When conducting interviews and focus groups, all respondents must answer the same questions—and that is why it is a good idea to develop a guide for your interview or focus group facilitator(s). You can develop a guide in just four steps:
- Identify the purpose of your interview or focus group: What are you hoping to gain from speaking with the participating individuals?
- Identify your target population: Who do you need to speak with to obtain the data you need?
- Create your script: How will the facilitator guide the conversation? What questions do you want the group to answer?
- Test and refine the script: Will the questions solicit the types of information you are looking for?
Whether all your data comes from interviews or focus groups, or you decide to supplement your results with a survey, your questions should:
- Be probing but not leading
- Probing: “How do you feel this program affected you?”
- Leading: “How much did this program change your mind?”
- Use language participants would use
- Be clear, short and easy to understand
- Include directions for how individuals should present their answers
- Include follow-up questions for the facilitator if individuals do not respond
- Focus on one dimension at a time
- E.g., If your program sought to change both attitudes and behaviors, ask about attitudes first and then behaviors, but not both at the same time.
Learn more focus groups tips and tricks.