In this modern era, companies tend to spend several million dollars on public relations, advertising, gathering information and product testing. They make use of focus groups, interviews and questionnaires to obtain information from large volumes of people. However, focus group interviewing comprises of many interesting sides. It has received very little publicity when compared against many other methods. Focus group interviews are often used to evaluate and research organizations, non-profit institutions and academic establishments. It is quite interesting to note that focus group interviews are wonderful to obtain details for both summative and formative evaluations. And, you can use focus group interviews to gather information during all stages of planning, design and evaluation.
Sequence the Questions
When you initiate a focus group interview make sure the questions are carefully sequenced. The focus should be around the specific topic of analysis. Always shoot questions as progressively as possible. Ensure if the participants are comfortable and familiar with the topic. Most important of all is to pose questions in an unstructured and informal manner.
During focus group interviews, you will not be expected to push consensus or agreements. In general, the talk is carried out to gather common experiences and opinions. Successful focus group discussions will definitely help you gain a better insight into different types of experiences and perceptions. To be more precise, no-two focus group interviews can conclude similarly.
Create a Comfortable Ambiance
Moving on, you should remember that the focus group interview environment should be predominantly comfortable. The key moderator should be open to hear anything and everything. The meeting can have ground rules; however, it shouldn’t stop the participants from being open.
Participants of a focus group interview should be as homogeneous as possible. They should have something common (at least in terms of the topic in discussion). As potential participants, they should be able to contribute to the conversation productively.
Before you start the focus group interview, you should make sure the play-back equipment is of high quality. It should be void of awkward buttons and noisy speakers. These will reduce the overall quality of the recordings. Poor gadgets are likely to introduce background noise and reduce the overall quality of your recordings. Luckily, there are plenty of professional transcription service providers who can decode even the town’s poorest audio/video files. They will provide you with typed transcripts that have minimal interruptions, flaws and distractions.