Complete 6 pages APA formatted article: Strengths and Weaknesses of Research Methods. The structured interviews involve a series of predetermined questions being asked and responses recorded without further probing of the interviewee. The unstructured interview involves a combination of pre-determined questions combined with random questions asked with the sole purpose of probing further in order to gather more in-depth information and gain more data in the process (Tracy, 2012, pg. 152).
These two main categories have been further subdivided into different types of interviews which range from telephone interview to the most common which is a face-to-face interview. Telephone interviews are carried out through the telephone. It is most common in cases where the respondent is far probably in another country or is too busy to grant a face to face interview. The face-to-face interview is where the interviewer and the participant face each other and the series of questions and answers exchanged (Stewart, Chadwick & Gill, 2008, pg. 292). The interview has several strengths and weaknesses depending on the type.
The main strength of the interviews is the ability to probe further depending on the response that has been provided. The probing questions are not pre-determined but lead to the collection of more detailed information leading to more knowledge about the topic of discussion. Interviews can be combined with other forms of research data collection tools to enable the researcher to collect more data with little effort. The other forms of tools include observation of the non-verbal cues when the interviewee is answering the questions as well as when asked a particularly sensitive question. The non-verbal cues will caution the interviewer on the issues to tread lightly so as not to annoy the interview which may cause premature termination of the interview, and will also lead to the interviewer marking the areas of the discussion that will need verification later on.
Interviews and especially the face-to-face interviews lead to high responses to the interview .questions compared to other forms of data collection tools such as questionnaires. This is so because the interviewee faces the interviewer and hence has no way of avoiding to respond.