ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

6 Important Steps in Conducting an Interview for a Research Paper

Updated on April 13, 2014

What subject(s) do you want to tackle in your research?

See results

In 1970, Mouly states that an interview is a “conversation” between two parties “to gather valid and reliable information” through the responses of the interviewee to a set of questions that are planned or arranged sequentially. He has also classified interviews into:

a. Closed or structure interviews – Use questions that require the respondent to choose his response from suggested answers. This is the use of more accurate generalizations in the last part of the investigation

b. Open or unstructured interviews – Give the interviewee freedom to think of his answers, which has more free will to answer whatever answer the interviewee wanted to answer. This is good for getting a specific understanding of the initial stage of inquiry.

In 1975, Wiersman defines Interview as a data-collection procedure that involves a “face-to-face confrontation between the interviewer and the subject or a group of subjects. According to him an interviewer may ask questions answerable by “Yes or No”.

In 1989, Borg says that closed questions allow the interviewee to respond to the questions more easily. With this the interviewer can quickly and easily codify and analyze the data. He also claims that it is more effective in obtaining factual or opinionated statements.

library | Source

Types of Interview

1. According to function

  • Diagnostic
  • Treatment
  • Research

2. According to number of persons

  • Individual
  • Group

3. According to length of contact

  • Short contact
  • Prolonged contact

4. According to the roles assumed by the interviewer and the interviewee

  • Nondirective or client-centered interview (uncontrolled or unstructured)
  • Focused or Depth Interview (previously planned or analyzed)

Step 1: State the Purpose

In conducting an interview the first thing to do is to do a description of what the purpose of the paper. You should also include your awareness of the design of the research paper. You must be certain of what is the purpose of your paper to construct questions well, level of structure and the qualifications that is needed in an interviewee.

Research paper
Research paper | Source

Step 2: Select a Sample

As you can remember in your statistic class sample refers to the subgroup of a larger group called a population. In this step you will not ask all the applicants of variables, like for example in school. You will not be asking all the students in a school rather you will just ask few students who are qualified on your research paper.

In the subgroup that you have chosen will be the basis for making decisions. Sampling is the right term if the researcher looks for right subgroup in his research.

Below are some of the various strategies on how you can get your samples through sampling. These are good pointers that you might need in doing the right result in a research.

1. Simple Random Sampling– This strategy is the best way to get a sample in a big population. In this technique, samples are selected through:

  • (a.) Putting all the names in a clash card and picking randomly through this samples are selected via pure chance selection
  • (b.) The first thing you will do here is to get a list of students. Then, Assign a number to every student and by using tables and pick numbers randomly.

2. Biased Sampling – This is the worst way to select samples because the interviewer will select subject from “naturally occurring or artificially constructed group of students. One good example of this is: All samples will be getting on the first 50 enrollees in a specific subject.

Library of San Diego City College
Library of San Diego City College | Source

3. Quota Sampling – This is a nonrandom strategy which the interviewer has the right claiming that he is knowledgeable to select samples in a research. The purpose of this strategy is to show the samples with regards to important characteristics are closely represents the target population.

4. Cluster Sampling – this is a type of strategy that selects samples via clusters rather than individuals. Like for example, the interviewer will randomly pick 3 students per class to complete his subgroup or samples.

5. Systematic Sampling – Through chance and the system, samples are selected. Like for example, you will pick randomly from 1-10 and out of 500 subjects, you will be taking every 10th name on the list until you complete your set of samples.

6. Stratified Sampling – This is the best strategy if you want to divide the group for further analysis. Samples are chosen through capability of qualifying for future analysis.

7. Essentially Random – Samples are not pick randomly rather chosen.

In 1983, Vockell had written some of the advantages and disadvantages of the five basic sampling techniques.

Random Sampling
Most Accurate and only influence by chance
Samples in the population might absent that must be take in consideration
Systematic Sampling
Just like Random Sampling though much easier to do
Biased in a system
Cluster Sampling
Easy to collect data from the subjects
Biased if the sample is small
Quota Sampling
Advisable to use if Random Sampling is impossible to do
Some bias are still uncontrollable
Stratified Sampling
Can be combined with other strategies, best way to use when the population is too large.
Bias if strata I given false weights unless the weighing procedure is used for overall analysis.

Step 4: Conduct a Pretest

The success of the interview does not just depend on planning, but also in conducting trials and pretest to outline and correct some flaws in the formation of questions, coding system and other aspects of the interview that you have done.

Through pretesting you can predict the effects of your planning and can help you determine the extent revisions that you will be making in your questions before face-to-face confrontation.

Step 3: Formulate Questions

Be clear, simple and direct in formulating questions so that your respondents will easily understand what you really asking for. It is essential to plan the structure of your opening statement, questions and closing remarks.

This is the stage where you need to plan for a certain method for coding responses and tallying results. You also need to make a schedule that you can use in conducting an interview. Through this, you know what to do first and the things that must be finished first.

How To Write A Research Paper Fast

Step 5: Conduct the Interview

The main purpose of your job as an interview is to ask questions, record every response and be accurate as much as possible. But before you do an interview you must connect and make some time in making friendship to attain spontaneity and elicit collaboration with him.

Never give suggestions or hints about possible responses to it will put bias to your research. Also control your temper and make your interview smooth and responsive. In case you have some misinterpretations try to ask him further like this:

Example: “Please Explain your answer a little further” or “Can you tell me a little more than that?”

In 1985, Bautista and Go cite Thompson’s suggestions’ on how to become a successful interviewer. They have cited essential qualities to be a successful interviewer

  1. An interest and respect for people as individuals
  2. Flexibility in his response to them
  3. Show understanding and sympathy for their point of view
  4. Has the willingness to listen quietly

They also phrased Thompson’s suggestions that questions must be:

  1. Simple
  2. Straightforward
  3. Specific.

Avoid talking and contradicting respondents’ answers for it will only put their ideas unspoken and will make information go away that will result your interview to be useless and positively misleading.

Step 6: Analyze and Interpret the Results

The stage where you can analyze, interpret and tabulate all the responses/results that you have garnered in your respondent. Since the formulation of questions and structuring of the interview has been developed already you can easily develop the coding system.

Reference: Communication Skills II: Developing basic Research and Writing Skills by Esther L. Baraceeros

Have you find something that you can use in your "Research Paper"?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • KenDeanAgudo profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth C Agudo 

      4 years ago from Tiwi, Philippines

      I see, Oh I get it sheila, i Thought you where worrying about it. hehe

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Ken: I only mentioned that in case you were using the polls as survey for a paper you'd planned on writing.

    • KenDeanAgudo profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth C Agudo 

      4 years ago from Tiwi, Philippines

      Hello Sheila: Thank you for the read and I am glad that you find it substantial too. It's okay, polls are gadgets to hear the pulse of the reader so it doesn't need to be so positive. :)

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I hope I didn't skew your poll results. I'm not doing any research, but answered the questions as if I were. I learned some of this is college, but our sampling had to do with animal behavior studies so I didn't have to ask them any questions, but a lot of the same steps apply to choosing the sample size, etc. Thanks for the information about conducting interviews for a research paper because I feel your tips may come in handy if I ever decide to conduct a survey before writing a hub.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)