Work Plan
The Environmental Colours of Microfinance
Appendix: Tips for Conducting Semi Structured Interviews

  • The interview team may consist of one or more individuals. At least one should be a community member.
  • A team member should conduct or moderate the interview.
  • Begin the interview with the community's customary form of greeting and explain the team's objectives.
  • Start by asking questions about something or somebody visible.
  • Make use of aids to reformulate questions: what, when, where, why and how.
  • Conduct the interview in an informal manner, interspersing questions with discussion and observations.
  • Make it clear that while the team is acquainted with the topic, it is doing interviews in order to collect information and learn more about it.
  • Make sure group interviews are not monopolised by a few individuals. Give everybody a chance to speak.
  • Intervene and supervise the interview, summing it up and refocusing the discussion afterwards.
  • Interviews should be limited to two hours.

    Mistakes to Avoid

    • Failing to listen attentively.
    • Repeating questions.
    • Assisting the interviewees, replying for them and interrupting their replies .
    • Asking obvious questions.
    • Trying to resolve the often irreconcilable positions and opinions of participants prematurely in order to draw conclusions and arrive at definitions.

    Source: Bojanic et al. 1995 103
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    Hari Srinivas - hsrinivas@gdrc.org
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