In-depth interview in phenomenology

In the data collection phase, a researcher must conduct interviews and focus group discussions. In-depth interviews, there are certain guidelines that you can follow. These are:

1. As this is an unstructured conversation, therefore, no prepared questions are required. First, this does not mean that a researcher does not have to prepare for the interview; it simply means that there is no need for a structured instrument. A structured interview is what gives respondents the choices they need to mark as their answer. In a semi-structured interview, a researcher has open-ended questions to ask. In an unstructured interview, however, neither open nor closed questions are required. This is due to the fact that you never know what form a conversation will take. Neither the researcher nor the respondent knows what result this interaction between them will generate.

2. Instead of preparing interview questions, however, the researcher can identify themes for the conversation. A theme is actually a focus; it is one aspect of the problem being addressed that the researcher wants to focus. Thus, a kidney patient is interviewed about his illness, if a researcher wants to focus on pain management issues, this will be his main focus. Furthermore, even during the interview, this general focus can be narrowed to topics such as (borrowing Glaser’s example of grounded theory here) rest, medicine and pace. So a general focus or theme can be narrowed further during the interview.

3. Since phenomenology is more interested in a respondent’s experiences, it is therefore not enough to know how a respondent judges something; the important thing is to know the experience / or experiences that led him to this judgment.

4. Since phenomenology does not focus on the world, but rather on the subject or person experiencing the world, it is therefore important to know how the respondent experienced the world, or a specific question or situation. So, for example, if a researcher is interested in knowing how a respondent experienced the visit to a particular park, he should focus on the way that park was experienced by the respondent, and not the specific details of the park. So a researcher is not very interested in knowing how many entrances, swings and canteens there were in the park, but in knowing how a respondent experienced these objects. And in doing so, he must take his respondent to a stage where he begins to reflect on his past experience and tell the researcher about his feelings, expectations, fears thoughts, stimuli choices, etc. In short, he must tell how he was conscious of these things.

So, these are a few guidelines for conducting an interview in phenomenological research.

By: Khalid Jamil Rawat