  3. Just as in general best research practices, use as neutral language as possible to avoid wording that might influence answers.
  4. Ask questions one at a time.
  5. Begin with asking about more factual and basic questions and build up to any questions asking for more personal opinion or deeper insight.
  6. Exercise caution when asking “why” questions, which may make answers seem framed as cause and effect.
  7. Make sure there is time for the expert to share information on longer response questions, and to revisit any questions if necessary.