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Disadvantages of Interview Method – Interview Method of Data Collection | Management Notes

Disadvantages of Interview Method

The method of interview, in spite of its numerous advantages, has the following limitations: 

Very costly

Very costly

It is a very expensive affair. When using this method, the cost per case is much higher than when using a mailed questionnaire. In general, a questionnaire costs much less than an interview. The work of collecting data can require a large number of field workers to be trained and engaged. The entire process entails a lot of expenses, so a researcher with limited financial resources finds it difficult to adopt this approach.

An interview can be costly due to the time and resources involved, such as scheduling, travel, and compensation for participants. In addition, the cost of hiring interviewers and transcribing or recording interviews can increase expenses. Furthermore, it can provide valuable insights into many fields and is an important tool for obtaining information. By using online or remote methods, standardizing or structuring interviews, and recruiting participants from accessible populations, interviews can be mitigated.

  • Coordinating participant availability and scheduling
  • Participant and/or interviewer travel costs
  • Participants are compensated for their time
  • Interviewers should be trained or hired
  • Interview transcription or recording
  • Conducting an analysis of interview data
  • When conducting large-scale or long-term research, these costs can add up and become significant.

Biased information

Interview Method can lead to Biased information

The presence of the field worker can also introduce bias into the interview because it encourages the respondent to reply. It is possible that the opinion of the respondent is influenced by the fieldworker and his answers may not be based on what he thinks to be correct, but what he thinks the investigator wants. There are several ways in which interviewing can lead to biased information:

  • Bias of self-selection: An interview may be selected by participants based on their own interests and motives, resulting in an unrepresentative sample.
  • Bias based on social desirability: Rather than giving their true opinions or experiences, participants may feel pressured to answer as the interviewer wants.
  • Leading questions: Participants may give answers that are not completely accurate because interviewers ask questions that suggest a particular answer.
  • Bias of the observer: Inaccurate or incomplete information can result from interviewers’ biases and perspectives.
  • Bias in recollection: Biased information may result from participants’ inaccurate memory of certain events or experiences.

The use of techniques such as random sampling, open-ended questions, and objective data analysis can minimize the impact of bias on findings if researchers are aware of these potential sources of bias. The interviewer effect is another potential source of bias in interviewing methods. When a participant’s responses are affected by the interviewer’s gender, race, or age, this is known as the gender effect. Participants may be less likely to provide sensitive or personal information if they feel uncomfortable or intimidated by the interviewer. A participant may be more comfortable and open if the interviewer and participant share similar characteristics.

A biased interview can also be influenced by the context in which it is conducted. A public interview, for instance, may result in the participant feeling self-conscious and less likely to provide honest responses. Participants may also feel pressure to answer questions that align with what they think the interviewer wants to hear if the interview is conducted in a formal setting, such as a doctor’s office.


Interview Method is Time-Consuming

Considering that there is no way to predict how long each interview will take since the questions must be explained, the interviewee must be assured, and the information must be collected, it is a time-consuming technique. It can be time-consuming to conduct an interview as it requires preparing questions, conducting the interview, transcribing the responses, and transcribing the transcript. Travel time may also be a consideration if the interview is conducted in person.

The time spent analyzing and interpreting data can also increase if the researcher conducts multiple interviews. These challenges notwithstanding, interviews can provide valuable insights and in-depth information that other methods might not be able to deliver.

  • In the case of distance or unavailability of participants, scheduling interviews can take a considerable amount of time.
  • Developing relevant, clear, and informative questions can also take a considerable amount of time for the researcher.
  • If the interview is long and a large number of people participate, conducting the interview can take a long time.
  • If the interview was conducted in person, it can take considerable time to transcribe or record the responses.
  • It may take more time to conduct an interview in-person due to travel time.
  • It takes time to analyze and interpret the data obtained from the interviews, especially if more than one interview is conducted.
  • While interviews have their challenges, they can nevertheless provide valuable insights and in-depth information.

Expertness required

Interview Method can lead to High Level of Expertise

Extraction of information from interviewees who may be reluctant to share information requires a high level of expertise. Interviewers should possess qualities such as objectivity, insight, and sensitivity. Researchers, human resources professionals, and market researchers often conduct interviews to gather information. Interviews are successful when the interviewer is competent and skilled. Interviewers who are skilled will be able to ask open-ended and probing questions, interpret and analyze responses, and possess in-depth knowledge of the subject matter. Additionally, they will be able to create an environment where the interviewee will feel comfortable and safe to speak freely and openly.

Nonetheless, conducting an effective interview requires high levels of expertise and can be challenging. In order to avoid leading or suggestive questions, an interviewer must be aware of their own biases. A good interviewer is also capable of managing the flow of the conversation and identifying when the interviewee isn’t responding or answering vaguely.

There may also be different levels of expertise required for different types of interviews. Structured interviews for job candidates require different skill sets than unstructured interviews for research. Managing an interview effectively requires a combination of knowledge, skills, and expertise. Preparation and execution of this step are crucial for gathering accurate, valuable information.


Write any two demerits of interview method

Ans: The two demerits of the Interview method are as follows:

  • Very Costly
  • Time-Consuming

Which of the following is not a disadvantage of the interview method?

A. Biased responses
B. Inability to measure nonverbal behavior
C. High cost
D. Lack of anonymity

Answer: A. Biased responses

Which of the following is a disadvantage of the interview method?

A. Limited sample size
B. Lack of objectivity
C. Ability to observe nonverbal behavior
D. Flexibility in questions

Answer: B. Lack of objectivity

Which of the following is a disadvantage of the interview method?

A. Control over the environment
B. Ability to probe for more information
C. Time-consuming process
D. Ability to gather detailed information

Answer: C. Time-consuming process

Which of the following is a disadvantage of the interview method?

A. Standardized questions
B. Ability to collect quantitative data
C. Dependence on interviewer skills
D. High response rate

Answer: C. Dependence on interviewer skills

Which of the following is a disadvantage of the interview method?

A. Ability to gather qualitative data
B. Lack of anonymity
C. High level of control over the environment
D. Possibility of interviewer bias

Answer: D. Possibility of interviewer bias

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