Sunday, May 17, 2015

21 Dissertation Tips for Students Interviewing Study Participants

Research Interview Tips
21 Interview Dissertation Tips #2015

#21 Dissertation Tips
Are you getting ready to conduct interviews for your dissertation paper? Well here are some tips that we think are important before you get started on your interviews.
  1. Set expectations: Inform the study participants of the estimated duration of the interview. And what you are looking to get out of the interview.  
  2. State the purpose of your dissertation early on. 
  3. Avoid asking too many personal questions.
  4. Send a list of interview questions a week before the scheduled date of the interview. 
  5. Don’t enter into an argument with the participant. 
  6. Avoid any kind of manipulation. 
  7. Thank them at the end of interview for their valuable time.
  8. Do not forget to send a copy of your research at the end of the dissertation publication.
  9. At the end of the interview ask them if it's okay to get in touch or call them in case you have any further questions. 
  10. Inform them that if during the interview they would like to go "off the record" then please free do say so. 
  11. Is the research covered by a Certificate of Confidentiality (CoC)? Inform the speakers about the same. 
  12. Set the duration of the interview. An ideal length of a good interview is under 60 minutes.
  13. Choose the primary mode of communication. We highly recommend using email for most of communications. For urgent matters the next best alternative is Phone and SMS. 
  14. Will the interview be transcribed? Be sure to send the participant the dissertation interview transcript for their approval. Anything that needs to be censored off can be done at this point.
  15. Avoid noisy rooms such as restaurants and cafes to conduct the interview. Choose a conference room or a university lecture hall instead. 
  16. Will the interview be voice recorded? Place the digital voice recorder closer to the speaker instead of in the middle. Majority of the time the maximum talking is done by the interviewee. So the voice recorder needs to be positioned closer to the interviewee for best recording and for subsequent voice recording transcription purposes. 
  17. Focus Group prep: Tell the participants to speak one by one and avoid cross talking as the focus group will be digitally voice recorded and a clear recording is desirable. 
  18. Show the list of interview questions to your project head and mentor. Get their prior approval is feasible. 
  19. Try and not cross the time limit set for the interview. Incase there are still unanswered questions left when the time limit is fast approaching ask the participants if they have spare time to extend the interview.
  20. Unanswered questions and post interview questions can be asked via email. 
  21. Ask the speaker if they could recommend (someone in their business group or friend circle) whom you could interview. 


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