Interviews – so far, so good!

[Apologies for typos. I’m on a wobbly train so finger accuracy is suffering.]

I’m now 2 interviews into my data collection and it’s going really well.

Both have ended up being about 35-40 mins rather than the hour I’d anticipated  but even at that length they’re generating lots of useful and unexpected stuff that links very closely with the reading I’ve been doing.

I think longer interviews would be exhausting for the participants and it’s taking me about 90 mins to listen back to them and take notes. With 6 participants, that a lit of work even before I start analysing the data.

On a first listen there are some emerging themes that I’ll be able to use as slices but I won’t say what they are at this stage. Some of the participants read the blog and I don’t want to influence what they say in the interviews.

Guy had a great suggestion of “participant checking” which I’m going to do after I’ve done my initial analysis. It will mean probably getting all the participants together (probably using video conferencing) to discuss whether the themes I’m identifying actually reflect what they see as being accurate.

As for conducting the interviews, I hope I’m being a good researcher. I’m trying to use all the skills I developed as a coach at Siemens:

  • using open questions
  • reflecting back answers using the language the participant used
  • probing and asking for elaboration
  • leaving enough room for the participant to answer fully
  • maintaining eye contact and all that stuff
  • only taking the minimum of notes. It helps me to listen closely but means I can give the interviewee as much attention as possible.

I seem to be eliciting lots of extended, sophisticated responses so far so I’ll keep on with that approach.

I am detecting my greasy fingerprints in some of their answers; the outcomes of some of the sessions I’ve done, converstaions I’ve had and so on. I’ll need to make sure that I’ve written clearly about what my infuence on the answers might have been in my methodology section.

1 more interview this week then 3 next. I’m liking this feeling of momentum.