This is a method of data collection involving an interviewer asking questions of another person (a respondent). Interviews are good for getting subjective reactions, opinions and insights into how people feel about an issue. Interviews could be structured or open-ended.

  • Structured interviews take place once with a pre-defined set of questions and responses. A structured approach can provide more reliable, quantifiable data than an open-ended interview, and can be designed rigorously to avoid biases in the line of
  • Open-ended interviews permit the respondent (interviewee) to provide additional information, ask broad questions without a fixed set of answers and explore paths of questioning which may occur to the interviewer spontaneously during the interview.

An open-ended approach allows for an exploratory approach to uncover unexpected information; it is used especially when the exact issues of interest have yet to be identified.

Structured and open-ended approaches may be combined. For instance, an interviewer can begin with structured questions then, once the quantifiable data has been covered, open up the discussion with the interviewee into other areas.

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