Conducting the Interview

  • Olga PetintsevaEmail author
  • Rita Faria
  • Yarin Eski


This chapter presents practical clues and special considerations when conducting interviews with elites and experts, especially on sensitive topics including crime and crime control. We discuss the course of the interview and ways to improve the quality of the data collected. Dimensions covered here range from how to build interaction with interviewees; how to gain trust and establish rapport; power negotiations; managing impressions; maintaining control of the interview and avoiding ‘standard corporate answers’; dealing with participants’ questions and assumptions about researchers’ own knowledge and views; asking about sensitive topics; and the physical interview setting. As in other chapters, we offer ethical reflections, especially in relation to confidentiality and anonymity of participants. Lastly, online interviewing, which may prove especially useful for elite and expert participants, is addressed.


Rapport Interview interaction Interview techniques Language Sensitive topics Corporate answers Online interview 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Criminology, Criminal Law and Social LawGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Faculty of Law, School of CriminologyUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  3. 3.Department of Political Science and Public AdministrationVU University AmsterdamAmsterdam, North HollandThe Netherlands

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