Types and Methods of Interviews in Research


The interview is part and parcel of our society and culture. It is not just a way of obtaining information about who and what we are; it is now an integral, constitutive feature of our everyday lives. Indeed, as the romantic impulses of interviewing imply, it is at the very heart of what we have become and could possibly be as individuals... - Gubrium, J.F & Holstein, J. A (2003) Postmodern Interviewing London: Sage. (pg29)

In Lecture, I learnt what Interviewing is, what it really entails and the Popular Media Methods of interviewing e.

g. Talk shows, magazines, radio shows, programme, Job interviews etc. I also Learnt that Interviewing is about hearing from others, Listening and getting their views; I got more insight on the three methods [Structured, Unstructured and Semi Structured], how to understand people through the interviews. In my opinion I think you can get more in-depth information from an unstructured interview because it is flexible the ideal questions come from the Interviewer hereby giving room for the Interviewee to tell more but with a Structured and Semi-structured interview, the Interviewer is Limited to series of questions that have to be answered because of that they'll have to ask what they have designed before the interview.

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The Lecturer talked about the types of interviews e.g. Remote [Phone, Video Calls] , Emails etc., how to get the interviewees and the Interviewing Ethics where I learnt that interviewee had rights to the use of the content from the interviewers end.

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We talked about an alternative way of interviewing which is Focus Groups;

A focus group involves a group of people "often with common experiences or characteristics " who are interviewed by a researcher (who is known as a moderator or a facilitator) for the purpose of eliciting ideas, thoughts and perceptions about a specific topic or certain issues linked to an area of interest. The ultimate goal is to see the topic (which may concern a service, product or issue) from the participants' point of view.' (Daymon & Holloway 2010: 242)

In the Seminar, we talked about the parts of the lecture that We needed more insight on, we dug deeper into how to go about getting information without breaching the ethics. We looked at the skills of an interviewer, taking Control of your interview and Listening. We took an in class task practice with other course mates. I was paired with a guy named Eric and we understood and did that very well. I got into a group of three after Eric and we answered the questions that was asked earlier. Our Weekly group task was to make a video interviewing people on a topic we chose How do men and women think about 'Me too Movement' and I believe it was fun and interesting, we had challenges because of the anonymity of the interviewees as a lot of them didn't want to tell their views in a video they might get a response they wouldn't work but all in all its was good and everyone's input made it work.


Berg (2007) Qualitative Research Methods for the Social Sciences Person

Belk (2013) Qualitative Consumer and Marketing Research London: Sage

Blaxter, L, Hughes, C and Tight, M (1996) How to Research Buckingham: Open University Press

Daymon, C and Holloway, I (2010) Qualitative Research Methods in Public Relations and Marketing Communications (2nd ed) London: Routledge

Kruger, R and Casey, M (2015) Focus Groups: A Practical Guide for Applied Research (5th ed) London: Sage

Gubrium, J.F & Holstein, J. A (2003) Postmodern Interviewing London: Sage.

Gubrium, J. and Holstein, J. (2001) Handbook Of Interview Research. London: sociology.missouri.edu. SAGE Publications.

Hermanowicz, J (2002) "The Great Interview: 25 Strategies for Studying People In Bed' Qualitative Sociology 25 (4)

Interview(2018) available from [11 December 2018]

Dylag, J. (2018) People Crossing Street In Vienna.[online] available from [30 April 2019]

] People (2018) available from [11 December 2018]Interview


According to Brewer (2000) Ethnography is the Study of People in naturally occurring settings or fields by means of Methods. Spradley (1980) also defined it as the work of describing a culture. The central aim of ethnography is to understand another way of life from the native point of view.

It is a Qualitative process hence Information is accumulated through a scope of research techniques, for example, Interviews [ Formal or In Formal], or by making use of objects or Articles available; There are two types of data, qualitative data, which basically is about "how people make sense of the world' (Merriam,2009: 13) because of this it is okay to say Ethnography is grounded on Naturalism than Positivism. Reese (1980) Defined positivism as a Family of philosophy that is characterized by positive evaluation and scientific gift, on the other hand Wimmer and Dominick (2000) defined naturalism as the Family of Philosophy's that focusses on the social nature of reality.

Its capacity to make unmistakable 'this present reality' sociality of a setting through itemized depictions of the 'workaday' exercises of social on-screen characters inside explicit settings , Randall, Dave, Rouncefield, Mark (2014). Ethnography tries to show a picture of life as observed and comprehended by the individuals who live and work inside the space concerned, what it terms a 'thankful position', through the immediate association of the analyst in the setting under scrutiny

The ethnographer gets to 'what is happening' in a setting through the ordinary capabilities the individual in question has built up that routinely make it conceivable to find out about new societies and types of social association. Communicated when doing an ethnographic research, Its site should be treated as 'in regards to human sciences unusual', which means the researcher must get comfortable with the codes and shows of the social affair being considered, while endeavoring to remain objective.

