Why Use Interviews?

Topics: Focus group, Interview, Semi-structured interview Pages: 2 (415 words) Published: April 21, 2012
Why use Interviews?
* An important method of data collection – either used on their own or as a part of a multi-method approach to collect data * Purpose – seek opinions, facts, clarification, document experiences, meanings, critical incidents * Face-to-Face interviews, telephone interviews, focused group interviews

When use interview?
* When you want to understand the reasons of decisions your participants have taken, or to understand the reasons behind their attitudes * When understanding the meaning of particular ‘words’ can add richness to your data. E.g. the phrase ‘he/she is cool’ can have different meanings * When you wish to explore a topic and formulate research questions

* When the topic is very sensitive and you need to establish trust and rapport e.g. Fraud or Human Trafficking. * When the topic is too complex and respondents may need some clarification to provide reliable and valid data.

Types of interviews
* Structured interviews- well defined set of questions (interview schedule) with pre-coded response categories, like a face-to-face ‘questionnaire, Can be used in Descriptive and Explanatory Research, Unlikely to be used in Exploratory research * Semi-structured interviews- The themes/main topics of your interview tend to be standardized, Researcher can modify questions as per the situation, Used in explanatory studies to understand relationships between variables * Unstructured or ‘open ended’ or ‘in-depth’ interviews- Often used in exploratory studies to seek new insights , No pre-determined list of questions , help understand the interviewee narratives. *

Issues of Reliability and Validity
The key issue here is ‘Bias’ in interviewing process
Interviewer or Interviewee Bias or both.

Measures of overcoming bias:
* Your own preparation for the interview (credibility)
* Level of information supplied to the interviewee – help them prepare * Your approach to...
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