Using phone interviews

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This toolkit explores the use of telephone interviews in qualitative research.

It discusses the practical and methodological advantages of the approach, including minimal travel time and cost and increased anonymity for participants. The two main methodological objections to telephone interviews are traditionally; the difficulty of achieving rapport with participants; and the lack of non-verbal communication. The toolkit discusses whether these concerns are well-founded and suggests that their significance may have been exaggerated.


  • Introduction
  • Things to consider when using telephone interviews
  • Interactional differences in telephone and face-to-face interviews
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Further reading


Irvine, Annie (2010) Using phone interviews. Realities Toolkit #14. National Center for Research Methods, University of Manchester. Retrieved from: