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Choosing an Interview Type for Qualitative Research

Structured Interview

❶Interviews may be useful as follow-up to certain respondents to questionnaires, e. Standardisation helps the reliability of your results and conclusions.

Unstructured Interview

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Structure interviews are not flexible. This means new questions cannot be asked impromptu i. The answers from structured interviews lack detail as only closed questions are asked which generates quantitative data.

This means a research will won't know why a person behaves in a certain way. They are sometimes called informal interviews. An interview schedule might not be used, and even if one is used, they will contain open-ended questions that can be asked in any order.

The interview can deviate from the interview schedule. Unstructured interviews generate qualitative data through the use of open questions. This allows the respondent to talk in some depth, choosing their own words.

It can be time consuming to conduct an unstructured interview and analyze the qualitative data using methods such as thematic analysis. Employing and training interviewers is expensive, and not as cheap as collecting data via questionnaires. For example, certain skills may be needed by the interviewer. This role of the interviewer is to make sure the group interact with each other and do not drift off topic. A researcher must be highly skilled to conduct a group interview.

For example, certain skills may be needed by the interviewer including the ability to establish rapport and knowing when to probe. Group interviews generate qualitative data through the use of open questions. This allows the respondents to talk in some depth, choosing their own words.

They also have increased validity because some participants may feel more comfortable being with others as they are used to talking in groups in real life i. The researcher must ensure that they keep all the interviewees details confidential and respect their privacy.

This is difficult when using a group interview. For example, the researcher cannot guarantee that the other people in the group will keep information private. Group interviews are less reliable as they use open questions and may deviate from the interview schedule making them difficult to repeat. Group interviews may sometimes lack validity as participants may lie to impress the other group members.

They may conform to peer pressure and give false answers. Because an interview is a social interaction the appearance or behavior of the interviewer may influence the answers of the respondent. The structured interview is by its very nature a very rigid instrument,In the view of Gill et al. The opposite to this type of approach is the unstructured interview also referred to by Legard et al. In the view of Legard et al.

The final interview approach is the semi-structured interview, Gill et al. It is important to remember that the construction of knowledge is only viable when the data collection method allows the researcher to use a range of probes and other techniques to achieve depth of answer in terms of penetration, exploration and explanation Legard et al. Hence only you can know which interview approach is best for you, because only you know your research.

However in saying that, my own personal view is that within a Qualitative interview the best approach to take is that of the the in-depth unstructured interview, really getting to the heart of the matter and exploring the phenomenon in its truest form. In-depth interviews as a research technique are valuable because they are flexible, interactive and responsive, allow for probing during the interview, and thus enabling researchers to explore the meanings people attach to their experiences.

Once the decision has been made in relation to the in-depth interviews, King and Horrocks propose the need for researchers to make a decision about the format of interviews they want to use, they propose that researches should ask themselves if they want to use face-to-face interviews or whether telephone or internet interviews are appropriate.

Journal of the Research Center for Educational Technology , 7 1 , pp. Interviews in qualitative research , London: A guide for social science students and researchers. Methods of data collection in qualitative research: You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email.


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Structured interviews: These are interviews that strictly adhere to the use of an interview protocol to guide the researcher. It is a more rigid interview style, in that only the .

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A qualitative research interview seeks to cover both a factual and a meaning level, though it is usually more difficult to interview on a meaning level. (Kvale,) Interviews are particularly useful for getting the story behind a Types of Interviews.

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Advantages of interviews include possibilities of collecting detailed information about research questions. Moreover, in in this type of primary data collection researcher has direct control over the flow of process and she has a chance to clarify certain issues during the process if needed. Interviews can be structured, semi-structure or unstructured. In this section, we discuss five different types of interviews: Structured Interviews. Semi-Structured Interviews. Unstructured Interviews. Informal Interviews. Focus Groups. There are a number of ways to classify interviews by type.

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Research Methods › Interviews. The Interview Method. Saul McLeod, published Interviews are different from questionnaires as they involve social interaction. Researchers can ask different types of questions which in turn generate different types of data. For example, closed questions provide people with a fixed set of responses Author: Saul Mcleod. Feb 18,  · In this blog post I want to take some time looking at the different types of interviews for collecting data. Every qualitative researcher will at one time or another need to conduct research where they need to interview their research participant(s). In the view of the research (Burnard, Gill.