How many types of interviews are there

Different forms of qualitative interviews

When collecting qualitative interviews, the aim is to collect interview data that offer possibilities for interpretation. There are many different forms of qualitative interviews that differ more or less from one another. In this level you will be introduced to different forms:

  • Narrative interview: The narrative interview is often highlighted as the most open form of the qualitative interview. In this form, the narrator's narration as detailed as possible dominates the interview situation. The interviewer, on the other hand, primarily takes on the role of a listener.
  • Guided interview: In the case of guided interviews, the interview is structured by means of a guide. There is thus a thematic limitation. The interviewee has the task of following the person's narration and at the same time using the guidelines flexibly in the interview.
    • Expert interview: The expert interview is a form of guided interview. It differs from other forms of qualitative interviews in that the circle of narrators is limited to so-called experts.
    • Problem-centered interview: The problem-centered interview is a type of guideline-based interview that is more theory-generating and less theory-checking. It is thus based on the paradigm of grounded theory, but due to the use of guidelines, assumptions about the phenomenon under investigation are not excluded.

It thus shows that it the qualitative interview does not exist. The different types of interviews each have their own goals, but the basic approach is similar. What all forms have in common is that the interview is a special communication situation that is created jointly by the narrator and the person interviewing. An interview is therefore always a unique product of mutual interaction and communication. Based on the principles of qualitative research, all types of interviews jointly represent an attitude of openness.

The decision for a certain type of interview must always be related to the research question. At the same time, the choice of an evaluation method must also be considered.