Interviewers play a crucial role during the entire data collection process in all interviewer-mediated surveys. The tasks of the interviewers are diverse: making contact and accomplishing cooperation with the sampled unit, asking survey questions, conducting measurements, recording answers and measures, as well as maintaining the respondent’s motivation throughout the interview. Differences in interviewers’ abilities and behaviour can affect the outcomes at each step, resulting in interviewer effects.
In order to record and explain such differences systematically, an interviewer survey was developed to learn more about interviewer personalities as well as attitudes and expectations with regard to the SHARE interview. The conceptual framework of the Interviewer Survey can be found here.
Interviewers from different countries, all working for SHARE, are asked to participate in the survey. The survey is conducted after the interviewer training but prior to the fieldwork of SHARE. The data of the Interviewer Survey can be linked to the SHARE survey data. This link allows analysis of how different expectations and attitudes of the interviewers influence their success in winning respondents over to participate and to answer survey questions.
The Pilot Study:
The Interviewer Survey was implemented for the first time as a paper-and-pencil questionnaire in the fourth wave of SHARE in the German as well as the French sample.
The International Interviewer Survey:
From wave 5 onwards, the interviewer survey is conducted as an online survey. In SHARE’s fifth wave six countries (Austria, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Sweden, and Slovenia) participated. The programming of the online version and the different language versions had been funded by the “Charles Cannell Fund in Survey Methodology”. Due to its great success, the Interviewer Survey was continued in SHARE's sixth wave with 12 participating countries (Austria, Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Spain, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, and Slovenia). Furthermore, the survey has been implemented in Wave 7 in more than 20 countries.
The data of the Waves 5, 6 and 7 Interviewer Survey can be downloaded from the SHARE Research Data Center together with the respective actual release (see module interviewer_survey).
Korbmacher, Julie; Friedel, Sabine; Wagner, Melanie; Krieger, Ulrich (2015), Interviewing interviewers: The SHARE interviewer survey in Malter, F. and Börsch-Supan, A. (Eds.) (2015). SHARE Wave 5: Innovations & Methodology. Munich: MEA, Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
Korbmacher, Julie (2014): Interviewer Effects on Respondents’ Willingness to Provide Blood Samples in SHARE, SHARE Working Paper Series
Blom, Annelies; Korbmacher, Julie (2013): Measuring Interviewer Characteristics Pertinent to Social Surveys: A Conceptual Framework, Survey Methods: Insights from the Field
Blom, Annelies; Korbmacher, Julie (2011): Measuring Interviewer Effects in SHARE Germany, MEA Discussion Paper 03, SHARE Working Paper Series
Friedel, S. (2019): What They Expect Is What You Get: The Role of Interviewer Expectations in Nonresponse to Income and Asset Questions. Journal of Survey Statistics and Methodology. DOI: 10.1093/jssam/smz022.