Merits and Demerits of interview techniques

Interview method is the most popular method for collecting primary data. It is widely used in every fields or sectors. The interview technique is one of the important and powerful tool for collecting the primary data in social research. The technique involves presentation of oral-verbal stimuli and reply in terms of oral-verbal responses. It is a direct method of data collection. The interview technique can be used through personal interviews and through telephone interviews.

The major merits of interview technique can be summarized as:
  •  More accurate information can be obtained.
  • Personal information can as well be obtained easily under this method.
  • Due to personal presence of the interviewer, there is flexibility in the inquiry.
  • Additional supplementary information can also be obtained.
  • The interviewer can usually control which person will answer the questions.
  • Generally non-response remains very low in this method.
  • Observation method can as well as applied to recording verbal answers to various questions.
  • Representative and wider distribution of sample is possible by using the method.
  • The interviewer contact the informants personally, they can exercise their intelligence, skill, tact etc. to extract correct and relevant information by cross examination of the information, if necessary.
  • The language of the interview can be adopted to the ability or educational level of the person interviewed and as such misinterpretations concerning questions can be avoided.
Interview techniques have many  merits but it have also many demerits. The main demerits of this techniques are given below:
  • It is a very expensive method, specially when large and widely spread geographical sample is taken.
  • There remains the possibility of the bias of interviewer as well as that of the respondent.
  • This method is relatively more-time consuming, specially when the sample is large.
  • Certain types of respondents may not give true answers to the questions.
  • The presence of the interviewer on the spot may over-stimulate the respondent.
  • Training and supervising of the interviewers is more complex.
  • Systematic errors may arise.

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