INTERVIEWS
© LOUIS COHEN,
LAWRENCE MANION &
KEITH MORRISON
STRUCTURE OF THE CHAPTER
• Conceptions of the interview
• Purposes of the interview
• Types of interview
• Planning interv...
CONCEPTIONS OF THE INTERVIEW
• For information transfer
• A biased transaction
• An encounter like any other aspect of
eve...
PURPOSES OF THE INTERVIEW
• To evaluate or assess a person in some
respect
• To select or promote an employee
• To effect ...
TYPES OF INTERVIEW
• Standardized
• In-depth
• Ethnographic
• Elite
• Life history
• Focus groups
• Semi-structured
• Grou...
INTERVIEWS
• Vary by degree of structure
• Quantitative to qualitative
• Closed to open
• Nomothetic to idiographic
• Form...
PLANNING INTERVIEW-BASED
RESEARCH PROCEDURES
(Kvale, 1996)
• Thematizing
• Designing
• Interviewing
• Transcribing
• Analy...
TYPES OF INTERVIEW QUESTION
• Dichotomous
• Multiple choice
• Rating scales
• Open-ended
• Ranking
• Ratio data
TYPES OF INTERVIEW QUESTION
• Factual
• Values/opinions
• General
• Specific
• Descriptive
• Experience
• Behaviour
• Know...
RESPONSE MODES
• Unstructured
• ‘Fill-in’ (answer a direct question)
• Tabular response (completing a table)
• Scale (e.g....
PROMPTS AND PROBES
• Prompts: to clarify or explain to a respondent
• Probes: to investigate further (‘why’, ‘when’, ‘how’...
KEY FEATURES OF INTERVIEWING
• An interview is a social and an emotional
encounter, not just a data collection exercise.
•...
KEY FEATURES OF INTERVIEWING
• Interviews must be conducted sensitively
• Some people (e.g. children) will say anything
ra...
RESPONDING TO THE INTERVIEWEE
• Make encouraging noises.
• Reflect on remarks made by the informant.
• Probe the last rema...
ANTICIPATING PROBLEMS IN
INTERVIEWS
• Avoid interruptions and distractions;
• Minimize ‘stage fright’ in participants;
• A...
ANTICIPATING PROBLEMS IN
INTERVIEWS
• Keep being interested;
• Keep to the interview schedule in a structured
interview;
•...
ANTICIPATING PROBLEMS IN
INTERVIEWS
• Ensure that the interviewer and interviewee
understand responses, checking if necess...
TRANSCRIBING AND NOTING
• What was said
• The tone of voice of the speaker(s)
• The inflection of the voice
• Emphases pla...
ANALYZING INTERVIEW DATA
• Generate natural units of meaning.
• Classify, categorize, code and order these units of
meanin...
GROUP INTERVIEWING
• How to divide your attention and give everyone a
chance to speak ?
• Do you ask everyone in a group i...
GROUP INTERVIEWING
• How to arrange turn-taking (if appropriate)?
• Do you ask named individuals questions?
• How can you ...
INTERVIEWING CHILDREN
• The importance of trust and a feeling of security
and being comfortable
• Group interviewing may h...
DIFFICULTIES IN INTERVIEWING
CHILDREN
• Easily distracted.
• Researcher seen as an authority figure.
• Children are not al...
DIFFICULTIES IN INTERVIEWING
CHILDREN
• Keep the children’s teacher away from the
children.
• How to respond to the child ...
DIFFICULTIES IN INTERVIEWING
CHILDREN
• Avoid children being too extreme or destructive of each
other’s views.
• Appropria...
DIFFICULTIES IN INTERVIEWING
CHILDREN
• Children may say anything in order to please.
• Children may say that they ‘don’t ...
INTERVIEWING MINORITY AND
MARGINALIZED PEOPLE
• Use informal, open-ended interviews.
• Follow the train of thought and res...
FOCUS GROUPS
• Focus groups are contrived settings, bringing
together a specifically chosen sector of the
population, prev...
FOCUS GROUPS ARE USEFUL
FOR . . .
• Orientation to a particular field of focus.
• Developing themes, topics, and schedules...
FOCUS GROUPS ARE USEFUL
FOR . . .
• Empowering participants to speak out.
• Encouraging groups, rather than individuals, t...
RUNNING A FOCUS GROUP
• Decide the number of focus groups for a single
topic.
• Decide the size of the group.
• How to all...
NON-DIRECTIVE INTERVIEWS
• The respondent is responsible for initiating
and directing the course of the encounter.
