15.10 Survey Interview Types

Conducting a survey is a form of interviewing. However, the difference between a survey and a more traditional interview is that the “interviewees,” or respondents in a survey, are generally anonymous and the results of the survey do not include individual identification of the “interviewees.” Survey interviews represent an aggregation of information rather than a personalized accounting of the topic.

There are several methods used to gather survey data:

  • face-to-face interview

  • telephone interview

  • self-administered (by mail or online) interview

Each has its advantages and disadvantages, and each poses evaluation problems for communicators who may wish to use the information from a survey as a way to help define an audience.