Intercept surveys/interviews can be a great method for obtaining data for a research project. On-site interviews are one of the best choices when you need top-of-mind feedback or need to speak to an audience that visited a specific location. We’re currently in the process of conducting multiple projects that have an intercept interview component, so we put together a few tips for conducting intercept interviews. Here are a few case studies for past intercept survey projects conducted by our firm, RMS:

  1. Mall intercept survey company case study
  2. Restaurant intercept survey vendor case study
  3. Movie theater intercept survey case study

mall intercept survey company

Here are 7 tips for conducting intercept interviews:

  • Be Friendly – Smile! Nobody wants to conduct an interview with someone who doesn’t seem interested in the questions they are asking. Our experienced interviewers have mentioned time and time again that being friendly is overwhelmingly the most important aspect for being a productive interviewer. Being friendly allows the interviewer to quickly build a rapport and obtain quality data from the respondents. The secondary benefit to having the respondent conduct an interview with a friendly and professional representative is that it leaves the respondent with a more positive view (as well as an increased awareness) of the end client’s products and services.
  • Dress The Part – Intercept interviewers act as a representative of the client and it’s important that they dress professionally. Dressing the part gives the interviewer the appearance of “belonging” at that location and makes the respondent feel more comfortable.
  • Identify Yourself – Along with dressing professionally comes properly identifying yourself to the respondent. The interviewer should wear a name tag that identifies him/herself and also the company that they are working on behalf of. Since the interviewer may be working for a market research company that the respondent is ultimately not aware of, it’s important that their name badge presents a brand the consumer is familiar with (i.e. the logo of the mall where the interviews are being conducted).
  • Approach the Respondent – It’s important that the interviewer keeps moving. If they’re sitting at a table, hoping somebody is going to approach them to conduct a survey, the fieldwork is going to be very unproductive.
  • Position Yourself In Multiple Locations – If applicable, it’s important to conduct intercept interviews in multiple locations. For example, if you’re conducting surveys for a mall, you absolutely do not want all of the interviewers to sit outside of the electronics store for the whole day. Doing this will limit the audience that you speak to and will ultimately skew the data. It’s best to station yourself in a variety of locations to capture the thoughts of different audiences.
  • State Your Purpose – People are afraid of being sucked into a sales pitch for a product or service they don’t want to buy. Since many consumers have their guard up when being approached by a representative it’s important that the interviewers state that they are just conducting a quick survey, and aren’t looking to sell anything. We’ve found that getting past this barrier is one of the best ways to have the individual agree to complete the survey. If the individual still refuses, it’s time to move on!
  • Be Honest – Be realistic about the time it will take to complete the interview. If you tell the respondent it will take 1 minute, and 10 minutes later they see they still have multiple questions left – they can easily just walk away (and most likely won’t be happy with their experience). It’s important to always be honest about the time to complete the survey, especially when you are an active representative of a brand.

These are the main aspects of the interview process that help make our fieldwork productive and our projects successful. Our interviewing teams utilize these tips when they are in the field and help create the foundation for our research projects.  If you’re interested in conducting mall intercept surveys or any other type of intercept interviews with Research & Marketing Strategies, feel free to contact Sandy Baker at (866) 567-5422 or e-mail her at