Interviews are a key qualitative research method. In this session you will be introduced to qualitative research interviews, including why researchers conduct interviews and types and characteristics of interviews. It also provides practical discussion of how to formulate open-ended questions, avoid leading questions, include probes and prompts, and how to formulate a topic guide. This session also explores the importance of using active listening while conducting interviews.

Overall by the end of the session users should be able to:

  • Understand what a qualitative interview is, including different types and characteristics.
  • Formulate open questions, avoid closed, leading and problem questions, and list their advantages and disadvantages
  • Formulate a basic topic guide for a qualitative interview
  • Understand the concept of active listening and apply this to interviewing technique

You can download the powerpoint here and an interview guide here

Recommended reading:

Britten N. (1995) ‘Qualitative interviews in medical research’. BMJ, 311:251-253.

Guest et al (2006) How Many Interviews Are Enough? An Experiment with Data Saturation and Variability. Field Methods, 18.1: 59-82

Mack et al (2005) In-depth Interviews (Module 3). In Qualitative Research Methods: A Data Collector’s Field Guide

Ritchie & Lewis (2003) In-depth Interviews (Chapter 6). In Qualitative Research Practice: A Guide for Social Science Students and Researchers