InterviewTips - Tips for Research Interviews By Ian S...

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Tips for Research Interviews By Ian S. Spears (McGill University, Montreal, Canada) Interviewing can be an extremely useful method of gathering information which is not otherwise available to a researcher. In my experience most potential interviewees are forthcoming and eager to assist in the research of a graduate student. But interviewing is a difficult skill which, like your research subject, takes time to master (be assured that I have already committed most of the faux pas discussed below). What follows are a series of tips which I have found to be useful in conducting my dissertation research. Most of these tips involve common sense while others may come as a surprise. Good luck. * Be prepared. Familiarize yourself with the material in the public domain before the interview takes place. * Have a logical sequence of questions prepared in advance. Be familiar with those questions so that one does not break the flow of the interview by having to read from a paper all the time. * Taping using micro-cassettes is unobtrusive and usually preferable to interviews where only notes are taken. Taping provides the most accurate reflection of your subject's comments which can then be used in the final product of your research. While most subjects are willing to be taped (some even prefer it if it means they will be quoted accurately), permission must be acquired before the interview takes place. Note taking can still, however, be an important way to gather information when taping is unwelcome or unavailable. Particularly if one is short on time, note taking is an effective way of separating the wheat from the chat at the time of the interview and avoiding having to go through the lengthy process of transcribing an entire interview from a tape later on. * Determine what the interviewee's expertise is beforehand and prepare yourself accordingly.
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This note was uploaded on 04/19/2011 for the course EDUCATION 819 taught by Professor Polchinski during the Spring '11 term at Temple.

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InterviewTips - Tips for Research Interviews By Ian S...

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