Posts Tagged ‘webcam interviews’

We can see clearly now! Tips and tricks for making the most of your qualitative webcam interview.

Posted on: October 26th, 2017 by doyle

From the desk of Natanya Rubin

Qualitative webcam interviews are an exciting opportunity to see a respondent in her native habitat, but there are plenty of tech pitfalls that can make that time less rewarding.  Here are some of the best practices that we and our platform partners employ to make sure the interview goes well:

The tech check is key.  We always recommend scheduling a live tech check prior to the interview, rather than relying on the respondent to complete an automated one.  This allows a technician to connect personally with the respondent to test bandwidth in the area where the respondent will do the interview, work with them to confirm that their audio functions well, and help them adjust their lighting (see below for more on both topics).

Separate audio and video allows for flexibility, should something go wrong.  Although advances in VOIP stability and clarity make it tempting to have both video and audio run through the respondent’s computer, we recommend that the audio for the qualitative interview be done through the respondent’s phone line.  That way, if the respondent’s internet is spotty and happens to go down during the interview (which sometimes happens despite best efforts to vet bandwidth in advance), the interview can still be salvaged using the separate audio.  During the tech check, we also instruct respondents to make sure their phones are charged and that the power cord is within reach, to ensure that there are no interruptions to the audio.

Lighting is a make or break proposition.  Ensuring good lighting is critical to the success of a qualitative webcam interview.  If the respondent is just a dark, backlit mass, it’s hard to read emotion or see details of their space.  During the tech check, we often help respondents adjust their lighting set-up by asking them to grab a desk or table lamp to get light on their faces, while closing drapes or turning off the lights behind them so they’re not silhouetted.  Then, on the day of the interview, they’re ready to be seen!

By preparing the respondent for the interview through a live tech check, separating audio and video as a safety net against bandwidth issues, and guiding the respondent to be sure they can be seen on-screen, Doyle Research ensures that each qualitative webcam interview is both technically seamless and rich in insights.






Virtually Face-to-Face: Best Practices for Conducting Webcam Interviews

Posted on: February 23rd, 2016 by doyle

From the desk of Natanya Rubin

Webcam interviews are a wonderful way to accomplish a national recruit, while saving time and money on travel and still allowing you to talk to your customer face to face. Having conducted 1000’s of webcam interviews, we’d like to share five best practices to ensure a smooth experience for all.

1) Eliminate potential problems from the outset. When recruiting a webcam study, we create a battery of screener questions designed to assess computer literacy and to find out what devices, operating systems, and Internet providers the respondvirtual face to faceent has at home or at work, wherever they will be interviewed.

2) Perform a live tech check. Rather than relying on respondents to self-check their technology prior to the interview, we insist that our platform partner perform a live tech check with respondents, to assess the respondent’s devices and troubleshoot any issues in advance. The technician also makes sure that the respondent’s space is set up correctly to allow the moderator and client viewers to see and hear the respondent clearly. Helping the respondent arrange his or her space to optimize viewing (sometimes it’s as simple as moving a lamp from behind the respondent’s head to in front of it) ensures that things run smoothly on the day of the research.

3) Keep bandwidth considerations in mind. Sometimes the needs of the research preclude the possibility of scheduling to avoid bandwidth heavy times and dates, but it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the Internet traffic in respondents’ markets, so that alternatives are available if there are slowdowns. Beware the “internet rush hour” of 7-9 PM especially, but slowdowns can sometimes occur starting as early as 3 PM in certain markets.

4) Get respondents online in advance. It’s important to queue respondents at least five to ten minutes in advance of their interview, so that any last minute problems can be addressed without eating into the interview time. That being said…

5) Over-recruit to save time and trouble. Online interviews do demand a comfortable over-recruit, so that the support team and moderator can be ready to move on in the case of last minute tech issues. Instead of losing valuable research time troubleshooting the inevitable odd problem that pops up on the day of the study, a sufficient over-recruit provides a margin of safety that can make all the difference.

By following these procedures, you can confidently take advantage of all of the benefits provided by online webcam interviews, knowing that you have done the advance work to ensure success on the day of the research!