Interviewer influence

The interviewer is the chief factor in the value of the obtained data. The accuracy of the data obtained is influenced by the manner in which the questions are put to the respondents and the skill with which follow-up and probing questions are handled. The interviewer must act in a neutral way to avoid exerting a bias on the replies.



• little of the investigator's time is wasted

• procedures are standardised and specific

• monitoring of the interviewers

• possible to use illustrative materials during the course of the interview Limitations

• time pressure - people in a hurry can be difficult to question

• interviewer may be tempted to seek out those shoppers who do not appear to be in such a hurry

• per-interview cost is the highest of any survey method

• refusal rate is high, running anywhere from 5% to 30%

Personal interviews

A good interviewer should be able to establish rapport with others. They also need to be trained and training should cover the role and nature of marketing research, what surveys are and how they are conducted, and the role and importance of the interviewer. Training for a specific study is also necessary. An example of training for a specific study is given in the following box.


Interviewing instructions are provided with regard to:

• introduction to the particular study

• interviewer timing requirements (dates and hours of work assignments)

• general purpose of the study

• the process of interviewing

• selection of prospective respondents

• specific procedures for the initial contact and for securing cooperation

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