|•||the same questions are asked of all those involved;|
|•||the kind and form of questions go through a process of development to ensure their topic focus;|
|•||to ensure equivalent coverage (with an eye to the subsequent comparative analysis) interviewees are prompted by supplementary questions if they haven't dealt spontaneously with one of the sub-areas of interest;|
|•||approximately equivalent interview time is allowed in each case.|
|•||questions are open – that is the direction or character of the answer is open ('What do you think of the availability of abortion?'; 'What is your view on providing grants for university students?');|
|•||probes are used according to whether the interviewer judges there is more to be disclosed at a particular point in the interview.|
The preparation phase can seem like some kind of barrier, a tedious preliminary that you want to be done with so you can get on with the 'real'