Purpose & Structure

In general, interviews could be classified as structured and non-structured/ semi-structured, which consist of a combination of main questions, follow-up questions and probes (Rubin and Rubin, 2004).

The structure of the interview often relates to the order of the questions and the types of questions to be asked: open-ended questions or close-ended questions.

While structured interview is often regarded as quantitative approach and usually conducted in the form of questionnaire, non-structured/semi-structured interviews rely on the use of open-ended questions to collecting in-depth qualitative information about people’s perspectives and views of values, actions, processes, experiences, or events.

  • Semi-structured interview is flexible and less restrictive; interviewers and interviewees are given certain freedom during the interview.
  • These subjective perspectives collected are important for us to understand the meanings given to actions, behaviours, events or process by people in a specific context.
  • The viewpoints collected will serve as meaningful dialogue with theoretical discussions in existing literatures after contextualization.