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interview

interview A social interaction which results in a transfer of information from the interviewee to an interviewer or researcher. Interviews may be personal, conducted face to face, or by telephone (which has certain advantages for more sensitive topics), or may be conducted at one remove through a postal questionnaire (which gives people more time to consider their replies). The questions put to interviewees may treat them as a respondent who supplies information about their own circumstances, activities, and attitudes, or as an informant who supplies factual information about social phenomena within their experience and knowledge, such as the number of rooms in their home, an estimate of their total household income, characteristics of their local community, trade union, or employer. Less commonly, people are invited to be proxy informants for a respondent who is not available, such as a wife answering questions on her husband's job.

Interviews vary in style and format, from the structured interview based on a questionnaire (which is typical in sample surveys), to the unstructured interview based on a list of topics to be covered, to the depth interview or qualitative interview which may last hours and range widely around the topics in an interview guide. A somewhat different approach to interviewing consists of the group discussion, in which four to twelve people discuss the topic of interest to the researcher, under the guidance of the researcher (see FOCUS GROUPS).

The research interview has some similarities to other interview situations, such as job selection interviews, in that it is an interaction between unequals rather than an ordinary conversation: the topics are chosen by the researcher and interviewers must reveal nothing of themselves in case this biases responses. Researcher control over the interview is greatly increased by the use of computer-based questionnaires for personal and telephone interviews, such as Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) systems. See also INTERVIEW BIAS; INTERVIEWER BIAS.

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interview

in·ter·view / ˈintərˌvyoō/ • n. a meeting of people face to face, esp. for consultation. ∎  a conversation between a journalist or radio or television presenter and a person of public interest, used as the basis of a broadcast or publication. ∎  an oral examination of an applicant for a job, college admission, etc.: I am pleased to advise you that you have been selected for an interview. • v. [tr.] (often be interviewed) hold an interview with (someone): he arrived to be interviewed by a local TV station about the level of unemployment. ∎  question (someone) to discover their opinions or experience: in a survey more than half the women interviewed hated the label “housewife.” ∎  orally examine (an applicant for a job, college admission, etc.): he came to be interviewed for a top job | [intr.] I was interviewing all last week. ∎  [intr.] perform (well or badly) at an interview. DERIVATIVES: in·ter·view·ee / ˌintərˌvyoōˈē/ n. in·ter·view·er n.

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interview

interview meeting of persons face to face. XVI. Earlier form entervew(e) — F. †entrev(e)ue, f. entrevoir have a glimpse of, s'entrevoir see each other (f. entre INTER- + voir see), after vue VIEW.

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interview

interview •Askew •undervalue, value •Matthew • countervalue • argue •début • nephew • Pegu • ecu • rescue •Verdelho •menu, venue •ague • Jehu • emu • preview • Jesu •mildew • miscue •continue, sinew •in situ • barbecue • curlicue •honeydew • clerihew • retinue •avenue • residue • impromptu • shoyu •Autocue • Kikuyu • Bartholomew •interview • Montague • overview •curfew • purlieu • purview

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