• Usefu...
THE FOCUSED INTERVIEW
• The persons interviewed are known to have been
involved in a particular situation.
• Content analy...
THE PROBLEM-CENTRED INTERVIEW
• A ‘problem-centred orientation’ toward socially
relevant problems.
• Methodological flexib...
TELEPHONE INTERVIEWING
• Cheaper and quicker than face-to-face interviewing.
• Enables researchers to reach a widely dispe...
TELEPHONE INTERVIEWING
• Greater uniformity in the conduct of the interview and
the standardization of questions.
• Result...
TELEPHONE INTERVIEWING
• Will the people have the information that you require?
Who will you need to speak to on the telep...
TELEPHONE INTERVIEWING
• Clear with the respondents at the start of the interview
that they have the time to answer and th...
ADMINISTERING INTERVIEWS
Remotely
Telephone
E-mail
Online
Smartphone
Individual
Group
Alone or in the
presence of
others
F...
ETHICAL ISSUES IN INTERVIEWING
• Informed consent
• Confidentiality, anonymity, non-identifiability
and non-traceability
•...
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Chapter21

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Chapter21

  1. 1. INTERVIEWS © LOUIS COHEN, LAWRENCE MANION & KEITH MORRISON
  2. 2. STRUCTURE OF THE CHAPTER • Conceptions of the interview • Purposes of the interview • Types of interview • Planning interview-based research procedures • Group interviewing • Interviewing children • Interviewing minority and marginalized people • Focus groups • Non-directive, focused, problem-centred and in- depth interviews • Telephone interviewing • Ethical issues in interviewing
  3. 3. CONCEPTIONS OF THE INTERVIEW • For information transfer • A biased transaction • An encounter like any other aspect of everyday life
  4. 4. PURPOSES OF THE INTERVIEW • To evaluate or assess a person in some respect • To select or promote an employee • To effect therapeutic change, e.g. the psychiatric interview • To test or develop hypotheses • To gather data • To sample respondents’ opinions, as in door- step interviews
  5. 5. TYPES OF INTERVIEW • Standardized • In-depth • Ethnographic • Elite • Life history • Focus groups • Semi-structured • Group • Structured • Unstructured • Exploratory • Informal conversational • Interview guide approaches; • Standardized open- ended • Closed quantitative • Non-directive • Focused
  6. 6. INTERVIEWS • Vary by degree of structure • Quantitative to qualitative • Closed to open • Nomothetic to idiographic • Formal to informal • Generalizations to uniqueness
  7. 7. PLANNING INTERVIEW-BASED RESEARCH PROCEDURES (Kvale, 1996) • Thematizing • Designing • Interviewing • Transcribing • Analyzing • Verifying • Reporting
  8. 8. TYPES OF INTERVIEW QUESTION • Dichotomous • Multiple choice • Rating scales • Open-ended • Ranking • Ratio data
  9. 9. TYPES OF INTERVIEW QUESTION • Factual • Values/opinions • General • Specific • Descriptive • Experience • Behaviour • Knowledge • Construct-forming • Contrast • Feeling • Sensory • Background • Demographic • Introductory • Follow-up • Probe • To give examples; • Ask for information; • Interpretive • Interview control questions
  10. 10. RESPONSE MODES • Unstructured • ‘Fill-in’ (answer a direct question) • Tabular response (completing a table) • Scale (e.g. rating scale) • Ranking • Multiple choice • Dichotomous
  11. 11. PROMPTS AND PROBES • Prompts: to clarify or explain to a respondent • Probes: to investigate further (‘why’, ‘when’, ‘how’, ‘give an example’, ‘how did you feel’, ‘what’
  12. 12. KEY FEATURES OF INTERVIEWING • An interview is a social and an emotional encounter, not just a data collection exercise. • Data are given – gifts – not the right of researcher to have. • Verbal and non-verbal behaviours are significant. • Context and dynamics exert an influence on the interview. • Age, gender, colour, class, dress, language, appearance of the interviewers and interviewees influence the interview.
  13. 13. KEY FEATURES OF INTERVIEWING • Interviews must be conducted sensitively • Some people (e.g. children) will say anything rather than nothing • Respondents may not be telling the truth • It is the task of the interviewer to maintain rapport • It is the task of the interviewer to maintain interviewee motivation and interest
  14. 14. RESPONDING TO THE INTERVIEWEE • Make encouraging noises. • Reflect on remarks made by the informant. • Probe the last remark made by the informant. • Probe an idea preceding the last remark by the informant. • Probe an idea expressed earlier in the interview. • Introduce a new topic.
