2STRUCTURE OF THE CHAPTER Conceptions of the interviewPurposes of the interviewTypes of interviewPlanning interview-based research proceduresGroup interviewingInterviewing childrenInterviewing minority and marginalized peopleFocus groupsNon-directive, focused, problem-centred and in-depth interviewsTelephone interviewingEthical issues in interviewing
3CONCEPTIONS OF THE INTERVIEW For information transferA biased transactionAn encounter like any other aspect of everyday life
4PURPOSES OF THE INTERVIEW To evaluate or assess a person in some respectTo select or promote an employeeTo effect therapeutic change, e.g. the psychiatric interviewTo test or develop hypothesesTo gather dataTo sample respondents’ opinions, as in door-step interviews
6INTERVIEWS Vary by degree of structure Quantitative to qualitative Closed to openNomothetic to idiographicFormal to informalGeneralizations to uniqueness
7PLANNING INTERVIEW-BASED RESEARCH PROCEDURES (Kvale, 1996) ThematizingDesigningInterviewingTranscribingAnalyzingVerifyingReporting
8TYPES OF INTERVIEW QUESTION DichotomousMultiple choiceRating scalesOpen-endedRankingRatio data
9TYPES OF INTERVIEW QUESTION FactualValues/opinionsGeneralSpecificDescriptiveExperienceBehaviourKnowledgeConstruct-formingContrastFeelingSensoryBackgroundDemographicIntroductoryFollow-upProbeTo give examples;Ask for information;InterpretiveInterview control questions
10RESPONSE MODES Unstructured ‘Fill-in’ (answer a direct question) Tabular response (completing a table)Scale (e.g. rating scale)RankingMultiple choiceDichotomous
11PROMPTS 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’
12KEY 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.
13KEY FEATURES OF INTERVIEWING Interviews must be conducted sensitivelySome people (e.g. children) will say anything rather than nothingRespondents may not be telling the truthIt is the task of the interviewer to maintain rapportIt is the task of the interviewer to maintain interviewee motivation and interest
14RESPONDING 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.
15ANTICIPATING 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;
16ANTICIPATING 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;
17ANTICIPATING 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.
18TRANSCRIBING AND NOTING What was saidThe tone of voice of the speaker(s)The inflection of the voiceEmphases placed by the speakerPauses (short to long), hesitancies and silencesInterruptionsThe mood of the speaker(s)The speed of the talkHow many people were speaking simultaneously
19ANALYZING 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.
20GROUP INTERVIEWINGHow 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?
21GROUP 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.
22INTERVIEWING CHILDREN The importance of trust and a feeling of security and being comfortableGroup interviewing may help to ease the situationUse natural/familiar surroundingsUse open-ended questionsUse projection techniques
23DIFFICULTIES IN INTERVIEWING CHILDREN Easily distracted.Researcher seen as an authority figure.Children are not always clear in their responsesLimited 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.
24DIFFICULTIES 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.
25DIFFICULTIES 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.
26DIFFICULTIES 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.
27INTERVIEWING 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).
28FOCUS GROUPSFocus 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.
29FOCUS 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.
30FOCUS 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.
31RUNNING A FOCUS GROUPDecide 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.
32NON-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.
33THE FOCUSED INTERVIEWThe 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.
34THE 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.
35TELEPHONE 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.
36TELEPHONE 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.
37TELEPHONE 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.
38TELEPHONE 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)).
39ADMINISTERING INTERVIEWS RemotelyTelephoneOnlineSmartphoneIndividualGroupAlone or in the presence of othersFace-to faceAdministering interviews
40ETHICAL ISSUES IN INTERVIEWING Informed consentConfidentiality, anonymity, non-identifiability and non-traceabilityConsequences of the interviewsBenefits from the interview (and for whom)Prevention of harmAccess to dataRespondent validationRespectful conduct of the interview