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ENVS 111: Mixed Methods for Environmental Research

This research guide was created to support ENVS 111: Mixed Methods for Environmental Research.

Interview Reseach

Interviews are designed to collect richer source of information from a small number of people about:

  • Attributes
  • Attitudes
  • Behavior
  • Feelings
  • Knowledge
  • Opinions
  • Preferences

Interviews are most effective for qualitative research:

  • They help you explain, better understand, and explore research subjects' opinions, behavior, experiences, phenomenon, etc.
  • Interview questions are usually open-ended questions so that in-depth information will be collected.

There are several types of interviews, including:

  • Face-to-face
  • Online (e.g. Zoom, Skype, etc)
  • Phone

What are the important steps involved in interviews?

  1. Design interview questions
    • Think about who you will interview
    • Think about what kind of information you want to obtain from interviews
    • Think about why you want to pursue in-depth information around your research topic
  2. Develop an interview guide
    • Introduce yourself and explain the aim of the interview
    • Devise your questions so interviewees can help answer your research question
    • Have a sequence to your questions / topics by grouping them in themes
    • Make sure you can easily move back and forth between questions / topics 
    • Make sure your questions are clear and easy to understand
    • Do not ask leading questions
  3. Plan and manage logistics
    • Do you want to bring a second interviewer with you?
    • Do you want to bring a notetaker?
    • Do you want to record interviews? If so, do you have time to transcribe interview recordings?
    • Where will you interview people? Where is the setting with the least distraction?
    • How long will each interview take?
    • Do you need to address terms of confidentiality?


Source: Katz-Buonincontro, Jen. “Interviews.” How to Interview and Conduct Focus Groups., American Psychological Association, 2022, pp. 23–45. EBSCOhost,