Post by Theo – Day 3 Conducting Qualitative Interviews

On the journey to the villages I was nervous about doing the interviews – I didn’t feel doing an interview would play to my strengths and that I would flounder looking for a question to ask. These worries were alleviated when watching others do their interviews as the interviewees were friendly. It also struck me that if I were being interviewed in the same way, I feel I would be infinitely patient with the interviewer. As these interviews were going on, I was constantly thinking of different questions I wanted to ask but couldn’t, and different directions I wanted to take the interview away from the provided question sheet. I said to myself I would try to take my interview in these different directions rather than stick entirely to the script. However, when it came to my interview, I found it very difficult to fully understand what the interviewee was saying while also thinking of an original question that was not on the question sheet. As a result, I found that I struggled to go into any real depth into some of the more interesting revelations that were made. Being able to do this will most probably come with practice.
Another issue I found was that I wanted to expand on the information that the interviewee’s husband beat her, but going into too much detail about this wasn’t strictly relevant to the study – about the effectiveness of the income-generation scheme. I also felt that this was potentially too sensitive to go into, for the small potential gains that it would bring.
I was glad to finish the interview despite finding it interesting. The stress of trying to find a good question to ask had made me tense. The interviewee seemed happy with how it went and although immediately afterwards I had felt it had gone badly, thinking about it, I’m happy with it. It would be ridiculous to expect the first attempt to be perfect.

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