The interview is a method of data collection used in qualitative researches. The researcher also known as the interviewer asks the questions and the other party, also known as the respondents gives the answers. Due to the nature and objective of using interviews in writing a research paper, interviews take time to conduct and do not have a specific structure.
Purpose of the interview as a data collection method
The following are the main functions of an interview:
To explore– it gives insight and improves the quality of quantitative researches
Description– in this method of data collection, the interviewer spends a substantial amount of time with the respondent. As such, he/she has a better chance of understanding opinions and attitudes and if need be, can ask for clarification on some factors if need be. This is important in writing a comprehensive research paper as it helps the interviewer to understand the nature of the problem and how to address the said problem in society.
Characteristics of a healthy interview
Every method of data collection has its own successes and challenges. A productive interview as a method of qualitative data collection method will have the following features:
a) Is should be flexible- although research on a specific aspect, respondents may have gone through different experiences. The interviewer needs to structure his/her interview in such a way that every respondent is given an equal opportunity to participate.
b) It should be a temporal relationship between the interviewer and the respondent- sometimes, there is a tendency to have an emotional attachment between the parties involved.
c) It should be communication between two persons- to get accurate answers for your research paper, there should be no communication barrier between the interviewer and the respondent.
d) It should have instant responses- in some cases; delayed responses may not be accurate and hence may cause inaccuracies or inconsistencies in a research paper.