Factors Associated with Interviewers’ Evaluations of Respondents’ Performance in Telephone Interviews: Behavior, Response Quality Indicators, and Characteristics of Respondents and Interviewers by Dana Garbarski, Jennifer Dykema, Nora Cate Schaeffer, Cameron P Jones, Tiffany S. Neman, & Dorothy Farrar Edwards

Public Opinion Quarterly


Interviewers’ postinterview evaluations of respondents’ performance (IEPs) are paradata, used to describe the quality of the data obtained from respondents. IEPs are driven by a combination of factors, including respondents’ and interviewers’ sociodemographic characteristics and what actually transpires during the interview. However, relatively few studies examine how IEPs are associated with features of the response process, including facets of the interviewer-respondent interaction and patterns of responding that index data quality. We examine whether features of the response process—various respondents’ behaviors and response quality indicators—are associated with IEPs in a survey with a diverse set of respondents focused on barriers and facilitators to participating in medical research. We also examine whether there are differences in IEPs across respondents’ and interviewers’ sociodemographic characteristics. Our results show that both respondents’ behaviors and response quality indicators predict IEPs, indicating that IEPs reflect what transpires in the interview. In addition, interviewers appear to approach the task of evaluating respondents with differing frameworks, as evidenced by the variation in IEPs attributable to interviewers and associations between IEPs and interviewers’ gender. Further, IEPs were associated with respondents’ education and ethnoracial identity, net of respondents’ behaviors, response quality indicators, and sociodemographic characteristics of respondents and interviewers. Future research should continue to build on studies that examine the correlates of IEPs to better inform whether, when, and how to use IEPs as paradata about the quality of the data obtained.