|Will your Interviews be semi-structured or structured and why? Which do you feel matches your research and/or style better? Explain.|
Many researchers like to use semi-structured interviews because questions can be prepared ahead of time. This allows the interviewer to be prepared and appear competent during the interview. Semi-structured interviews also allow informants the freedom to express their views in their own terms. The interviewer and respondents engage in a formal interview. The interviewer develops and uses an ‘interview guide.’ This is a list of questions and topics that need to be covered during the conversation, usually in a particular order. The interviewer follows the guide, but is able to follow topical trajectories in the conversation that may stray from the guide when he or she feels this is appropriate.
Structured interviews do not require the development of rapport between interviewer and interviewee, and they can produce consistent data that can be compared across a number of respondents. The interviewer asks each respondent the same series of questions. There are few open-ended questions included in the interview guide. Questioning is standardized and the ordering and phrasing of the questions are kept consistent from interview to interview. The interviewer plays a neutral role and acts casual and friendly, but does not insert his or her opinion in the interview.