Types of Interviews in Research and Methods | QuestionPro

There ’ second more types of interviews than most people think. An interview is broadly a qualitative research technique which involves asking open-ended questions to converse with respondents and collect elicit data about a subject. The interviewer in most cases is the subject matter adept who intends to understand answering opinions in a well-planned and perform serial of questions and answers. Interviews are similar to focus groups and surveys when it comes to garnering data from the aim market but are entirely different in their operation – focus groups are restricted to a little group of 6-10 individuals whereas surveys are quantitative in nature. Interviews are conducted with a sample from a population and the key feature they exhibit is their colloquial tone .

Fundamental Types of Interviews in Research

A research worker has to conduct interviews with a group of participants at a articulation in the inquiry where data can only be obtained by meet and personally connecting with a segment of their target audience. Interviews offer the researchers with a platform to prompt their participants and obtain inputs in the desire detail. There are three cardinal types of interviews in research :

  • Structured Interviews:

Structured interviews are defined as inquiry tools that are highly rigid in their operations are allows very small or no setting of prompting the participants to obtain and analyze results. It is frankincense besides known as a exchangeable interview and is significantly quantitative in its approach. Questions in this interview are pre-decided according to the command detail of information .
Structured interviews are excessively used in surveil inquiry with the purpose of maintaining uniformity throughout all the interview sessions.

They can be closed-ended adenine well as open-ended – according to the type of target population. Closed-ended questions can be included to understand drug user preferences from a collection of answer options whereas open-ended can be included to gain details about a particular section in the interview .

Advantages of structured interviews:

  • Structured interviews focus on the accuracy of different responses due to which extremely organized data can be collected. different respondents have different type of answers to the same social organization of questions – answers obtained can be jointly analyzed .
  • They can be used to get in reach with a large sample of the target population .
  • The consultation operation is made easy due to the calibration offered by structure interviews .
  • Replication across multiple samples becomes easy due to the lapp structure of interview .
  • As the telescope of detail is already considered while designing the interview, better information can be obtained and the research worker can analyze the research problem in a comprehensive manner by asking accurate research questions .
  • Since the structure of the interview is fixed, it frequently generates reliable results and is quick to execute .
  • The relationship between the research worker and the respondent is not ball due to which the research worker can clearly understand the margin of error in event the respondent either degrees to be a depart of the survey or is just not interest in providing the right data .

Disadvantages of structured interviews:

  • Limited setting of judgment of obtain results .
  • The accuracy of information overpowers the detail of information .
  • Respondents are forced to select from the provided answer options .
  • The research worker is expected to always adhere to the list of distinct questions regardless of how matter to the conversation is turning out to be with the participants .
  • A significant sum of time is required for a integrated interview .

Learn more : market research

  • Semi-Structured Interviews:

Semi-structured interviews offer a considerable total of allowance to the research worker to probe the respondents along with maintaining basic interview structure. even if it is a guide conversation between researchers and interviewees – an appreciable tractability is offered to the researchers. A research worker can be assured that multiple interview rounds will not be required in the bearing of structure in this type of research interview .
Keeping the social organization in mind, the research worker can follow any idea or take creative advantage of the entire interview. Additional respondent probe is constantly necessary to garner data for a research study. The best application of semi-structured interview is when the research worker doesn ’ metric ton have clock time to conduct research and requires detailed information about the topic .

Advantages of semi-structured interviews:

  • Questions of semi-structured interviews are cook before the scheduled consultation which provides the research worker with time to prepare and analyze the questions .
  • It is elastic to an extent while maintaining the research guidelines .
  • Researchers can express the interview questions in the format they prefer, unlike the structured interview .
  • dependable qualitative data can be collected via these interviews .
  • elastic structure of the interview .

Learn more : quantitative Data

Disadvantages of semi-structured interviews:

    • Participants may question the dependability factor of these interviews due to the flexibility offered .
    • Comparing two different answers become unmanageable as the guideline for conducting interviews is not wholly followed. No two questions will have the demand same structure and the result will be an inability to compare are generalize results .
  • Unstructured Interviews:

besides called as in-depth interviews, amorphous interviews are normally described as conversations held with a aim in mind – to gather data about the research study. These interviews have the least number of questions as they lean more towards a normal conversation but with an underlying subject .
The main objective of most researchers using amorphous interviews is to build a bond with the respondents due to which there are high chances that the respondents will be 100 % truthful with their answers. There are no guidelines for the researchers to follow and thus, they can approach the participants in any ethical manner to gain as much information as they possibly can for their inquiry topic .
Since there are no guidelines for these interviews, a research worker is expected to keep their approach in check so that the respondents do not sway away from the main research motive. For a research worker to obtain the craved consequence, he/she must keep the be factors in take care :

  • captive of the consultation .
  • The interview should chiefly take into consideration the player ’ randomness interest and skills .
  • All the conversations should be conducted within permissible limits of research and the research worker should try and stick by these limits .
  • The skills and cognition of the research worker should match the determination of the interview .
  • Researchers should understand the do ’ randomness and don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate of unstructured interviews.

