Describe the main features of the interview as a research method.


-Anushree Ojha, Subject Matter Expert at Edumarz

Solution: The following are the basic characteristics of an interview:

 (i)  It is performed in the form of a dialogue between the researcher and the responder, which is moulded by particular guidelines and questions.

(ii) It is utilised in surveys and as a method of participant observation.

(iii) The structure of the interview is adaptable.

(iv) One of the disadvantages of this flexibility is that it can cause a shift in the respondent’s mood or a lack of concentration.

(v) Some interviewers use a fairly structured approach with particular questions, while others use a more ad hoc method with merely a check-list of themes rather than actual questions.

(vi)During the interview, the interviewer can ask cross-questions or other questions that are necessary for the procedure but cannot be asked in a questionnaire.

 (vii) During the interview, recorders and other equipment are also used. Their use makes the response feel uneasy, and it also adds a level of formality to the dialogue, which is a drawback.

(viii) The method of recording is determined by the social and physical settings of the interview.

(ix) The validity of this method is also dependent on the interviewer’s recall after the interview is over.

(x) Sometimes crucial information gets ignored or is not recorded at all.

(xi) A good interview is typically predicated on the researcher’s ability to establish rapport with the interviewer.

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