Interviews (Structured and Unstructured)


There is no more important step in the organizational change management process than the interview. Data analysis and metrics can reveal where a problem lies, but can't tell you the five "W"s of problem identification. Those are: 

  • Who was involved?

  • What happened?

  • Where did it take place?

  • When did it take place?

  • Why did that happen?


     A structured interview (also known as a standardized interview or a researcher-administered survey) is a quantitative research method commonly employed in survey research. The aim of this approach is to ensure that each interview is presented with exactly the same questions in the same order. 

Structured interviews are a means of collecting data for a statistical survey. In this case, the data is collected by an interviewer rather than through a self-administered questionnaire. Interviewers read the questions exactly as they appear on the survey questionnaire. The choice of answers to the questions is often fixed (close-ended) in advance, though open-ended questions can also be included within a structured interview.

A structured interview also standardizes the order in which questions are asked of survey respondents, so the questions are always answered within the same context. This is important for minimizing the impact of context effects, where the answers given to a survey question can depend on the nature of preceding questions. Though context effects can never be avoided, it is often desirable to hold them constant across all respondents.


      An unstructured interview (also known as a non-directive interview) is an interview in which questions are not prearranged. The form of the unstructured interview varies widely, with some questions being prepared in advance in relation to a topic that the researcher or interviewer wishes to cover. They tend to be more informal and free flowing than a structured interview, much like an everyday conversation. Probing is seen to be the part of the research process that differentiates the in-depth, unstructured interview from an everyday conversation.[3] This nature of conversation allows for spontaneity and for questions to develop during the course of the interview, which are based on the interviewees' responses. The chief feature of the unstructured interview is the idea of probe questions that are designed to be as open as possible. It is a qualitative research method and accordingly prioritizes validity and the depth of the interviewees' answers. (Wikipedia)







Unstructured Interviews (____) 



Structured Interviews (___)