Common Problems Faced by Interviewers When Administering Lengthy Questionnaires and How to Overcome Them.

While I was working for an international survey company in partnership with the Federal Capital Territory, Transport Secretariat, I encountered different types of individuals in the process.

problems faced by interviwersPart of my job then was to administer lengthy questionnaires to busy individuals during work hours or while they were going to and from work.

I was challenged with the task of gaining my target audience’s attention and administer a 10-page questionnaire. These are people I have never met before, mostly those in a hurry. It took some attributes to be able to get the work done.

First I had to be more polite than my usual self, wear a nice look even when I am exhausted and most of all, be tactical in administering the questions.

I was prompted to write on this topic ‘Common Problems Faced by Interviewers When Administering Lengthy Questionnaires and How to Overcome Them’ because years after my experience on the job, a Corp Member serving in my establishment walked up to me and requested I help her with the answer I am about to share with you. She had an interview for a one-year contract job with an international organization and she was required to explain how best to administer lengthy interviews. I suggested she seek help from Google, but to my greatest dismay, there was no concrete answer available in the search engine.

So without wasting much of your time, below are the few but most common problems faced by interviewers when administering lengthy questionnaires during a survey in both rural and urban settings and ways by which such problems can be overcome.

Problems Faced By Interviewers

  1. The interviewee always complains of time constraints.
  2. The interviewee does not feel comfortable disseminating personal information.
  3. The interviewee sometimes wants a tip before s/he could relax to answer all questions.
  4. Getting a good and comfortable location where the prospective interviewees are not in a hurry.
  5. Language problems relating to the interviewee not understanding a common language (English) or vice versa.

How to Overcome Lengthy Interview Problems

  1. The organization conducting the interview should be able to choose a location where the prospective interviewees will be in a state of comfort.
  2. The interviewer should promise the interviewee the confidentiality of the information they disseminate.
  3. Interviewers must always wear a friendly look to attract the interviewee’s consent.
  4. The interviewer must be able to understand the local dialect of the people in the survey location.
  5. The questionnaire should be arranged in an easy-to-hard format.
  6. The interviewer should try as much as possible to keep the section short so as to avoid responder fatigue.

I know that this information is going to help a lot of survey companies, researchers and individuals writing projects or just garnering information from a locality. I hope you make good use of it.


Francis Nwokike

Francis Nwokike is a Social Entrepreneur and an experienced Disaster Manager. I love discussing new business trends and marketing tips. I share ideas and tips that will help you grow your business.

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