It has been a very long time. We've been busy building out Transformative Research and have a number of new announcements, including NEW BRILLIANT RESEARCHERS who have joined our team! Stay tuned for remarkable bios!!
In the meantime, there has been a demand for research resources and we want to make sure that everyone is out there equipped to do some great community-driven research. So, we will start off with sharing some interview tips!!!
Make sure you think your interviewee for their time and support of your research project! Ask if they have any questions about the project and then...let the adventure of interviewing someone or a group of people begin!
Ask open ended questions. Unless this is a survey, try to stay away from questions that will yield “yes” or “no” answers. Consider asking questions that begin with “how,” “why,” or “describe.”
Begin interviews with general questions (e.g. not too personal or intimate), then progress into questions that will require more details or potentially personal information. This is to ease interviewees into the process and will allow for more flow to the process. Sandwich these questions with more general questions so as to not continue to “put the interviewee on the spot.”
Allow room for follow up questions (e.g. “tell me more” or “why do you think this occurs?”) but try to stay away from questions that are too intimate, especially if you’re research project will inquire or will invoke sensitive feelings or memories from your interviewee.
Organize the questions into categories (e.g. “questions about workplace,” “questions about homelife,” “questions about intimate partners). This will help the interviewee and the interviewer stay focused.
Keep your questions short. You probably don’t want more than 10 questions - for an in-depth interview, because interviewees can be draining, you may lose your interviewees attention, you want to leave room for impromptu follow-up questions, and you want to stay within the timeframe of no more than 90 minutes.
If you or your interviewee has less than 90 minutes, pare down the questions to 5 or 6 - at most.
The way you’ve written the interview questions will serve as a guide for the interview process. You may need to tailor the language of the survey based upon your relationship to the interviewee, their cultural expectations or preferences, etc.
Try your questions out on colleagues, friends, other researchers. Check for flow, comprehension (e.g. Do the questions make sense? Does the order of the questions flow?)
Again, avoid overly intrusive questions. If you’re interviewing individuals about sensitive topics, avoid questions that will probe into the details of their experiences. This is out of respect for their privacy and as a researcher, your job is to identify potentially generalizable answers that will help you to solve or understand the research project’s problem.
If individuals begin to tell you sensitive responses, consider steering them away from extreme or nuanced details - you will not be able to publish these details nor should you. As well, you want to both offer support but remain focused on research focus.
Avoid leading questions that may direct interviewees and their responses into particular directions. Try to ensure that the interviewees responses are genuinely their own and that of what they think you’d like to hear.
Avoid long questions questions so that you don’t confuse interviewees.
Stick to one question at a time. Don’t combine questions so that you don’t
confuse interviewees and are able to transcribe and code more clearly.
Remember that you will be transcribing these interviewees so try to to stay
If you reprint this information, please make sure to credit Transformative Research! Let us know how it goes. Let us know if you have questions. And let us know if you would like some support with conducting these interviews at: firstname.lastname@example.org