Formulating Open-ended Questions for Interviews

Formulating Open-ended Questions for Interviews
Formulating Open-ended Questions for Interviews

Principal speaker

Dr Judy Rose

This workshop provides a practical guide to the formulation, wording and sequencing of open-ended questions (OEQs), in the context of a semi-structured interview. First, we briefly review the purpose of open-ended questions in interviews (e.g. to gather detail of experience to better understand the interviewees' perspectives; to gain insights in regard to phenomena). We then look at how to frame OEQs around a particular topic and how to write them using accessible language from a set of research questions. Next, we explore the formulation of different types of open-ended questions used for different interviewing functions that probe for information that is descriptive, refining, reflective or hypothetical (e.g. "if X happened how would you respond?'). Next, we highlight other OEQ writing tricks (e.g. sequencing easier before harder to answer questions) and traps to avoid (e.g. leading or overly sensitive questions). Finally, we prepare you to apply these concepts to your own research interview script, in order to achieve a desirable level of saturation i.e. no new information can be gained from the OEQs formulated. This workshop is suitable for those new to writing open-ended questions for interviews, and those who have experience but want to further refine their practice.

Format: This workshop will be delivered online during a 2-hour period, via Collaborate, with active learning break out groups and Q & A.

Pre-requisites: Participants are encouraged to read the flipped classroom reading in advance. This workshop differs from "Designing Open-ended Questions for Surveys' as questions are designed for "real time' delivery. This workshop is a useful, although not mandatory, prerequisite for the "Interviewing Skills' workshop (Aug 20).

Relationship to other RED workshops: This workshop is a companion for "Eliciting Effect Sizes from Experts'.

Recommended Reading, before attending: Holloway, I., & Galvin, K. (2016). Qualitative Research in Nursing and Healthcare. London, U.K.: John Wiley & Sons. Available as an e-book via Griffith University Library. Please read pp. 89-92.


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RSVP on or before Monday 10 August 2020 , by email , or by phone 0755529107 , or via

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