Interview :It is the most important method of collecting data in a social research. In this technique, the researcher himself through a trained interviewer collects data. A questionnaire is specially prepared for a research interview or help is taken from an interview guide from which questions are prepared according to the need
of the research which is called interview schedule. The researcher asks the questions face to face with the interviewed and writes a report according to the list.
Definition of Interview :“The Securing‘information through a professional conversation from an individual for a research study” (Keneath D. Bailey)
Advantages of Interview :Keneath D. Bailey has described the following advantages of interview :
1. Flexibility :
It has the advantage of flexibility. The interviewer selects questions for answers and in case the. question is not understood by the interviewer, he can repent it and can change the words in the ability of rm interviewer which is not possible in a questionnaire method.
2. Response rate :
This has a better response rate as compared with the mailed questionnaire because, even illiterate people can answer the question verbally and the people who do not know writing the answers but are ready to answer verbally because some people prefer speaking than writing. All these factors increase the rate of response.
3. Non-Verbal Behaviour :
The interviewer can guess the validity of the response being face to face with the interviewee.
4. Control over Environment :
An interviewer can control the environment by creating a smoke like environment-preserve secretiveness, and keeps the interviewee free from such like interference and can keep the uniformity of the interview which is not possible through mailed questionnaire.
5. Arrangement of Questions :
An interviewer can control the arrangement of questions not to be answered disorderly by the interviewee.
6. Spontaneity :
An interviewer can record the answers of questions spontaneously because the interviewee has no time to change or correct his answer as is possible in a mailed questionnaire. Spontaneous answers are more informative than these already thought over by the interviewee.
7. Respondent can Alone Answer :
An interviewee is not able to copy or to ask or to request the answer of a question as is possible in a mailed questionnaire.
8. Completeness :
An interviewer makes sure that all the questions have been answered.
9. Time of Interview :
An interviewer can record correct time and date of interview and if something important occurs during this time, it can affect the answer of the interviewee and the researcher can compare the answers of the incident.
Disadvantages of InterviewIt has also some draw books which are detailed below :
1. Cost :
Interview method is costly because it needs a trained interviewer and other people and sampling is costly. Pay and travelling expenses of workers are expensive.
2. Time :
Interviews are long because interviewees are scattered and to reach them much time is spent or sometimes one or two rounds are necessary and during this time some incidents may occur which can affect the received answers.
3. Interview Bias :
An interviewer plays an important role in interview because sometimes he enters the answers not answered by the interviewee himself and he suffers a bias. Moreover, the answers of an interviewee may- be influenced by the sex, race, social class, age, dress and physical appearance of an interviewer.
4. No Opportunity to Consult Records :
As compared to mailed questionnaire, the interviewee has no facility to consult a record for his answer or to consult any member of his family.
5. Inconvenience :
It has been observed many time that the ability of the interviewee is negatively influenced by tiredness, tension, mental depression or density whereas there is nothing such like situation in a mailed questionnaire and the answer has the facility of vacant time and good normal mood to answer the questions. It is possible that when an interviewer reaches an interviewee, he might have been disturbed by the weeping of a child, barking of a dog or feeling to go to latrine etc.
6. Less Anonymity :
An interviewee is not sure of his answers being concealed or secret because the interviewer knows his name and address and it may be a threat or a fear for the interviewee so he refuses to answer some of the questions to keep his fear less or he distorts his answers not to be recognized by them.
7. Lack of accessibility to Respondents :
It is a fact that interviewee’s life is different in districts. Reaching there is costly and difficult because of travelling. This lessens the number of answers whereas this accessibility is possible in a mailed questionnaire.
8. Less Standardized Question Working :
It is necessary in an interview to use words for questions to be changed in a suitable manner for the interviewee for better probe into the answer. Though this is beneficial but it may present a difficulty for comparison by other researchers.
Guidance for InterviewersInterview is an art and requires an expertise. An interviewer should keep the following things in view before the conduct of his interview.
1. An interviewer should contact an interviewee to fix time to his convenience.
2. An interviewer should reach the place at fixed time and should introduce himself, tell the importance and nature of interview and if it be possible to tell about the previous research to restore the confidence of the
3. The interviewee should. be told about his selection not to terrify him but just for sampling his name has fallen randomly.
4. In an interview, there must be clearly written the words, “confidential” and to make the interviewee believe that the information will be kept secret and that will not be used against anyone.
5. Questions about values and beliefs should be asked with care and without any discussion.
6. Unnecessary delay should be avoided and interview be completed in the time fixed for it.