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Copy of Chapter 4: Structuring the Interview (Stewart & Cash)

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Tara Thornton

on 10 January 2014

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Transcript of Copy of Chapter 4: Structuring the Interview (Stewart & Cash)

Interview types
Interview Parts
What is the purpose of the opening of an interview?
Two-Step Process
Establishing Rapport:
How: Self-introduction or greeting depending on your relationship with the interviewee; Next, personal inquiries, small talk
Orienting the other party
Explain purpose, length, reason for the interview, how the information will be used, and how/ why they were selected
** Do not make assumptions about the interviewee**

Chapter 4: Structuring the Interview

Stewart and Cash 2009

Hannah Silva, Noe Montes, & Ali Rocco
Employment Related
To set the tone
Affects willingness & capability to move past L1 interaction
Determine length of the interview
Encourage mutual communication
To explain the purpose of the interview
Example of the Rapport and Orientation Steps
Opening Techniques
State the purpose
Summarize a problem
Explain how the problem was discovered
Offer an incentive or reward
Request for advice or assistance
Refer to the known position of the interviewee
Refer to the person who sent you to the interviewee

Opening techniques Continued..
Nonverbal Communication in Openings
Refer to your organization
Request a specific amount of time
Ask a question
Use a combination

How you look, act and say what you say
Appearance and Dress
Now lets practice!
Interview Schedules
The Body of the Interview

Interview Guide
An interview contains topics, not questions
Is a carefully structure outline of topics and subtopics to be covered during an interview
A guide helps you develop areas of inquiry
Ensures coverage of all important topics and prevents forgetting important items during the interview

Sequences help to organize topics and impose a degree of structure on interviews.


A topical Sequence: Follows natural division of a topic or issue.

A time Sequence: Treats topics or parts of topics in chronological order.

A space Sequence: Arranges topics according to spatial divisions.

A cause-to-effect Sequence: Addresses causes and effects.

A problem-solution Sequence: Consists of a problem phase and a solution phase.
A guide ensures the consideration of all important topics and subtopics.

Class activity: Trip to ???
A non schedule interview: Is merely an interview guide.

The non scheduled interview is most appropriate when an interview will be brief.
The information area is extremely broad, interviewees are reluctant to respond.
A non scheduled interview gives you unlimited freedom to probe and to adapt to different interviews and situations because it is the most flexible of interview schedules.
You may have difficulty controlling for time limits.
A moderately schedule interview lessens the need for instant question creation.

It contains all major questions with possible probing questions under each.
It allows freedom to probe into answers and adapt to different interviewees.
Imposes a greater degree of structure, and is easier to conduct and replicate.
Since interview parties tend to wander during unstructured interviews, listing questions make it easier to keep track and return to a structure when desired.

Example: Why did you choose to live in a residential hall?
A. When did you decide to do this?
B. Who influenced you the most in your decision?
C. What influenced you the most?
D. How did you choose this residence hall?
A Moderately Schedule Interview
A Highly Schedule Interview
Highly scheduled interviews sacrifice flexibility and adaptability for control.
Includes all questions and the exact wording to be used with each interviewee.
It permits no unplanned probing, word changes, or deviation from the schedule.
They take less time, prevents parties from wandering off to irrelevant areas or spending too much time on one or two topics.

Which problem pertaining to political campaigns concerns you the most?
A. Why does this problem concern you the most?
B. When did this problem begin to concern you?
A highly standardized interviews provides precision, replicability, and reliability: Is the most thoroughly planned and structured. All questions and answer options are stated in identical words to each interviewee.

Respondents have no chance to explain, amplify, qualify, or question answer options.

Which of the following problems do you feel is the most important to you?
A. More teaching assistants than faculty
B. Classroom overcrowding
C. Outdated labs and facilities
D. Tuition cost and fees
A highly Scheduled Standardized Interview
Are the easiest to conduct, record, tabulate and replicate.
Combination of Schedules
Combined schedules enable interviewers to satisfy multiple needs

Consider using combination of schedules.
Use a non scheduled approach during the opening minutes.
Use a moderately scheduled approach when it is necessary to probe and adapt to interviews.
And a highly scheduled standardized approach for easily quantifiable information such as demographics data on age, sex, religion, and marital status.
Question Sequences
1. Tunnel Sequence: works well with informal and simple interviews

The tunnel sequence is a series of similar questions, either open or closed.
Each question may cover different topic, ask for specific bit of information or asses a different attitude or feeling.
Tunnel sequence is common in surveys, journalist interviews

Example: I understand that you just got back from a vacation at a friends ranch.
1. Where was the ranch located?
2. What was the name of the ranch?
3. Who owns the ranch?

2. Funnel Sequence: Works well with motivated interviewees

Begins with broad, open-ended questions and proceeds with more restricted questions.
Is most appropriate when respondents are familiar with the topic.

