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Learning and Knowledge Exchange

Expert Interview (Individual)

In-depth learning from those with special knowledge or experience

An Individual Expert Interview is a focused conversation for capturing knowledge from an ‘expert’, who may be any person with deep knowledge or relevant experience in a topic/issue of interest. Because there is no audience, the knowledge gathered during the interview is usually disseminated via an article, blog post, transcript, book chapter, or recording (partial or complete) of the interview. Sometimes expert interviews are held only to support effective decision-making and action, without any published product.

A good interviewer uses a combination of pre-set and spontaneous questions, adapting them to suit each interview to elicit the most usable knowledge.

The Expert Interview is non-confidential: information obtained from the interview can be shared widely. This tool is different from the Debrief tool described elsewhere in this Toolbox (used when confidentiality is critical to enable people to share their experiences without repercussions, and typically focused on one specific project or experience) and from the Expert Interview with an audience (which disseminates knowledge more quickly, but is usually more limited, both in duration, and in the degree to which complex or sensitive issues can be probed).


  • Interviewer (with good interviewing skills)
  • Interviewee - Expert/ Practitioner/ Staff/ other person with deep knowledge or interesting experience in a relevant
  • Interview Guide, to be prepared by the interviewer, with key topics possibly shared with the interviewee before the interview
  • Audio recording device/app (strongly recommended)
  • Video recording device/app (optional)
  • Interview room (or café conducive for audio recording conversations)
  • Note-taker (optional)
  • If interview will be conducted remotely: phone or suitable web conferencing app for both parties
  • 20 - 60 minutes (depending on expert’s availability)

Download the full module on the Individual Expert Interview (PDF), including when and why to use, how to apply, tips for success, variations, and references.




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