Seven (7) disadvantages of interview as data collection tool in research.

An interview is a conversation between two or more people where questions are asked by the interviewer to elicit facts or statements from the interviewee.

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Disadvantages of Interviews as data collection tool in research are:

  • Time Consuming :  Analysis of data can be difficult and time consuming.  Data preparation and analysis is “end loaded” compared with,  for instance, questionnaires, which are preceded and where  data are ready for analysis once they have collected. The  transcribing and coding of interview data is a major task for  the researcher which occurs after the data have been collected
  • Difficulty in data analysis :  This method produce non-standard responses.  Semi-structured and unstructured interviews produce data  that are not pre-coded and have a relatively open  format.
  • Less Reliability :  Consistency and objectivity are hard to achieve. The data  collected are, to an extent, unique owing to the specific content and the specific individuals involved.This has an adverse effect on  reliability.
  • Interviewer Effect :  The identity of the researcher may affect the statements  of the interviewee. They may say what they do or what they  prefer to do. The two may not tally.
  • Inhibitions :  The tape recorder or video recorder may inhibit the respondent .The interview is an artificial situation where people are  speaking  and  recorded on tape recorder and this can be  daunting for certain kinds of people.
  • Invasion of Privacy :  Interviewing can be an invasion of Privacy and may be  upsetting for the informant.
  • Resources :  The cost of interviewer’s fine, of travel and of transcription can be relatively high if the informants are geographically  widespread. On the basis of the merits and limitations of the interview  techniques it is used in many ways for research and non-research purposes. This technique was  used in common wealth teacher  training study to know the traits must essentials for success in  teaching. Apart from being an independent data collection  tool, it may play an important role in the preparation of  questionnaires and check lists which are to be put to extensive use. 

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