How To Debrief a Research Team After an Interview (With Template)

In one project, we had session notes and videos from conversations with about ten people. For me, holding a synthesis session was the logical next step. I gathered the majority of the team in a room and kept us there for four (occasionally up to eight) hours. Of course, I was nice. I brought a ton of cookies and chocolate, ordered pizza, and had drinks (soda for morning sessions and beer for later afternoon sessions).

I loved synthesis, but soon was dreading the sessions. In an effort to comprehend how to incorporate the teams, I kept hitting my head against the wall. I didnt want to synthesize alone. I also didnt want to assign mountains of homework. I didn’t want to completely slant the workshop participants’ perceptions by tagging all the notes before the session. Again, more headbanging.

Interview Panel Debriefing: Navigating the Interview

Why are debrief sessions important?

Teams can use debriefing sessions to comprehend the research findings and use them to further the project. These sessions are important because they can:

What is an interview debrief session?

After a research interview, team members meet to discuss what they learned in an interview debrief session. For instance, after a usability test, where a potential user or group of users tests a product before it is made available to the general public, a team of programmers, designers, and research and development personnel may hold a debriefing session. Everyone involved in a project has the chance to brainstorm ideas and offer suggestions for improvement during the debrief session based on the findings of the research.

Interview debriefs are typically conducted soon after the research session to aid team members in remembering the information. Debrief sessions, which follow each research interview, are typically brief meetings that last for between 30 and an hour. Teams typically hold a longer meeting after every research interview to analyze the data and decide on the project’s course of action.

How to debrief after an interview

The steps you can take to debrief following a research interview are as follows:

1. Choose the attendees

Select the team members who can attend the research interview and invite them to the debriefing as well. You can decide whether to have every team member participate in a research interview or whether to have a different team member observe each interview.

It is advantageous to include everyone who participated in the research interview in the debriefing so that you can hear opinions and suggestions from a variety of viewpoints. Make a decision regarding the timing of the debriefing session in this step so that you can inform the team.

2. Set an agenda

Know the meeting’s agenda and how much time you want to devote to each topic before the debriefing session. Identify the areas on which the team should concentrate in order to be most effective. For instance, you might decide to use a portion of the meeting to go over any issues a user had while utilizing the product. If your team has previously held debrief sessions, reflect on what went well in those sessions to help plan the next one’s agenda.

3. Summarize the main information

Give a brief overview of the research interview at the start of the debriefing session. Make a note of any significant details you learned from the interview and explain how they relate to the project’s objectives. Obtain feedback from the team members regarding the knowledge they acquired during the interview. Keep this portion of the meeting brief so you have time for questions and brainstorming during the debriefing.

4. Ask questions

Ask questions to help guide the conversation while the focus areas you identified in step two are being discussed. To prepare for these meetings, it is useful to have a general list of questions so that you know what to ask the team. In accordance with the project, you can modify or add questions to the template.

For instance, if you’re working on an update for a mobile app, you might focus your questions on how users interact with the app. You can ask the following kinds of questions during a debriefing:

5. Allow time for brainstorming

Despite the fact that debriefings are typically brief meetings, it’s crucial to give the team some time to generate any ideas they may have after watching the research interview. Ask your larger debrief team to split up into smaller groups to discuss their ideas if there are more than a few members. This can encourage team members to discuss issues and contribute their ideas. Ask the group to present their ideas once brainstorming is complete so you can spot any trends.

6. Take notes

It’s beneficial to take notes during a debriefing so you can communicate the information to stakeholders or other team members who are unable to attend. You can assign one team member to take notes, or you can distribute a list of questions to the team and ask them to complete the answers during the meeting. Gather the meeting’s notes afterward and create a report to present to the other team members or project stakeholders. This can assist in informing those participants about the research process and the team’s upcoming tasks.

7. Ask for feedback

Get feedback from the team members following a debriefing session about the conversation. You can use this feedback to evaluate the sessions’ efficacy and pinpoint any areas you might want to improve before the next one.

For instance, some team members might prefer to schedule the meeting for a few hours after the research interview rather than right away so they have time to gather their ideas. To encourage the team to express their genuine opinions, you can solicit feedback at the conclusion of a debrief session or after the meeting by having them respond anonymously to a survey.

Research interview debrief template

Here is a sample list of queries for a research interview debriefing:

Research interview information

Name of project, participant in research interview, team members, researchers, or stakeholders



How do you debrief an interview?

How to have a successful interview debrief
  1. Schedule a time for a debrief with the candidate. …
  2. Carefully outline your questions to gain the insight you need.
  3. Speak candidly with the candidate and record their responses. …
  4. Ask any follow-up questions necessary. …
  5. Use the candidate’s answers to optimize your recruiting strategy.

How do you debrief after a research interview?

The Debriefing Form should include the following:
  1. Study title.
  2. Researcher’s name and contact information, if applicable, for follow-up questions.
  3. Thank the participants for their time and effort in taking part in the study.
  4. Explain what was being studied (i.e., purpose, hypothesis, aim). …
  5. Explain how participants were deceived.

What is debriefing call?

a gathering that occurs to gather details about a specific project that has been completed, such as what was accomplished successfully and what wasn’t: debriefing sessions

Does a debrief mean you didn’t get the job?

Debriefs are how decision-makers decide whether to move a candidate on to the following round, so what are debriefs? They can occur after a single interview or a couple. Just be sure these decision points are the same for all applicants, and at each debrief, only discuss the pertinent interview(s).

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