There are various kinds of ethnography, in any case, as a feature of gathering work we chose to concentrate on autoethnography to examination into how the advanced influences us. Leading this examination enabled me to comprehend that when directing ethnographic research, you should act naturally intelligent however even while doing this you should take a gander at different models as per your very own encounters to attempt to decrease analyst predisposition and to comprehend the significance behind conduct further.

The benefits of ethnographic research is that it takes into consideration an abstract understanding as you are attempting to reveal the implications behind individuals' activities. Moreover, the information is prompt as ethnographic research is regularly perceptions and research will in general be grounded.

Perception limits the help in the individuals customary everyday presence as they should make notes while viewing and this may incite Participants Involvement continuous. Data is moreover dependent on the capacities of the examiner. Finally, regardless of the way that the data is expeditious, speed is all you will when all is said in done get, and thusly you don't get inside and out information.

Wolcott (1999) articulately portrayed the picture of an ethnographer touching base in a local land 'Ethnography is, for some, a fairly exceptionally romanticized (and actually unthinkable) thought regarding "living one's way into a culture... an admired picture of somebody equipped in safari suit and essence protective cap venturing onto the shore and into the focal point of a hover of cabins, with camera, binoculars, and journal good to go"

The significant thing about the ethnographer isn't that the individual in question carries especially arcane aptitudes to the gathering of information [many of those are the abilities of office organization, inventorying and arranging archives and records], yet that they carry the readiness to focus on individuals' exercises, to go to in detail to how individuals really approach their undertakings, anyway standard and generally unremarkable these issues may be. (Hughes and Sharrock 2002: 20)

The research is Grounded, it being full of Richness and colour and its disadvantages are the Observation having limited participation and limited participation limits observation.

Immediacy is all that is derived from the research , there are observation effects which may also be known as the Hawthorne effect and this is the response produced by subjects after they find out they are being studied.

And lastly, the research outcome is dependent on the discernment and Intelligence of the researcher.

In the Seminar, we talked about the some parts of the lecture and in-depth explanation of ethnography. We were asked to form groups consisting of 4 to 5 people per group take on the weekly task and discuss and describe how digital media or technology affect people's relationships or community. For Weekly task also, we were asked create a video A task was given to conduct an ethnographic investigation into the use of technology in the university campus using at least one of the styles covered in the lecture. Student Were found in different part of the university Researching.

Lambert V, Glacken M, McCarron M (2011)

[1] Atkinson, P. (2007) Ethnography. 3rd edn. London: Routeledge

Researching Space

Space is an empty boundary, one that has no meaning. A space can be everything and anything you want it to be but until it becomes a place it really has no meaning. place is space filled up by people, practices, objects, and representations. In particular, place should not be confused with the use of geo-graphic metaphors (boundaries, territories) that define conceptual or analytical spaces - as the title of this piece makes plain (also: Gieryn 1999)

Castelle argues that the global space has increasingly been split into the "space of flows" and the "space of places" saukko (2003:157)

There are distinctive methods to researching space firstly, multidimensional, which is the lived experience of space, it's the representation and the context that space has. Secondly, the Marxist approach, which is related to production, it's how space is changed every day and how it shapes our everyday lives. Also, it's how the space symbolises things and how people cognitively develop it. (Lefebvre, 1973)

Finally, the postcolonial, which is how space is interpreted and reacted towards depending on each person's cultural background. (Conan the Barbarian, McDonalds)

Researching space as a method allows researchers to understand and interpret how history has diffused with its cultures and how spaces are observed without the content in it that turns it into a place to identify the truth about the landscape and what lies behind it.

Researching Sensory

Our five senses are, the sense of smell, touch, sight, taste and hearing. Each of these senses is entirely different for every individual because they have a different way assimilating Scent, taste, touch, sound or anything seen differently hence why we all can't have the same view on our senses.

Just like when Sarah Pink, talked about the visual culture being dominant and how people viewed things from the eyes of the culture they were raised in and David Howes talked about how the different cultural context as in the west, people in the west see that the sense of sight is the most dominant of all and didn't take into consideration other senses like touch, smell or taste is the same way people around the world. In Nigeria, the taste or aroma of a meal prepared by a person from a Tribe would not be the same for someone of the same tribe

Researching The Digital

The Internet has changed and is Changing as the years go by, Technology is even more advanced now than ever. In the late 20s and early 21st Century, there were little or no Streaming Platforms, WIFI was just introduced, there were no Smartphones and mobile phones where used for the sole purpose of communication.

