Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

The Interview as a Tool in Research

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "The Interview as a Tool in Research"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Interview as a Tool in Research
Seminar on Data Collection Tools: The Interview as a Tool in Research A seminar paper submitted to the Dept. of Studies in Library and Information Science, University of Mysore, Mysore in partial fulfillment (Course Work) of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy by Mahesh G T Research Scholar Dept. of Studies in Library and Information Science University of Mysore, Mysore Guided & Supervised by Dr. Adithya Kumari H Associate Professor DOS in Library and Information Science University of Mysore, Manasagangotri Mysore – 06

2 Data collection Tools: Interview as Data Collection Tool
Abstract Introduction Research Process Data collection Tools: Interview as Data Collection Tool Prerequisites for Successful Interview Types of Interview Advantages & Limitations of Interviewing Recording Interview Data Ethical Issues Challenges in Data Collection Conclusion Bibliography Contents Books are for use Every reader his or her book Every book its reader Save the time of the reader The library is a growing organism Dr. S.R. Ranganathan ( )

3 Introduction In dealing with any real life (research) problem, it is often found that data at hand are inadequate, and hence it becomes necessary to collect data that are appropriate. There are several ways of collecting the appropriate data which differ considerably in context of money costs, time, and other resources at the discretion of the researcher. Research differs in many aspects, but they do have few similar aspects. Many components are involved in conducting research. One very essential factor is collection of data. Data collection can be gathered from a number of sources, which includes working environment, web technologies, focus groups, field notes, questionnaires and recorded social interactions or interviews. This article focuses on interviews, as a data collection tool, its types and some of the ethical issues involved in conducting interviews.

4 Research Process in Flow Chart
Define Research Problem Review Concepts & Theories Literature Review Review previous research finding Formulate Hypothesis Research Design (Including sample design) Data Analysis Interpret and Report Research Process in Flow Chart Data Collection (Using Data collection Tools) (Observation, Interview, Questionnaire)

5 Data Collection The successful completion of a sampling procedure connects the research with the respondents and specifies the kind and number of respondents who will be involved. The investigator knows at this stage not only what will be studied, but also who to approach for the required information. The information will be available, provided that the right connection between the researcher and the respondents is made. This connection is made through the methods of data collection. While deciding about the method of data collection to be used for the study, researcher should keep in mind two types of data viz., Primary data and Secondary data.  Data Collection Method Primary Data Secondary Data ----­ ­­­­­­­­­   Questionnaire Interview Observation The primary data are those which are collected afresh and for the first time, and thus happen to be original in character. Secondary data on the other hand, are those which have already been collected by someone else and which have already been passed through the statistical process.

6 Interviews as a Tool of Data Collection
Interviewing is a form of questioning characterized by the fact that it employs verbal questioning as its principal technique of data collection. Interviews are employed by people in everyday life, but as a scientific tool of social research, or better as a method of data collection, interviewing is different with regard to its preparation, construction, and execution in that it is prepared and executed in a systematic way. Interviews basically consist of asking questions, listening to individuals and recording their responses. Interviews allow participants to provide rich, contextual descriptions of events. Interviews are a systematic way of talking and listening to respondents and are another way to collect data from individuals through conversations. Kvale (1996) regarded interviews as “ an interchange of views between two or more people on a topic of mutual interest, sees the centrality of human interaction for knowledge production, and emphasizes the social situatedness of research data.” 

7 Definition Interview is verbal questioning. In research, Lindzey Gardner has defined interview as “a two-person conversation, initiated by the interviewer for the specific purpose of obtaining research-relevant information and focused by him on the content specified by the research objectives of description and explanation”. Functions of interview Two major functions of the interview techniques are i. Description ii.Exploration Description The information received from the respondent provides insight into the nature of social reality. Since the interviewer spends some time with the respondents, he can understand their feelings & attitudes more clearly, and seek additional information wherever necessary and make information meaningful for him. Exploration Interview provides insight into unexplored dimensions of the problem.

