Interviewer Behavior and Interviewer Characteristics in PIAAC Germany

Daniela Ackermann-Piek, Natascha Massing


Interviewers are the first in line when it comes to data collection. Therefore, it is important that they perform their tasks diligently, so that the data they collect are comparable and that errors are minimized. This paper analyzes how interviewers conducted interviews for the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) and which kinds of mistakes they made. We approached these questions with audio interview recordings collected during the fieldwork of PIAAC in Germany (carried out in 2011/2012), as well as with an interviewer survey conducted with the German PIAAC interviewers. First, we introduce the data and the coding scheme used to evaluate interviewers’ behavior with audio recordings. Subsequently, we describe the interviewers’ actual behavior with regard to standardized interviewing techniques and investigate whether interviewer characteristics are associated with data quality. Our results demonstrate that interviewers do deviate from the expected behavior in all the aspects we examined. However, we identified only few associations with interviewers’ background characteristics.


PIAAC Germany, interviewer behavior, data quality, audio recordings, interviewer survey, interviewer characteristics

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Copyright (c) 2014 Daniela Ackermann-Piek, Natascha Massing

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.