Illustration of paper with three smiley face ratings and check boxes.Interviews are useful for better understanding a participant's unique reflections about their experience in a program. There are several types of interviews that can be applied in different reflective situations, ranging from structured to unstructured. Although interviews can vary greatly in length, they should follow some sort of guide that may include an opening, administering the questions, and a closing.

When to Use: After an event or project ends.

Estimated Time: Varies

Participants: Youth, Adults


  • Recording device for video or audio, microphone
  • Coding software for analysis

Interview Formats: 

  • Structured - Often administered as questionnaires or evaluation forms, they can be conducted by paper, online, or in person. The same set of questions are asked of everyone and answers are limited to a range of multiple choice or Likert scale ratings.
  • Semi-structured - Usually conducted in-person, the interviewer has a looser framework of closed and open-ended questions that can be chosen from and asked in any order depending on responses.
  • Unstructured - Conversational interviews may have a theme or topic, but questions are open-ended. The interviewee can determine what is most important to talk about and interviewer is free to ask follow-up questions and explore new topics.
  • Questionnaires/ Evaluation Surveys - Post-event surveys help assess what worked, what didn't work, participant feelings about event, and can indclude a mixture of open and closed questions.
  • Convergent Interview - Individual interviews with a diverse audience, useful for exploring topics, finding themes by comparing individual interview responses.
  • Key Informant Interview - Unstructured individual interviews with people who have expertise or knowledge of the topic. Useful for gaining understanding of topic, generating recommendations, as preparation for quantitative surveys. 
  • In-Depth Interview - Open-ended individual interviews for collecting great detail, may be much longer or consist of mulitple sessions. In-depth interviews require strong interviewing skills such as active listening, patience, and asking open-ended questions.
  • Focus Groups - Small group interviews for assessing attictudes, feelings, concerns, and values of a community. See related page on Focus Groups