The interview: a form of questionnaire for the thesis


The interview is an instrument of data collection based on the interaction of two parties: the interviewer and the interviewee. Although it is a questionnaire, this mechanism involves the intervention of a qualified or trained person who must lead the application of the instrument. This figure is a kind of mediator that guides the collection of information, organizes and controls the application of the questionnaire and records the responses.

The interviews will require a staff that can act as a filter between the measurement instrument and the participant, but without altering or modifying the data obtained. That is why it is very important for the interviewer to know the questionnaire and the purpose of the questionnaire perfectly, as well as to fully understand the questions and not influence to get or manipulate the nature of a response.

When they are personal, the interviews must have a moderator who does not judge or approve, by means of gestures or words, the opinions expressed by the participants. Nor should intimidate the interviewees. The main function of this intermediary is to guide the participant during the interview, maintain their interest and concentration to achieve the successful completion of the questionnaire.


– Always with kindness, cordiality and respect.

– Transmit security

– Be neutral in each interview and do not imply that one answer is better than another.

– Standardize your speech without losing your naturalness.

– Express in a brief, simple and clear way, that is very important.

The researcher is responsible for creating the questionnaire and selecting the person or group suitable to conduct the interview. It is in his hands to train the staff and coordinate their activities. One recommendation is to look for people with characteristics similar to those of the study participants (age, studies, gender, etc.). This can help to gain receptivity.


– The presentation or beginning, like the end, should be perfectly clear to both parties. In the format of the interview it is necessary that it appear written.

– The interview must be done in similar conditions in all cases.

– The dynamics of the questionnaire should be a question and a response. Do not ask two questions together.

– Avoid the intervention of third parties, since they can alter the interview process.

– Preferably use closed questions, without ambiguities or inaccuracies.

– Choose a propitious location that generates comfort, in the case of personal interviews.

– They must be done according to a schedule and in a specific period of time. In addition, expectations of interviews conducted per day or per hour should be drawn, as the case may be.


The difference with “face to face” interviews is in the middle to communicate with the participant. In these cases, the appearance or the gestures of the interviewer do not matter, but its clear expression, correct pronunciation and intonation.

A telephone interview can have a great receptivity and is a faster and easier way to collect the data. It involves less costs. Likewise, it is very useful in situations in which it is difficult to access the places where the study participants are located.

To conduct interviews of this kind it is necessary to take into account the following aspects:

– It is pertinent to send a notification to the interviewee about the purpose of the study and the purpose of the questionnaire.

– Calls are made at the agreed time or at appropriate times.

– At the time of the interview, verify if the indicated person is spoken according to the sample.

– Use instruments with brief questions, simple to explain and understand.

– If the interview will be recorded have the approval of the participant.

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