The Interview

Jennifer Rhoads

Page 696 "They need to interact as persons with the interviewees and acknowledge the are doing so" (Fontana & Frey)

When interviewing another individual, it is important to interact with the interviewee. This will encourage the interviewee to reveal more information because they feel more comfortable talking to that person. When a person feels at ease and that they are being listened to by a "friend", they also tend to be more honest and detailed in their responses as well. The interviewer is not a neutral tool in the interviewing process. There is an interaction between the interviewer and interviewee and the data from the interview is dependent on that interaction. If the interaction is positive, that data will be far superior than if the interaction is negative.

Page 705 "Many qualitative research qualitative researchers differentiate between in-depth interviewing and participant observation." (Fontana & Frey)

The two actually go hand in hand. The interviewer can gather data from specific, structured interview questions. The interviewer can also gather more in depth data from observing on a more informal level. Using open ended questions and allowing the interviewee to speak freely as well and allowing them to be free in their own setting allows for a deeper understanding of what the interviewees are actually saying. When the questions are restrictive, the data may be more precise but not as in depth. All researchers want to gain understanding in their work. If one uses mostly open-ended questions, in the data analysis phase of research, how would one compile those results in an easy to read/understand manner?

Page 716 "Researchers are not invisible neutral entities; rather they are part of the interaction they seek to study and they influence that interaction." (Fontant & Frey)

Whether the interviewer wants to or not, they are part of the process. Everything that the interviewer does affects the results of the interview. From the environment that is created to the words and tone that are spoken, the interviewee reacts to the interviewer. If the environment is more warm and open, the interviewee will be more likely to provide more detailed responses. If the interviewer is not welcoming or inviting, the interviewee will, more than likely, not provide as elaborate of responses. The question is, if the interviewer is not neutral but part of the process, would their ideas get in the way of unbiased results?