What Does a Field Interviewer Do?

A field interviewer is a person who conducts surveys and research for companies or organizations. This person might meet with a number of people over the course of a day to ask them specific questions in order to gather data on a particular topic. There are a variety of reasons why a company or organization might want to use a field interviewer to conduct research; for example, market research is a common reason. The interviewer may assist in the preparation of survey questions and the development of the research plan in some cases, but when a company hires someone to conduct field interviews, the questions are usually already developed.

A field interviewer must possess certain skills in order to be successful at this job and avoid skewing the results one way or the other. To put survey respondents at ease, whether they are already aware they will be interviewed or if it is a spontaneous question-and-answer session, it will be necessary to have a professional, friendly demeanor at first. Furthermore, it is critical not to give the impression that one answer is preferred over another, as this may have an impact on the survey’s results. When asking questions and recording responses, field interviewers must appear completely objective.

A field interviewer must be able to ask the questions exactly as they were prepared and record the answers verbatim. Again, paraphrasing could change the answer’s intention or meaning, affecting the data. Some field interviewers use technology to record responses, while others simply jot down notes with a pen and paper. When working as a field data collector, accuracy is crucial, as many field data collectors will also be responsible for preparing reports summarizing their findings to submit to their superiors.

A field interviewer with more responsibilities, or who was involved in the initial design of a research project, may have more control over the questions he or she asks and the data gathered. This job may require more data analysis than a standard field interviewer position. The basic requirements for each of these jobs vary depending on the type and purpose of the survey, but in any case, a person in this position must be a responsible, self-motivated individual who can work with little supervision.