The effect of interviewer experience, attitudes, personality and skills on respondent co-operation with face-to-face surveys

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

June 1, 2013


This paper examines the role of interviewers' experience, attitudes,
personality traits and inter-personal skills in determining survey
co-operation, conditional on contact. We take the perspective that these
characteristics influence interviewers' behaviour and hence influence
the doorstep interaction between interviewer and sample member. Previous
studies of the association between doorstep behaviour and co-operation
have not directly addressed the role of personality traits and
inter-personal skills and most have been based on small samples of
interviewers. We use a large sample of 842 face-to-face interviewers
working for a major survey institute and analyse co-operation outcomes
for over 100,000 cases contacted by those interviewers over a 13-month
period. We find evidence of effects of experience, attitudes,
personality traits and inter-personal skills on co-operation rates.
Several of the effects of attitudes and inter-personal skills are
explained by differences in experience, though some independent effects
remain. The role of attitudes, personality and skills seems to be
greatest for the least experienced interviewers.

Published in

Survey Research Methods

Volume and page numbers

Volume: 7 , p.1 -15






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