Informal. The interview is guided only by a number of significant points to which the conduct of the interview is centered, and not by a set of questions or interview guide.
Types of Interview According to Purpose
According to purpose, Treece et al, (1973) classifies an interview into five categories such as:
1)Non-Directive Interview, wherein the interviewee is allowed to talk freely on the topic.
2) Standardized Interview. In this type of interview, the same questions are asked to every interviewee without changes of the wordings of the interview schedule questions. The interview is conducted with an interviewee in the same manner as that of the others. This is also called Formal interview.
3) Non-Standardized or otherwise known as Informal interview, involves a specific pattern of questions asked. The interviewer has the freedom to organize the interview in his/her own way and in the most appropriate situation.
4) Semi-Standardized Interview. This is a combination of formal and informal types composed of carefully prepared questions pivoting only on the problem
Types of Interview According to Purpose
5) Focused Interview. Similar to informal interview only that the investigator focuses his/her questions on the specific topics that are to be investigated in depth. Hence, this is also called depth interview.
Types of Interview According to Format
According to format, an interview may be classified as follows as suggested by Manuel, et al (1976).
1) Structural or Standardized Interview
2) Semi-Structural or Semi- Standardized Interview
3) Unstructured or Non- Standardized Interview
There are two types of interview tools, namely:
1) Interview Schedule. This is an instrument containing questions similar to the questions in the questionnaire.
2) Interview Guide. This is an instrument that contains general information or ideas that will guide the investigator in seeking the responses of the participants.
If possible, schedule the interview for the upcoming five days. This will ensure that they will remember the interview and your name when you call back. However, if they are busy, schedule for whenever it is convenient for them. Once this is agreed ensure you send them the details by e-mail and/or fax. Be sure to send the email by the end of the same working day so that they remember you and note the appointment. This is very important for making sure they understand the interview, and are good for four reasons:
O Ethically, we must inform them about the interview process and background
O Practically, the more they know in advance the fewer questions they will have during the interview and the quicker the interview will be.
O Operationally, sending them details – ideally by fax – will increase the
probability they put this in their diary and keep the appointment.
O Informationally, if they know this is for a good cause they are more likely to cooperate and provide information.
• 24 hours before the scheduled interview time, send the manager a short reminder email or SMS confirming the date and time of the interview.
Ask interviewee if they have any questions before you begin. Often they will want to know why their firm and they personally have been selected
General Tips in Interviewing:
General Tips in Interviewing:
For almost all questions, managers will provide very long and detailed answers, many of which might not address your initial question. Try not to interrupt and if you need to, do so very politely and apologetically.
You will need to ask multiple questions (beyond those on the interview sheet) to extract the right information. Questions are often misunderstood and managers get sidetracked.
Interviews will last 45 minutes to an hour , possibly more which has implications for booking interviews back to back. Try to leave an extra 15 minutes whenever possible.
ƒOften answers are long-winded because managers will provide detailed explanations about competitors, production process, manufacturing sector/industry, and financial information.
Be prepared to take notes as this information could answer some organizational questions, thus saving time.
•ƒAlmost everyone is comfortable with Tagalog and unless they respond in another language (vernacular), feel free to speak in English.
•English as they are often unfamiliar with foreign accents
Below is an example of an interview guide:
Use “how” questions vs. “why” questions when you are seeking descriptions and detailed information. Asking “why” questions often leads to justifications rather than descriptions. “Why” questions are useful for organizing purposes and can agitate or provoke. “How” questions tell you more detailed information and are good for your interviews
Examples of closed-ended questions:
How long have you lived in your apartment?
Do you like your landlord?
Have you talked to your neighbors about your landlord?
•Clarification or Probing questions are useful to use when your respondent is discussing something important that you want more information about, or when you are unsure of what they are saying and need clarification. Examples of clarification questions include: What do you mean by____?
•Can you be more specific about____?
•When you said____, what does that look like?
• Can you give me some examples?
Questions To Avoid:
•Leading Questions are questions that lead interviews to a particular response. Instead of responding with their true opinions, interviewees may respond with what they think you want to hear. For example:
–Don’t you think that mold in your walls contributes to health problems like asthma or illness?
•Avoiding Questions with Multiple Elements. Questions that are excessively long and contain multiple elements are confusing and hard to respond to. Interviewees may not know which part of the question to address. For example: How has your landlord responded to tenant’s concerns? Have city authorities supported or ignored you? What role should city authorities play in your dealings with your landlord?
Questions To Avoid:
•By its nature, the interview is a fluid process. But, not unlike surveys, interviews require pre- designed questions to steer the questioning in a consistent way. This ensures that the short time we have with the interviewee is used efficiently and we use the same line of questioning with each interviewee.
•The pre-designed interview guide is used for both individual interviews and focus groups. It is generally one of two types:
•A checklist of possible topics
•A fixed set of open-ended questions
A study exploring the needs of seniors to “age in place” in a new public housing project might include the following checklist:
– Housing features:
– Medical care
•The dialogue can evolve naturally, rather than according to a prescribed set of pre-formed questions.
•The interview can be customized to the interviewee’s experiences and conversational style.
•Topics that prove especially rich can be probed more deeply than others.
•Those topics no one thought to ask about can be allowed to emerge.
The main benefits of the checklist approach include:
Fixed Question Set
Instead of a checklist, most individual interviews and focus groups in applied research settings are conducted using a fixed set of fully structured questions developed in advance of the interview. These questions (usually between five and ten per interview) are written as open-ended complete sentences and are carefully worded to elicit a broad range of responses. Accompanying each question is a set of prompts designed to steer the conversation into areas of particular interest, especially those not raised by the interviewee.
•Other senior adults have told us they want to grow old in an environment where they feel safe and can easily get to the store and bus stop. They want to be independent as long as they can and want to have important services close by. What would the ideal “aging in place” environment look like for you?
•Prompts: What about crime? Noise levels on the street? Public transportation needs? Proximity to your doctor’s office, post office, library, etc.? Walkability?
Here’s an example of a fully structured question on the same topic (aging in place) used in the above checklist example:
•All respondents answer the same question, increasing the comparability of responses across interviews or focus groups.
•Decision-makers can see exactly what will and won’t be asked, giving them an opportunity to provide input on questions and increasing the likelihood they will use the results.
•A less skilled interviewer or lay person can conduct the interview.
•It’s easy to make sure that all intended topics are covered.
•Analysis can be easily organized to follow the sequence of questioning
Benefits of the fully developed question set include:
So, in general, a checklist works best in situations when the interviewer is highly skilled or interviewee (s) are openly knowledgeable and articulate;
A fixed question guide works best in situations in which the interviewer may be less experienced or when respondents require lots of probes and prompts to reveal what they know.
Which Interview Guide is Best?
Rivera, Jr M and Rivera Roela Victoria Practical Guide to Thesis and Dissertation Katha Publishing Inc. Quezon City, Philippines (2007)