If conducted properly, an executive interview can benefit your research project. Asking corporate professionals the right questions during an executive interview allows you to gain insight into their thoughts and experiences. 

Are there best practices researchers can keep in mind while planning and conducting executive interviews? The short answer is yes. We recommend looking over the following executive interview tips:

Below we’ll go into more detail on the seven tips and link to additional articles you may consider reading before planning and conducting executive interviews.

Before starting the executive interview process, know what you want to talk about, who you want to talk to and what you want to gain from the interviews. As with any interview, you should know how it will impact your research project. It is OK to slightly adjust the end goal however be sure to stick to your outline to be as efficient as possible throughout the project.

Having a general grasp of who your interviewee is beforehand will benefit you in the long run. Know who they are, what they’ve done, what their profession is and if their experiences will fit into your marketing research project before asking them to participate in an executive interview. 

In the article “Qualitatively Speaking: Meeting executives face-to-face” by Margaret Roller, she emphasizes the importance of a positive preliminary contact. In this phase, the interviewer and interviewee get to know each other before the formal interview takes place. Getting to know your interviewee, and allowing them to know you, will increase comfort and trust from both ends. Forming a positive relationship can lead to a successful executive interview. 

It may be challenging to stick to the schedule throughout the entire research project but scheduling enough time in the planning stage will allow you to finish the needed interviews. When planning, allot so...