Blog Post B: Interviewing


An interview is a useful data collection method, which can be applied to many different tasks for gaining insightful information about a topic (Kumar, 2014). In particular an interview is a helpful tool for:

  • Helping to define a problem
  • Nut out the specific layers of a problem
  • Receive feedback through peoples interactions and experiences
  • Gain specific insight into a topic, usually from an industry expert
  • Find out attitudes and opinions towards your specific enquiry (University, 2012).


Figure 1:

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 3.22.39 pm

(Kumar, 2014)


This tree diagram displays a break down of the interview as part of a data collection method. As you can see there are many ways you can conduct an interview to gain different kinds of information. This gives you a large amount of flexibility in helping research many facets. In terms of covering a system and asking about its effectiveness at UTS, a survey based personal interview, which can be distributed to a wide range of people directly, associated to the issue would be most effective (Kumar, 2014).

In terms finding out more specific information, using a qualitative interview such as an in-depth interview with an industry expert with allow you more scope for gaining specific for complex information. These are just two ways in which the interview process could be implement among many others (University, 2012) (Kumar, 2014).


Reflection of interviewing data method in personal research

I have used the interview process personally throughout many research tasks as a means of gaining information. During a task in 2014 when exploring ethics within the workplace, I interviewed three UTS students about their personal views of ethics relating to specific scenarios. From this interview process I was able to compare and contrast varying views of peoples ethical stance. Through the interview process it furthermore gives you more flexibility as you are in the moment to probe into areas that are discovered through the interview process. This process aloud me to gain insight that without the interview process of exploring people’s opinions first hand I would not have even considered or came to a conclusion about in my ethical findings.


Potential interviewing application at UTS

While researching a specific issue of organic waste interviewing could be used to source information from relevant industry professionals. This list could include UTS professionals related to the specific project or operation of UTS waste. Also interviewing experts related to organic waste in means of successful methods currently being used or developed to manage waste (UTS, 2016).

This process could furthermore be used to gain valuable insight in a current or implemented system to find problems. By interviewing the people that the process of waste consumption and disposal effects we can gain insight into attitudes and opinions surrounding waste disposable attitudes or problems people have experienced or observed with a system that could be improved upon.

This diagram represents the different players within this project that could be interviewed in gaining insight into the issue. This covers a broad range of different people, as we do not know our specific problem yet, although all these groups of people are directly related to the chain of the issue or have an extensive knowledge base on the issue. These groups could provide large insight based around their area of knowledge.

Figure 2:

Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 11.50.47 pm.png

(UTS, 2016)

As a broad overview of the different players related to this topic of organic waste at UTS if we where to select an issues we could then use this chart of a means of knowing which key players would give us the information we need regarding our specific topic. For example if we decide to tackle organic waste from the position of sorting waste from the first stage of a person having waste and needing to dispose of it at UTS. We could look at the waste makers in a focus group interview such as student, staff and UTS food employees (including Food Co Op and Activate UTS). From here we could directly interview UTS facilities management and see what implementation is already taking place. We could also interview key players UTS green and Sustainable future in understanding the problem more deeply and how to make it more effective from an organic waste management perspective UTS, 2016).


Overall this primary data collection method has the power and flexibility to give one vast amount of insight into a project.



UNIVERSITY, A. M. (2012, 4 4). Interview as data collection tool. Retrieved 6 10, 2016, from Slide Share:

UTS. (2016, 5 12). Research and Teaching. Retrieved 6 10, 2016, from Research and Teaching:

Kumar, V. (2014, 1 24). Interview method in research. Retrieved 6 10, 2016, from Slide Share:

Sites used for Figure 2: (2016). A long-awaited container deposit scheme for NSW | University of Technology Sydney. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Jun. 2016]. (2016). Dena Fam | University of Technology Sydney. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Jun. 2016]. (2016). Institute for Sustainable Futures | University of Technology Sydney. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Jun. 2016]. (2016). Research | University of Technology Sydney. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Jun. 2016]. (2016). Special projects | University of Technology Sydney. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Jun. 2016]. (2016). Sustainable Supply Network Initiative | University of Technology Sydney. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Jun. 2016]. (2016). Technology in Water and Wastewater | University of Technology Sydney. [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 Jun. 2016].




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