  15. 15. ANTICIPATING PROBLEMS IN INTERVIEWS • Avoid interruptions and distractions; • Minimize ‘stage fright’ in participants; • Avoid asking embarrassing or awkward questions unless they are important for the research; • Avoid jumping from one topic to another; • Avoid giving advice or opinions; • Avoid summarizing too early or closing off an interview too soon; • Avoid being too superficial; • Handle sensitive matters sensitively;
  16. 16. ANTICIPATING PROBLEMS IN INTERVIEWS • Keep being interested; • Keep to the interview schedule in a structured interview; • Avoid giving signs of approval or disapproval of responses received; • Be prepared to repeat questions at the respondent’s request; • Be prepared to move on to another question if the respondent indicates unwillingness or inability to answer the question;
  17. 17. ANTICIPATING PROBLEMS IN INTERVIEWS • Ensure that the interviewer and interviewee understand responses, checking if necessary; • If the interviewer feels that the respondent may have more to say, add ‘and could you please tell me . . . .’; • Give the respondent time to answer; • Consider having a scribe to enable the interviewer to keep eye contact and momentum; • Respondents may become tired, embarrassed or uninterested.
  18. 18. TRANSCRIBING AND NOTING • What was said • The tone of voice of the speaker(s) • The inflection of the voice • Emphases placed by the speaker • Pauses (short to long), hesitancies and silences • Interruptions • The mood of the speaker(s) • The speed of the talk • How many people were speaking simultaneously
  19. 19. ANALYZING INTERVIEW DATA • Generate natural units of meaning. • Classify, categorize, code and order these units of meaning. • Structure narratives to describe the interview contents. • Interpret the interview data.
  20. 20. GROUP INTERVIEWING • How to divide your attention and give everyone a chance to speak ? • Do you ask everyone in a group interview to give a response to a question? • How to handle people who are too quiet, too noisy, who monopolize the conversation, who argue and disagree with each other. • What happens if people become angry with you or with each other? • How to make people be quiet/stop talking whilst being polite? • How to handle differences in how talkative people are?
  21. 21. GROUP INTERVIEWING • How to arrange turn-taking (if appropriate)? • Do you ask named individuals questions? • How can you gain answers without forcing? • How to handle a range of very different responses to the same question? • Why have you brought together the particular people in the group? • Do you want people to answer in a particular order? • What to do if the more experienced people always answer first in a group interview? • Be vigilant to pick up on people who are trying to speak.
  22. 22. INTERVIEWING CHILDREN • The importance of trust and a feeling of security and being comfortable • Group interviewing may help to ease the situation • Use natural/familiar surroundings • Use open-ended questions • Use projection techniques
  23. 23. DIFFICULTIES IN INTERVIEWING CHILDREN • Easily distracted. • Researcher seen as an authority figure. • Children are not always clear in their responses • Limited attention span. • Children may say what they think the researcher wants to hear rather than what they really think/feel. • Interview seen as a test. • Children may be unwilling to contradict an adult or assert themselves. • Children may be inarticulate, hesitant and nervous.
  24. 24. DIFFICULTIES IN INTERVIEWING CHILDREN • Keep the children’s teacher away from the children. • How to respond to the child who says something then immediately wishes she hadn’t said it. • Eliciting genuine responses. • Getting beyond the institutional, headteacher’s, or ‘expected’ response. • Avoiding receiving a socially desirable response. • Ensure that the child is giving a true opinion. • Keep children to the point.
  25. 25. DIFFICULTIES IN INTERVIEWING CHILDREN • Avoid children being too extreme or destructive of each other’s views. • Appropriate language level. • Children may take a question too literally. • Enable the children to see a situation through other people’s eyes. • Avoid the interview being boring. • Children may not remember/recall information. • Children may be too focused on a particular situation. • Children may say ‘yes’ to anything.
  26. 26. DIFFICULTIES IN INTERVIEWING CHILDREN • Children may say anything in order to please. • Children may say that they ‘don’t know’ when they actually do know. • Children may say anything rather than feel they do not have ‘the answer’. • Some children may dominate the conversation. • Children may feel very exposed in front of their peers. • Children may feeling uncomfortable or threatened. • Children may tell lies.
