A growing body of literature in low- and middle-income countries is challenging the long-held assumption that the respondent and interviewer should be strangers. We conducted a qualitative study in Burkina Faso comprised of in-depth interviews and focus group discussions to explore interviewers’ experiences of collecting data on sexual and reproductive health indicators in their communities, and their perceptions of how familiarity with the respondents influences measurement error and nonresponse. We found that interviewers perceive familiarity to affect the process of collecting data but has minimal impact on responses obtained. Rather, interviewers perceived the personality of the respondent and her willingness to disclose personal information to be of greater influence. This study illustrates the complexities of interviewer–respondent exchange, provides context for the hiring practices of future surveys, and suggests specific variables to check when assessing data quality.
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