Interview has been classified in different ways. One way of classification of interviews is based on their functions, such as diagnostic interviews often used for clinical purposes. The other way of classification of interviews is the number of persons participating in the interview process, for example, individual interview or group interviews. Yet another basis of classifying interviews is the format used for interview, for example, structured and non-structured. Any one of the bases can be relied on to classify the various types of interviews just mentioned above. Most probably, the easiest and most convenient way to classify them is the degree to which they are structured.
The Structured Interviews
As the name suggests, structured interviews maintain some control over the respondents. Nevertheless, considerable flexibility is permitted in deciding the extent to which interviews should be structured. First and foremost area, through which an interview is structured, is the questions and its responses. The questions in an interview are regulated to get appropriate responses. In so far as responses are concerned they are regulated and controlled by giving. I multiple choices to the interviewee. To achieve this, first the questions have to be in order and focussed to get reliable and appropriate responses; if isbeneficia1 to ask questions in same order from one interview to another interview.
The Unstructured Interviews
In unstructured interviews questions are not ordered in a particular way. The I order of questions is not fixed. In other words the order of questions followed in one interview may not be followed in the next interview. Even the questions asked are not worded in the same way. In sum, the interview is free of regulation and control.
In an interview we call for questioning each individual separately. Where asin group interviews, we interview more than one individual at a time. In a group interview as many as eight to ten people may discuss the subject matter of an investigation under the direction of an interviewer. However, such interviews are more satisfactory as a source of hypotheses or as a way of gathering information about the group, they do not ordinarily yield systematic information from every individual in the group on each point covered in a personal interview.
Telephone interviews are conducted in cases where individuals are likely to have telephones, but who are scattered in a large geographical area. Telephone interviews typically combine the advantages and disadvantages of both mailed questionnaire and personal interviews. Low cost and rapid completion with relatively high response rates are the major advantages of telephone interview. It is possible to conduct large scale surveys through telephone interviews within a few hours of the occurrence of a traumatic event in order to illicit immediate reactions. The major reservation about telephone interviewing has-been that those people who have telephones are not representative of the general population.