Annex B: Interview Guide for Semi-Structured Interviews with Guests
Ensure the video and audio work for the researchers, interpreter and participant.
Check if there is anything that would make the interview more comfortable, e.g., asking if the participant or interpreter needs a short break in the middle of the session.
Check that the participant is able to speak freely and whether there are any disruptions or background factors that may affect the conversation (e.g., presence of young children)
My name is [name] and I am a researcher from the Scottish Government. With me today is [name] who will be taking notes about our conversation [and introduce observer if there is one].
If there is an interpreter provide them an opportunity to explain what they need from the interviewer and participant.
We are conducting a number of interviews with Ukrainian guests over the next few weeks. This is to inform the Warm Scots Welcome programme and will help us to better support both guests and hosts.
We would like to hear from you about your experience of coming to Scotland and what life has been like for you here so far.
We have questions about different stages of the process – preparing to come to Scotland, your arrival and first days here, and the subsequent period up until now.
We are interested in the kind of help you received, the services you came into contact with, and your needs and preferences.
My colleague and I here did not make any of the decisions or design parts of the programme, so you can't offend us. Please be as honest as you can be!
The interview will take up to 90 minutes and we can take a break at any time if you like. You can stop this interview at any point and without providing a reason. You can also skip any question – again without providing a reason.
If you decide at any time during or after the interview that you don't want to participate, then we will delete all the information you provided.
I just want to remind you that this session is confidential. All notes we are taking from the interview today will be made anonymous when we write up the findings and nobody will be able to see who said what.
Can I check that you have completed the permission form?
Do you have any questions before we begin?
Participant information T:05-10
To start with, can I just check your current situation – I can see from your answers to the questionnaire that you were… [summarise key info e.g. location, accommodation, duration since arrival in Scotland, who they came here with] – is that correct?
I'm interested in your expectations coming to Scotland and what your experiences have been so far.
Make sure the emphasis is on why they chose Scotland in particular, not why they left Ukraine.
Did you have a specific reason to come to Scotland instead of another country?
How did you hear about this?
What were your expectations when you decided to come to Scotland – what did you think life would be like for you here? Consider prompting for:
Education (for yourself, for your children)
So you applied through [name of visa pathway] - Is that right?
How did you hear about this?
What was that process like for you?
Arrival and welcome T:20-30
Next we'd like to hear about what it was like when you first arrived in Scotland.
How did you travel to Scotland? Where did you arrive?
Did you go to a Welcome Hub? If so, can you tell us a bit about that? Consider prompting for:
How you felt
Who you interacted with
What questions people asked you
What information you were given
What was helpful
What was unhelpful/difficult
If they haven't mentioned help provided: What sort of help did you receive when you arrived in Scotland? Consider prompting for:
access to money
So you are currently living in a [hotel or ship / hosted accommodation / in long term private or social housing]?
How long have you been living there?
If for a short period only – ask about previous living situation in Scotland
What has that been like for you? (probe for specific experiences – positive or negative)
Have you been able / were you able to access services?
Can you tell me what that was like for you? Consider prompting for:
Healthcare (dentist, GP)
Advice services, employment support
Financial support – banks, government benefits such as universal credit or disability payment
Biometric residence permit
Education, English language classes
Recreation – sports, art activities
Can you tell me about how you found information on what to do or where to go to get what you need?
I would love to understand more about you settling into day-to-day life in Scotland.
If the participant is currently living in a hotel / ship:
Where would you ideally like to be living in a few months' time?
If not given – prompt for location, type of accommodation
Prompt for rationale – why?
If they didn't mention a host:
Would you consider moving in with a host?
Why / why not?
Can you tell me what the process of arranging future accommodation has been like so far? Consider prompting for:
What sort of accommodation sought; with host or living separately
Which services are involved (formal and informal)
Any direct contact with potential hosts at different stages
Key issues for accepting/declining a host offer (e.g. location, space, host characteristics)
Any challenges or opportunities in finding hosted/social/private accommodation
If participant has accepted an offer from a host but has not yet moved:
What has it been like arranging to stay with somebody? Consider prompting for:
Support provided by government
Information received about the offer
Any conversations / meetings with the hosts
Why did you decide to accept the offer?
Consider prompting for how they feel about moving in with the host
If participant is currently living in host accommodation:
Why did you decide to accept the offer?
Consider prompting for any information provided about the host before the decision was made
What was the process of moving in with your host like? Consider prompting for:
support to organise the move
crossing between local authorities
Agreement on how to live together
What has it been like for you to live there? Consider prompting for:
Interaction with and support received from the host
Suitability of property (space, privacy, facilities)
Household costs (energy, food)
Take particular care with these questions as some people may not feel comfortable thinking about the future.
If hosted, how long do you expect to stay with your host?
If they give a specific timescale: Have you had a conversation with your host about this?
If someone is living in private accommodation or long-term social housing.
How did you organise this arrangement?
What has it been like for you to live in this accommodation?
What do you think of the local area as a place to live? (eg. the area within 15-20 minutes' walk from where you live). Consider prompting for:
I see from your questionnaire that you are / are not in employment.
If participant is in employment ask:
Can you tell me about your current job? Consider prompting for:
When did you start
How do you feel about your job
What do you like about it / not like about it
Relationships at work
Is it like your past jobs? If not – ask what their previous employment was.
How did you find this job?
Were you given any support?
Did you experience any issues when applying for this job, or other jobs?
Prompt: for issues with pre-employment checks.
If currently not in employment ask:
Are you actively seeking work / applying for jobs?
If yes, are you experiencing any specific issues with applying for posts (i.e. Language issues when completing application forms, pre-employment checks)?
What types of jobs are you applying for?
Are you receiving any support from organisations / individuals in putting in job applications?
Future intentions T:50-60
Moving on to the last part of this interview – we are interested to know about what is most important to you while you're in Scotland.
Take particular care with these questions as some people may not feel comfortable thinking about the future, especially where it touches on sensitive issues such as having family abroad, not being able to work in their previous profession, how feasible it is to return to Ukraine, etc.
What are the most important things that would help you with day-to-day life in Scotland in the longer term? Consider prompting for:
English language classes
Work (including having qualifications recognised)
If you get the sense they're planning on staying longer than six months: What do you want your living situation to look like in the longer term, say, beyond six to twelve months?
Prompt: for moving to a different part of Scotland or somewhere else in the UK.
Depending on participant's answer, explore further and consider prompting for:
Barriers to considering moving
Factors that make moving more attractive/feasible
Check whether your note-taker/observer have any questions
Thank you so much for you time, it was really valuable to speak with you. Is there anything else you would like to add? For example, is there anything you wanted to talk about that you think I should have asked you?
One last thing – we may want to pull together a group of guests who are interested in helping us make sure their experiences are part of informing the future of the Warm Scots Welcome programme. Would you be happy for us to get in touch with you in the future so you can be part of that?
We have also put together an information sheet about resources and support services that you might find helpful after the interview. We will send this to you today.
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