Marketing research data is essentially of two types that have already been defined: secondary and primary. In primary data gathering, personal interview becomes necessary. Interviewing is an act which needs to be mastered to be able to get results. Sometimes there are exogenous issues that aid successful interview delivery. With respect to primary research, the foremost tool is the personal interview. The face-to-face contact between researcher and respondent is not equal in terms of the potential quality of data that can be obtained. In the face-to-face interview, it is possible to record more than the verbal responses of the interviewee, which are often superficial. When human beings communicate directly with each other much more information is communicated between them. When two people face one another, the dialogue is conducted on several levels. It goes beyond verbal expression. The nature of words used, facial expressions and body language all communicate what the other party means. Research Intelligence magazine takes a look at some of the important considerations in achieving a successful interview. It spoke to few respondents and interviewers.
Is it true that some respondents prefer to be interviewed by the opposite sex?
Well I haven’t really experienced anything like that, but sometimes when we are working on a project and some respondents are watching what is happening in the hall while they wait, you might be biased if you notice that a particular interviewer is slower in administering the questions than the others, maybe that is where the preference will come in. They will want to be interviewed by the interviewer that is faster so they can save time, but I haven’t really experienced the opposite sex thing. But most of the times getting a respondent to sit and wait for the interview is always a challenge, so when they come they will not want to waste a lot of time, so I think that’s where the preference will come from.
So you are saying that the respondents are in a haste to go?
Everybody is conscious of time.
So what makes a good interviewer?
A good interviewer should look clean on the outside first of all. He should have this face of wanting to speak up, and should look open. An interviewer should possess the quality of being interactive. Even when looking at the interviewer, the interviewer’s face should be bright, look clean at the outside and not have offensive body odour. He should be attractive too and dress very well. Most times, if you are indecently dressed as an interviewer you will attract so many unnecessary attentions to yourself.
How do you handle difficult respondents?
I haven’t really encountered such because I am a very vibrant interviewer. I tend to interact with my respondents even before I start the interview. I exchange pleasantries asking them how they are doing and make them to know the length of the interview. With that their mind is relaxed, we just interact.
What are some of the questions respondents usually would ask you?
They ask me how I am and work, how I am doing? Sometimes they would want to know how much I am getting paid for the job. In fact, some of them would even ask you if they can come and be part of it, so these are the challenges. So I don’t think I have ever received any harassment in the cause of the job anyway.
JOY JOHN (RESPONDENT)
Would you have prefered a particular sex of interviewer to interview you?
Anybody can interview me.
What were your expectations before you entered here?
I met a guy who called me and talked to me about a particular drink and I told him I just took two sachets of it this morning because that’s my product.
Have you been participating in research like this before?
No, this is my first time but I understood everything I was asked.
Do you think market research is necessary?
Yes, market research is necessary because I worked with a brewery. I know much of their products so this research is very okay. Why I said so is because you cannot be taking what you don’t know much about. You need to know if your system will tolerate what you are taking or not.
Have you noticed any gender preference among repondents you have interviewed?
Somehow, but the one that is more often is interviewers attitude to the respondents. If you respond to me very well, there’s the tendency that I tell other people that you interviewed me and they should as well go to you for the same interview. But if you are arrogant in the way you respond to me, when I go out there I will tell other respondents not to come to you but to go to other interviewers. I may even describe you and tell them what you’re putting on. There was this particular experience I had. This male interviewer was very slow in attending to people such that when other interviewers spent like 30 – 40 minutes average per respondent his own was close to an hour or thereabout. Reason is because he was slow in asking questions and everything. It’s not as if others were not asking the questions right or taking their time to do the right thing but you will find out that this person was slower amongst every other person. He was just the only one that was slow so other respondents that were already waiting identified this so when you ask them come to this same person they will say no I don’t want to go to that person, I want this one to attend to me. But coming to this gender thing I think I haven’t noticed it. It is not really common but it happens, you will find out that the females will want the male to interview them especially when the guy is handsome, so they will want to go to the handsome male interviewer, while the male will want to go to the beautiful ladies, they will say okay no this is the person I want.
How do you manage the funny respondents?
It depends, if it is an in- hall you will find out that they’ve already been told or briefed on what they are coming in for before you start talking to them, so to extent they have known what they are coming in for. Your own is now to ask them the necessary question, but I don’t think I have come across anyone that will come to the hall and still be confused after being briefed outside only to come inside and start asking you why you are asking him the questions except only when the question is too personal like all those questions on income and others.
How do you handle interviewer who can’t flow well?
When it comes to interview your respondents are very special because they are the people you get the information from. So you try as much as possible to handle them with care to get the best out of them. So the attitude of the interviewer to the respondent determines the answers he or she will get from such respondents. If you approach a respondent very well, even if the questions are very direct, there is a way to twist same questions so that you will get a straight or very good answer from such person. So to me I think it’ s the way interviewers ask the questions that determine how very well those respondents’ respond to their questions. But on the other hand, you can meet a different respondent, someone that does not know anything, even while in school you find out that some people are more brilliant than others. So when you get some respondents they are always off key, they don’t give you what you want, you ask them this question and they are giving you a different answer. So it’s still left for you again to draw them back to your question and get a reasonable answer from them. Most times there are challenges when you get the illiterate ones.
What are the qualities that make you a good interviewer?
I think one of it all is communication. An interviewer should be able to communicate well. You have to speak well; if you meet respondents that are well educated they will want to flow well with you so by the time they see that you are deficient and don’t even know what you are doing they will fall back or something like that. The next one is your attitude; you must have a very good attitude. Then another thing is you knowing the questions you are asking. Before you ask a question you have to know the answers first, though in research they tell you there’s no wrong or right answers but there’s no way you ask a question that you need an answer within a range and your respondent is giving you an answer that is out of the box. So you should know what you are expecting from respondents before asking questions.
How was the interview?
It’s okay, the interview was fine.
Did they meet your expectation?
Actually they did.
Before you came in here, what was your expectation?
Actually I thought they would ask us to drink, but they said; no you won’t drink but just to answer some questions, that’s all.
When you were introduced to someone to interview you, would you have minded a particular sex to interview you?
No anybody can interview me and I like the person that interviewed me.
Have you participated in this type of study before?
Yes I have, in this same place too but with a different company.
So do you think that research is necessary?
Yes, it’s necessary to me. It is to know what people say about a product and for the company to know the next action to take, if necessary.
Are You In School?
I’m done; I’m just a secondary school certificate holder.