Fieldwork in Beauty: Our Experience and 5 Tips

The Generation Focus team concluded the 2018 year in the field, interviewing independent beauty professionals (IBP’s).

We’ve previously talked about interview techniques, but how and where you decide to conduct the interview can sometimes be just as important as the questions being asked. This was the case for a recent project with independent beauty professionals (IBPs), where it was important to interview our participants at their place of work, or beauty salon. While this type of field work does require more work and time than remote research, the rewards may be worth it.  

Interviewing the IBP’s in their work environment was a great experience, and gave us insights into their everyday work life which wouldn’t have been possible in a video or phone call.

A few things to remember if you decide to conduct your research in the field.

  1. Travel time: If you are scheduling multiple interviews in a day, be prepared to do a lot of traveling. Make sure that you give yourself enough time in between interviews in case of any delays, and schedule the route in advance.  
  2. Breaks: Give yourself enough time between interviews for meals and any necessary breaks. Every interview is important, and you as an interviewer need to be prepared for any situation that may arise. Skipping meals or not taking the time to de-brief is never helpful.  
  3. Drop-offs: Drop-offs and cancellations are a common occurrence in research. While we tend to see lower drop-off rates in field research, we still need to be prepared. Stay in touch with your participants, and send friendly reminders (but please don’t spam them).  
  4. End of day reports: If you have multiple interviews booked in a short period of time, take the time to jot down a few key points and notes between interviews or at the end of the day. This will help you stay organized and make things easier for you in the long run.  
  5. Equipment: Online video interviewing has made research easier and increased the participant population pool. As a result, many researchers are doing less field research than before. On the occasion that you are called out into the field, it is a good idea to dust off your field equipment and make sure everything is  working and charged well in advanced. The last things you want to do is make a rushed trip to Best Buy on your first day back in the field. 
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