Researchers may quantify the collected data and use it to compare and contrast with previous research to measure change or generate new theories. Data collected by questionnaires is easier to analyze scientifically and objectively than other types of research. Interview questionnaires have a number of shortcomings, including the difficulty in establishing the truthfulness of the respondent. Collected data may lack validity. Similarly, it is not possible to tell the seriousness of the respondent in answering the questions.
Quantifying the information allows the researcher to collect just a limited amount of information that lacks explanation. In addition, respondents may misunderstand the questions, and therefore, the reply may be based on their own interpretations. Highly structured interviews can collect a lot of quantifiable data and can work well in situations where you cannot record the interview in full.
However, by focussing on lots of structured questions you may not have the chance to really explore what the interviewee wants to tell you.
Less structured interviews work well when you want to give the interviewee the chance to talk and collect primarily qualitative data, but you really need to record such interviews. Structured Interviews Emphasise Reliability - How accurately different respondents' answers can be compared. The following table provides an overview of the key advantages and disadvantages of different types of interview. An important advantage of research interviews is their adaptability.
A skilled interviewer can to varying degrees, depending on the type and purpose of an interview follow up the thoughts, feelings and ideas behind the responses given, in a way that questionnaire completion cannot capture.
Having got access to a person or group of people to interview, you are guaranteed some sort of response this is in comparison to relying on people's willingness to complete and return a postal or on-line questionnaire, for example. Questionnaire responses have to be taken at face value, whereas responses to interview questions can be clarified and expanded on the spot. Validated structured questionnaires that is, questionnaires that have already been used and shown to measure what they say they do , which can also be administered as part of an interview, are highly respected for their reliability.
Less structured and in-depth interviews allow for more exploration and understanding of responses they are more likely to elicit valid responses. Due to this lessened possibility to create a standardisation of the situation with telephone an extra disadvantage is that the interviewee can stay "visible" for other employees and managers in the organisation. As I experienced for example the interviewee was called away by his manager, so the interview had to be stopped abruptly.
As in FtF interviews synchronous communication of time implies that interviewer and interviewee can directly react to what the other says. This also leads to the advantage that the interviewee is more spontaneous in his response and does not deliberate too long. But on the other hand, the interviewer has to concentrate much more on the questions that need to be asked and the answers given.
Another advantage of synchronous communication of time concerning telephone interviews is, as in FtF interviews, the interview can be tape recorded. Tape recording a telephone interview depends on the equipment. As with FtF interview the telephone interview is also time consuming due to the fact that the tape has to be transcribed. Although the interviewer can interview people that are not easy to access, one of the disadvantages of asynchronous communication of place by MSN messenger is the absence of social cues.
The lack of some elements, as intonation, can be filled up with the use of emoticons. Before the users were able to create simple emoticons with a normal keyboard, for example a "smiley" could be made as ": This is also the case with MSN messenger, where professionally developed emoticons can be put straight into a message.
Examples of emoticons [ 17 ]. The emoticons have been culturally stipulated however, and reflect culturally specific meanings. Thus, when the interviewer conducts a MSN messenger interview with an interviewee with another cultural communication style, then the interviewer must pay careful attention to the use of emoticons.
It cannot be assumed that these emoticons will be interpreted in a manner as meant by the interviewer. Diagram 2 shows clearly, that emoticons are not universal AOKI, Comparison between Western and Japanese emoticons.
It is notable that strong feelings, like anger, are reflected directly in the USA and Western European culture, whereas the Japanese emoticons reflect more subtle alternatives for these feelings. It depends of course on the topic of the research, and the questions asked, whether or not the lack of social cues are an advantage or at least neutral or a disadvantage.
Asynchronous communication of place has, according to BAMPTON and COWTON , paragraph 18 , also the advantage that they "can protect the researcher by offering a degree of anonymity , perhaps through the adoption of an e-mail pseudonym. In this study individuals who met and conversed in a situation where they could not see one another, sitting in the dark, disclosed much more intimate details of their lives and of the self than did those who met and conversed in a lighted room.
Indeed, those who were in the darkened condition left the encounter feeling more positively about the other person, compared to a control condition in which people interacted with the lights on.
This important phenomenon is called self-disclosure, or "the act of revealing personal information to others" ARCHER, , p. And visually anonymous participants disclosed significantly more information about themselves than non-visually anonymous participants did JOINSON, When the topic of research asks for information concerning attitudes etc.
The chance that the interviewee will give a richer and a socially undesirable answer is higher. The next advantage of asynchronous communication of place is saving costs and time, because the interviewer does not have to travel to the interviewee. On the other hand, when comparing the different interview techniques concerning the amount of time the interview itself actually costs, MSN messenger is less favoured. Meanwhile the concentration of the interviewer and the interviewee can decrease, with negative consequences for the quality of the interview.
