Interviews are one of the most common and powerful field research methods, used across a wide variety of disciplines and topics. Whether conducting a research study, an evaluation of an existing product or service, or gathering insights for a business plan, or a design process, interviews are often the method of choice for gaining insights directly from people. The quality of that information, however, depends to a large degree on the skill of the interviewer.
This course introduces effective techniques for conducting interviews and is designed to help you develop and strengthen your skills as an interviewer. It does not assume any existing experience conducting interviews, but will quickly take you past the basics and into best practices that incorporate the Lean Research principles of rigor, relevance, respect, and right-size. The course focuses specifically on conducting interviews in “the field” - contexts in which we may be in an unfamiliar setting or culture, such as when traveling abroad or conducting research in a place we haven’t been before.
Photo by Megha Hegde, MIT D-Lab
Week 1: The Lean Research Approach to Interviewing
Lesson 1: Introduction to Lean Research
Lesson 2: The Lean Research principles in practice
Week 2: Becoming a Skilled Interviewer
Lesson 3: Introduction to interviewing skills: the basics
Lesson 4: Qualities and skills of effective interviewers
Week 3: Lean Research Interviewing Skills
Lesson 5: Lean Research interview skills
Lesson 6: Analyzing and using interview data
Week 4: Handling Challenges in Interviewing
Lesson 7: Dealing with challenges in interviewing
Lesson 8: Connecting across differences
Week 5: Practicing our Interviewing Skills
Lesson 9: Preparing to conduct your own interviews
Week 6: Conduct an interview!
Lesson 10: Conduct your practice interview (final project)