8 Characteristics of interview
Black & Champion have pointed out the following characteristics of an interview i. Personal Communication. ii. Equal status: The status of the interviewer & the interviewee is equal. iii. Instant response. iv. Temporary relationship between interviewer and the interviewee. v. Considerable flexibility in the format of the interview. Why Interview? The most obvious way of finding the information is to ask someone who may be able to help. Interviews also have a large number of potential advantages for a qualitative researcher. Specifically, in an information setting some of the advantages are especially significant. There are many reasons to use interviews for collecting data and using it as a research instrument. Gray (2004) has given the following reasons There is a need to attain highly personalized data. There are opportunities required for probing. A good return rate is important (speed). When respondents are not fluent in the native language of the country, or where they have difficulties with written language. Immediacy

9 Prerequisites for successful interview Preparation
  It is necessary for the researcher to prepare before the actual interview. The interview starts before the interview actually begins. Once the interview is conducted the researcher needs to make sure that the respondents have • A clear idea of why they have been approached • Basic information about the purpose of the interview and the research project of which it is a part • Some idea of the probable length of the interview and that you would like to record it (explaining why) • A clear idea of precisely where and when the interview will take place (Gillham, 2000). Expertise The researcher ought to have the following skills and abilities for the effective interview • An ability to listen • An ability to be non-judgmental • A good memory • Ability to think on his/her feet • Sense of humor

10 It should be clear and avoid ambiguity.
Interview Guide An interview guide is also an essential component. An interview guide is the list of questions, topics, and issues that the researcher wants to cover during the interview. It should be clear and avoid ambiguity. The researcher ought not ask personal or illegal questions and be comfortable with silences and wait for the respondent to speak. WHO suggested six steps to devise an interview guide, which include • Identify appropriate topics and questions • Decide on the level of detail • Draft the questions • Order the questions. • List any probes or prompts and • Pilot the questions. Have the informant identify the problems during the pilot.

11 Types of Interviews There are many types of interviews, each of which differs from the others in structure, purpose, role of the interviewer, number of respondents involved in each interview, and form and frequency of administration. Structured Interview A structured interview is sometimes called as standardized interview. Same questions are asked for all respondents. Corbetta (2003) states structured interviews are” interviews in which all respondents are asked the same questions with the same wording and in the same questions with the same wording and in the same sequence.” The aim is for all interviewees to be given exactly the same context of questioning. The strengths of structured interviews are that the researcher has control over the topics and the format of the interview. On the contrary, drawbacks of structured interviews are they adhere too closely to the interview guide and may be the cause of not probing for relevant information.

12 Semi-structured Interviews
In this Semi-structured interviewer the researcher has a list of key themes, issues, and questions to be covered. Here the order of the questions can be changed depending on the direction of the interview. Corbetta (2003) explains semi-structured interviews as follows: [ The order in which the various topics are dealt with and the wording of the questions are left to the interviewer’s discretion. Within each topic, the interviewer is free to conduct the conversation as he thinks fit, Additional questions can be asked and some may be questions that have not been anticipated in the beginning of the interview. The strengths of semi-structured interviews are that the researcher can prompt and probe deeper into the given situation. For example, the interviewer inquires about using computers in library. Some respondents are more computer literate than others are. The drawbacks are inexperienced interviewers may not be able to ask prompt questions. If this is the case, some relevant data may not be gathered.

13 Unstructured Interviews
This type of interview is non-directed and is a flexible method. It is more casual than the aforementioned interviews. There is no need to follow a detailed interview guide. Interviewees are encouraged to speak openly, frankly and give as much detail as possible. The strengths of unstructured interviews are no restrictions are placed on questions. It is useful when little or no knowledge exists about a topic. So, background data can be collected. Unstructured interviews are flexible. The drawbacks of unstructured interviews are that they can be inappropriate for inexperienced interviewers. The interviewers may be bias and ask inappropriate questions.

14 Questions are usually not pre-planned.
Non-directive Interviews Questions are usually not pre-planned. The interviewer listens and does not take the lead. The interviewer follows what the interviewee has to say. The interviewee leads the conversation. The interviewer has the objectives of the research in mind and what issues to cover during the interview. The interviewee is allowed to talk freely about the subject. The interviewer’s role is to check on unclear points and to rephrase the answer to check for accuracy and understanding (Gray, 2004). Non-directive interviews have their origin in dynamic psychology and psychotherapy with the objective to help patients reveal their deep-seated and subconscious feelings. The strengths of non-directive interviews are to find the deep-seated problem and the subconscious feelings. On the other hand, the drawbacks are that there are no directions or issues to explore which can cause some problems in coding and analyzing the data.

15 Analytical interviews
These types of interviews are based on theoretical foundation and serve to analyze concepts, theories, social relationships and events. Diagnostic interviews Diagnostic interviews aim at ascertaining specific attributes of the respondents, offering a diagnosis of the respondent who is expected to assist in achieving goal. Structure or dilemma interviews In these interviews the interview guide and the order of questions are relatively firmly set, but they allow freedom to add supplementary questions. Ethnographic interviews In its general form it has the purpose of studying cultures and their manifestation on people. It aims to discover cultural meanings as conceptualized by individuals, search for cultural symbols, and establish relationships between cultural symbols and in general to explain the meaning of the culture for people.

