McGraw-Hill OnlineMcGraw-Hill Higher EducationLearning Center
Student Center | Instructor Center | Information Center | Home
Video Clips
Career Web Links
Chapter Summary
Crossword Puzzles
Help Center

Interviewing: Principles and Practices, 10/e
Charles J. Stewart, Purdue University--West Lafayette
William B. Cash, National Louis University--Evanston

The Survey Interview

Chapter Summary

The survey interview is the most meticulously planned and executed of interviews. Planning begins with determining a clearly defined purpose and conducting research. The purpose of all survey interviews is to establish a solid base of fact from which to draw conclusions, make interpretations, and determine future courses of action. Only then does the survey creator structure the interview and develop questions with appropriate strategies, scales, sequences, coding, and recording methods. Selecting interviewees not only involves delineating a target population to survey, but also involves choosing a sample of this population that represents the whole. The creator of the survey chooses sampling methods, determines the size of the sample, and plans for an acceptable margin of error. Each choice has advantages and disadvantages because there is no one correct way to handle all survey situations.

Survey respondents must determine the nature of the survey and its purposes before deciding whether to take part. If the decision is to participate, respondents have a responsibility to listen carefully to each question and answer it accurately. As a respondent, be sure you understand each question and its answer options. Demand enough time to think through answers. Feel free to refuse to answer obviously loaded or poorly phrased questions that require a biased answer or choosing among options that do not include how you feel, who you are, or what you do.