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.
Disadvantages of Interviews as a data collection tool in research are:
- Time Consuming: Analysis of data can be difficult and time-consuming. Data preparation and analysis are “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 produces 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 a 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 the 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 the commonwealth teacher training study to know the traits that 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 checklists which are to be put to extensive use.