Structured and Semi-structured Interviews


120+ minutes

What you need

Audio recorder or smartphone, meeting space

Structured interviews are very rigid and quantitive in its approach. Questions are pre-decided and there is very little or no prompted the participants. Semi-structured interviews allow more flexibility for follow-up questions while keeping the basic interview structure.


  • Structured interviews collect extremely organized data. Different respondents have different type of answers to the same structure of questions which can then be collectively analyzed.
  • Semi-structured interviews are flexible while maintaining the research guidelines. Researchers can express the interview questions in the format they prefer, unlike the structured interview.
  • They can be used to get in touch with a large sample of the target population.
  • The interview process is easy and quick to execute because of the fixed structure.


  1. Prepare an interview guide, or checklist of questions to be asked during the interview They can be closed-ended as well as open-ended. Closed-ended questions will help you understand user preferences from a collection of answer options. Open-ended are useful to gain richer detail.
  2. Start the interview with an introduction. Explain how long the interview will take and what to expect. You should also introduce yourself and the aims of the interview.
  3. Ask questions. In a semi-structured format, you may include follow up questions and prompts. Talk less and listen more.
  4. If you are going to transcribe the interviews, do so as soon as possible after the interview while the data is still fresh in your mind.