16 Biographical interviews
Delphi interviews The interviewer questions persons who are experts in the area of study. These experts are asked to offer information, pass judgments on the issue in question and make relevant predictions. After the discussions are integrated into the initial report, they are offered again to the experts for further comment and discussion. This procedure of interview, discussion and consideration continues until a stable judgment is reached. Clinical interviews Used more in the area of psychology, social work and social welfare, this form of interview is employed mainly in order to diagnose and interpret a certain illness. It is however also employed outside these areas, such as in sociology. (e. g. family on personal development, deviant behavior, of young children are studied). Biographical interviews A biographical interview is an interview form employed to study the life history of a respondent. It is often carried out in conjunction with document analysis, Focused interviews This was developed by R K Merton in the 1940’s in the context of propaganda research, and analysis of mass communication. it focuses on a specific topic, which respondents are asked to discuss, thereby providing their views and opinions on the research question.

17 Elite interviews Soft interview Hard interview In-depth Interview
it involves elites that is, well known personalities, prominent and influential people as respondents. It therefore aims at collecting information that is exclusive and unique to these informants. That information is very valuable because of the special position of the respondents. These respondents are quite knowledgeable, not only about interviewing, but also about research problem. Soft interview Here the interviewer guides the respondents without putting any pressure on them. Hard interview The interviewer questions the validity and completeness of the answers obtained, often warning the respondents not to lie and forcing them to give an answer when they hesitate. In-depth Interview  An in-depth interview is a dialogue between a skilled interviewer and an interviewee. Its goal is to elicit rich, detailed material that can be used in analysis (Lofland and Lofland, 1995). It is much less formal than the semi-structured interview. While you have structured some basic questions on paper, the discussion on the issue is largely free- ranging. When you intend to collect complex information, containing a high proportion of opinions, attitudes and personal experiences of the respondents, you go in for in-depth interview. For an in-depth interview, the sample is kept small. Only a few purposively selected people are subjected to a detailed interview.

18 Focus Groups Telephone interviews
Focus groups combine elements of both interviewing and participant observation. Use of the group interaction to generate data. The technique inherently allows observation of group dynamics, discussion, and firsthand insights into the respondents’ behaviors, attitudes, language, etc. Focus groups are a gathering of 8 to 12 people who share some characteristics relevant to the problem. Focus groups conducted by experts take place in a focus group facility that includes recording apparatus (audio and/or visual). Telephone interviews Telephone interviewing demonstrates the same structural characteristics as standard interviewing techniques, except that it is conducted by telephone. These are employed when the interviews are simple and brief, when quick and inexpensive results are sought, when it is not required to approach the respondent face to face and when sampling inaccuracies (e.g. non subscribers and unlisted numbers) are not considered important.

19 Interviewing in the computer age
The development of computers has affected many aspects of life of every Individual and consequently the researcher, the interviewer and the interviewee. The following are some examples of computer packages that are relevant to interviewing. Computer-aided personal interview (CAPI) This program allows interviews to be carried out through the assistance of computers, whereby to a certain extent the computer takes the place of the interviewer. Questioning and control of the responses is done through the computer. Computer-driven self – completion interview (CODSCI) The interview is carried out in a computer session in which the respondent reads the questions from the computer screen in direct communication with the computer. After completion of the interview, the responses are saved automatically in the memory and further added to previous interview data. Computer-aided telephone interview (CATI) Here the computer is used by the interviewer, who reads the questions to the interviewee through the telephone as it appears on the screen and records the response in the computer. It can draw the sample, choose the telephone number, dial the respondent through a self-dial system and connect the interviewer with the interviewee.

20 Advantages of interviewing
Flexibility & High response rate Easy administration & Opportunity to observe non-verbal behavior Control over the environment and order of the questions Capacity for correcting misunderstandings by respondents: Such an option is very valuable and not available in other forms of data collection. Opportunity to record spontaneous answers Control over the time, date, & place of the interview More complex questions can be used, because the presence of the interviewer can assist in answering the questions. Limitations Despite the above advantages, interviewing is limited by some factors that cannot be overlooked Interviews are more costly and time consuming than other methods. Interviews are affected by the factor, interviewer & the possible bias associated with. Interviewing is more inconvenient. It is less effective than other methods, when sensitive issues are discussed.

