Interviewers horses for courses

Interviewers have two important roles to play in any interview situation. First, they are responsible for delivering the question to respondents, and the degree to which they may be required to intervene in the questioning process to help the respondent answer correctly can vary. Second, they are responsible for recording the answer, and the degree to which they may be required to intervene in interpreting the respondent's answers can also vary. Therefore, before a decision to use a particular type of interviewer can be made, it is necessary to consider what is required from him or her in both delivering the questions and interpreting and recording the answers. The more that is required in either of these areas then the more skilled, and therefore more expensive, will be the type of interviewer needed. Because interviews vary according to the role demanded of the interviewer, so the amount of error and variability the interviewer can introduce into the data varies also. This is why it is important to consider 'horses for courses' in selecting the type of interviewer to be used according to the type of interview to be conducted.

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