CAPI (computer assisted telephone interviewing)

CAPI (Computer Assisted Personal Interview) is a quantitative research methodology, used when it is necessary to carry out face-to-face interviews, particularly in areas such as shopping malls or other public areas where it is not possible to use the CAWI methodology, as an Internet connection is not available.
In these particular conditions, the interviewer intercepts the respondents and can interact with them to complete the interview directly on the spot: it will be enough to have software preloaded on the computer and able to work offline. That is, you need a computer, or even a tablet or smartphone, but you don’t need an Internet connection.


A software will be downloaded to the interviewer’s computer through which the questionnaire – in all respects identical to an online questionnaires- can be accessed. The interviewer administers the questionnaire using the computer, immediately entering the answers and the entire interview is saved on the device. The data will be uploaded and synchronized at a later time, when the connection is available and you can connect your computer to the Internet.

An agile and versatile methodology

It is a very reliable methodology that allows you to carry out face-to-face interviews in complete tranquillity, quickly and effectively, without risking to have problems with not available or not very stableinternet connections. The CAPI methodology can also be very useful when, for example, the interviews take place in a hotel or in particular facilities, where it is preferable not to overload the Internet.


During the screening phase, the interviewer collects the data of the respondents in order to obtain the profile of each. Each respondent is identified with a number, an ID, which will appear on the screener and at the beginning of the questionnaire.


The ID also is needed to profile the target (for example, consumer / non-consumer) so that the data can then be analyzed based on the respondent’s profile.


Normally, it is not possibleto correct an answer during the interview by “going back” in the questionnaire, howeverin the event of an interruption or an involuntary closure of the program,it is always possible to resume the questionnaire where it had been interrupted.

CAPI advantages

This data collection methodology, which has been in use for at least ten years, has replaced the traditional interviews on paper questionnaires, enormously reducing costs, fieldwork time and also the possibility of errors. It is no longer necessary to print and photocopy a considerable number of questionnaires, just as the “dataentry” phase is no longer necessary: at the end of the fieldwork, all the data are ready to be uploaded to client’s server and subsequently analyzed.
The versatility of the IT tool allows a quick and simple management of different versions of the questionnaire, and also allows to show images, videos or listen to audio files and to receive respondents’ feedback in real time.


This methodology can be used with any type of target and facility.

CAPI disadvantages

The disadvantages are very few and are due only to the eventuality, however rather remote, that some interviews are not saved: for this reason it is always advisable to have an oversample.