1.What is Interview Method?
2.Components of Interview.
3.Types of Interview –
1. Structured Interview
2. Unstructured Interview
3. Focus group Interview
4.Strengths of Interview method.
5.Limitations of Interview Method.

What is Interview Method?

  1. In this method there is direct face to face contact between the investigator and the subject.
  2. Here the interviewer or the investigator asks questions to the subject and records the answers.
  3. According to P.V. Young, “Interviewing is not a simple way to conversation between an interrogator and informant. Gestures, glances, facial expressions and pauses often reveal subtle feelings”.
  4. In the words of Fred N. Kerlinger, “The interview is perhaps the ubiquitous method of obtaining information from people. It has been and is still being used in all kinds of practical situations, eg. the lawyer obtains information from his client, the physian learns about a patient; the administrative officer or professor determines the suitability of students for schools, departments and curricula. Only recently, however, interview has been used systematically for scientific purposes, both in the laboratory and in the field. He also said that it is a face to face inter-personal situation in which one person, the interviewer asks a person being interviewed, the respondent, questions designed to obtain answers pertinent to research problems”

Components of Interview

The word “interview” refers to a one-on-one conversation with one person.

The interviewer asks questions, the interviewee responds

Types of Interview –

A structured interview

  1. A structured interview is a quantitative research method where the interviewer a set of prepared closed ended questions in the form of an interview schedule, which he/she reads out exactly as worded.
  2. Interviews schedules have a standardized format which means the same questions are asked to each interviewee in the same order.
  3. A structured interview is also known as a formal interview (like a job interview).

An Unstructured interview

  1. Unstructured interviews do not use any set questions, instead, the interviewer asks open-ended questions based on a specific research topic, and will try to let the interview flow like a natural conversation.
  2. The interviewer modifies his or her questions to suit the candidate’s specific experiences.
  3. Unstructured interviews are sometimes referred to as ‘discovery interviews’ and are more like a ‘guided conservation’ than a strict structured interview.
  4. They are sometimes called informal interviews.

Focus group interview

  1. Focus group interview is a qualitative approach where a group of respondents are interviewed together, used to gain an in‐depth understanding of social issues.
  2. The role of the interview moderator is to make sure the group interact with each other and do not drift off-topic.
  3. Ideally, the moderator will be similar to the participants in terms of appearance, have adequate knowledge of the topic being discussed, and exercise mild unobtrusive control over dominant talkers and shy participants.

Strengths of Interview Method

  1. High participation of the subject or respondent, Illiterate as well as children provide proper in-depth information as compared to other methods like observation, questionnaire method etc.
  2. The subject’s emotions can be studied well. It is often observed that during an interview, the subject may become emotional and get excited, and may express freely his fears, anxieties, and complexes.
  3. Through the interview method the investigator may get to know the cause of any behavior pattern of the subject, the historical background of each incident.
  4. The data collected through the interview method is reliable.
  5. The interview method can be applied on all types of people- literate or illiterate children and adults and at times also on mentally unbalanced persons.

Limitations of Interview Method

  1. It is a costly and time consuming method.
  2. The subject may not reveal his true feelings and emotions.
  3. The interviewer’s perception of things may clash with those of the interviewee’s. Their beliefs and values may be totally different.
  4. A lot of planning is required. The investigator has to provide a number of stimuli to get information from the subject, must make careful observation of the latter’s behaviour patterns so the interviewer must remember a number of things at the same time. So the whole process becomes too strenuous.