Interviews Steinar Kvale, Svend Brinkmann, InterViews: Learning the Craft of Qualitative Research Interviewing.
The Interview Interviewer Interviewee Interview
Interviews • Unstructured • Structured • Semi-structured
Interviews • Unstructured Interviews • Researcher has a small set of self-prompts to help investigate the research question, but questions are not fixed. One question can lead to a number of follow-up questions depending on the response. They tend to be more like conversations than interviews. • Useful when exploring a new area.
Interviews • Structured Interviews • The questions are fixed and predetermined as is the sequence of questions. No new questions can be added during interview, and questions are given to interviewee (generally several days) before the interview begins. • A lot of senior managers prefer time to prepare their answers.
Interviews • Semi-Structured Interviews • Some interview questions are fully decided, whereas others might not be fixed. The researcher has leeway in asking follow-up questions. • This is the ideal compromise, it gives a structure to the interview, but also gives flexibility.
Kvale’s Seven Stages 1. Themazing • What is the theme of the interview?
Kvale’s Seven Stages 1. Themazing • What is the theme of the interview? • It’s your Research Question
Kvale’s Seven Stages 2. Designing • How will the intended knowledge be obtained?
Kvale’s Seven Stages 2. Designing • How will the intended knowledge be obtained? • Design your Interview Questions
Interview Questions • Direct Questions • Introducing a new topic • Indirect Questions • Projective questions • Structuring Questions • Transitioning to new topics • Interpreting Question • Clarifying questions • Silences • Introductory Questions • Warm up questions • Followup Questions • Listen for “Red Lights” • Probing Questions • Unlimited scope question • Specifying Questions • Exact information
Kvale’s Seven Stages 3. Interviewing • Conduct the interviews carefully
Interviews • Establish a rapport • Treat interviewees with respect • Think about your appearance • Think about body language • Maintain firm eye contact • Don’t Invade their space
Interviews • How are you going to record? • Tape recorder • Pen and paper – must be verbatim • Video recorder • But whichever you use, you must do a verbatim recording of the interview, both questions and answers.
Kvale’s Seven Stages 4. Transcribing • Converting interview into written text
Kvale’s Seven Stages 4. Transcribing • Converting interview into written text • Must include everything said. Can be in appendix of thesis or on a CD.
Kvale’s Seven Stages 5. Analyzing • Based on the appropriate type of investigation
Analysing Text • Faced with the lack of organisation of data and the sheer amount of rambling can be somewhat overwhelming • With the best will in the world about trying to avoid bias, when there is multiple interpretations of data, selecting the one that best matches your research question becomes very tempting.
Simple Tabulation Reasons for Choosing a career
Choosing categories • Use ones from the literature • They will have validated the categories, and you will have something to compare with. • Use categories connected with your research question • Derive categories from data
Deriving Categories • Verbatim Analysis • “Compatible with Windows” <> “Windows-Compatible” • “Knowledge management” <> “Knowledge engineering” • Gist Analysis • “Compatible with Windows” == “Windows-Compatible” • “Knowledge management” == “Knowledge engineering” • Superordinate Analysis • Derive superclasses • If one interviewee mentions “Windows-Compatible” and another one interviewee mentions “Linux-Compatible”, you can derive a category of “Compatibility”
How to analyse? • Colour Coding
Meaning Analysis • Meaning Coding • Adding tags or keywords to text segments that represent the main themes of the interviews • Meaning Condensation • Summarising larger sentences into short, simple sentences. • Meaning Interpretation • Adding more details, background and context to specific parts of the interview
Language Analysis • Linguistical Analysis • Looking at the linguistics and grammar • Conversation Analysis • Treating the interview as a conversation • Narrative Analysis • Treating the interview as a story • Discourse Analysis • Try to evaluate the truth of the responses • Deconstruction • Taking the interview apart and putting together again
Eclectic Analysis • Bricolage • Using a collection of techniques as a collage • Theoretical Reading • Creating your own reading on the text
Kvale’s Seven Stages 6. Verifying • Checking that validity, reliability, and generalizibility of the findings
Kvale’s Seven Stages • Validity • Can you check the truth of the statements? e.g. number of employees in organisation, number of customers • Reliability • Are there any internal contradictions? Did you include the same question twice expressed in different ways to check the truthfulness of the responses? • Generalizibility • How do the answers agree with broader research and other interview answers?
Kvale’s Seven Stages 7. Reporting • Communicate findings in a scientific and ethical manner.
Kvale’s Seven Stages 7. Reporting • Communicate findings in a scientific and ethical manner. • In the dissertation document
What books should I read about interviews? • Anything and everything by Steinar Kvale • “Interpreting Qualitative Data” by David Silverman • “Research Design” by John Creswell
How do I think of questions for the interview? • There really should be two sources • All questions need to come from the research question of the experiment • If you find literature with a sufficiently similar research topic, you can use or adapt those questions
How many people should I interview? • 12 ±10 people • is a good rule-of thumb
Are there situations where I shouldn’t use interviews? • Yes, loads of situations, e.g. electoral voting behaviour, or capturing a person’s attitudes and interactions with their environments.
When should I do the interviews? • Typically there are two times to do interviews; • As part of the requirements gathering process • As part of the evaluation process
Are there software packages that can help me ?? • Loads • ATLAS.ti • nVIVO • MaxQDA • NUD*IST • HyperRESEARCH • But, do not underestimate the power of Excel, it’s a brilliant tool when used well
Further Tips • Decide on an order of questions that easily flows one to the next • Try to use language that is easy to understand and relevant to the interviewee • Avoid Leading questions • Try to stop the interviewee using qualifiers • Add a few control questions into the interview for validation • Avoid smalltalk during the interview • LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN