An interview is interpersonal communication where the interviewer (the researcher) seeks to get information from the respondent (the research subject) on a particular research question. Interviews are most appropriate in research writing for the following reasons:
- If the researchers want to understand attitudes and feelings that cannot be expressed through writing
- If the researcher desires to have an in-depth evaluation of the research topic
- If the research topic is sensitive, in that respondents may feel uncomfortable discussing the topic in a group setting
- If the researcher needs to give the respondent more information on the significance of the research
- If the researcher needs to get important information on strategic planning and allocation of resources
- If the researcher needs to collect information from both literate and uneducated respondents, respondents need not have the ability to read and write.
Benefits of using interviews as a method of data collection
Through using interviews as a method of data collection in research writing, you will have the following
- Personal opinion is not influenced by others as would be the case in a group setting
- They give room for clarification in case of ambiguous answers
- The researcher records the respondents own words
- They allow the researcher to get opinions, perceptions, and feelings, especially in qualitative research writing.
- More often than not they have a high response rate
- The researcher has an opportunity to help the respondents have a uniform understanding of terms, difference in understanding can result in inaccuracies in research writing.
- Interviews encourage the writer to give more information
The following are some disadvantages associated with interviewing as a method of data collection in research assignments.
- They are expensive because of special tools required for recording and transcribing
- They are time-consuming
- They are prone to researcher bias