21 Recording interview data
Interview data can be recorded using electronic device (with the permission of the participants) and/or summarized in notes. These require carefully crafted interview guides with ample space available for recording the interviewee’s responses. Three procedures for recording the data are presented below. In the first approach, the interviewer listens to the tape or any other device and writes a verbatim account of everything that was said. A second possible procedure for recording interviews draws less on the word-by-word record and more on the notes taken by the interviewer or assigned notetaker. In the third approach, the interviewer uses no tape recording, but instead takes detailed notes during the interview and draws on memory to expand and clarify the notes immediately after the interview. Ethical Issues In conducting interviews, ethical issues are one of the main concerns. Confidentiality must be given. Explain purpose and objective of research Confidentiality of the data Data access and ownership Data collection boundaries

22 Challenges in Data collection
Logistic Interview Specific Data Maintenance Focus Group Specific Ethical Making initial contact with participants to ensure they will consent to be interviewed. Scheduling interview times suitable for both interviewer and participants. Finding place to conduct session devoid of noise, interruptions and other distractions. Ensuring recording equipments is in good working order. Taking adequate and appropriate notes during the interview. Creating an atmosphere of trust. Getting participants to open up. Handling interruptions and getting the interview back on track. Dealing with emotional outbursts. Coping with interviewees who do not wish to be audio/video recorded. Understanding the financial labour and human energy costs of transcription. Securely storing data from the project so that it can be easily located. Dealing with backup computer files. Protecting participant anonymity in files. Finding a time for all participants to attend the session. Hitting upon an incentive that will attract and secure participants. Ensuring conversation balance among participants. Handling experts, dominant talkers, obnoxious or shy participants. Ensuring that each participant is not rushed through a reply and everyone has the opportunity to talk. Protecting the anonymity of participants. Deciding how to handle off the record information disclosed during the interview that is potentially volatile. Deciding whether or not to share personal experiences with participants.

23 Conclusion Interviewing as a data collection method is common for qualitative research studies. Although methodology may cause the process of interviewing to differ, many methods are similar. The researcher must make pre-interview contact, prepare for the interview by drafting an interview guide, conduct the interview using good communication skills, oversee transcription of audiotapes or videotapes, and ensure that the transcripts provide the basis for analysis. Although the process of interviewing can be time-consuming and costly, it also can be a rewarding experience for the researcher.

24 Bibliography 1 Black, T. R. Doing Quantitative Research in the Social Sciences. London: SAGE Publications. 1999 2 Bryman, A. Social Research Methods. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 3 Corbetta, P. Social Research Theory, Methods and Techniques. London: SAGE Publications. 2003 4 David, M. & Sutton C.D. Social Research the Basics. London: SAGE Publications. 2004 5 Foddy, William. Constructing Questions for Interviews, Cambridge University Press, 1993 6 Gillham, B. The Research Interview. New York: Continuum. 2000 7 Gray, D. E. Doing Research in the Real World. London: SAGE Publications. 2004 8 Kothari, C R., Research Methodology. New Age International P Ltd. 2004 9 Kvale, Steinar. Interviews An Introduction to Qualitative Research Interviewing, Sage Publications, 1996 10 L V Redman and A. V H Mory, The Romance of Research, 1923, p.10 11 Lofland, J., and Lofland, L.H. Analyzing Social Settings: A Guide to Qualitative Observation and Analysis, 3rd Ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. 1995 12 McNamara, Carter, PhD. General Guidelines for Conducting Interviews, Minnesota, 1999 13 Patton, M. Q. Qualitative Research and Evaluation Method. London: SAGE Publications. 2000 14 Sotirios, S. Social Research. Macmillan Press Ltd. 1993 15 Hollowitz, J. & Wilson, C.E. “Structured Interviewing in Volunteer Selection”.Journal of Applied Communication Research, 21, 41-52, 1993 16 Michelle Byrne "Interviewing as a data collection method". AORN Journal. 04 Mar, 2012. 17 Pawlas, G.E. “The Structured Interview: Three Dozen Questions to Ask Prospective Teachers”,NASSP Bulletin, 79, 62-65, 1995 18 Kajornboon, A. B. Creating Useful Knowledge: A Case Study of Policy Development in E-learning at Chulalongkorn University Language Institute. Dissertation. University of Melbourne: Australia.2004 19 ( The Evaluation Resource Centre: Monash University Defining Data Collection Methods. (access 9/03/2012)). 20 ( World Health Organization. Interviews. (access 9/03/2012) 21 (access ) 22 (access ) 23 (access )


Download ppt "The Interview as a Tool in Research"

Similar presentations

Ads by Google