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Design Research

Mobile Interviewing

Mobile Interviewing :

Interviewing is often used as method within qualitative research. A good interviewer disposes of special competencies. Crucial is not the ability to ask smart questions but the talent to listen carefully to what the interviewee has to say and to ask for further explanation in an appreciative way. The regular procedure is that the interview will be held at a quiet location and there is a clear-cut division of roles between the interviewer and the interviewee. Often an item-list serves as a basic structure for the content of the interview.

However, as researcher you can choose for ‘mobile interviewing’ and go about it  in a very different way. With mobile interviewing you try to avoid the somewhat artificial setting and role division between interviewer and interviewee. Starting point is to select a spatial context that has relevant stimuli to discuss during the interview and to take the interviewee along and have a natural interaction between the interviewer and the interviewee. Of course this type of interactive, open and context related type  of interviewing produces different data than the prevailing notion of interviewing. As a researcher you have to consider the pros and cons of both approaches and decide which method is most suitable within your research design. If for instance you want to measure guest experiences that are related to a specific (spatial) context (theme park, tourism destination, hotel, museum etc.) it is certainly worthwhile to consider the option of mobile interviewing.