Behavioural Interview

Behavioural interviews are open-ended interviews that focus on participants' behaviour. These interviews help uncover values, motivations, priorities, activities, and relationships about a particular service or experience. Interviews connect the research team with real people and they allow the team to investigate the underlying issues of a service that may not have been discovered through analytics or surveys.


  • Determine what topics you want to cover for your interview
  • Create an interview guide for your questions. Use this as a guide to help keep you on track and to make sure you can fit your questions into the available time.
  • Interview participants by exploring each topic using open-ended questions. Invite further explanation of interesting topics, anecdotes or other feelings. 
  • Record notes during the interview of exactly what the person is saying, not what you think they are saying. 
  • Provide the participant with a gift or stipend to thank them for their time.


  • Use your guide to direct conversation rather than using it as a script you read word for word
  • Start the interview by building rapport through asking general questions about their life and habits before asking specific questions that you want to research.
  • Try working in teams of two; one person to conduct the interview and another person to take notes.
  • Avoid having more than two people attend the interview so you don’t overwhelm the participant.
  • Try to interview participants in the context related to your research. For example, if you want to interview front-line staff conduct the interview at their business location.
  • Be aware of more than what participants say. Watch their body language and how they react to particular questions.