Example: Tell me about your experience in Afghanistan.
1. What were your most memorable experiences?
2. How long were you there?
The Inverted Funnel Sequence
An Inverted tunnel sequence provides a warm-up for those reluctant to talk, it begins with closed questions and proceeds toward open questions. It is most useful when you need to motivate an interviewee to respond or an interviewee is emotionally involved in an issue or situation.

1. Interviewer: You were the first to arrive in the scene?
2. Interviewee: Yes, I was.
3. Interviewer: That was about 2:35 p.m.?
4. Interviewee: Yes, about then.
5. Interviewer: And the car and semi were in the median?
6. Interviewee: Uh huh, they were on their sides facing in opposite directions.

Combination Sequences

Some times a situation calls for a combination of sequences. For instance, the "hourglass sequence" begins with open questions, proceeds to one or more closed questions, and ends with open questions.
There is also another combination of sequence. The "diamond sequence" this enables interviewers to begin with closed questions, proceed to open questions, and end with closed questions.
Quintamensional Design Sequence
The quintamensional design sequence is effective at assessing attitudes and beliefs.
This five step approach proceeds from an interviewee's awareness of the issue to attitudes influenced by the interviewer, specific attitudes, reasons for these attitudes, and intensity of attitude.

1. Awareness: What do you know about the proposed resumption of the military draft?
2. Uninfluenced Attitudes: How might a military draft affect you?
3. Specific Attitude: Do you approve or disapprove of resuming the military draft?
4. Reason why: Why do you feel this way?
5. Intensity Attitude: How strongly do you feel about this- strongly, very strongly, not something you will change your mind on ?
Closing the Interview
The closing is an integral part of each interview. An abrupt or tactless interview may undo the relationship established during the interview. The closing should should offer a positive conclusion to the interview.
Video Clip Reflection
How did this clip display nonverbal communication?
How does this relate to the interviews that you may be conducting in your studies?

3 Functions of Closing
1. The closing signals the termination of the interview, but not a relationship

-an agreement about where and when the next interview will take place

-simple phrases communicate the likely interval between interview

-be aware of cultural differences that may lead to confusion about common closing phrases
3 Functions of Closing
2. The closing may express supportiveness to enhance the relationship that has been established during the interview and allow for a positive close

Interviewer: I really appreciate you taking the time to look over my outline for the midterm paper. It was taking a lot of time, and I wasn't sure I was doing it correctly.

Interviewee: I'm glad you stopped by because you were making the outline more difficult than it needed to be

Interviewer: Thanks again for your help. I'll email you if I have other questions.
What to Avoid
False Closings - false closings occur when verbal and nonverbal messages signal to the interviewee that the interview is coming to a close when it is not

Failed Departures - failed departures occur when you have ended the interview and have left the other party. Then, a little while later, you run into the party in the hallway or on the way to the parking lot. The result is an awkward situation because you both have already said goodbye.
Closing Techniques
Adapt each closing to the interview and situation

Offer to answer questions - be sincere in your desire to answer questions

Use clearinghouse questions - allows you to determine if you have covered all topics

Declare completion of the intended purpose - informs the interviewee that the task is completed

Make personal inquiries - pleasantly ends the interview and enhances the relationship
Closing Techniques Continued
Make professional inquiries - for more formal occasions

Signal that time is up - effective when a time limit was agreed to in advance or during the opening

Explain the reason for closing - use honesty

Express appreciation or satisfaction - common in closings because you have usually received something (information, assistance, evaluation, a position, etc.)

Arrange for the next meeting - if appropriate, outline what will happen next
A closing that summarizes the interview repeats important information, verifies accuracy, and ensures that all parties are on the same page.
Nonverbal Interview Closings
Any act may be interpreted in a meaningful way by the other party. Make sure your nonverbal signals do not convey a message you do not intend to send.

Example: a professor checking his watch during a student interview may communicate to the student that the professor wants to end the meeting
Nonverbal Techniques
Nonverbal Techniques
-Straightening up in your seat
-Leaning forward
-Standing up or moving away from the other party
-Uncrossing your legs
-Placing your hands on your knees as if preparing to rise
-Breaking eye contact
-Offering to shake hands
-Looking at the clock
Real Life
In interview situations we often use both nonverbal and verbal signals without realizing it. However, it is important to know how to tailor the appropriate verbal and nonverbal techniques to each situation. This usually means using a combination of both techniques to achieve the best possible closing.

"Well (closing the notebook), I think that answers all of my questions. (leaning forward and smiling) You've given me a lot of exciting information for my field project. (rising from the chair) I really appreciate your help. (shakes hands and looks the interviewee directly in the eye)"
** Personalize your opening**
3 Functions of Closing
3. The closing may summarize the interview

-as with an opening, make sure the closing is a
dialogue and not a monologue

-encourage the interviewee to take part through
verbal and nonverbal signals

-do not rush (the law of recency tells us that the
last thing that was said or done in the interview
is what people will remember the most)
Outline Sequences
Developing an Interview guide
Reading nonverbal communication
Don't read everyone the same
Not all cultures have the same greetings
The End
Full transcript