Having trouble finding people to interview

I am trying to start a project but when I go out and try to find people to conduct user interviews with, they don’t want to do them. I have been trying for the past few weeks with the same results and I can’t start and move forward with a project :frowning:

Can you explain a bit more about who you’re asking and how?

Sure. I went to a target store since it’s big and a lot more people are likely to be in there. The topic that I am researching is somewhat broad (Learn about how people find recreational activities to do, what works well and what doesn’t) so I think that spot makes sense to go to. I also went to a park. How I’m asking:

“Hello how are you (with a smile), I’m working on a research project that has to do with how people find recreational activities, do you do recreational activities?” I tell them that I’m working on a research project and then ask if they do recreational activities since that is the target user. I did get lucky and got two people on my first try a few weeks ago but still need more.

I would make a screener and post it to various forums. Just going to places like that is very hit and miss. Recreational activities is pretty broad. Who is your target audience? Parents with small kids? Singles? Couples? Tourists? Etc.

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When I go to a store to do shopping I’m usually in a hurry and on a mission – I don’t have time to stop for an interview. I tend to have time when I’m at my desk so I agree with Julia – try online and narrow your focus.

You mean to post the screener to hopefully invite them to skype or something? My target audience is younger people.

Yea that is what I was thinking, not many would want to stop while they are shopping. I wonder if places like Barnes and Noble or Starbucks would yield better results since people are usually sitting at a table.

I’d recommend finding people on social media if you can, and do a remote interview (with zoom or something).

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You need to be more specific than just younger people. Your target audience should be a couple of criteria at least.
Post a screener to various forums that ask questions to make sure you are getting the right people and do video interviews.
Just asking people in public doesn’t get you the right people you need.

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Is giving a range specific or do I need it to be even more specific? for example 20-40 yrs old. For the forums should I go to where I think these people will be? How should the post look like? Should I let them know that I am doing research and avoid letting them know about the topic? When I went to public, I asked if they do recreational activities, wouldn’t that be the right person if they said yes?

Rather than just relying on demographic recruitment, make sure your screener has some questions around the behaviour that you’re trying to research.
For example, if you’re doing research about people who are heavy users of online banking, your screener may screen potential participants by their frequency of use, rather than just asking for 20-30 year olds, etc.

You also should consider what is the big research question you are trying to answer and the type of things you are trying to discover. This will help you to refine your screener and where you may go to recruit people. For example, if you’re interested in people who are into outdoor recreational activities, particularly water sports, you can screen for that (and go to the appropriate areas/forums for recruitment).

By the way, if you’re looking for people within shops, just be careful about permissions. If I’m using a cafe to recruit as an example, I usually give the cafe or shop a heads up in case there are any issues.

Hope this helps. Good luck!


An age range is fine. But recreational activities is pretty broad. To what Ruth was saying, you should be more specific, such as water recreational activities, etc. What are you trying to find out? Just asking someone can be a leading question and can bias your data.

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Sometimes people are just too busy and need a little bit of an incentive. If you think of it in sales terms, you need to respect their time but provide a solution to their problem and make it worth their while.

Try a couple of 50/50 A/B test emails or what ever tool you are using and just see which one works best with different wording.

Maybe you don’t need to reach out externally, is there anyone in your family or group of friends that would be able to offer some insight?

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Initially I was thinking sport parks for basketball,soccer,baseball,etc but then I thought having it broad would be more interesting. Should I stick with sports parks then? What would you say is the main reason why being too broad is not a good idea? What I am trying to find out is how do people find recreational activities to do, what works well and what doesn’t. Thanks!:grinning:

Stick with one thing, such as sport parks, and then more about your audience. Is it single young professionals? Older people? Parents and their kids? Too broad and you won’t have time to solve everything. :slight_smile:

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Sport parks sounds good, can I even make it as specific as basketball parks or is that too specific? In terms of audience I am thinking ages 15 - 35, people who play basketball. Thanks for the followup!

So right now I have the research goal as find out how people find basketball parks,what works well and what doesn’t.

That sounds better. You don’t need the what works well and what doesn’t. It can be just people ages 15-35 and how they find basketball parks. Are you including parents?

Are you saying I don’t need what works well and what doesn’t because these things might come up on their own during the interview? I don’t plan to include parents.

Hi, yes. That’s not part of the research goal, but it should be in your interview script.

Hey. Just to clarify when you say interview script you mean the questions to ask correct? I should have questions that tell me information about what works well and what doesn’t? Thanks.