Interviewing may be the most common method utilized by qualitative researchers. There are many hidden challenges, however.  Some of these are rather well-known, such as the problems involved in selecting and contacting potential interviewees.  Aspiring researchers are also probably aware that the specific form of a question, and the order in which questions are stated can influence the responses we receive. But all too often, researchers neglect to pay attention to what happens after the interview is over. What exactly should you do with all of the data you collected? How do you go about the task of comparing and aggregating the responses of your interviewees?

The resources listed below are all very helpful in addressing these various stages.  If you are looking for a single source to get you started, then Rubin and Rubin’s book may be useful. Chapter 4 addresses interview preparations. Chapter 6 addresses the importance of conduct during an interview. Chapter 7 provides advice on the structure of questions used in an interview situation. And finally, Chapter 7 discusses how to go about analyzing the data that you have collected. (Chapter 10 of Kvale goes into even greater depth).


General Resources

On Creating Questions

On Conducting Interviews

On Analyzing and Interpreting Interview/Survey Responses

updated August 3, 2017 – MN