This article illustrates a reflective exercise undertaken by a novice researcher who committed numerous “interview don’ts” during her first attempt at qualitative interviewing as part of a study. These mistakes occurred despite her attempts to learn qualitative interviewing best practices and develop her craft of interviewing beforehand. To identify and explore these mistakes, unstructured interviews were reflexively analyzed for emerging themes. The analysis found that communicative barriers were constructed between the novice researcher and her participants as a result of her (1) losing track, (2) steering and (3) lack of clarity. These barriers thwarted the researcher’s efforts to capture her participants’ voice because they were drowned out by her own. To minimize and overcome the inevitable mistakes novice researchers will make, this article recommends they are deliberately reflexive in order to further develop their qualitative interviewing skills.


Qualitative Interviewing, Researcher Reflection, Novice Researcher

Author Bio(s)

Eleni Gesch-Karamanlidis is a 3rd year organizational communication PhD student at Texas A&M University. Her research examines communication dynamics of interorganizational relationships pertaining to complex environmental issues. Correspondence regarding this teaching and learning article can be addressed directly to: Eleni GeschKaramanlidis at, Department of Communication, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843; Email: geschwho007@tamu.edu

Publication Date


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.




Submission Location


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.