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The specificities of interviewing in China

Rui Torres de Oliveira (Department of Innovation, Strategy and International Business, University of Queensland, Saint Lucia, Australia)
Sandra Figueira (Grenoble Ecole de Management, Grenoble, France)

Qualitative Market Research

ISSN: 1352-2752

Article publication date: 8 January 2018




The purpose of this paper is to guide future researchers and practitioners into the process of interviewing in the Chinese context.


The methodology used is an empirical critical reflection.


The authors identified 11 major themes such as how to get an interview, antecedents of the interview, building rapport, complexity, language, interview settings, interview procedure, stages, probing and sensitive topics, selection of respondents and post-interview.

Research limitations/implications

The location of the interviews.

Practical implications

Guide foreigner researchers and managers on how to conduct interviews in China.

Social implications

The context matters, and only with a specific approach some can perform well and achieve the interview objectives. Doing so, the researcher or practitioner will not create situations that might be problematic for her/him and the interviewee. Based on the above, the authors’ research decreases potential social tensions that interview situations can create.


To the best of the authors’ knowledge, no other researcher has studied the specificities of interviewing in China, which brings originality and value to the authors’ research.



Torres de Oliveira, R. and Figueira, S. (2018), "The specificities of interviewing in China", Qualitative Market Research, Vol. 21 No. 1, pp. 118-134.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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