The recruitment of participants was a hard task. I had to search for individuals that fit the criteria for inclusion in my study, seek their contacts, and contact them to inform them about the research and request them to participate in the same. Searching for people who fit the criteria for inclusion was not difficult. What was hard was to find the contacts of identified individuals and convincing them to be part of the study. The people that I had identified had not shared their phone numbers online for privacy reasons. I had to contact them via email or social media which took time to get through to the targeted individuals. It took a lot of convincing to gain the trust of the contacted individuals. Even after gaining the confidence of the individuals, convincing them to take part in the study was very hard. Most cited their busy schedule as their reason for declining to participate in the study. Despite the challenges in the recruitment of participants, the experience was great. I leaned the persistence needed to recruit rich sources of information.
The format that I used for the interviews was the phone format. After convincing two of the targeted individuals to participate in the study, I requested their phone numbers for further discussion regarding the interview. We agreed on the interview format and date over the phone. Conducting the interview over the phone was my preference. The recruited participants were also in support of the format as it was convenient for all of us. The recruited subjects were located far away from where I live. Conducting the interviews in-person would have been very costly and time-consuming. Skype, FaceTime, and WhatsApp were not considered. Phone interview enabled me to ask interesting follow-up questions and get the participants back on topic when they strayed. I recorded the interview using a mobile phone app and also recorded notes of key points.
The setting of the interview appointment was done over the phone. I explained to the interviewees the amount of time that was needed to complete the interview, and they both proposed that we conduct the interview on Saturday afternoon as both were free at that time. Both interviewees were okay with conducting the interview over the phone due to the convenience that is afforded by the chosen format. During the setting of the appointment, I informed the participants about their rights when participating in the study, the ethical considerations that will affect the study, and sent them an official invitation letter and consent form. The provision of detailed information to the subjects helped convince them about the seriousness of the research and boost their willingness to participate. I also informed them that the study has the potential to spur positive social change and they should be glad that they agreed to participate in the same.
To make the interview go smoothly, I first made sure to gain the trust of the participants. A second thing that I did was to convince the subjects that the study was of great significance. Participants cooperated well once I had gained their trust and were aware of the importance of the research. Another thing that I did to make the interview go smoothly was to work on improving on my interviewing weaknesses. Earlier on I had identified areas that I am weak at regarding interviewing and worked hard to improve on the weaknesses through reading and role-playing. Better interviewing skills helped ensure that the interview went smoothly. The use of an interview guide was also crucial to the smooth running of the interview. I obtained good quality data from the participants.