Closed & Open Interviews

Translated by Natalie Haghverdian

2017-11-28


The first news interview in the new method was published in April 1836 in the New York Herald. The interviewer was a prominent journalists of the era and interviewee, was a man who had discovered the body of a murder victim. In the same decade, European journalists started conducting interviews to collect information to assess the relationship between industrial workers and their social network. This trend continued throughout the second half of the nineteenth century in various social sciences.

Subsequently, soft and rigorous interviews were conducted in psychological counseling, psychotherapy and sexual behaviors. The next domain of interview in the modern world was anthropology. Kielberto Fierre, an American anthropologist, in the 1930s used written interview (questionnaire) to write the third volume of the “Brazilian History” book.

In Iran, adoption of interview method in journalism was long delayed. Samples of interview journalism can be seen in the Naseri periodicals; however, the format is different from news interviews. Biographies of 148 people published in 87 issue of Sharaf newspaper, the fifth Iranian newspaper by Mohammad Hassan Khan Etemad al-Saltanah, reveal a kind of dialogue between the author and the narrator. So one can probably see this as an illustration of the first modern news interviews in Iran, including a commentary from the US Secretary of State and the American and his family history, indicating the extraction of information through interviews. Such an interview should have been sort of a news interview.

 

 

Types of Interview

Depending on the purpose and design, anyone can be interviewed. Designing targeted questions and recording accurate answers are the basic principles in every interview. Acquiring the facts, gathering events and information from living resources, informing, stimulating, identifying, researching and treating or consulting might be the most important goals of an interview, but the interview is part of the author's research process and not an end in itself.

Based on purpose, method and structure, interviews are divided into various categories that despite their similarities have fundamental differences. Some sorts of interviewing are more appropriate for a specific type of research or writing. The type of interview should be tailored to the nature of the plan. According to the interview conduct method, two types are identified below:

Systematic interviews (closed): The interviewer pre-arranges questions and answers and provides them to the interviewee or the test subjects; in this method all interviewees and test subjects have the same questions and answers. Structural, limited interaction between the two sides, the possibility of statistical analysis of the data, the role and the neutral state of the interviewer, and no role of time, place and space in the interview or its results are characteristics of this type of interviews.

Informal interview (open): It has a lot of flexibility; this means that, if necessary, the interviewer can make changes in the course of the implementation. The interviewer, in this method, provides a space for the subject to feel relaxed and to be able to speak with confidence. Therefore, the subject's behavior and speech are more natural and more realistic and information is obtained in most cases. The subject in this way responds to the question whilst he wishes and the interviewer, using the feature and flexibility of this method, while coming across an issue for which discovery of deep and accurate information might be interesting, he might steer the interview towards intended direction for careful examination and study.

A free interview (deep, open, and intensive) is a qualitative interview, while a regular interview is a bit of a citation. The most important point in qualitative methodology is to emphasize the interference of the interviewer to play an active and constructive role in understanding the ideas and views of the interviewee. The free interview is widely used in sociology. Using open questions, guiding interviews, paying attention to the underlying issues (meaning, process, and field), intense engagement of both sides, and building trust between the parties are characteristics of this type of interview. Comparing these two methods, systematic interviews are used to collect quantitative, comparative, and superficial information, while the open interview is a tool for collecting deep, qualitative information and from all aspects of the subject under interview using a flexible and informal method.

On the other hand, there are a variety of oral interviews and qualitative interviews that are used in different areas depending on their characteristics: a soft interview in psychological counseling, psychotherapy and social research, a rigorous interview on sexual behaviors and an impartial interview in the field of awareness of Market and trade.



 
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