Advantages of Unstructured Interviews:

  • due to the informal nature of unstructured interviews – it becomes highly easy for researchers to try and develop a friendly rapport with the participants. This leads to gaining insights in extreme detail without much conscious campaign .
  • The participants can clarify all their doubts about the questions and the research worker can take each opportunity to explain his/her intention for better answers .
  • There are no questions which the research worker has to abide by and this normally increases the flexibility of the stallion research process .

Disadvantages of Unstructured Interviews:

  • As there is no structure to the interview process, researchers take time to execute these interviews .
  • The absence of a standardized arrange of questions and guidelines indicates that the dependability of amorphous interviews is questionable .
  • In many cases, the ethics involved in these interviews are considered borderline disturb .

Learn more : qualitative Market Research

Methods of Research Interviews:

There are three methods to conduct research interviews, each of which is peculiar in its application and can be used according to the research study prerequisite .

Personal Interviews:

personal interviews are one of the most secondhand types of interviews, where the questions are asked personally directly to the respondent. For this, a research worker can have a guide on-line surveys to take note of the answers. A research worker can design his/her survey in such a way that they take notes of the comments or points of view that stands out from the interviewee .

  • Higher reception pace .
  • When the interviewees and respondents are face-to-face, there is a manner to adapt the questions if this is not sympathize .
  • More dispatch answers can be obtained if there is doubt on both sides or a particular information is detected that is remarkable .
  • The research worker has an opportunity to detect and analyze the interviewee ’ s torso language at the time of asking the questions and taking notes about it .


  • They are time-consuming and highly expensive .
  • They can generate distrust on the part of the interviewee, since they may be self-conscious and not answer truthfully .
  • Contacting the interviewees can be a real headache, either scheduling an appointment in workplaces or going from house to firm and not finding anyone .
  • therefore, many interviews are conducted in public places, such as shopping centers or parks. There are evening consumer studies that take advantage of these sites to conduct interviews or surveys and give incentives, gifts, coupons, in abruptly ; There are great opportunities for on-line research in shopping centers .
  • Among the advantages of conducting these types of interviews is that the respondents will have more clean information if the interview is conducted in the context and with the appropriate stimuli, so that researchers can have data from their experience at the picture of the events, immediately and first gear hand. The interviewer can use an on-line view through a mobile device that will undoubtedly facilitate the entire process .

Telephonic Interviews:

telephonic interviews are widely used and easy to combine with on-line surveys to carry out research effectively .

  • To find the interviewees it is enough to have their call numbers on hand .
  • They are normally lower cost .
  • The information is collected cursorily .
  • Having a personal contact can besides clarify doubts, or give more details of the questions .


  • many times researchers observe that people do not answer phone calls because it is an strange total for the answering, or merely already changed their home of residence and they can not locate it, which causes a bias in the interview .
  • Researchers besides face that they plainly do not want to answer and resort to pretexts such as they are busy to answer, they are vomit, they do not have the authority to answer the questions asked, they have no interest in answering or they are afraid of putting their security at risk .
  • One of the aspects that should be taken care of in these types of interviews is the forgivingness with which the interviewers address the respondents, in club to get them to cooperate more easily with their answers. good communication is vital for the genesis of better answers .

Email or Web Page Interviews:

Online research is growing more and more because consumers are migrating to a more virtual world and it is best for each research worker to adapt to this change .
The increase in people with Internet access has made it popular that interviews via e-mail or world wide web page stand out among the types of interviews most used today. For this nothing better than an on-line review .
More and more consumers are turning to online shopping, which is why they are a bang-up recess to be able to carry out an interview that will generate information for the right decision make .
Advantages of email surveys:

  • speed in obtaining data
  • The respondents respond according to their prison term, at the fourth dimension they want and in the stead they decide .
  • Online surveys can be mixed with other research methods or using some of the previous interview models. They are tools that can perfectly complement and pay for the undertaking .
  • A research worker can use a variety of questions, logics, create graphs and reports immediately .

undoubtedly, the objective of the research will set the model of what types of interviews are best for datum collection. Based on the research design, a research can plan and test the questions, for case, if the questions are the discipline and if the sketch flows in the best way.

In addition there are other types of research that can be used under specific circumstances, for model in the case of no connection or adverse situations to carry out surveyors, in these types of occasions it is necessary to conduct a field inquiry, which can not be considered an interview if not quite a completely different methodology .
To summarize the discussion, an effective interview will be one that provides researchers with the necessity data to know the object of cogitation and that this information is applicable to the decisions researchers make .
Learn more: Quantitative Research

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Category : interview

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