  27. 27. INTERVIEWING MINORITY AND MARGINALIZED PEOPLE • Use informal, open-ended interviews. • Follow the train of thought and response of the respondent. • Use age-appropriate and context-appropriate language. • Use qualitative and in-depth interviewing. • Give participants a ‘voice’. • Be non-judgemental. • Enable the participant to feel safe, secure and supported. • Be aware of asymmetries of power. • Use non-language based techniques. • Secure informed consent (e.g. from responsible adults).
  28. 28. FOCUS GROUPS • Focus groups are contrived settings, bringing together a specifically chosen sector of the population, previously unknown to each other to discuss a particular given theme or topic. • The interaction with the group leads to data and outcomes. • They are unnatural settings focused on a particular issue.
  29. 29. FOCUS GROUPS ARE USEFUL FOR . . . • Orientation to a particular field of focus. • Developing themes, topics, and schedules for subsequent research. • Generating hypotheses. • Generating and evaluating data from sub- groups of a population. • Gathering qualitative data. • Generating data quickly and cheaply. • Gathering data on attitudes, values and opinions.
  30. 30. FOCUS GROUPS ARE USEFUL FOR . . . • Empowering participants to speak out. • Encouraging groups, rather than individuals, to voice opinions. • Encouraging non-literate participants. • Providing greater coverage of issues than would be possible in a survey. • Gathering feedback from previous studies.
  31. 31. RUNNING A FOCUS GROUP • Decide the number of focus groups for a single topic. • Decide the size of the group. • How to allow for people not ‘turning up’ on the day. • Sampling. • Ensuring that participants have something to say and feel comfortable enough to say it. • Keeping the meeting open-ended but to the point.
  32. 32. NON-DIRECTIVE INTERVIEWS • The respondent is responsible for initiating and directing the course of the encounter. • Useful for probing deeper attitudes and perceptions of the person being interviewed. • Reduces interviewer bias. • Can lead to changes in respondent’s behaviour.
  33. 33. THE FOCUSED INTERVIEW • The persons interviewed are known to have been involved in a particular situation. • Content analysis of prior data sets agenda for interview. • The investigator constructs the interview guide. • The actual interview is focused on the subjective experiences of the people who have been exposed to the situation. • Responses enable the researcher to test the validity of hypotheses, and to ascertain unanticipated responses to the situation.
  34. 34. THE PROBLEM-CENTRED INTERVIEW • A ‘problem-centred orientation’ toward socially relevant problems. • Methodological flexibility. • A ‘process orientation’ to reconstruct the actions and orientations of the participant.
  35. 35. TELEPHONE INTERVIEWING • Cheaper and quicker than face-to-face interviewing. • Enables researchers to reach a widely dispersed population. • Travel costs are omitted. • Useful for brief surveys. • Protects the anonymity of respondents. • Can gather rapid responses to a structured questionnaire. • Monitoring and quality control are undertaken more easily since interviews are undertaken and administered centrally. • Interviewer effects are reduced. • Greater interviewer control of the interview.
  36. 36. TELEPHONE INTERVIEWING • Greater uniformity in the conduct of the interview and the standardization of questions. • Results tend to be quantitative. • Quicker to administer than face-to-face interviews. • Call-back costs are so slight. • People can be reached at times more convenient to them than if a visit were to be made. • Safer to undertake than visiting dangerous places. • Can collect sensitive data. • Does not rely on the literacy of the respondent. • May put pressure on the respondent to respond. • Response rate is higher than, e.g. questionnaires.
  37. 37. TELEPHONE INTERVIEWING • Will the people have the information that you require? Who will you need to speak to on the telephone? • There is a need to pilot the interview schedule and to prepare and train the telephonists. • Keep to the same, simple response categories for several questions. • Keep personal details until the end of the interview. • Keep to no more than, at the most, 35 questions, and to no more than, at the most fifteen minutes.
  38. 38. TELEPHONE INTERVIEWING • Clear with the respondents at the start of the interview that they have the time to answer and that they are suitable respondents. • Ask to speak to the most suitable person. • Keep the terminology simple and to the point. • Keep the response categories very simple and use them consistently. • Rather than asking direct personal questions, ask about groups (e.g. which age group do they fall into (and give the age groups) or income brackets (and give them)).
  39. 39. ADMINISTERING INTERVIEWS Remotely Telephone E-mail Online Smartphone Individual Group Alone or in the presence of others Face-to face Administering interviews
  40. 40. ETHICAL ISSUES IN INTERVIEWING • Informed consent • Confidentiality, anonymity, non-identifiability and non-traceability • Consequences of the interviews • Benefits from the interview (and for whom) • Prevention of harm • Access to data • Respondent validation • Respectful conduct of the interview

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