Briefing the interviewers

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In most routine consumer surveys the interviewers are unlikely to be given a personal briefing. A good explanatory written brief must therefore be developed to be sent to the interviewers with the questionnaires. This may be followed up by a telephone briefing from the area supervisor. In complex or unusual consumer surveys it may be necessary to hold interviewer briefing meetings, and these will have to be paid for to cover the interviewers' time.

In industrial and executive research, briefing the interviewers is of paramount importance and personal briefing is usually essential. The objectives of the research must be made clear to the interviewer. Probes and prompts should be discussed and an indication given of where the areas of greatest potential interest are expected to be. The method of recording the answers must be agreed and this will often involve the use of tape recorders. Possible difficulties and ways in which the interviewer might handle them should be covered. Finally, the importance of establishing rapport in this type of interviewing should be stressed, since without the respondent's wholehearted co-operation much of the point of depth interviewing in business situations is lost.

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