Conducting interviews

I have recently begun conducting my field research for my PhD, in the form of interviews with politicians.

This is a strange experience. As I have blogged about previously, it can be difficult to pin down interviewees – they generally say they are quite happy to sit for an interview, but then can be a bit vague on the specifics.

Once I have managed to pin them down, the process of interviewing can be a bit odd. Some I have interviewed are all businesses, obviously viewing the interview as another thing on their long to-do list and not too fussed about niceties or small talk.

On the other hand, I have had a couple who have expressed so much interest in the broader topic of my research so as to keep chatting for almost the entire length of the formal interview after it has concluded! It’s nice to be appreciated, but in one instance I did find myself trying to figure out how I could politely extricate myself having been in their office for almost two hours!

Having done what I can in person, I am now beginning the process of scheduling Zoom or video-conferencing interviews, which will be another challenge in itself. I hope I am able to guide the (semi-structured is the official term) as fluently as I would like over the technology. Only one way to find out I guess!

Tagged in phd, research, interviews, What messes with your head