The qualitative interview is one of the most important data gathering tools in qualitative research, yet it has remained an unexamined craft in IS research. This paper discusses the potential difficulties, pitfalls and problems of the qualitative interview in IS research. Building on Goffman's seminal work on social life, the paper proposes a dramaturgical model as a useful way of conceptualizing the qualitative interview. Based on this model the authors suggest guidelines for the conduct of qualitative interviews. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.