Various online tools can be used to conduct online interviews. This mostly happens if it is challenging for the interviewer and the interviewees to connect physically. Unstable settings, including conflicts as a result of disasters, may prevent researchers from connecting with their interviewees physically.
Current restrictions in many parts of the world necessitate remote work and online interviews. The researchers and the interviewees must conduct themselves in acceptable and ethical ways. Some ethics apply to online interviews to promote the integrity of the process.
Transparency and honesty
Before beginning the interview process, the researcher must explain to the interviewee the purpose of the interview. The participants must be encouraged to ask questions to make them feel comfortable and willing to share information.
The researcher should explain how the information will be used and they must also obtain consent from the interviewee to use the information. The researcher should also disclose that the interview will be recorded. They should assure the interviewee that the recording will be used as a point of reference by the researcher and that it will not be shared elsewhere. This may create a sense of comfort among the participants.
Any recorded conversation or notes taken during an online interview should be used as per the interviewees’ wishes and not for any other purposes. If the content is published as a public resource, the researcher should seek permission from the participant, preferably in writing.
One of the most important elements of effective virtual meetings is respect. A sense of respect is reflected where the researcher makes participation comfortable. A comfortable environment enables participants to fully participate during an online interview.
The interviewer should be conscious of how they approach a conversation and ensure that the interviewee is comfortable and willing to share information wholeheartedly. To eliminate misunderstandings, the researcher can ask for clarification on any unclear issues.
Observers and moderators should be encouraged to respect the participants. They should be cautious of how they react to the participants’ feedback and avoid being judgmental.
Privacy and confidentiality
According to the recruitment at a leading assignment help, during online interviews, the right to anonymity and privacy should not be violated. The observers and researchers must preserve the participants’ well-being. This requires taking steps to ensure that the identity of the participants is not disclosed. In the European Union the GDPR compliance of the video meeting tool has to be ensured.
Another expert hiring manager for a college paper site says that the dissemination of information generated should not impose the interviewees’ private and personal life whatsoever. The researcher must understand that sometimes researchers may disclose personal information during the interview. The researcher is responsible for safeguarding such information.
Privacy is about the people, the right to protection, and a sense of information access and control. Confidentiality is about identifiable data privacy extension and an agreement regarding maintenance and people who have access to identifiable data. Thus, privacy is people-oriented, while confidentiality is data-oriented.
Avoiding non-verbal cues misinterpretation
During online interviews, it may be difficult to tell if the participants were present throughout the session. This may make the researchers misinterpret virtual clues such as turning of heads or smiles. These could represent responses from the people in the room or non-verbal cues regarding the conversation.
The interview participants are encouraged to use earphones to overcome the misinterpretation challenge. The interviewers could also take notes of what they perceive could be happening around the participant’s environment.
Online interviews have become a common phenomenon as a result of current restrictions and technological advancements. Just like face-to-face interviews, online interviews should be conducted under specific ethical guidelines and standards. Transparency, honesty, and respect must be strictly observed. The information collected through video conferencing platforms must not be disclosed to unintended parties or used for any other purposes. More importantly, the interviewer must take into account the participants’ environment and avoid misinterpreting non-verbal cues.