Interview schedule
Sunandamma, M
Research Scholar
DOS in Library and Information Science
University of Mysore
Research Guide
Dr. P. Sarasvathi
Senior Assistant Librarian
DOS in Library and Information Science
University of Mysore
Introduction of Interview Schedule
This method of data collection is very much like the collection of data
through questionnaire, with little difference which lies in the fact that
schedules (proforma containing a set of questions) are being filled in by the
enumerators who are specially appointed for the purpose. These
enumerators along with schedules, go to respondents, put to them the
questions from the proforma in the order the questions are listed and record
the replies in the space meant for the same in the proforma. In certain
situations, schedules may be handed over to respondents and enumerators
may help them in recording their answers to various questions in the said
schedules. Enumerators explain the aims and objects of the investigation
and also remove the difficulties which any respondent may feel in
understanding the implications of a particular question or the definition or
concept of difficult terms.
This method requires the selection of enumerators for filling up schedules
or assisting respondents to fill up schedules and as such enumerators should
be very carefully selected. The enumerators should be trained to perform
their job well and the nature and scope of the investigation should be
explained to them thoroughly so that they may well understand the
implications of different questions put in the schedule. Enumerators should
be intelligent and must possess the capacity of crossexamination in order to
find out the truth. Above all, they should be honest, sincere, hardworking
and should have patience and perseverance.
Definition of Interview Schedule
A interview schedule is a interview with
pre-coded question to produce quick, cheap
and easy quantitative data which is high in
reliability but low in validity. These methods
are favoured by Positivists but shunned by
Construction of interview schedule
Since interview schedule is similar to
mailed questionnaire in all respects step to be
followed for construction of the schedule, its
structure and content are same to that of the
questionnaire. However, some of the important
steps involved in construction of interview
schedule are as follows:
1.Determination of type of data needed
Interview schedule is an instrument for gathering data for
a specific study, its construction should flow logically from the
data required for the given study. The data required for a
research study can be determined by deep analysis of the
research objectives the investigative questions to each of the
research objective, hypothesis and the operational definitions
of the concepts used in them. the researcher should decide
what data are required to answer the research questions and to
test the hypothesis. what questions should be put to the
respondents to elicit these data. the outcome of this exercise in
analytical reasoning depends upon researcher’s perception of
the research problem and his insight into it.
2. Determination of the respondents level:
understand and determine the respondents
their specialized knowledge relating to the
problem under study; their level of knowledge
and understanding and so on. the choice of
words and concepts depends upon the level of
the respondents ‘knowledge’.
3. Instrument drafting:
After determining the data required for the study firstly, a broad
outline of the instrument may be drafted, listing the various broad
categories of data, for example, the outline of interview schedule for users
opinion regarding library OPAC may consist of such sections as:
A) Awareness about OPAC
B) Knowledge of searching OPAC
C) Usage of OPAC
D) Assistance of library staff in using OPAC and so on
secondly the sequence of these grouping must be decided. they must
be arranged in a logical order- for example, in the schedule outline given
above. usage of OPAC cannot precede ‘awareness about OPAC’ because
the usage can only be thought of when one is aware of OPAC and
techniques of searching.
thirdly, the questions to be asked under each group heading must be
listed. all conceivable items relevant to ‘data need’ should be compiled. the
goal of this listing is to ensure that all questions that are required to obtain
the needed data are compiled. in compiling this draft, the content, wording
and other aspects should be considered.
4. Evaluation of the draft instrument
In consultation with other qualified persons, the researcher
must rigorously examine each question in the draft
instrument. this evaluation may be done in terms. of the
following criteria:
the relevance of each question to the research objectives and
investigative questions.
The appropriateness of the type of question: open ended or
The clarity and unambiguity of the question
The practicability of the question i.e., it should not demand
knowledge and information that the respondent does not
possess, it should not test his/her memory span and also
should not embarrass him/her.
The validity of the question i, e., it should not be a leading or
loaded question
The logical and psychological order of the questions,
their clarity and content and the length of the
instrument and other aspects of its structure should
also be considered.
The length in itself need not be the guiding factor in
the design. The important adequately covers the
subject, but does not include irrelevant items.
In the light of the above evaluation, the draft
instrument should be revised. the revised draft must
be pre-tested in order to identify the weaknesses of
the instrument and to make the required further
revisions to rectify them.
The interview schedule
John Smith
R&D Manager
To understand R&D strategy 25/4
and get future R&D
Roy Wilkinson
Head of metalurgical
To get facts on competitor
Xs latest development.
In particular:
 Potential customers
 Our position
Bob Johnson
Lab assistant
An interview schedule is helpful, to track who is going to be interviewed,
when and why.
It asks for and obtains all the information required for achieving the
research at objectives.
