Scheduling Qualitative Interviews in São Paulo

Is it your first time hiring a market research provider in Brazil to coordinate in-depth interviews or focus group interviews in São Paulo? If so, there are a few things you should know about Brazilian culture and the logistics of São Paulo.

  • If your target public are working-class people, they are likely not available for interviews before 4pm. We often schedule interview start-times as late as 8:30pm for respondents who work later in the day.
  • Although we ask respondents to arrive 15 minutes before their interview time, arriving 15 minutes late is (generally) not considered late by Brazilian standards. This is one reason Abaco recommends leaving 30 minute breaks between each interview. The moderator and simultaneous translator also appreciate these breaks.
  • São Paulo is the largest metropolitan region in the Americas: this means traffic jams come with the territory. The fact that it rains more than 100 days/year doesn’t help either. If it is raining and rush hour, it can take 60+ minutes to drive 10km. This means clients should book a hotel close to the research facility and participants need to leave their homes/offices far in advance of their interview.
  • If back-up participants are invited, but not interviewed, they still deserve to receive an incentive. The average São Paulo resident spends 2 hours and 43 minutes commuting per day (really!). They might be adding as much as 90 minutes to that commute just to arrive at the research facility. They likely asked for permission from their employers or hired a baby sitter to free up their schedule during the interview time. Even if they are not interviewed, if they showed up, they deserve the same incentive as anyone else.

To better understand the logistics of planning your next project in Brazil, reach out to the international A-Team at

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