VAMHN'S ECR BURSARY WINNER Emilie Wildman REFLECTS ON HER managing Challenging Interviews training course
Have a read below to see what our ECR bursary winner @EmilieWildman did with her award money. To find out how you can apply to our ECR Bursary Scheme click here.
I recently attended Managing Challenging Interviews, a two-day, online training course delivered by researchers from NatCen Social Research. I wanted to attend this training before beginning data collection for my qualitative PhD study, which explores the experience of violence and aggression towards family carers from service users with severe mental health conditions. Given the potential vulnerability of the participants I will be interviewing and the potentially sensitive material we will be discussing, I hoped this training would help to develop my skillset and increase my confidence in my abilities to navigate potentially challenging interviews.
The two days consisted of a mix of theory-driven and practical sessions. I learnt many new skills and techniques to facilitate conducting productive interviews with a range of different types of participants, and to respond flexibly to potentially challenging situations that may be encountered during interviews. It was helpful to consider what constitutes best practice when conducting interviews, and how to manoeuvre through difficult situations when they arise.
I found the practical sessions particularly valuable, as these provided a space to have a go at implementing these skills and techniques through scenario-based roleplay. Additionally, playing the role of the participant as well as the researcher enabled me to experience and appreciate the various dynamics at play during the interview process. Receiving feedback on my interviewing style from the trainers and course attendees, was also very insightful.
Throughout the training, it was great to listen to and learn from the experiences of the trainers and the other course attendees. The diversity in our professions, expertise and perspectives made group discussions thought provoking and enriched my overall learning experience.
I am incredibly grateful to the VAMHN for providing me with funding to attend this course, which has been invaluable in helping me to prepare for conducting interviews.
I will be beginning data collection with confidence in the interviewing skills I have developed and in my ability to implement these.