General Interviewing Techniques: Developing Evidence-based Practices for Standardized Interviewing
The accumulating evidence on interaction during interviews has not yet led to a comprehensive updating of interviewing techniques. This chapter describes steps to update general interviewing techniques (GIT) based on studies of interaction. After situating current practice and reviewing the reasons for revisiting GIT, the chapter describes the process and goals as well as gaps in current practice. It outlines key concepts and techniques for the first lessons in a revised GIT training. Although most contemporary research interviewing uses standardized interviewing, early interviewing practices were relatively informal. The chapter describes the process University of Wisconsin Survey Center and Survey Research Operations used to revise and update GIT. It also describes the first six modules of training. Models of the question–answer process suggest a range of criteria to consider in choosing among candidate interviewing techniques. Standardized interviewing requires interviewers to make frequent and split-second choices among possible alternative actions.