Posted by: Alexa Morris | May 14, 2017

Self-reflexive interviewing

Exercise 7.1 comes from Chapter 7 “Interview Planning and Design” (p. 133). The exercise challenged readers to do a self-reflexive interview.

  1. Here is a brief list of the physical traits and demographics that a participant might see or notice during their interview with me. I am a white, female, blonde-ish hair with blue eyes and about average height. Next, the exercise recommends asking a partner to expand on the list. I asked my classmate, Laura, if there were any obvious traits that I may have missed. Laura described me as, “peppy, exuberant and sharp”. Oftentimes people do not recognize traits about themselves, that may be obvious to others, which is why it is important to ask for others’ perspective. For the interview process, it will be important to listen to how others describe themselves, and also note my own observations.
  2. It’s hard to know what other qualities/characteristics about myself will arise during the interview process. I anticipate briefly sharing about my job and what I am studying in school to build rapport. I hope that by sharing a little about myself that interviewees will feel more comfortable talking about themselves and their experiences.
  3. How will my traits impact the interview process? I foresee my traits and qualities will have an impact in the interview process. It is possible that my enthusiasm for the project could intimidate some participants. While I conduct interviews, it will be important to be engaged as an active listener, which will ensure participants have ample time to share their perspective. My interview style will become evident as I begin to interview individuals. I presume that each interview will have its own challenges. To ensure the interview process goes as smooth as possible, I would use a structured interview format (list of questions used each interview and repeated in the same order). The structured interview strategy will make the process easier to replicate.

The exercise above is the task that self-reflexive interviewers repetitively ask themselves because they must consider how their subjective positions might impact the interview process and the results.

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