A possible solution is to have several MSN messengers sessions with the interviewee. The advantages of several sessions are that both the interviewer and the interviewee stay concentrated, and that the interviewer has had the time to overlook the other interviews and come up with additional questions.
Another advantage of asynchronous communication of place by MSN messenger is that disturbing background noises e. Asynchronous communication of place can be a disadvantage, because the interviewer has no view on the situation in which the interviewee is situated.
Due to this lessened possibility to create a standardisation of the situation, with MSN messenger an extra disadvantage is that the interviewee can stay "visible" for other employees and managers in the organisation. Beside advantages and disadvantages due to the synchronous communication of time and the asynchronous communication of place, there are also some advantages and disadvantages that find their roots in the technology used.
In the first place interviewing with MSN messenger has the advantage that the outcome can directly be downloaded on the computer, so there is no transcription time. But direct recording also brings with it the danger of not taking any notes during the interview.
Taking notes during the interview is important for the interviewer, even if the interview is tape recorded, to overlook if all the questions have been answered. This danger is even bigger when interviewing with MSN messenger, because writing in a chat box and taking notes at the same time is more difficult, when one has only two hands.
Although not taking notes also has advantages, because "the immediacy of the exchange excites me. In the second place although miscommunication is not uncommon for all the interview techniques used, which can have its roots in different operationalisations of words, or cultural differences, MSN messenger interviews can have a specific form of miscommunication, when both type at the same time.
On the other hand, when one is writing, the other can read this at the bottom of the screen. This reduces the possibility that both are writing at the same time, which could lead to this miscommunication.
Especially when organising an interview with people from other cultures, for example the Arabian culture, this can be a disadvantage. The new technological possibilities and from that resulting communication media are a typically Western and also oriental: Some cultures, like for example Arab cultures have much resistance against the setting-up of such communicative media.
Because of this also the use of MSN messenger etc. Also there will be differences in cultures with regard to the media preference. One culture swears by e-mail, thus another culture gives the preference to video conferencing and another to FTF communication.
In the fourth place as online interviewing involves at the most basic level the exchange of texts, this way of interviewing may be more suitable for people who type fast, and, depending on the research question, whose personalities come through in the text as clearly as they would in FtF MARKHAM, In the fifth place terminating an interview in MSN messenger can be more difficult, because it can seem very abrupt.
And as with using MSN messenger, a dis advantage of using e-mail is the complete lack of social cues. Using emoticons, as already discussed in the former paragraph, can diminish the effects of this disadvantage. But the interviewer must always be aware that the use of emoticons is not always appropriate according to the interviewee. As each interviewee has his or her own communication style, the interviewer has to adapt the personal communication style online accordingly KIVITS, Another advantage of asynchronous communication of place is that disturbing background noises are not recorded.
E-mail interviewing has of course the extra advantage that the interviewer can formulate the questions, and the interviewee can answer the questions at his or her own convenience without noise disturbance due to independence of place and time. Asynchronous communication of place also has the advantage that an e-mail interview can be much cheaper than e. On the other hand this technique can cost a lot of time. This does not only lead to the risk that the interviewee will lose interest in the research, but also to the risk that the interviewee may forget to reply to questions KIVITS, Sending reminders at an appropriate time to the interviewee can reduce this problem.
With an e-mail interview, synchronous communication of time is impossible. Although the advantage can be that the interviewee does not hesitate in giving a socially undesirable answer but the chance of a spontaneous answer to a question is smaller, because the interviewee has more time to reflect on the question. And spontaneity can be the basis for the richness of data collected in some interviews. It depends of course on the research questions if this reflective behaviour is a disadvantage or not.
Despite the rise in popularity of online and mobile surveys, face-to-face (in-person) interviews still remain a popular data collection method. A face-to-face interview method provides advantages over other data collection methods.
Disadvantages of unstructured interviews The main theoretical disadvantage is the lack of reliability – unstructured Interviews lack reliability because each interview is unique – a variety of different questions are asked and phrased in a variety of different ways to different respondents.
Face-to-face (F2F) interviewing is one of the oldest and most widely used methods of conducting primary research. F2F interviews are conducted by a market researcher and a target respondent in the street, home, office, meeting place, etc. ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF INTERVIEWS AS A RESEARCH METHOD ADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGES Structured interview † Allows researcher to prompt interviewee by providing a set of example responses † Has the potential to be quick and easy to conduct † Speciﬁ c data related directly to.
As with the advantages of conducting research interviews, disadvantages vary with the type of interview. Structured interviews inevitably limit responses and the data obtained may not be reliable if there are faults in the way questions are asked or understood by the respondent. Advantages of interview questionnaires include the fact that information is gathered in a standardized way. Questionnaires allow users to collect information quickly from a large group of people. Disadvantages of questionnaires include an inability for those responding to explain or elaborate upon.