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An Examination of Interview Methodology

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Calvin Tennakoon

on 3 April 2015

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Transcript of An Examination of Interview Methodology

How to Conduct An Interview
What Is An Interview?
Interviews "generate empirical data about the social world"
(Holstein & Gubrium, 1997)

The value of interviews lies in their "contribution to knowledge"
(Weiss, 1994)
- Asking questions and getting answers

- The answers help build upon knowledge

- Act of interviewing can take many forms
- Individual or group face-to-face
- Telephone
- Electronic communication
The interview has existed in different forms for a long time
First formal interviews said to have been conducted by the Ancient Egyptians as part of their census
The History of Interviews
Charles Booth
Interviewing used for psychological evaluation of soldiers in WWI
Du Bois and Robert Park influenced community studies within the Chicago School
American Institute of Opinion Polling founded by George Gallup in 1935
Developments in the United States
An Examination of Interview Methodology
How to Conduct An Interview
- Collection of detailed Data

- Perspective assessment

- Collection of first-person data

- Collection of honest feedback
Pros Of Interview Format
Cons of Interview Format
History Of Interview Methodology
the interview became a tool used to quantify data in survey research
survey research used to assess American soldiers' mental and emotional states during WWII
quantitative interview introduced into academia; controversial development was met with resistance from many scholars
The Quantitative Interview
academics beginning to focus on the effect of the interview on participants
concerned with issues of power disparities in the interviewer-interviewee relationship
The Interview in Postmodern Social Research
Types of Interviews
Limited number of possible responses
Open-format (or open-ended)
Usually begin with "why" or "how"

**Research questions are NOT interview questions**
Interview Questions
AKA standardized interviews or researcher-administered surveys
Preset questions
Aim: each respondent has exactly the same experience

Look broadly at topic
Cost effective
Simple data analysis
Minimal responses
Difficulty creating questions
Structured Interviews
Over the phone
Via email
For research focused on gaining insight and understanding
Means of Communication
Unstructured Interviews
Life history interview
Free listing
Types of Semi-Structured Interviews
Most used in practice
Utilize an Interview Guide
Traits of interviewer:
Flexible & responsive
Good listener
Semi-Structured Interviews
"Best of both worlds"
Rapport between interviewer & respondent
Comparison between answers possible
Freedom during interview
Resources required to plan and execute
Time consuming process
Costly and time consuming analysis of results
Semi-Structured Interview
Beyer, H, & Holtzblatt, K. (1993). Making customer-centered design work for teams. Communications of the ACM, 36(10), 92.

Burnard, P., Gill, P., Stewart, K., Treasure, E., & Chadwick, B. (2008). Analyzing and Presenting Qualitative Data. British Dental Journal, 204(8), 429-432. doi: 10.1038/sj.bdj.2008.292

Dicicco-Bloom, B., & Crabtree, B. F. (2006). The qualitative research interview. Medical Education, 40(4), 314–21. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2929.2006.02418.x

Fontana, A. & Frey, J.H. (1994). Interviewing: The Art of Science. In N.a.Y.L. Denzin (Ed.), The Handbook of Qualitative Research (361-376). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Guion, L., Diehl, D.C., & McDonald, D. (2013). Conducting an in-depth interview. University of Florida IFAS Extension. Retrieved from http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fy393

Holstein, J. & Gubrium, J. (1997). Active Interviewing. In Qualitative Research: theory, method and practice (113-129). New York, NY: Sage Publications Ltd.

Holtzblatt, K., & Beyer, H. (1993). Making customer-centered design work for teams. Communications of the ACM, 36(10), 92-103. doi: 10.1145/163430.164050

Leeds-Hurwitz, W. (1987). The social history of the natural history of an interview: A multidisciplinary investigation of social communication. Research on Language & Social Interaction, 20(1-4), 1-51. doi: 10.1080/08351818709389274

McQuerrey, L. (n.d.). The Advantages of Qualitative Interviews. Hearst Newspapers: Houston, Texas. Retrieved from http://work.chron.com/advantages-qualitative-interviews-17251.html

Myers, M.D. & Newman, M. (2007). The qualitative interview in IS research: Examining the craft. Information and Organization, 17(1), 2-26. doi:10.1016/j.infoandorg.2006.11.001

Platt, J. (2001). The History of the Interview. In J.F. Gurbium & J.A. Holstein (Eds.), Handbook of Interview Research: Context and Method (9-26). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

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Rowley, Jennifer. (2012). Conducting research interviews. Management Research Review, 35(3/4), 260-271. doi:10.1108/01409171211210154

Walliman, N. (2010). Research Methods: The Basics (pp. 99–100). Routledge. doi:10.4324/9780203836071

Waters, J. (n.d.). Interview Guidelines. Capilano University: British Columbia, Canada. Retrieved from http://www.capilanou.ca/psychology/student-resources/research-guidelines/Interview-Guidelines/

Weiss, R. S. (1994). Learning From Strangers: the Art and Method of Qualitative Interview Studies. New York: The Free Press.

- "Hawthorne Effect"

- Rely on trust from respondent

- Possible power imbalance

- Require substantial amount of time

- Difficult to create ambiguous questions

- Interviewers often 'construct knowledge'
Interviews in Design Research
developed a method for information systems design that combined both top-down and bottom-up strategies
her "Contextual Inquiry" method involves the contextual interview, wherein the interviewer observes the interviewee in their workplace
useful tool for designers to understand users' complex needs
most effective when the designers are also researchers
unstructured or semi-structured interviews are most often used in design research
combined with observation to gain an understanding of the user's habits
Interviewing in Design
Waters, n.d.
Waters, n.d.
Allow for spontaneity throughout the interview
Open-format questions
Collect qualitative data
In-Depth Interviews
7 stages:
(Guion, Diehl, & McDonald, 2013)
(Kvale, 1996 as cited in Guion et al., 2013)
Karen Holtzblatt and Contextual Inquiry
English social
researcher famous
for publishing
and Labour of the
People in London
Research looked at the living conditions of the impoverished in London
Bolstered his survey research with unstructured interviews and ethnographic observation
Copycat studies popped up in America
Holstein & Gubrium, 1997
Interview as an "interpersonal drama with a developing plot"
Emphasis on meaning making
The Active Subject:
Subject is tapped
"Interpretive capabilities must be activated, stimulated and cultivated"
This is different than simply coaxing answers out of respondents
Data analysis:
Emphasizes "dynamic interrelatedness of 'whats' and 'hows'"
The Active Interview
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