Interview: What is the mutual dependence interviewer-researcher?*

Versión en español:


I am in the Qualitative Research class, so we are developing a very interesting and fun way to know, learn, and achieve to apply qualitative research techniques and, subsequently, #ShareKnowledge. I decided to work on interview technique, not only related with the teoretical part, but the practice. I want to share something new, and usefull.

According to Díaz-Bravo et al. (2013), there are three types of interviews:

  • Structured or focused interviews: where the questions are fixed in advance, with a certain order, has the advantage of systematization, which facilitates the classification and analysis. Its disadvantage is the lack of flexibility that involves the lack of adaptation to the subject being interviewed and a lesser depth in the analysis.
  • Semistructured interviews: present a greater degree of flexibility.
  • Unstructured interviews: they are more informal, more flexible and are planned in such a way that they can be adapted to the subjects and the conditions.

For me, in particular, I was interested in analyzing the standardized interviews so I started to analyze this topic and found a very complete article in the Bulletin of Sociological Methodology entitled Interviewer and Survey Researcher: Mutual Dependencies, of which -as contribution to this blog- I would highlight the way in which Johannes van der Zouwen (the author) talks about this “mutual dependence” between the interviewer and the researcher, when doing the research.

The relationship between both (researcher & interviewer) will begin at the moment in which the researcher needs to carry out the application of the questions that, subsequently, the interviewer must execute with subtlety and “objectivity” for the proper development of the research. On the one hand, the researcher must write the questions in such a way that both the interviewer and the interviewee can understand them without major problems and, if they were not, the interviewer can modify them, for a better understanding of the subject of study. This would generate data bad curated. In this case Zouwen (2006) proposes us to use the tool of the black box, which consists in reviewing the recording, either audio or video to detect how much the questions and answers were modified.

That is why I would like to highlight the relevance of a reciprocal relationship between the interviewer & researcher, since a large part of the results we will obtain in the research depends on this.

 I hope it has served you to consider it in your next application of an interview

What do you think about the mutual interviewer-researcher dependence? 

Leave me your comment.


Díaz-Bravo, L., Torruco-García, U., Martínez-Hernández, M., and Varela-Ruiz, M. (2013). The interview, flexible and dynamic resource, Research in Medical Education, 2 (7), 162-167,

van der Zouwen, J. (2006). Surveyor and Survey Researcher: Mutual Dependencies. Bulletin of Sociological Methodology / Bulletin of Méthodologie Sociologique, 89 (1), 49-64,

Diana Karen Jaime, twitter: @diana_karens
José Fernando García, twitter: @jose_garciadiaz
Jessica Mireles, twitter: @Jessica_Mirest
Esmeralda Lizeth del Río, twitter: @ esmedrg20
Abraham García, twitter: @ abraham_gm1916
Luis Enrique Morales Flores, twitter: @LuisMoralFlores