Surely you have done interviews sometimes, but have you analyzed the interaction that occurs during your application?
Dana Garbarski, Nora Cate Schaeffer and Jennifer Dykema, authors of the article Interviewing Practices, Conversational Practices, and Rapport: Responsiveness and Engagement in the Standardized Survey Interview, explain it to us using conversational analysis.
Let’s start with the first, do you know what standardized interviews are? In a very simple way, these are interviews where there is a series of questions that are read to all interviewees alike, sequentially and, in most cases, their answers are short and concrete.
Now that you know it, you have to consider that it cannot always be completely standardized.
It is normal to create relationships when applying the interview, which is very beneficial because the more confidence there is between the interviewer and the interviewee, the better the results can be interpreted.
If you do not believe me, think about when you talk to someone. The conversation is usually much more fluid between the more comfortable you feel, you will even be more honest in your answers. However, if you feel uncomfortable you will not feel the confidence to give the true answers or to deepen more in the subject, in those moments you only want to finish the conversation quickly.
And here, as in any relationship, the two parties have to do their bit, both the interviewer has to show a response capacity, that is, show concern. How the interviewee must have a commitment.
How to show that concern? Simply verifying or repeating the answer, thanking or apologizing, all these show that we are listening, we can even laugh with the interviewee.
However, we must be very careful because any behaviour that emerges during the interview should be considered with the context of the interview, for example, a laugh can be reciprocated or can be misinterpreted.
For this, you always have to know how to talk to all kinds of people. First identify who you are talking to, in order to know what kind of language is most appropriate for the specific situation. You are not going to talk in the same way to a person who works in the field, to a scientist if you want better results.
It is important then that we take into account all possible aspects when using this research technique, because, as responsible for them, we have a commitment to pay attention to everything that surrounds us, if the people involved become nervous, if the situation becomes tense, if something is misinterpreted or accepted in a good way, everything. Many times, however small we see certain actions, they can have a great weight in the results of the investigation.
And if at this point you still think that the above can distort the objectives of standardization, Dana Garbarski, Nora Cate Schaeffer and Jennifer Dykema, say that bringing standardization to a more relaxed level will allow us to solve the possible misunderstandings of the interviewee, improvise during the interview and, as we had already seen, speak with a more comprehensive language for them.
Garbarski, D., Schaeffer, N. C., & Dykema, J. (2016). Interviewing Practices, Conversational Practices, and Rapport: Responsiveness and Engagement in the Standardized Survey Interview. Sociological Methodology, 46(1), 1-38. https://doi.org/10.1177/0081175016637890
Andrea Abonce, twitter: @andrea_abonce
Montserrat Gama, twitter: @vaiviadame2
Elda Tello, twitter: @eldatellov
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