The Relationship of Interview Quality with Interview Order and Interview Pace
Experienced interviewers often have higher response rates than novice interviewers and thus are valued by survey organizations. Nonetheless, studies found that experienced interviewers did not necessarily have better data quality. Even worse, both data quality and interview quality became worse as the interviewer gained more experience during the field period. Other research found that later interviews had a quicker pace than earlier interviews. However, even though survey experts have advised interviewers slow down their pace, no research has attempted to examine if it is the interview order or the interview pace, or both, that are related to interview quality. This paper investigates the issue by analyzing the two data files of 2002 Taiwan Social Change Survey with HLM models. I use respondent attitudes when being interviewed and counts of non-substantive answers as two indicators of interview quality. The results suggest that, when the questionnaire contents are closely related to the respondents' life experience, both interview pace and interview order are independently related to the number of non-substantive answers. Respondent attitudes are not related to either interview order or interview pace. Limitations of the study and implications for survey practice are discussed.