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Your Opinion Matters: How to Participate in a Focus Group Interview

By: Brittany Corners | Published: October 8, 2015

focus-group-interviewA typical focus group interview seeks to measure the public’s beliefs, opinions and attitudes about a products, services, and marketing during the early stages of development. This type of interview can take place one-on-one, or in a group of around a dozen people who usually share similar demographics. The data collected from these studies is evaluated by experts who try to develop a clear picture of how their target market thinks. If you enjoy sharing your opinion, a focus group interview is a satisfying way to do just that.

What to Expect During a Focus Group Interview

Whether the interview you take part in is done individually or in a group, and whether it’s carried out at the research facility’s office, by telephone or online, the purpose of the interview and the rules of the study are usually explained by a moderator. The atmosphere in these places is carefully designed to be nonjudgmental and to encourage an open exchange of ideas. Your information is always kept confidential.

Your responsibility in a focus group interview is to provide honest feedback about your real habits and feelings. Do not report what you think the moderator wants to hear, but truthfully state how you feel. You’re probably not the only person who has been invited to share an opinion, so always show up on time and be ready to participate.

Types of Focus Groups

Many manufacturers, such as General Mills, New Balance and Tide, conduct regular focus group interviews at their facilities. Telephone conferencing and online companies such as Plaza Research and 20/20 Panel often conduct interviews remotely before collating the data they’ve recorded and producing a report for the client who commissioned the study.

Focus groups can be an attractive diversion, not least because they typically pay for your time. Never engage in focus interview groups that require you to pay for participation or for a list of companies that conduct focus group interviews.

Participating in a focus group interview is an interesting and fun way to influence product development and earn some extra money. Follow @CrowdSource on Twitter for more information on how you can make a difference in the marketplace.

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