Developing Your Qualitative Interview Guide

Posted November 8, 2017

Students conducting qualitative research often face the issue of how to develop their data collection instrument (i.e., an interview guide). To develop your instrument, I strongly suggest creating a matrix or table to help you visualize how your interview questions relate to your research questions. See the example table below.

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During these sessions, students can get answers to questions about the research design and rationale, the role of the researcher, the selection of participants, instrumentation, procedure, data analysis plan, issues of trustworthiness, data analysis and results.

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Research Question Key Concepts Interview Questions

In the first column, list your research questions, and in the second column identify the specific concepts covered by the research question. In the third column, you will draft interview questions that relate to the key concepts you identified in column two.

Research Question Key Concepts Interview Questions
How do students’ mentoring experience influence their engagement in their university? Mentoring experience


Connections to campus

Describe your mentoring experience.

What are the most notable experiences you had during your mentoring experience?

How will you remember your mentor/mentoring experience?

What types of campus activities did you and your mentor do together?

Are there any organizations that your mentor connected you with? Did your mentor help you join any campus organizations?


This is just an example and not an exhaustive list of questions. However, this exercise will help you organize your interview question development and ensure that the interview questions align with the research questions.

This is just one approach and there are a variety of ways to methodically approach qualitative instrument development. For additional tips, please feel free to reach out to the team at Statistics Solutions!

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