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
CONCEPTIONS OF THE INTERVIEW• For information transfer• A biased transaction• An encounter like any other aspect of everyday life
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
INTERVIEWS• Vary by degree of structure• Quantitative to qualitative• Closed to open• Formal to informal• Generalizations to uniqueness
1. Thematizing• Preliminary stage• Decide on the purpose of the interview, its broad aims, and general goals• Most important step as it will determine the extent to which researcher is able to obtain the data he/shs needs
2. Designing• Refers to the preparation stage• That is translating the research objectives into key questions that the research will ask• Form and format of the question is CRUCIAL• That is questions should be broad enough to allow respondent to provide relevant information yet focus enough to remain on the key topic• NB – use simple language, avoid prejudicial language, avoid making assumptions
3. Interviewing• Important to note – an interview is a social, interpersonal encounter involving other people and not merely a data collection exercise• Thus cultural, language, etc impact on how interview should be conducted• Researcher generally selects the respondents• Inform participant about purpose of interview• Inform participant how interview will be conducted – i.e. what happens, how data is recorded, seeking permission, ethics information• Sequence and framing of questions important – begin with easy, non controversial questions first• Important to note the effect of the researcher on the participant
TYPES OF INTERVIEW QUESTION• Dichotomous• Multiple choice• Rating scales• Open-ended• Ranking• Ratio data
TYPES OF INTERVIEW QUESTION• Factual • Sensory• Values/opinions • Background• General • Demographic• Specific • Introductory• Descriptive • Follow-up• Experience • Probe• Behaviour • To give examples;• Knowledge • Ask for information;• Construct-forming • Interpretive• Contrast • Interview control• Feeling questions
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.
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
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.
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;
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;
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.
4. Transcribing• A critical step in the interview process given the large amounts of data, and complexity of issues being addressed• Note – transcripts do NOT tell everything that took place in an interview as it only records data and NOT the social encounter – i.e. body language, tone, mood, etc cannot be transcribed• Transcripts can also be done by audio & video• Important to note that there is no single correct transcription, rather research must decide to what extent and how useful the transcript will be the research study
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
5. Analysing• Involves coding large amount of data so that is make sense• Coding based on the interpretations of the researcher• Tension for researcher – maintaining a sense of holism or to atomise and fragment data
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.
6. Verifying• The process of verification occurs throughout the all seven stages of the interview process – Theoretical foundation of the research must be rigorous and the questions must be linked to the theory – The research design must be sound – The data must be accurate, reliable and valid – The translation of the data must focus on the key issues of the research – Validation process must be in place and be used – The reporting should be fair
7. Reporting• The nature of the reporting will be determined by the nature of the interview data collected – e.g. a qualitative interview will comprise of mainly text based reports while survey based interview will comprise of numerical data• Important to report: – Context of study – Methodology used – How data were analyses – Discussion of what the results mean
ADMINISTERING INTERVIEWS Face-to face Remotely Individual Telephone Administering interviews Group E-mailAlone or in the Online presence of others Smartphone
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