The purpose of an interview is to get the right and enough information from the interviewee. It is important that the information contributes to your research, and that you get enough information. To gain the right information from an interview you will have to prepare good questions. You will also have to question the interviewee in the right way. 5 tips that will allow you to get the most out of your interview:
1) Prepare a questionnaire or a list of the topics you wish to discuss.
This creates a kind of shopping list, so you are ensured you will not forget anything during the interview. A questionnaire or topic list also ensures you don’t lose the thread and do not deviate from the main topic too much.
2) Do not influence the interviewee in his answers.
By not influencing the interviewee you get more honest and reliable answers. For example do not ask the question: ‘What do you like about Los Angeles?’ (perhaps the interviewee does not like Los Angeles at all), but ask: ‘What is your opinion about Los Angeles?’
3) Act in a professional manner during the entire interview.
Show appreciation and understanding for the interviewee, but do not exaggerate. Behave in a way that shows the interviewee you are genuinely interested in what he/she has to say. If you stick to these points the interviewee will me more open and honest. This will allow you to gain more information from the interview.
4) Before asking personal or controversial questions, warm them up with easier questions first.
Remember this person has probably never met you, if you start asking personal questions right away the interviewee will probably go in defensive mode. It is important that you warm the interviewee up first with easy questions, this will build trust. Later on in the interview, you can start asking harder questions.
5) The most important tip of all: practice.
The best way to get better at interviewing is to practice. That is why you should practice your interview first. You can practice your interview on a classmate or on an acquaintance first. Ask this person to give you feedback on how the interview went. Pay extra notice to your posture, your questions, your introduction, the structure, how you ask supplementary questions and whether you are polite. You can also record this practice interview and listen to it later. This way you can find ways you improve yourself.