Essential Question: What are the most important things to remember in conducting interviews?
I think the most important things to remember when conducting an interview is to make sure you are prepared and have open-ended questions. Make a person feel comfortable and let them know you are listening. I would also paraphrase answers back to the person to ensure I got the information right. I also suggest using the SOLER technique when facing them. In the article on Active Listening, S.O.L.E.R stands for:
Squarely face the person
Open your posture
Lean towards the sender
Eye contact maintained
Relax while attending
When should you interview? Interviewing is necessary when we cannot observe behaviors, feelings, or how people interpret the world around them(Merriam & Tisdell, 2009). So make sure that interviewing is necessary when you are collecting information for your project. The key to getting good data is asking good questions (Merriam & Tisdell, 2009). If you don’t have good questions, you will not get good data. More open-ended question are better than closed “yes or no” questions (Merriam & Tisdell, 2009). Turner (2010) says, “The research questions [are] one of the most crucial steps in the interview process.”
The article, Conducting An Interview suggests six good steps for conducting an interview:
1. Setting the interview context
2. Planning the interview
3. Constructing questions
4. Starting and finishing the interview
5. Conducting the interview
6.Managing data collected during an interview
In step 1, setting the interview, you need to have clear objectives for the research project. For step 2, planning the interview, you want to go through the steps and make sure you have what you need before you get started. When constructing questions, under step 3, use open-ended questions, which can lead to rich data. Step 4, starting and finishing an interview, describes the process of introducing yourself and setting the purpose of the interview and getting permission to take notes or record responses in some way. When ending the interview, summarize what was said, thank the person for the interview, and, if needed, ask if it is ok to get in touch with them again. Step 5, conducting the interview, is when you would put S.O.L.A.R in place. This is where you check your body language, your voice, your opinion, you facial expressions, and posture. Everything you do will make a difference in how your interviewee will feel and how they answer your questions. Make them feel comfortable. The last step is to manage data collection during the interview, notes should be taken but not too much. You can also audio or videotape an interview, but that sometimes makes people feel uncomfortable. Make sure to maintain eye contact as well. These are six steps taken from the article “Conducting an Interview,” which I thought were good steps to share.
To see my infographic click on the link:
Active Listening Skills. (2015). Retrieved October 6, 2015, from http://www.taftcollege.edu/lrc/class/assignments/actlisten.html
Conducting An Interview. (2010). Retrieved October 6, 2015, from http://sydney.edu.au/business/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/90340/Research_conducting_an_interview.pdf
Merriam, S., & Tisdell, E. (2009). Qualitative research: A guide to design and implementation. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Turner, D. W., III (2010). Qualitative interview design: A practical guide for novice investigators. The Qualitative Report, 15(3), 754-760. Retrieved October 6, 2015, from http://www.nova.edu/ssss/QR/QR15-3/qid.pdf