December 14: Next RECSM Webinar/Presentation

Adjusting to the survey: How interviewer experience relates to interview duration.

December 14, 2021 at 12h CET

André Pirralha (RECSM - Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

Interviewers are important actors in telephone surveys. Several studies have shown interviewers' importance in determining the interview pace and managing the effort respondents dedicate to answering. On the other hand, we also know that interviewers are very heterogeneous regarding the duration of the interviews and that the time dedicated to each interview tends to shorten over the course of fieldwork. While several hypotheses have been discussed in the literature, it is often argued that interviewers show a learning effect and optimize survey administration as they gain within-survey experience.

This paper examines the relationship between general survey experience, within-survey experience and interview duration using data from wave 1 of the parents Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviews from the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS), Starting Cohort Grade 9. We employ multilevel models that show considerable influence of the interviewers on the interview duration and find that interview duration decreases as the within-survey experience increases. This effect is robust even after controlling for various interviewer, respondent, and interview characteristics.


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