These three documents are for use an impact interview:
- B1a Interviewers record sheet for recording the comments made by the interviewee
- B1b Interviewees copy of questions these can be shared in advance with the interviewee
- B1c Interviewees consent form essential so that you can use the impact data in your marketing and promotion materials and share more widely for national use
Why conduct an interview?
- It can provide qualitative data which will help understand the impact of a specific service.
- This could be the impact on an individual or how information has been used.
An impact interview can be used to:
- collect a ‘story’ which can be used to promote the library & knowledge services
- gain a deeper understanding of a service you wish to develop
- supplement data that has been obtained via a questionnaire. Questionnaires often provide the numbers but the interview will provide the “how” and the “why” behind the numbers.
You need to consider the following points prior to arranging interviews:
- Who is conducting the interview?
- It may be more appropriate to obtain an external interviewer. Librarians in neighbouring Trusts may be willing to do this on a reciprocal basis
- Think about influencing factors of the surrounding environment
- Think about whether the way you have selected the sample could lead to overly positive (or negative) results
- Does the interview need to be ‘in person’? Can it be delivered by email or over the phone?
Selection of interviewees
Can this be:
- an opportunistic selection of candidates from a group or library visitors
- targeted users of a specific service
- a list of recommended people to interview by a key individual
- Some types of sample selection could provide biased results
- Do not approach people for interview who have previously expressed a desire not to be approached as this will breach GDPR
Incentives for interviewees
Are you offering any incentive to improve uptake e.g. prize draws, give-aways, forgiving library fines?
Length of interviews
- Approximately 10 mins if you are looking for a few promotional quotes
- Up to 60 mins for research you are considering putting forward for publication
- Can you meet after a meeting or at lunch-time?
- Remember to be flexible
Remember to share this information about the interview with participants prior to the interview to help them manage their expectations.
Managing the interview process
- Once prepared, find a volunteer to test your interview skills on and reflect on the feedback
- You may also want to practice using any recording equipment or how you record your notes as this will affect what you can get out of the interview
- Prepare the list of interview questions in advance
- Have suitable prompts to help the participants further understand the meaning of the questions
- Share the questions with the participant prior to the interview to give them some additional thinking time
- Be flexible in your questions and seek clarification on specific points
- Cost savings: it is especially powerful for advocacy and marketing to be able to quote a specific cost saving (e.g. £10,000)
- If the specific cost saving has not been calculated ask the interviewee to provide an informed estimate of cost savings
- Time savings: ask how much time has been saved and what level of staff was involved (consultant / nurse, etc.)?
- If other impacts have been acknowledged, obtain enough detail to be able to tell the story of how specifically – for example “Patient Care” – has been improved
Environment of the interview
- The interview should be as open and informal as possible
- The more conversational, then the more useful information you are likely to obtain
- Think about how to create a comfortable environment and how to put people at ease
Skills of the interviewer
- The interviewer should be confident at communication and a good listener
- Respondents should be left time to think and respond to the questions
- The interviewer needs to remain attentive and be encouraging. Try not to lead the respondent
Focus of the interview
- It is important to keep the interview in focus
- People have taken time out of their busy days to support you, so remember to keep to the agreed time
- If necessary gain permission from the participant to extend the interview
Consult with the interviewee
When writing up the responses, remember to provide the participant with a copy to confirm the accuracy
- Remember to get the participant to complete the consent form for the use of data
- If they have requested it keep them informed on how the data is used