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Questionnaires vs. Interviews

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I have developed a questionnaire to use for collecting information in a survey. If I decided to use interviews to collect the information for the survey instead:

1. How would the preparation be different?
2. How would the questions be different?
3. How would the threats to the validity of the results be different?

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Solution Preview

Interesting questions! Let's take a closer look through discussion and examples. I also attached two supporting articles for further discussion.

1. How would the preparation be different?

This is qualitative research and there are two types of interviews e.g., in-depth, structured or unstructured interview. The interviewer is considered a part of the measurement instrument and interviewer has to be well trained in how to respond to any contingency. Since the interviewer can control the quality of the result his/her training becomes crucial. In preparation, you would also need to consider what information will answer you research question. It is also important to organize in detail and rehearse the interviewing process before beginning the formal study (http://www.public.asu.edu/~kroel/www500/Interview%20Fri.pdf).

Preparation for the interview also includes the following:

1. Choose a setting with the least distraction.
2. Explain the purpose of the interview.
3. Address terms of confidentiality.
4. Explain the format of the interview.
5. Indicate how long the interview usually takes.
6. Provide contact information ...

Solution Summary

This solution explains the difference between collecting information in a survey and collecting infotmation in an interview in terms of the preparation, the questions and the threats to the validity. Supplemented with two articles, one on interviews and the other on validity.

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Interviewing Techniques: Behavioral vs Structural Compared

We need to build in some discussion of the Behavioral Event Interview or what is sometimes called the Behavioral Interview. These interview questions ask people what they really did in their previous job and not hypothetical questions about what the candidate might do in a given situation. This is a good way to drill into actual behaviors such as communications, decision making, conflict resolution, etc. Staffing experts recommend the use of structured interviews in the selection process.

Question: Why are Structured Interviews considered to be more effective than Behavioural Interviews? Discuss the pros and cons of each method.

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