Telephone interviewers conduct telephone interviews for marketing research surveys and public opinion polls. Their job is to question members of a given target group to collect information on one or more issues (e.g. buying behaviour, health, politics). To guarantee the transparency of the studies, they use pre-established questionnaires and follow the scripts to the letter. The interviews they do can last only a few minutes to more than an hour.
Telephone interviewers work either full time or part time, most often for specialized companies who conduct studies on behalf of third parties. Their schedules are based on the availability of interviewees, which means that they usually work evenings and weekends.
The perfect candidate should be able to do the surveys in French as well as in English, therefore bilingualism is required for most call centres. Well-organized, they are able to talk or listen and enter data at the same time. Basic computer skills are a requirement—without being a computer whiz, potential interviewers are comfortable with computers.
Candidates should also know how to remain neutral and manage their emotions with respect to the various reactions of interviewees. Finally, to deal with last-minute scheduling changes, they should make themselves available and adapt to the unexpected.
- Interpersonal skills
- Listening skills
- Patience and calmness
- Team spirit
WHAT THE PROS SAY
INTERVIEW WITH LINDA YOUNG, INTERVIEWER FOR IPSOS CANADA
Linda Young, 32 years of age, is an interviewer with one of IPSOS’s three Canadian call centres. Hired last spring, the French native congratulates herself on having found a job that allows her to satisfy her natural curiosity. “All in a day’s work, I can do a survey on Canadian policy in Afghanistan, followed by a marketing questionnaire on a brand of car,” she says. “As an immigrant, I like the huge diversity of topics. It gives me the opportunity to discover North American culture and get people’s opinion on various everyday topics, from the simple to the highly complex.” The surveys Linda works on last between two and 40 minutes.
With her previous human resources and customer service experience, Linda, who has a master’s degree in social psychology, has adapted to her new work environment easily. “I am increasingly comfortable with the client relations aspect and truly listening to the other party” she explains. “Having the opportunity to work in English for the first time is also very important to me. Finally, I’ve learned to position myself professionally thanks to the visibility of opportunities offered by IPSOS.” Linda’s Canadian career seems to be off to a good start indeed. “I’ve been here for three and a half months and I’ve moved up very quickly,” she says. “I was promoted to the permanent team after a month and a half, and I am currently interviewing to become team leader.” Let’s all wish her good luck!