Preparing for data collection: the mock interview as a researcher's training tool

Harerimana, Alexis, Wicking, Kristin, Biedermann, Narelle, and Yates, Karen (2024) Preparing for data collection: the mock interview as a researcher's training tool. Educational Research. (In Press)

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Background: The research interview is a valuable tool for collecting data in qualitative studies. All education researchers, whether novice or experienced, need to prepare carefully when planning to conduct interviews. Thus, how best to assist newer researchers to acquire interviewing skills for the purpose of collecting research data remains an important question. Mock, or ‘practice’, interviews can offer opportunities for such researchers to become more familiar with the methodological processes involved in interviewing, so that they can start to build necessary skills prior to carrying out interviews in the field.

Purpose: Set in the context of nursing education, the research sought to describe the use of an online mock interview protocol as a researcher’s training tool and consider key lessons learnt from this process.

Method: In this qualitative study, seven purposively selected participants from a university in Australia were involved in a mock interview process. A video conferencing platform was utilised as an online environment for the interviews.

Findings: Analysis of the procedure indicated the ways in which carrying out the mock interviews supported the researcher’s preparation for qualitative interviewing and facilitated the development of good practice for conducting interviews in a virtual environment. Processes included undertaking a rigorous training needs analysis, optimising technical preparedness for the mock interviews, and practising how to ask interview questions in a suitable way. The experience involved learning lessons around self-evaluation, mental readiness, retrieving rich data and troubleshooting technical issues.

Conclusion: The research highlights the extent to which successful interviewing depends on the quality of pre-interview preparation on the part of the researcher. Conducting mock interviews prior to online qualitative research could help support less experienced researchers in areas of research including nursing education. Integration of mock interview protocols into curricula for educational research purposes could help provide research students with opportunities to strengthen their skills.

Item ID: 81586
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1469-5847
Keywords: Interview; mock interview; practice interview; qualitative data; research interviews; simulated interviews
Copyright Information: © 2024 NFER.
Funders: James Cook University Postgraduate Research Scholarship (JCUPRS)
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2024 22:58
FoR Codes: 39 EDUCATION > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy > 390110 Medicine, nursing and health curriculum and pedagogy @ 35%
46 INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES > 4601 Applied computing > 460105 Applications in social sciences and education @ 35%
39 EDUCATION > 3903 Education systems > 390305 Professional education and training @ 30%
SEO Codes: 16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1699 Other education and training > 169999 Other education and training not elsewhere classified @ 30%
22 INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION SERVICES > 2204 Information systems, technologies and services > 220407 Human-computer interaction @ 30%
16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1601 Learner and learning > 160104 Professional development and adult education @ 40%
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