The Purpose of the Interview

A interview involves a personal conversation between two or more people for the purpose of an evaluation. An interview may be:
  • Formal
  • Informal
  • Structured
  • Unstructured
The two activities that occur most frequently in interviews are:
  • Questioning: the interviewer requests a response from the interviewee. These may be closed-ended or open-ended inquiry
  • Consulting: the interviewer seeks advice or clarification from the subject matter expert (SME, interviewee) without the specific use of close-ended or open-ended inquiry
A project team member (PTM) should know which approach to follow when speaking with potential respondents. Some people may reject an interview in principle, but may be willing to consult with the PTM.

Good practices for interview or consulting:
  • Choose a setting with the least distraction.
  • Explain the purpose of the interview.
  • Address terms of sensitivity, confidentiality, or propriety.
  • Indicate how long the the conversation will take.
  • Provide contact information of the interviewer.
  • Allow interviewee (or SME) to clarify any questions about the discussion.
  • Request approval to record discussion (take notes, or record audio or video)
The following are deliverables that should result from the interview:
  • LL Transcript
  • LL Checklist
  • LL Audio or video files
  • LL Interviewing/Consulting Tracking Form

Qualification Criteria and Values for the Interviewer:

  • Knowledgeable: about the topic and related subject matter
  • Organized: outline the procedure of the interviewv
  • Systematic: clear, concise and easy to understands
  • Active Listener: listen with understanding and able to repeat what they heard
  • Flexible: ability to deal with fluctuating emotions or comments by the respondent
  • Steering: able to control and re-direct comments to avoid digressing
  • Critical Thinker: able to determine the reliability and validity of respondent
  • Remembering: retaining content from respondent to allow for transcription
  • Interpreting: able to transfer what is said by the respondent
  • Ethical: open, honest and direct