Strengths of Structured & Semi-Structured Interviews
- Structured interviews assist the researcher in gaining an in-depth understanding of respondents' thoughts, ideas, and points of view on a specific topic (see Bryant, n.d.).
- “All respondents are asked the same questions in the same manner. This makes it easy to replicate the discussion. In other words, this type of research method is easy to regulate or standardize" (Structured Interviews, n.d., p. 1).
- “It can be used as an influential form of formative assessment. It can be used to discover how a respondent feels about a specific topic before using a second method (such as in-depth interviewing or observation) to collect a superior depth of information. Structured interviews can also be used to recognize respondents whose views you may want to discover in more detail (through the use of focused interviews)” (Bryant, n.d., para. 2).
- “If it’s possible to quickly and easily apply this method to a large, representative sample of people, it should also be fairly easy to simplify your findings from the sample to the general / target population” (Bryant, n.d., para. 2).
- “All respondents are asked the same questions in the same way. This makes it easy to repeat (“replicate”) the interview. In other words, this type of research method is easy to standardize” (Bryant, n.d., para. 2).
- “Provide a reliable source of quantitative data” (Structured Interviews, n.d., p. 1).
- “The researcher is able to contact large numbers of people quickly, easily and efficiently (Structured Interviews, n.d., p. 1).
- “It is relatively quick and easy to create, code and interpret (especially if closed questions are used)" (Structured Interviews, n.d., p. 2).
- “Semi-structured interviews allow all participants to be asked the same questions within a flexible framework” (Dearnley, 2005, p. 22).
- “The researcher conducting semi-structured interviews is freer than one conducting a structured interview (Kajornboon, 2004, p. 75) in which the interviewer does not have to adhere to a detailed interview guide” (Kajornboon, 2005, p. 6).
- Semi-structured interviews make it easier for different researchers to compare results if more than one person carries out the fieldwork (see Interviewing, Ch.15).
- Semi-structured interviews provide some needed structure for multiple-case study research in order to ensure cross-case comparability (see Interviewing, Ch.15).
- “The strengths of semi-structured interviews are that the researcher can prompt and probe deeper into the given situation” (Kajornboon, 2005, p. 6).