Interactive Interview: A Research Note

19 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2013

Date Written: January 10, 2013


Forming focus groups, as a particular technique for gathering information, gives excellent results in tracing group discursive dynamics. Compared to individual interviews, however, it has an inherent setback. Expressing opinions without sufficient confidentiality protection makes informants hesitant. Trying to trace group dynamics at any cost may lead to losing important information regarding the research question. This research note proposes a new technique, interactive interviews, that combines the strengths of individual and group formats without making concessions either toward less confidentiality or toward eliminating group dynamics from the research question. In this technique, the researcher reproduces alternative discourses trying to engage informants in discursive dynamics identical to that found in focus groups. The results cover not only the eventual discursive change in informants, but also the discursive tensions that the researcher experiences. This note presents evidence of the testing of this technique on a case dealing with the role of EU integration on post-communist democratization in one Balkan country, Bulgaria. After presenting a protocol of interactive interviews, I discuss the main differences between it and similar techniques, such as interviews done in the context of conversation analysis and psychoanalysis.

Keywords: qualitative methodology, interviews

Suggested Citation

Mitropolitski, Simeon, Interactive Interview: A Research Note (January 10, 2013). Available at SSRN: or

Simeon Mitropolitski (Contact Author)

University of Montreal ( email )

C.P. 6128 succursale Centre-ville
Montreal, Quebec H3C 3J7

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