Interviews are in-depth conversations that can be conducted in person or over the phone. Typically, interviews can range anywhere between 30 to 90 minutes. Three interview styles include:
- Structured interviews involve a pre-set, standardized list of questions. All of the interviewees are asked the same questions andresponses are compared.
- Semi-structured interviews are conducted with a pre-set list of questions, or an ‘interview guide’, but the researcher may probe further into other areas of interest as they arise.
- Unstructured interviews are conducted without a structured set of questions or interview guide and take the form of an open discussion. Unstructured interviews may make it difficult to compare findings and draw out any trends or themes, however, they may be helpful as a preliminary step in developing surveys or interview guides.
Interviews are typically recorded, allowing the researcher to transcribe the interview, so that the results can be analyzed. Analysis of interview transcripts usually involves categorizing or ‘coding’ the findings into patterns and themes, which can be done using programs such as NVivo (http://www.qsrinternational.com/product) or ATLAS.ti (http://atlasti.com/).
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