Essay about Different Types of Interviews

Essay about Different Types of Interviews

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There are many kinds of talk in social life, for instance, everyday conversation, job interview, journalistic interview, official interview by police, medical interview and research interview. This essay will investigate the difference between social research interviews and everyday conversation. In social research interviews, researchers utilize various methodologies which suit each research theme and situation. Thus, this essay will explore research interviews, which are varied widely, in order to elucidate what factors might distinguish academic interview from ordinary conversation. In particular, I will focus on the purpose, contents, steps, power relationship, motivation and achievement of interviews.

Looking first at social research interviews, they include structured interview for quantitative research, semi-structured and unstructured interview for qualitative research. Aside from them, there are narrative interview, oral history, focus group interview, walking interview and repeat interview. As all types of interview are divided by the number of interviewee, they are individual interviews and group interviews. Those diverse forms of interview have some common aspects, for example, the interviewer reveals information from the interviewee so that research interview is stated as ‘a prominent data-collection strategy’ (Bryman, 2012: 209). Interviewing can map and comprehend interviewees’ life and the relationship between social actors and their situation (Gaskell, 2000). In order to achieve interview outcomes which are rich insights into individuals’ biographies, experiences, values, opinions, aspirations, behaviors and feelings, May (2011) states that it is necessary for social researchers to understand the dynamics of inte...

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May, T. (2011) Social research: issues, methods and process. [online] 4th.eds. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill/Open University Press,. Available from: Connect to MyiLibrary e-book (Restricted to 1 user at a time) (Accessed 28 January 2014).
Modern Records Centre University of Warwick (2012) The 26 interviews. [online] Available from: (Accessed 25 February 2014).
Scott, J. & Marshall, G. (2009) A dictionary of sociology. [online] 3rd.eds. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press,. Available from: Connect to Oxford Reference e-book (Accessed 28 January 2014).

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