Here is a quick wrap-up of my experience working as a face to face research interviewer now when I’m through my first few assignment batches.
I’ll try to limit aspects that relate to this position specifically and the employer, because I want the post to show how it is to work as a face to face research interviewer generally – the best sides and the worst challenges from my perspective.
The best sides of the job
The freedom to plan and work independently and be paid to drive in my own car, listening to my favourite radio station, feels great. So does the flexibility to coordinate my work schedule with hobbies and other priorities, and the freedom from dreadful long days in an cubicle (or something) trapped in a daily swamp of server noise, ringing phones and office politics.
2. The puzzle-aspect
To categorise and keep track of data according to a comprehensive rules regime; to have to think about definitions and fit grey zone cases into the right spots. This aspect draws on reading comprehension and logical information processing skills – and I love it. The clarity, the control and the systematic nature of the job combined with freedom and flexibility.
3. Sociological insights
The data collection itself and the way the process links up with what I’ve learned about Statistics and scientific methods is nice… but the best is the ‘sociological snapshots’ from listening to and observing families and their familiar surroundings. I’m an alien in a sense; an immigrant who doesn’t even understand the culture I’ve grown up in well, and who’ve passed through most of my adult life having limited contact with people and their norms. So I appreciate the opportunity to study ‘family snapshots’ of randomly selected samples of people.
4. Local geography
I get to see a lot of Australian landscapes and suburbs while I drive to them and through them, and get socio-geographic insights: to experience local suburbs from inside some of the houses gives snapshots of suburb-cultures that can’t be achieved by just driving around or having a coffee in a cafe in the area or reading about it.