The qualitative interview held in terms of the phenomenological research is characterized by certain peculiarities. Creswell (2012) notes that the researchers should have interviews with 5 to 25 people who experienced the phenomenon under study. Importantly, the phenomenological study aims at identifying the central reasons for people’s behavior or attitudes. Therefore, multiple (at least, two) interviews should be held (Patton, 2014). The interviewer may recollect something or feel more willing to share during the second interview, which will enable the researcher to achieve the goal of the study.
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The phenomenological study benefits from the use of semi-structured interviews as this type of data collection can help the researcher to address certain point but gives a lot of freedom to the participants. The participants can be more willing to share if they are not limited to particular topics or rigid boundaries of general questions or multiple-choice questions. Such interviews are often regarded as private talks on a topic that interests both the researcher and the participant (Patton, 2014). The participants feel freer under such circumstances. Thus, the research may have a set of 5 to 10 prepared questions that can be extended (Creswell, 2012). The interviewer may ask certain questions to clarify some points or to make the participant share their ideas in full.
As far as questions are concerned, these should be open-ended questions. They should be clear and precise. Clearly, they should be ethical, and there should be no ambiguity. These characteristics will encourage participants to share their views and experiences openly. As has been mentioned above, the phenomenological study presupposes the use of several interviews. The questions during the second interview should be slightly different. They should focus on the same topics, but may also address the participants’ experiences they shared previously.
Creswell, J. (2012). Qualitative inquiry & research design: Choosing among five approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Patton, M.Q. (2014). Qualitative research & evaluation methods: Integrating theory and practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.