How to Conduct a Research Interview
Interviewing may be defined simply as a conversation with a purpose. Specifically, the purpose is to gather information. (Berg, & Lune, 2011) As a qualitative research method, it contains two stages - data collection and data analysis.
- Determine the nature and objectives of your interview: list all the broad categories you feel may be relevant to your study.
- Refine the list.
- Develop sets of questions relevant to each of the outlined categories.
- Create a conceptual table.
- Start with a few easy, demographic questions.
- Next begin with some of the more important questions for the study topic.
- Ask validating questions (questions restating important or sensitive questions, worded differently than previously asked)
- Begin the next important topic or conceptual area of questions.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4, and so on through your major topics.
- Finalize the interview with an open-ended question, such as "Oh, by the way, before we end the interview, is there any thing you want to address?"
Rubrics for Interview Questions
- 20pts - The goals and objectives of the interview should be explained with one paragraph or two.
- 30pts -Develop the conceptual table
- 20pts - The questions must reflect an awareness that individuals understand the subjects in varying ways.
- 10pts - The questions must be formulated in words familiar to the people being interviewed (in vocabularies of the subjects).
- 10pts - The number of questions should be controlled under 15.
- 10pts - Avoid simple yes/no questions, such as "do you like playing game", "what is your favorite color" and etc.
A Few Common Problems in Question Formulation
- Affectively Worded Questions
- The Double-Barreled Question
- Complex Questions
- Confirmation Bias