There are multiple kinds of interviews that can be conducted for research. Each one of them has certain pros and cons. The selection of the technique of interview depends upon the different parameters on which the research is being conducted.
Personal Interviews: A typical type of interview that can be called a personal interview is the one in which the interviewer gets an opportunity to as to ask questions from the respondents face to face. The place for interview can vary from a shopping mall, street, movie theatre, polling place, home or any other place, mostly of the preference of the respondent. This kind of style has some advantages. It helps the interviewee to see and feel the research context and it creates better opportunities to find the target population and also makes it possible to conduct longer interviews, if required, in a pre-decided setting by the interviewee. However, it has certain disadvantages because of which it cannot be the opted method at all times. The cost associated with personal interviews is much higher than the other methods. Time and travel constraints are much higher.
Telephone Surveys: In the United States of America, surveying by telephone is the most popular method of study. It is the fastest means of contacting as compared to the other methods of research. The aid of Information technology by the means of CATI (Computer Assistance Telephone Interviewing) helps in generating the results instantly. However, as a detrimental impact of telemarketing, people have become reluctant to co-operate in telephonic interviews pertaining to even quality research. Another drawback of telephonic interview is that it is not possible to show the products over the phone.
Mail Surveys: These are one of the least expensive of the research methods. However, it can only be done if the addresses of the respondents are available. It adds more quality to the research as the respondent gets the opportunity to respond at leisure, with complete concentration. They are very non-intrusive types of interviews. However, they can only be conducted if enough time is there at hand to conduct the research as the response time here is very long.
With the advent of information technology, Emails and Internet/Web Based Surveys are becoming more and more popular. With this rapid preference towards these means of conducting surveys, it has become more cost efficient, flexible, quick and easy to take up survey.