Semistructured interviews

This type of interview is normally a mixture of precoded and open-ended questions combined in the questionnaire. The interviewer is bound by the structure of the questionnaire but the respondent is free to answer the open-ended questions in any way. Open-ended questions are relatively easy for the interviewer to ask, but more skill is needed in interpreting the responses. Not least, there is the problem of recording all that a respondent says should he or she speak rapidly. The danger exists that the interviewer will edit the responses to those that seem to be most appropriate, or most required. In both of these situations the interviewer can distort the quality of data obtained. It is, therefore, necessary for the interviewer to be aware of the importance of his or her role in accurately and completely recording the respondent's answers. A higher degree of skill and experience is looked for, and more attention must be paid to interviewer briefing before fieldwork commences.

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