Conducting qualitative research can help you gain deeper insight on your research project. Depending on what your research is or what insights you aim to find, working with kids may be the best way to go. Children can offer their honest thoughts and feelings for various topics. 

When interviewing children, there are many variables to keep in mind, including their age, background and social skill levels. Below are some tips to help ease them into the research process.

When working with younger children, its best to avoid any tricky language. They might not fully understand the questions being asked or might be intimidated if they are too intricate. Be sure to ask one question at a time instead of questions with multiple parts that require longer answers or explanations. 

Connecting with children increases their comfort levels. Researchers should avoid using a monotoned voice or formal language when interacting with younger children. Instead, researchers should adjust how they speak and get to know them better before the session begins. 

Children may be more at ease if you explain the research process with game-like terminology. In a Quirk’s article by Monica Belmana titled, “Conducting marketing research with kids: Get on their level” she encourages researchers to introduce simple game-like exercises to create an environment children are familiar with. This allows children to feel comfortable enough to participate in the interview. Setting up “rules” can further help them understand what is being asked of them. 

Belmana notes however that researchers should be careful to not let children get carried away by treating the qualitative session as only a game. Children may offer answers they assume researchers want to hear to keep the “game” going. Be conscious of the answers they are giving to make sure they are staying on track.

If your research project allows, it is often best to prov...