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Semi Structured and in depth interviews . Zeeshan A. Bhatti. Research interview is a general term for many types of interviews Nature of any interview should be consistent with your research questions and objectives. Types of Interviews. Structured / Standardized Interviews Highly formalized

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Research interview is a general term for many types of interviews

    • Nature of any interview should be consistent with your research questions and objectives
types of interviews
Types of Interviews
  • Structured / Standardized Interviews
    • Highly formalized
    • Based on pre-determined or identical set of questions
    • You read out each question and record the response
    • Preferably in the same tone of voice
    • Semi-Structured/ Non standardized Interviews
    • Researcher has a list of themes and questions to be covered – although they may vary from interview to interview
      • You can omit some questions, given the specific organizational settings
      • Order of questions may change
      • New questions may be added

Unstructured Interviews

    • Informal – used to explore in depth a general area in which you are interested
    • No pre-determined list of questions – although you need to have a clear idea about what you want to explore
    • Also called Informant Interview, since it is interviewees perceptions that guide the conduct of interview
interview types based of interaction
Interview Types based of Interaction
  • One to One
    • Face to Face
    • Telephone Interviews
    • One to Many
    • Focus group Interviews
situations favoring research interviews
Situations favoring Research Interviews
  • The nature of the approach to research
    • If you are undertaking an exploratory study, it is likely you will use qualitative research Interviews
    • Similarly, an explanatory study may also requires where you want to establish causality b/w variables
    • Provides an opportunity of “probe” answers – which leads you to explore areas previously not considered

The significance of establishing personal contact

    • Managers are more likely to agree to be interviews rather than complete a questionnaire – specially where the topic is interesting or relevant to their work
    • They may be reluctant to fill in questionnaire, because:
      • Not provide sensitive information to someone they have never met
      • They find it a waste of time

The nature of questions

    • A favorable approach where
      • There are a large number of questions to be answered
      • Where the questions are either complex of open-ended
      • Where the order and logic of questioning needs to be varied
data quality issues in interviews
Data Quality Issues in Interviews
  • Reliability
    • Lack of standardization
    • Forms of Bias: There are different types of bias
    • Interviewer Bias
      • Comments, tone of non-verbal behavior of interviewer
      • An attempt to impose your own beliefs through the questions
      • Unable to develop trust of the interviewee – or you are seen to be lacking credibility – then the value of information given may also not be valid and reliable

Interviewee/ Response Bias

    • Perceptions of interviewee about the interviewer
    • They may take part in the interview BUT may choose not reveal and discuss an aspect of the topic
    • Therefore, the outcome of just a‘partial’ picture of the situation
  • Bias due to the nature of individuals
    • The time-consuming requirements of interview process may result in the reduction in willingness to take part in interviews
    • This may bias your sample from whom data are collected

Validity & Generalizability

    • Validity refers to: Is the researcher able to infer the exact meaning that the participant intended from the language that he/she used?
    • Generalizations cannot be made about entire populations since the interviews are based on small and unrepresentative number of cases
overcoming data quality issues
Overcoming Data Quality Issues
  • Overcoming Reliability
    • Non-standardized research methods such as Interviews are not intended to be repeatable – since they reflect reality at the time they were collected in a situation which is subject to change
    • Therefore, an attempt to ensure their replication with other researchers is unrealistic

Overcoming Interviewers and Interviewee Bias

    • Preparation
      • You need to be knowledgeable about the organizational or situational context
      • Do a prior search (journals/organizational reports etc.)
      • This will help you in demonstrate your credibility
      • A further benefit is that the researcher can accurately assess some of the information given by the respondent

Level of information supplied to the interviewee

    • Credibility can also be promoted by supplying the interviewee with a list of themes before the interview
    • This should also promote validity and reliability – as the interviewee might arrange additional documentation or files needed
    • Additional documentation also allows triangulation of data provided
    • They might provide researchers with photocopies of necessary material needed

Appearance of researcher

    • Inappropriate dressing might affect your credibility and to gain confidence of the interviewee
    • Robson (2002) advises to adopt a similar type of dress to those to be interviewed
  • Nature of the opening comments
    • The first few minutes of conversation can have a significant impact
    • The interview is likely to be held in a setting unfamiliar to you, but its is YOU who has to shape the conversation

The interviewee may have some uncertainties about sharing information – provide clarity

  • They may have curiosity of why they were selected as respondents
  • The answer of such questions establish friendly and comfortable environment
  • Healey & Rawlinson (1994) argue that an assurance of anonymity and confidentiality of information make interviewees feel relaxed

Approach to questioning

    • Your questions need to be phrased clearly – understandable
    • Ask questions in neutral tone of voice
    • Use of open questions avoids bias
    • Questions should not indicate your own bias
    • Questions must avoid too many theoretical concepts; jargons; and specific terminologies
    • Sensitive questions must be left for the end since a trust can be built during the interview process

Nature and impact of Interviewer’s behavior

    • Comments or non-verbal behavior, such as gestures which indicate a bias should be avoided
    • A neutral response should be projected
    • You should slightly incline towards the interviewee which is a signal of your attentiveness
    • Avoiding any expression of anxiety, disbelief or boredom

Demonstration of attentive listening skills

    • You must provide interviewee with reasonable time to develop responses and avoid projecting your own ideas
  • Scope to test understanding
    • Your may test your understanding by summarizing an explanation provided by the interviewee
  • Approach to recording data
    • A full record of interview must be compiled asap.
    • If not done – the exact nature of responses might be lost
    • You may mix up data from different interviews

Cultural differences and bias

    • Misinterpretation of responses
    • Gestures
the researcher s interviewing competence
The researcher’s interviewing competence
  • Questioning & Recording Information
    • Even in an unstructured interview, allowing the interviewee to speak freely is unlikely to lead to a clear focus
    • It is therefore necessary to devise relevant interview themes

Recording Interviews

    • Always get permission of recording interviews
    • Where it can have an adverse effect, do not use recorders
    • Take notes even while recording
    • Sometimes, control to be given to interviewee so he/she can stop the recording for sensitive questions
self study
Self Study
  • Telephonic Interviews
  • Group Interviews