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Social Sci LibreTexts

9.23: Methods- Face-to-Face

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  • Conducting an interview in person is certainly the preferred method for communicators, whether they are interviewing for a news story or conducting focus groups.


    adabara – Interview – CC0

    Advantages of face-to-face interviews

    • Picking up clues about the person, beyond what they say (tone of voice, body language)

    • Holding the interview in the interviewee’s “space” allows you to observe their environment, giving clues about the person and providing “color” for the story

    • Interviewee can be recorded

    • Longer, more complex question strategy can be used

    • Interviewee can respond to visual images or objects

    • Non-verbal responses to questions or displayed objects can be part of the information gathered

    • Interviews can be edited but still maintain the feel of a live interview


    • Labor and transportation costs for the interviewers’ training and travel to and from the respondents’ locations can be high

    • Interviewees can be reluctant to allow strangers into their homes or offices

    • Interviewer’s appearance, age, race, sex, dress, or nonverbal behavior may affect respondents’ answers to survey questions.