An interview is a qualitative research approach that collects data by asking questions. Interviews usually involve two or more people, one of whom is the interviewer.


Interviews can be classified according to their structure. These interviews have prepared questions and an order. Semi-structured interviews are in between unstructured interviews.


interviews are used in marketing, sociology, and ethnography.


A structured interview is a


Structured interviews follow a predetermined format. They are frequently closed-ended (yes/no) or multiple-choice. Open-ended structured interviews do exist, but are rare. Structured interviews are primarily quantitative due to the questions answered.


Asking the same questions in the same order allows you to compare replies amongst participants while keeping other variables constant. This reduces biases and increases reliability and validity. Structured interviews might be extremely formal, and their breadth and flexibility constrained.


Your research may benefit from structured interviews if:





A semi-structured interview is


They combine structured and unstructured interviews. While the interviewer has a basic idea of what they want to ask, the questions can be asked in any order.


In semi-structured interviews, questions are left open-ended yet organized around a specified theme. So they are often called “the finest of both worlds.”


Finding trends might be difficult if the questions vary greatly between participants, reducing generalizability and validity.


For example, semi-structured interviews are useful when:




Why do students prefer Scribbr’s proofreading?


Editing and proofreading


Unstructured interview:


Unstructured interviews are the most flexible. The questions and their order are not predetermined. Instead, the interview can be more spontaneous, based on earlier responses.


Informal interviews are always open-ended. This flexibility can enable you collect specific information while still observing patterns among individuals.


Due to their versatility, they can be difficult to execute well. Asking leading questions can lead to biased responses, which can impair reliability or even invalidate your research.


Informal interviews are suitable for your research if:



A descriptive data set can help you deepen and contextualize your first hypotheses.



A focus group is a


A focus group is a group of people who meet regularly to discuss a topic. Focus groups are generally qualitative in character, studying group dynamics and body language as well as answers. Results can direct future research on consumer goods, human behavior, or problematic issues.


Focus groups are less expensive and easier to organize than experiments or huge surveys. Their tiny size reduces external validity and the researcher’s desire to “cherry-pick” responses that meet theories.


Consider using a focus group if:



It’s hard to answer questions based on feelings, beliefs, and impressions.


Inquiry-based research seeks knowledge to assist answer new questions or generate new research ideas.


Typical interview questions


Your questions will vary in tone, phrasing, and intent depending on the interview type. Structured interviews have predetermined questions, whereas other interviews are more open-ended and flexible.


Here are a few.














Interviews: benefits and drawbacks


Great research tool: interviews. They provide more thorough information than other study methodologies, taking into account nonverbal indicators, spontaneous behaviors, and emotional responses.


But they can be time consuming and difficult to do appropriately. Smaller sample sizes can reduce validity and reliability, and mistakenly leading questions can contribute to interviewer effect.


Here are some benefits and drawbacks of each form of interview to help you decide.


Interviews: benefits and drawbacks


Types of interviews
























Method for interviewing numerous persons at once.




Less challenging issues to address








Are there four sorts of interviews?


An interviewer’s effect


Social desirability bias


A focus group is a