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Advantages and Disadvantages of Interviewing as Data Collection Tool Essay

Interviewing is a data collection tool that works best in many cases when the intent is to have an understanding of the “underlying reasons and motivations for people’s attitudes, preferences or behavior. ” One of the good things about interviewing is that it can be done in person, through telephone, at work, at home, or at an agreed location. It also works best if the interviewer wants information straight out of the respondent. It is more appropriate to use as a supplement to other data collection tools such as observations and questionnaires.

Furthermore, the interviewer can ask in-depth questions to further validate the provided information or to ask follow-up questions (Smith and Albaum, 2005, p. 187). Another advantage of this method is that it reduces the number of “no answer” and “do not know” responses, which is more likely to happen in data collection tools such as questionnaires and surveys. Furthermore, interviewing can accommodate clarity, which then leads to more relevant responses (“Data-Collection Tools,” n. d. , p. 119). Disadvantages

Like other data collection tools, interviewing has its disadvantages as well, such as the bias of the interviewer. This is because the interviewer makes sense of the information based on his or her perception and experiences. Another disadvantage is the response bias, which occurs when the questions are too embarrassing or personal. Thus, inaccuracy in terms of the response of the interviewee tends to take place. Interviewing also costs high because there are instances when the person to conduct the interview needs to travel (“Data-Collection Tools,” n. d. ).

Also, interview is oftentimes used as a substitute for other more effective data collection tools. Some variables may also affect the flow of the interview, such as facial expressions, appearance, and voice. Interviewing is also time-consuming and requires the interviewer to be more sensitive and psychologically insightful (Smith and Albaum, 2005, p. 187). References “Data-Collection Tools. ” (n. d. ). Retrieved April 3, 2009, from http://www. iir. com/nygc/acgp/assessment/assessment_chapter9. pdf Smith, S. M. and Albaum, G. S. (2005). Fundamentals of marketing research. United States: SAGE.

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