The Two Basic Interview Types The Shopping List Interview

The shopping list interview uses the familiar question/answer (Q & A) format. It's a quick-in/quick-out technique that depends solely on the list of planned and written-down questions (sometimes given in advance to the interviewee).

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Because it goes so fast and so efficiently, this style of interview tends not to be so effective. Its great disadvantage is that there's no time to develop a good rapport between participants. Without rapport, little trust is developed in either direction. Without trust, there's little credibility. The interview is marked by superficiality and artificiality, appearing to offer the interviewee conversation, but providing a formal list of questions with little leeway for the free flow of ideas. The result of its formality is that the interviewee will be guarded in his or her responses and responds with answers as short as the questions. If you're in a hurry, of course, that's to your advantage, but if you want a useful exchange, it has to be a conversation, not an interrogation. A conversation, or the feel of it, can be achieved only by the in-depth interview format.

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