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Doing Interview Research

Doing Interview Research
The Essential How To Guide

  • Uwe Flick - Freie Universtität Berlin, Germany
Additional resources:

October 2021 | 448 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

If you want to use interview methods in your research project but are not sure where to start, this book will get you up and running. With hands-on advice for every stage of the social research process, it helps you succeed in every step, from understanding interview research through to designing and conducting your study and working with data. 

The book:

  • Discusses eight methods of interviewing in-depth, including semi-structured interviews, narrative interviews, focus groups and online interviews.
  • Features over 75 case studies of real interview research from across the globe, including Australia, Canada, Germany, Norway, the Philippines and South Africa.
  • Spotlights strategies for conducting ethical, inclusive research, including indigenous research approaches.

Packed not only with learning features - including learning objectives, checklists of questions to ask yourself at every stage of your project, practical exercises to help you put your learning into practice and further reading so you can broaden your knowledge - it is also supported by online resources such as annotated transcripts and videos of mock interviews to empower any social science student to use interview research methods with confidence.

Part I: How to Understand Interview Research
Chapter 1: What Doing Interview Research Means
Chapter 2: Theories and Epistemologies of Interviewing
Chapter 3: When to Choose Interviews as a Research Method
Chapter 4: Methods and Formats of Interviewing
Part II: Designing Interview Research
Chapter 5: Planning and Designing Interview Research
Chapter 6: How Many Interviewees?: Sampling and Saturation
Chapter 7: Accessing and Recruiting Participants
Part III: How to Conduct Interviews
Chapter 8: How to Respect and Protect: Ethics of Interviewing
Chapter 9: Semi-structured Interviews: Working with Questions and Answers
Chapter 10: Interviewing Experts and Elites
Chapter 11: Integrating Narratives in Interviews: Episodic Interviews
Part IV: Doing Interviews in Contexts
Chapter 12: How to Work with Life Histories: Narrative Interviews
Chapter 13: Working with Focus Groups as Interviews
Chapter 14: Ask in the Field: Ethnographic and Mobile Interviewing
Chapter 15: Doing Online Interviews
Part V: How to Work with Interview Data
Chapter 16: Working with Interview Data
Chapter 17: Credibility and Transparency: Quality and Writing in Interview Research
Chapter 18: From Interviewing to an Inner View: Critiques and Reflexivity


Click for Online Resources

Instructor Resources (Log-in needed)

  • A test bank of multiple choice questions for directed learning or assessment purposes.
  • Downloadable PowerPoint slides that you can customise to suit your teaching needs.

Student Resources (Free to access)

  • Case studies of interview research in the real world.
  • Example annotated and coded interview transcripts from author Uwe Flick.
  • Journal articles and book chapters showing you how interview research is done at each step of the process.
  • Videos hand-picked by Uwe give you insight into different aspects of interview research
  • Weblinks to helpful sites, guidelines, software and more.

This book is not just yet another manual about interview procedures. Rather, the strength of this excellent extended discussion is that the author not only knows about interviews in theory, but is also experienced in actually putting that theory into practice when conducting interviews. This makes for a book that is able to address how to do interviews in a thoughtful and responsible way, as the discussion is grounded in the theoretical, ethical, methodological and practical thinking that shapes how interviews are conducted.

Julianne Cheek
Østfold University College

A clear and practical guide to conducting research interviews for those inexperienced with qualitative methodologies and methods.

Shanu Sadhwani
Brighton & Sussex Medical School

Doing Interview Research is a comprehensive, captivating guide for carrying out interviews. It has everything the social science postgraduate researcher requires to explore the expansive nature of qualitative inquiry. A very informative resource for both students and supervisors.

Jessica Clapham
Bangor University

Uwe Flick tackles interviewing—a ubiquitous research method—in his exceptionally useful and user-friendly book. By ending each chapter with a recurring refrain—what you need to ask yourself, what you need to succeed, and what you learned—he invites readers to actively and reflexively engage with the material.

Karen Staller
Associate Professor, University of Michigan, School of Social Work

This book gives the reader an excellent introduction to interview research. It provides rationales for choosing interviews and discusses when to do interviews and why. It is a comprehensive and yet accessible book that includes the whole process, from designing interview research to conducting different types of interviews in different contexts, and to analyzing and reporting interview data. Throughout each step, Flick thoughtfully discusses epistemology, quality, critiques, and reflexivity, so the book offers the reader a theoretical approach at the same time as clear guidance on how to design and conduct interview research.

Robert Thornberg
Professor of Education at Linköping University

Looking for an easier introduction text

Dr Joseph Vella
Dept of Media and Communication, University of Malta
May 29, 2024

This is an excellent book, providing very rich insights on how to approach interviews in the context of qualitative research approaches. It is of great value for students, experienced researchers and teachers.

Professor Manuel Graca
Faculdade De Economia, University of Porto
February 4, 2023

Useful information to support those students wishing to engage with this approach for their thesis and research projects- with this as their exclusive method in the study

Mr Julian Ayres
School of Education and Community, Wrexham Glyndwr University
December 7, 2022

Excellent book and there was a gap in the market for this. Many of my students want to undertake this type of research so thank you

Mrs Gail Rowntree
Department of Travel and Aviation, Bucks New University
December 15, 2021

An additional source for dissertation students who ma struggle with some of the Interview research concepts

Mr IOANNIS Dermitzakis
Strategy and Human Resources Department, Bedfordshire University
February 18, 2022

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