Jan 27, 2020
In this six blog post series, we cover the best practices in interviewing, from preparation, to analysis. The following is the second blog post, finding people to interview.
Finding participants to interview is the first major milestone in the interview process. First task is to figure out who to interview. Usually the research question specifies the participants. For example, a research question on the doctors' perception of their working conditions naturally suggests that doctors will make up the participant group. Following this example, doctors is the "population" this study based on. You can narrow this down to "all doctors in my town", or narrow it even further to "emergency room doctors in southern Stockholm".
After deciding on the population, the next task is to draw participants from this population, which will be our "sample". The doctors you interview in the end is your sample.
Although there is no fixed answer to this question, there is a rule of thumb. As an interviewer, once you start anticipating the answers you will get, and you don't hear anything interesting anymore, you should probably stop interviewing.
Some knowledge on sample types is also helpful to get through the sampling question.
As an interviewer you don't need to chose only one method of sampling but can mix and match, for example use stratified sampling and snowballing method.
If you can't get hold on the people in your population, then you should either redefine your population or even change your research question.
Once you decide on the interview type and the population, you can contact the potential interviewees.
According to GDPR regulations, any research interview should have a consent form which is a part of ethical way of interviewing.
A comprehensive consent form should include:
Consent forms are given before starting the interviews, and inform the participants with the basic information, their rights and privacy. As part of the research ethics, the form should explain when and how participants can withdraw their data from the research, if they wish to, during and after the interview.
Once you have chosen the people to interview, it is time to start preparing yourself. For a comprehensive guide on interview questions to ask, check out our next blog post: Good questions to ask while interviewing.
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