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Organizing the interview

Organize your topics and know the issues you want to cover in advance. Group similar topics and questions together to improve the flow of the interview and provide structure.

In contrast to surveys, it is good practice to begin interviews with a few demographic or descriptive questions, because they are easy to answer and can help break the ice. This information also helps you to understand the context in which the interviewee's attitudes and behaviors occur.

Once respondents have engaged in the interview, they may be more likely to answer sensitive questions, so ask these questions toward the middle of the interview. If you ask them at the beginning, respondents may become uncomfortable or guarded. With the exception of a standardized interview, be prepared to alter the order of questions to fit the conversation.

Page last updated: Sep 21 2011
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