It contains questions relevant to the study and does not include any
irrelevant and unimportant questions.
It does not aim at obtaining any information which can be more accurately
and effectively obtained by other data-gathering methods like observation.
It contains no questions that are unclear, ambiguous, double, leading,
loaded or uninformative, and long.
It contains no open-ended or discussion questions unless they are
absolutely necessary.
It does not contain questions which are beyond the memory span of
It contain questions that can be answered as quickly and easily as
It avoids unwarranted presumptions about the respondents.
It does not restrict the choices of answers so as to bias or distort replies to
be given.
choices to closed questions are adequate, reasonable, unidimensional and
logically consistent.
Each question is limited to a single idea or single reference.
No embarrassing questions are given without providing an opportunity to
appropriate balance between personalization an indirect form is maintained.
filter questions are used wherever necessary.
topics and questions are arranged in a logical and psychological sequence
that is natural and easy for the respondent.
transition between one section and another is smooth.
inter-related questions are so positioned as to avoid context effects.
questions seeking ‘reasons for’ are based on reason analysis.
questions and alternative answer choices are properly coded.
design requirements like margin, spacing etc., are taken care of
appropriate introduction and instruction are included.
the instrument has been adequately pre-tested and revised so as to be a
satisfactory tool for the particular survey.
Interview schedules V/S Questionnaire
Live/ real time
Direct Interview
More expencive
Useful for experts, illiterate people, parents etc.,
To know views
More time per subject
Variety of data from a person
Informal way
Not easy to anayze
One to one interaction
Researcher note responses
Own time of subject
To collect data through questionnaire is relatively cheap
More objectives
usefull for subjects, teachers, students etc.,
To collect factual data
Minimum time more information
Specific data from more subjects
Formal way
Comparatively easier to analyze
One to many reaction
Subject notes responses
Opinionnaire is a list of questions or statements
pertaining to an issue or programmer. It is
used to study the opinions of people on
specific issue. It is commonly used in opinion
polls. People are asked to express their
responses to the listed questions or reactions
to the listed statements.
• Documents schedule is a list of items of information to be
obtained from documents, records and other materials. the
items included in the schedule are limited to those that can be
uniformly secured from a large number of case histories or
other records in order to secure measurable data for e g. In a
case to study the use of documents in library, the researcher
may have to include:
• Daily, weekly and monthly borrowing, class and level of users
borrowed the documents, age and gender of the borrowers,
subject background of the borrowers, number of books not
returned, amount of fine collected, types of borrowers who had
overdues, type of documents borrowed, subject wise statistics
of books borrowed etc.
Schedule for institutions
This is used for survey of organizations like
educational institutions, business enterprise,
social and cultural organizations, industrial
sectors and such similar organizations and
institutions and so also libraries and information
centre’s. It includes different categories of data
relating to their profile, functions, performance
etc. these data are gathered from their records,
annual reports, financial statements and such
other sources.
1. An inventory is essentially a list that the respondent is asked to mark or
check in a particular way. Some examples of inventories are:
2. List of interest: The respondents are asked to check those things that interest
them a lot.
3. List of personality traits: people are asked to check which of these apply to
4. List of spare-time activities: people are asked to check the activity engaged
most often.
5. perceived effects of T.V.( simulation of Activities ): the respondents may be
asked to check ‘true’ or ‘untrue’ the following items:
a. I have copied the way the people dress on TV
b. I have made things after they have been shown on TV.
c. I have purchased a particular brand after seeing its advertisement on TV.
d. I have gone to an art gallery after seeing it on TV, and so on.
e. Inventories can be constructed with various purposes in mind or to test
particular hypothesis. They invariable form part of a questionnaire/
Advantages and disadvantages of Interview
If the respondent lacks reading skills to answer a
Are useful for untangling complex topics.
3. The Interviewer can probe deeper into a response
by an interviewee.
Interviews produce a higher response rate.
1. lack of money
2. The interviewer can affect the data if he/she is not consistent.
3. It is very time consuming.
4. It is not used for a large number of people.
5. The Interviewer may be biased and ask closed questions.
Interview schedule like mailed questionnaire is widely used in surveys. Both
interview and schedule and mailed questionnaire are complete listed of questions on
which information is elicited from the respondents. In both cases the content,
response structure, the wordings of questions, question sequence , etc., are the same
for all respondents. The basic difference between these two tools lies in recording
responses. While a schedule is filled out by the interviewer himself/ herself, a
questionnaire is filled by the respondents.
This method of data collection is very useful in extensive enquiries and can lead to
fairly reliable results. It is, however, very expensive and is usually adopted in
investigations conducted by governmental agencies or by some big organisations.
Population census all over the world is conducted through this method.
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Interviewing, Sage Publications, 1996
Thank you

Interview schedule - University of Mysore