Short guide to interviews
Cloud created by:
22 March 2010
There are a number of approaches to interviewing, which have in common the need to get perspectives on the evaluation targets from a sample of 'users' representing different stakeholder groups.
The standardised, open ended interview
Strength: makes sure questions are asked in the same way across a sample population by different interviewers.
Weakness: risk losing important, unanticipated, information.
The guided or structured interview
Strength: keeps interaction focused, covering same ground with respondent sets, while allowing individual experience to emerge.
Weakness: cannot divert far, or long, from agenda without losing part of 'the story'.
The informal, conversational interview
Strength: allows the evaluator to respond quickly to individual differences and situational changes.
Weakness: a great deal of time is needed to get systematic information.
Like Focus Groups, interviews can be useful for formative/developmental or summative/retrospective evaluation.
Top Tips for Interviews
- Have a clear set of questions that will lead you to clear answers that will give you want you want.
- Start with easy, non-controversial questions to give the interviewee time to feel comfortable with the interview.
- Keep the questions simple and easy to understand.
- Include a question at the end along the lines of "Is there anything you would like to add that we have not already covered?"