Posted by: Erin Stutesman | May 10, 2017

Benefits of Self-Reflexive Interviewing

Exercise 7.1 poses questions based on self-reflexive interviewing, or the process of a researcher recognizing their own physical traits or personal beliefs that could affect their interviewing experience. This exercise asks how the reader would describe herself objectively, as well as how someone else would describe her.

Of course, it can be difficult to look at yourself objectively, but when I try, I decide that I fall into the demographics of white, female, educated, late 20s and above average height. Other notable traits are that I talk with my hands and occasionally have a nervous laugh.

Without telling my husband my opinion, I asked him what he thought subjects would notice about me in an interview situation. He said that they may see me as educated, a good listener, easy to talk to, a “hand talker for sure,” and that my height could potentially be intimidating at first meeting. He also said that he thought that I would keep a professional yet friendly tone, so that participants knew that it wasn’t a casual meeting, but that they could speak honestly about the subject.

I can see these traits being either a benefit or a burden, depending on the type of interview and the subject. For instance, I think my personality could hinder me if I were talking to a masculine man about a sensitive subject. Alternately, I think that my personality would help me when interviewing those with similar demographics and traits to me, such as young, professional women.

I found the below article and chart that shows how researchers who implement self-reflexive thinking can improve the interview process. Instead of simply interviewing a subject and analyzing the results, this chart encourages researchers to consider their own thoughts, feelings and judgements before approaching their findings. When they do begin to analyze the data, it will be easier for them to recognize what is actually new information, and what was an implicit bias.

Chart.png

 

https://www.cxpartners.co.uk/our-thinking/improve-your-research-technique-reflexive-thinking-5-practical-tips/

 

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