Advanced technology was either an idea, Plan or at the early stage of creation. There was a small number of people involved online due to minimal access. Social networking Platforms like Myspace, Facebook, Tumbler, Twitter and others were still fresh and complex. The internet two decades ago till now is entirely different and it's not over. The Internet will likely be different from that of today, Ten years from now. Most Technologist date this evolution back to Gordon Moore's Observations. Co-founder of intel Gordon Moore came up with an observation which was later widely known and Referred to as Moore's Law. It established or predicted that the overall processing power for computers will double about every 18 months which means the speed and aptitude of our computers are bound to increase after every few years at a lesser cost. Your digital Footprints are the Traces or Strings left online when people have been online, more like the history. It is made up of everything one has put online. It is also called cyber Shadow. There are two types of Digital Footprints ; the active and passive. A passive footprint is a trail of data unintentionally left online. For example, you could be shopping online and your IP address is logged by the website, which gives the website data such as your internet service provider and your location. An active digital footprint is where the user intentionally shares information about themselves by using social media sites or sending emails. Digital Footprint whether passive or active can be a big disadvantage when data is obtained without authorization or unwanted data is retrieved as it is an open source. For Example, Social Networking Platform, Facebook Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm faced a major scandal Cambridge Analytica had gathered the personal data of millions of people's Facebook profiles without their consent and used it for political advertising purposes during the presidential election campaign.

Although it may seem as though everyone has Access to digitalization , there are countries that have little access to Technology , hence creating slow growth in these communities and this is mostly in third world and war countries. There are Four ways of researching and these are through the use of technology, by hardware and software, through spheres of raw data and through digitalization of the society. Examples are through Mobile research, social listening , relationships in chatrooms and user's emotional wellbeing. It could be a research through which directed to students , people on social media , people struggling with mental health, even children through games. This could go any form.

There are two methods used for this research, the virtual methods and the Digital Method. The Virtual method involves the use of research methods in an online environment . For example, Online focus groups, conference calls, surveys or e- interviews. Digital method or tool of researching is researching things already on the medium e.g., Online platform. This is basically like Ethnography but the only difference is it is online.

The Pros to these methods are It being cheap to work with, Faster to use and numerous amounts of data , It is flexible because it isn't in a specific location However the cons of using this method is as a result of the data being incomplete, lack of digital access , digital Illiteracy and there were no ethics.

In the Seminar, we talked about what was learnt in the lecture that, we had every part that wasn't talked upon in the lecture be acted out in the seminar. Everyone was told to pick a partner or groups of persons which they performed the class task with; we were asked to Think about the link between social media and emotional well-being. Talk about it as an issue and define what digital footprint was, Investigating with our phones

Our Weekly group task, we were asked to speak to one another, discover and discuss which digital media was used the most. I got into my group we answered the questions given and revealed to the lecturer and teacher afterward. We made a video of us having our discussion, Then we recreated an average "day in the life" of a student's digital media usage and talked about the issues surrounding it.


Bartlett, J. (2019). Big data is watching you and it wants your vote | The Spectator. [online] The Spectator. Available at: [Accessed 29 Jun. 2019].

boyd, d. and Ellison, N. (2007). Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13(1), pp.210-230.

Cityparents.co.uk. (2019). Tech Talk: Understanding digital footprints. [online] Available at: [Accessed 30 Jun. 2019].

Clark, M. (2019). THE IMPORTANCE OF A POSITIVE DIGITAL FOOTPRINT. [online] prezi.com. Available at: [Accessed 30 Jun. 2019].

Dominick, J. and Wimmer, R. (2003). Training the Next Generation of Media Researchers. Mass Communication and Society, 6(1), pp.3-9.

Graham-Harrison, E. and Cadwalladr, C. (2019). Revealed: 50 million Facebook profiles harvested for Cambridge Analytica in major data breach. [online] the Guardian. Available at: [Accessed 27 Jun. 2019].

Jones, B. (2019). Researching the Digital.

Southekal, P. (2019). What is NOT Digital Transformation?. [online] Datasciencecentral.com. Available at: [Accessed 29 Jun. 2019].

Tardi, C. (2019). Moore's Law Explained. [online] Investopedia. Available at: [Accessed 29 Jun. 2019].

Umsl.edu. (2019). [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 Jun. 2019].

Updated: May 19, 2021

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Types and Methods of Interviews in Research. (2019, Dec 15). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/types-and-methods-of-interviews-in-research-essay

Types and Methods of Interviews in Research essay
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