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How to conduct qualitative interviews
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How to conduct qualitative interviews


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  • 1. Presented By: Dr. Lunceford and AntonioBanks
  • 2. Outline For Workshop General Overview Of Qualitative Interviews Aspects of Qualitative Research Interviews Qualification Criteria for the Interviewer Interviewer Issues Types of Interview Questions Guidelines for Preparing Interview Summaries
  • 3. What is a Qualitative Interview? Qualitative interviews are interviews designed to :  Have the interviewee do a majority of the speaking  Encourage the participant to provide rich and detailed experiences.  Help the interviewer understand how and why the participant experienced certain events in their lives as they did.
  • 4. Aspects of Qualitative ResearchInterviews Life World: You should focus on a participant’s lived experiences and not just their beliefs or attitudes about issues Meaning: You should focus on the meaning of what the participant says and also pay attention to how they say it Qualitative: You should seek to find knowledge in a qualitative manner; expressed in normal language and doesn’t aim to quantify any responses Descriptive: You should seek to obtain open, rich descriptions of different aspects of the participant’s life world Specificity- Deliberate Naiveté: As an interviewer you should be open to new experiences while interviewing people versus expecting the same generic answers.
  • 5. Aspects of Qualitative Research InterviewsContinued Focused: You should make sure that you stay focused on the central theme of what you are studying; keeping deviations from the central theme at least on par with what you are talking about and trying your best to revert back to discussing the central theme. Ambiguity: You have to understand that sometimes the participants answers may be ambiguous and represent conflicting as well as contradicting in their own life world . Change: Sometimes the process of being interview can make the participant develop new insights and awareness on the issues that have taken place so sometimes their descriptions and meanings may change throughout the course of the interview Sensitivity: You should be aware that different interviewers can produce a range of responses on the same themes depending on their sensitivity to and their knowledge of the interview topic Interpersonal Situation Positive Experience: A well conducted research interview can provide enriching new insights for the interviewer and the interviewee on their life situations.
  • 6. Qualification Criteria for the Interviewer Knowledgeable: Important that the interviewer have a wide base of knowledge regarding the topic that they are conducting the interview about. Structuring: Important that the interview be structured; helps to provide a guideline for the interviewer to follow and allows the interviewer to easily develop any post-interview questions they may have Clear: As an interviewer you should be able to ask clear, concise, easy and short questions for the participants to answer. Questions should be free of professional/sociological jargon. Gentle: As an interviewer you should be able to let your interviewee formulate/finish their thoughts at their own speeds; letting them complete at their own pace is vital; many questions have never been asked before and takes time to formulate valuable answer Sensitive: As an interviewer you should be able to actively listen to the content of what is being said as well as how it
  • 7. Qualification Criteria for the Interviewer Open: As an interviewer you would be able to hear which aspects of the interview are important and focus on the main questions/ issues associated with the interview Steering: As an interviewer you should be aware of what is relevant to completing the interview and what information you need. As a result of this, you will be able to, in turn, guide the interview towards relevant discussion, as well as away from topics that will not be pertinent to you research Critical: As an interviewer you should be able to take what is being said for more than face value. You should be able to write down the important critical points to aid in Remembering: Being able to harness the interviewing skill of recall when interviewing participants enhances the information and data you may be able to gain from it. Interpreting
  • 8. Interviewer Issues Non Talker: Get them to explore their thoughts with phrases such as : “could you elaborate on that” “could you talk a bit about”, “well ok, but could you explain why you think that way”, “can you tell more about why you feel that way,” etc. Rambler: You should be able to politely say “excuse me, but I was wondering if we could change the subject a bit and get back to your thoughts on … “ or “ excuse me, but I was wondering if you could come back to the point you mentioned about…” Uncomfortable: When you sense that a participant is uncomfortable with a section of the interview you can ask questions such as “ which part is uncomfortable for you? Can you talk about the part that you feel more comfortable with ?” Contradicting Statements: If a participant makes contradicting statements, at the beginning of the contradiction you can issue statements such as “ Excuse me, but before you mentioned that (first statement), but now you’re saying (new, contradicting statement), can you clarify this for me please?
  • 9. Interviewer Issues Continued Confused: If the paricipant is confused by your wording of the question, you can simply state “ok, sorry, then let me try to reprase it for you-(then rephrase your question in more laymen’s terms)” Personal Questions Flirt Inquisitive
  • 10. Type of Interview Questions Introducing Questions Follow Up Questions Probing Questions Specifying Questions Direct Questions Indirect Questions Structuring Questions Silence Interpreting Questions
  • 11. Guidelines for Preparing InterviewSummaries Description Memos Theoretical Memos/ Notes: Methodological Memos/Notes: Personal Memos/ Notes: