Survey Interviewing Procedure

Most fieldwork, whether done by telephone or personal interviewing, is done by individuals recruited and organized to do fieldwork for a wide variety of research studies. Some research organizations maintain a staff of field workers on national basis; others contract out the fieldwork to organizations specializing in that phase only. Some fieldwork organizations maintain a national organization, while others have lists of independent supervisors who have groups of interviewers in their local areas. This discussion will not deal with the problems of recruiting these interviewers and maintaining the organization. When a project is approaching the fieldwork stage, the organization to be used is alerted. If it is believed that certain types of interviewers are required (e.g. men or women younger than 30) that will be stated but to a significant degree it is necessary to use those field workers who are available.

Personal interview surveys on a national basis may require hundreds of interviewers at dispersed areas around the country, supervisors who oversee their work directly, and field coordinators who control the whole process. A national telephone survey could be organized in a similar manner using the same or similar interviewers with local telephone service. There are services, however, makes it feasible to handle the telephone survey from one central location. This permits the development of a small group of full-time skilled interviewers who can be used on many projects and can be supervised closely. As a result, the data-collection process is done better on telephone surveys and this is the main reason for the growth of telephone interviewing.

For the centralized telephone project a much smaller number of interviewers (e.g. 10–40) are sufficient. If many are new interviewers, they must be given general instructions on interviewing techniques. All interviewers are then assembled for training on the specific features of the project at hand. Sometimes these are brief sessions; but for major projects of particular importance, the training session may take as long as two days. Each interviewer does a practice interview, which is then discussed with a supervisor.

For personal interview projects such centralized training is not practical. The usual procedure is to send written instructions and questionnaires to the local supervisors, who are expected to conduct the training. This means that there is considerable variation in the amount and quality of training the various interviewers receive.

To ensure that fieldwork is started and proceeds on schedule researchers establish starting and completion dates and quotas for completion by certain intervals. When materials are mailed to the fieldwork supervisors, a list of all materials is included along with a postcard to be returned, acknowledging receipt. Interviewers turn in their completed questionnaires daily to local supervisors. These are tabulated to provide a running total of completed interviews by interviewer and for the project. If the project falls behind schedule, the director can identify those who must be speeded up. Additional interviewers may be added if necessary.

As completed questionnaires begin to come in, they are edited to be sure the interviewers are proceeding properly. Any mistakes can be corrected before further interviews are made. Since most projects are on a tight schedule in the field, it is important that problems be identified as early as possible and proper action taken. In personal interviews these tabulations and checks are done by the local supervisors, with the resulting delays and variables.

Minimizing fieldwork errors:

There are many points at which errors can creep into marketing research studies during the field work phase as described above. There are general administrative and control procedures also which can improve the overall quality of fieldwork while holding costs at acceptable levels. Most research organizations pay particular attention to five factors:

  1. Selection and training of field workers – interviewers or observers
  2. Administrative procedures for handling projects in the field.
  3. Supervision of field workers and the data collection process
  4. Quality and cost control procedures
  5. Validation of fieldwork

Training and supervision of field workers has been emphasized above.

  • Hklrao



  • Hklrao

    In the
    recent times,  understanding, developing and adopting Business
    analytics, Six- Sigma Principles   and statistical skills  have become
    vital and Corporate executives/ Managers  and Researchers are developing
    these skills in a big way for better resources management, quality,
    higher  customer satisfaction and waste control. in manufacturing,
    services sectors besides public systems-Rao


    analytics (BA) refers to the skills,
    technologies, applications and practices for continuous iterative
    exploration and investigation of past business performance to gain
    insight and drive business planning.
    Business analytics focuses on developing new insights and understanding
    of business performance based on data
    and statistical
    methods. In contrast, business intelligence
    focuses on using a consistent set of metrics to both measure past
    performance and guide business planning, which is also based on data and
    statistical methods.


    analytics makes extensive use of data, statistical
    and quantitative analysis,
    explanatory and
    predictive modeling,
    and fact-based management to drive decision making. Analytics may be used as
    input for human
    decisions or may drive fully automated decisions. Business intelligence
    is querying, reporting,
    OLAP, and “alerts”.

    In other words, querying, reporting, OLAP( on line
    analytical processing), and alert tools can answer
    questions such as what happened, how many, how often, where the problem
    is, and what actions are needed. Business analytics can answer
    questions like why is this happening, what if these trends continue,
    what will happen next (that is, predict), what is the best that can
    happen (that is, optimize).

    executives :
    advocate fact-based
    decision making and, specifically, analyticsWidespread use of
    not only descriptive statistics,
    but also
    predictive modeling and complex optimization
    techniquesSubstantial use of analytics across multiple business
    functions or
    processesMovement toward an enterprise level approach to
    managing analytical
    tools, data, and organizational skills and capabilities

    statistics describe patterns and general
    trends in a data set. In most cases, descriptive statistics are used to
    examine or explore one variable at a time. However, the relationship
    between two variables can also be described as with correlation and
    regression. Inferential statistics test hypotheses about
    differences or relationships in populations on the basis of measurements
    made on samples. Inferential statistics can help us decide us if a
    difference or relationship can be considered real or just a
    chance fluctuation.

     In innumerable ways the data stored/
    maintained in  Hospitals, Health Care systems, retailing  can be
    analyzed, and the environment can be Analytuically understood for
    operational and strategic decisions  The computer facilities can be
    maximized for better managment, forecasting, estimating and evaluating

    Why don’t we use and benefit from the tools and

    For more details and
    for a intensive two day Modular program contact:
     Dr. H.K.LakshmanRao, Mob- 9381036989

    Statistical & Corporate Consultant, Chennai

    Statistical & Corporate Consultant, Chennai

  • Prakash_dothedew

    Sir, I am Prakash Prasad from Jamshedpur. I have completed B.Sc with Maths Hons in the year 2008. my profile is Data Entry Operator.

  • Hklrao

    Dear Prakash & friends  inn Cite HR net work.please undergo a one week modular program on Analytic and statistical methods  which will immensely help in your career path. for details;Contact Dr.Rao:hklrao@gmail:disqus .com

    Rao Ph.D(Mgmt.),M.Phil (Statistics)

    M.A(D.Ed.),M.A(Pub.Adm),M.A(R.D) M.Sc(Psy,), M.A(Econ,) , M.A. English,

    OR &
    SQC (ISI.),AMP (IIMA), DDE. SAS Cert.

    (Former Gen. Manager MFL & Prof. & Head Dept. Management

    Management, Corporate , Statistical, Hospital , Academic  & Placement/six sigma Consultant

    33, Krishnapuri, R.A.Puram, Chennai – 600 028

    Ph: 044-24616184,  M: 09381036989, e-mail:


  • Valan

    This is a good article,If every organization is follow this we will appoint proper people for proper place . 

  • These surveys are important. Anyway to incorporate FaceBook into the equation to reach more people and save time?

  • Its_nafeesa

    I would like to know the increment procedure for the corporate level

  • Aneesh


  • Sathprofile

    process going transitional– a survey

    On reviewing  article on survey interviewing procedure
    published in many of the periodicals  and
    having gone through face to face interviewing process in many of the
    traditional & professional companies, I look forward and like to present
    some of the closest facts, which was never being disclosed earlier. This information
    may throb the corporate world of mid size ltd / pvt companies and may question
    their hiring process and take the matter to the interviewing board.    

    You must have
    read in economics about five M- i.e. man, material , methods, money , market.
    When they are synthesize together, a better result is expected to enhance good
    health of the industry. There are some internal & external factors that influences
    the Hiring / Recruitment process & success of an organization, followed by  some  macro & micro factors that persuades our
    recruitment / employment policy. At the time of hiring a candidate, the
    selection’s are made based on some
    internal  factors that are within the
    parameter of the recruiter / Employer like-

    judgments based on candidates profile in
    conversant with the job requirement.

    Clarity / Transparency of  company’s policy framed by the management at
    the time of assignment and making the candidate familiar with their policy.

    Production & productivity of the company.

    Marketability of the product.

    Generation of internal funds through profits.

    Availability / Extension  of facility of machines /tools and offices to
    its employees.

    In house training facility & imparting
    education to develop skill of employees.

    Selection’s based on  external factors, which are not within the scope
    of the organization like –

    Higher Price of goods due to scarcity, effecting
    the cost of production & the final product.

    Demand of the product & Order booking
    affecting production,

    Raw materials 
    availability  & its price
    within the control of the state/ central govt.

    Export / import policy of the govt.

    Availability of loans & advances through
    financial institutions.

    Position laying vacant had to be closed for want
    of suitable candidate, and waiting for final approval. As the present market
    conditions didn’t allow to go further.

    National , industrial & economic
    policies framed by the government.


    Organizational culture
    :- when we apply for a job to a company, we are being asked to
    contact either of these persons like- Proprietor , Director , President,
    General manager ,Labor officer, personnel manager, H.R , H.R.D , H.R.M,  and like wise. Here the  authorities have a different role to play
    during recruitment process. Many a times it is also seen that a company has
    engaged a Human Resource professional , but their activity and functions are found
    the same standard  like a labor officer
    or a personnel manager. This does not sound good and often the results in
    shaping the organizational objectives are perfidious & untrustworthy.
    Results are alarming like increase in labor turnover / downsizing / lay off etc
    followed by, slow down in departmental functions, delay in project completion ,
    decrease in sales & revenue. As The organization did not come up with their
    own corporate policy manual and department policy manual suitable to their
    needs, in order to keep their employees updated with rules & regulations
    from time to time. The organization should come up with their long term and
    short term goals and share them with their employees.

    The interview takes place to hire
    a person suitable to take up the responsibility related to a profession. In
    this process a company either go for a campus selection, makes a
    telephonic  call to any person known to
    them with the requisite background or makes an advertisement in any media
    available with them or renders this responsibility to any of recruitment
    agency. On the basis of the advertisement, the profiles of the candidate  with requisite background keeps pouring in
    either in hard copies or soft copies. Likewise sorting of the candidates takes
    place as per their requirement. Sometimes the authorized person who is capable
    to read profile, shoulders this responsibility to his / her junior staff due to
    over burden of responsibility or may be that he wants to get rid of the
    situation and the consequences in hiring the right person turn’s out to be  detrimental.

    The subject matter on recruitment
    as stated below  is a standard practice
    followed by any company. The criteria for candidate selection is different from
    company to company either traditional or professional. They are normally based
    on the following criteria.

    Educational background,

    Age & Experience background / Employment

    Place of residence / caste / spoken language,

    Salary range / position suitability,

    References and organizational background.

    Clearing any of the written tests if conducted
    by the recruiter.

    The profile selection
    of suitable candidates is normally decided by a team of selectors as organized
    by the management. He / she may be a Proprietor / Director, departmental head,
    H.R professional or any other person as decided by the management.

    The main
    issue is who is conducting the interview and who are in the interview board.
    The success in recruiting the right candidate lies on the eligibility /ability
    of the candidate as well as the interviewer in understanding  the candidate’s ability. Similarly if the
    position is met through open advertisement or made through resume selection,
    both have a different pattern of making a decision during selection. The
    interview board has to bear in mind about the comfort of the candidate in all
    respect considering the duration of the interview. Later at some stage after
    the appointment the employee / employer shall be under  a view that he / she has made a wrong choice.
    In such a situation either the employer may ask him/her for a resignation or
    change his / her departmental function. On the other hand, the employee shall
    not able to concentrate or focus on his assignment, and shall be looking for a
    change in job. This situation normally occurs within a period of six months to
    one  year time period and Both the
    situation  is awful. Here the main
    responsibility lies with H.R now, and efforts should be made to reprimand   their views with their respective employees,
    either wise the management has to face serious consequences .


    The reasons for not getting the candidate
    short listed is enumerated below ,If the criteria matches or not in accordance  with the above requirements:-

    Person conducting the interview is not trained
    & not competent enough to understand the candidates ability.

    Person conducting the interview  and the person facing the interview are of
    similar / different  background and
    competing for the same position.

    Risk and fear of unemployment  or change in job profile ( of the interviewer
    ) in a highly volatile industries or stable industries during selection of the
    proposed candidate.

    Candidates ability may be too good, smart or not
    suitable based on the report generated during face to face interview. Candidate
    may be a misfit to the requisite position looking into his age & experience
    and financial package as compared to their existing staff / department members.

    Based on experience /education and age of the
    candidate, the question pattern set by the recruitment board has been narrowed
    down. The  true ability of the candidate therefore
    could not be carried out perfectly.

    The question pattern was not  designed  for the position & looking into the
    candidates profile / education, age  and
    experience. The questions should be more of knowledge based on ( bifurcating
    them like- system knowledge ,product knowledge & subject knowledge), candidates
    interest, right decision making process, informative, memory based, presence of
    mind, and a countable attitude towards his / her profession. Weight age  should be given on each pattern.

    The organization do not carry their corporate /
    departmental policy to make it understand to their respective candidate. Therefore
    the recruiter is under confusion in sorting out the suitable candidate and
    hence the true judgment during selection could not be carried out. This covers
    their short term and long term policy both.

    The kind of job requirement / assignment was not
    declared /exposed to the candidate to make him/ her understand as a true fit
    for the job. The candidate  comes  unprepared and not able to project himself as
    desired. The recruiter must inform the candidate, whether the employment is
    contractual or full term basis.

    During interview the question should carry more
    like a solution provider rather than fault finder. Many a times it has been
    observed while facing interviews, the focus is on the later.

    The interview should end up with free & fair
    discussions on mutual interest in serving the organization like period of
    association and terms of employment.


    Here are some traditional job
    interview  questions  with relevant answers prepared to have an
    overview of candidates at entry level / working professionals. However the
    answers would vary from person to person based on their personality ,
    educational background, working culture and experience.

    Note :- Questions related to a particular
    profession or work related is not being added here. Since the questions on
    faculty are different, like technical , commercial etc.



    Procurement Manager in a ltd company

    id-  ;

    no- 8895153288 , 9237214189 , +91-788-2321080