Interviewing When You’re Not Face-To-Face: The Use of Email Interviews in a Phenomenological Study

Chandra Bowden, Sebastian Galindo-Gonzalez
International Journal of Doctoral Studies  •  Volume 10  •  2015  •  pp. 079 - 092
As Internet usage becomes more commonplace, researchers are beginning to explore the use of email interviews. Email interviews have a unique set of tools, advantages, and limitations, and are not meant to be blind reproductions of traditional face-to-face interview techniques. Email interviews should be implemented when: 1) researchers can justify email interviews are useful to a research project; 2) there is evidence that the target population will be open to email interviewing as a form of data collection; and 3) the justification of the email interview supports the researchers’ theoretical perspective. The objective of this study was to develop an email interviewing methodology. As with other forms of qualitative interviewing, it is important that the researcher: 1) identifies constraints; 2) adequately prepares for the interview; 3) establishes rapport; 4) asks appropriate questions; 5) actively listens; and 6) ends the email interview appropriately.
Millennials, email interviewing, Gadamerian Hermeneutical Phenomenology, mixed-use communities
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