3 What is interviewing, why do it? In qualitative research, interviewing, especially in-depth & open-ended, is a common and preferred method.In general, the goal of an interview is to explore the participant’s point of view, feelings, everyday experiences as interpreted by him/herself.Unlike regular conversation, interviewing has a specific purpose: to gather important and relevant information (data) to analyze.
4 Types of Interviews: Depth or Unstandardized Interviews Also known as open-ended, informal, unstructured.No list of pre-determined questions.No set order, wording can change.Interviewee can ask questions, clarification.No assumption that researcher knows what exact information needed; questions are formulated during process of interview, adapting to what is said.Very flexible, allows for interviewee to guide, direct interview.
5 Depth (cont.) Goal is to seek understanding and interpretation. Use of a conversational style – your primary role is that of an active listener.Record what is said and record your feelings about what you learned throughout the interview.
6 Feminist Interviewing Similar to depth interviews but grounded in feminist philosophical principlesAre open, long-lasting, intimate.Research participants not merely data providers.Goal is to build trustSelf-disclosure is often used
7 Feminist (cont.)The deeper interactions give access to women’s ideas and feelings in participant’s own words.Opportunity to devolve control.Can be self-revealing for both participants and build consciousness raising.Encourages women to listen carefully to each other.Is interviewee-guided.
8 Semistandardized interviews Also known as semistructured.Some structure but questions can be reordered during interview and/or wording changed.Can add, delete questions, ask for elaboration, clarification. Use of probes is common.This type of interview usually has a set of pre-established themes, guidelines, set of questions, but researcher not strictly bound to it.Each interview different so must adapt depending on situation, but have in front of you something to go on to guide you and focus you.
9 Standardized Interviews Also called structured, formal interviews.Very formally structured.No deviation from established order allowed.Exact wordings to be followed.Can’t ask for any clarification, elaboration.Interviewee can’t ask any questions.Can’t add questions.Assumption that researcher knows the topic well, knows what information needed and there is shared meanings about topic, event, concepts.
10 Interview ScheduleIf using standardized method, then you must have formulated ahead of time a list of all questions to ask in exact wording and order of questions.Semistandardized: prepare a list of questions, probes and themes that you anticipate to focus on. Does not have to be as definite and specific.Unstandardized – may have list of themes, but interviewee guides interviewA schedule allows you to think ahead of time carefully about the topic, to know what is that you want to get from interview.
11 Developing Schedule Time consuming, so prepare well ahead of time! Have a clear idea of information you might need. Even when doing unstandardized, you must have some themes to guide you: “what is about this person, and her experience with relation to the research that I need to know more about?”Need demographic questions.A list of questions that relate very directly to topic.Some questions that loosely relate.Some questions worded slightly differently.Throw-away questions and probes.
12 Different roles of the interviewer Interviews are not typical conversations and you have a role to adoptEqual relationships are not totally possible.Must establish good rapport and trust.Roles:ActorRecite scripted lines (interview questions), remain nonjudgmentalDirectorPerform lines and assess the performanceChoreographerControl the interview process
13 Researcher as research instrument Qualitative interviews require considerable skill on the part of the interviewer.The interviewer needs to notice how directive he or she is beingWhether leading questions are being asked whether cues are picked up or ignoredWhether interviewees are given enough time to explain what they mean
14 Whyte’s Directiveness Scale 1. Making encouraging noises2. Reflecting on remarks made by the informant3. Probing on the last remark by the informant4. Probing an idea preceding the last remark by the informant5. Probing an idea expressed earlier in the interview6. Introducing a new topic(1=least directive, 6=most directive)
15 Maintaining control of the interview Know what it is you want to find outAsk the right questions to get the information you needGive appropriate verbal and non-verbal feedbackGood feedback vs. bad feedbackAvoiding bias
17 Questions to avoid:Affectively worded ones: avoid inducing negative emotional response. Make questions as neutral as possible.Avoid asking “why?” directly.Double-barrelled questions: only one issue or topic per question.Overly complex questions. Try to speak at same level, be clear, know the cultural background of the person to ensure you don’t offendDo some prior study of the group, be culturally sensitive and respectful of traditions and culture
20 Interview Assignment for Oct. 3 This is a “mostly in-class” group project involving a comparison of three types of interviews. It is worth 10%.In groups of 3, prepare a standardized interview and a semi-standardized interview schedule and prepare a list of themes for a depth interview.Topics will be assigned by me in a random draw.Give each group member one of the schedules or list of themes and choose another group to interview.Record the answers and your reflections in detail.With your original group, compare the responses you received. Discuss the differences, similarities, and quality and quantity of information that was gathered. Submit your joint findings/reflections on the 3 interviews Oct. 10.