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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The interview

The type of interview you will be doing for the research Project is called a semi-structured interview. Such an interview is the best to get specific information and a range of views. They are the type of interview most commonly used when gaining qualitative research. The semi-structured interview invites responses to a set of guided questions but also allows for interaction and follow-up discussion. Although mostly open-ended questions, several closed factual questions may be involved. Finally, with such an interview the interaction between interviewer and interviewee is much more relaxed than with a structured interview. Here is a useful YouTube video about semi-structured interviews.


* Make sure you understand the purpose of the interview so that the appropriate questions are asked.
* Understand what information is necessary to complete the investigation?
* Do detailed research about the topic so you know what questions to ask.
* Choose the person to be interviewed carefully to ensure they are a creditable source of information.
* Prepare your equipment, such as cue cards, tape-recorder with microphone, video etc.
* Call and make the appointment for the interview and tell your interviewee about the topic of your investigation.
* Ask if they would like the questions to be sent ahead and ask permission to use tape-recorders or video.


* Choose a quiet location free from interruptions.
* Begin by explaining the purpose of the interview.
* Listen very carefully to what the person is saying(Often their responses will give you an idea for a follow-up question that you hadn't planned to ask).
* Don't be afraid to ask for more depth or greater explanation.
* Try and show your interest by your body language.
* Don't concentrate on your notes all the time.
* Towards the end of the interview you can ask the person if there is anything that you have omitted or anything they would like to add.
* Let them know the interview is drawing to a close by saying 'One last question'.

Remember the success of your interview depends on your research, choice of interviewee, your genuine interest in what they have to say, and your own skills in thinking on your feet.

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