Tag: the research interviewer job

Phone screening for an interviewer job

and: tell-tale signs of a good employer

Last week I applied for a part time job as interviewer for a research organisation. The 10 km long application form required several referees and had to be hand written and sent by post. Not because they haven’t transited to the computer age yet (I suppose) but because neat hand writing helps minimise mistakes during the data transfer from interviewer to researcher. I also attached the ‘optional’ photo*.


fake photo of indian

Two days later I had a missed called from them. I called back armed with high motivation, headset, a copy of my application and the informational document which I had read in details and had open on the screen. I was quite nervous because phone screening isn’t my strong side and I tend to stuff it up, be too honest, have hearing/processing issues on the phone and speak with my foreign accent.

Despite the headset, I had to concentrate hard to make sense of the lady’s questions and filter out a neighbour’s dog’s barking, our dogs dropping a bone (repeatedly) and walking on the floor and other distractions. The lady spoke too fast, too high pitched, to Australian-accented, so sorting the sounds kept me on edge. She first repeated questions I had already replied to in the application form, and then the conversation went somewhere along these lines**:

– Have you read the job information?
– Yes.
– How many hours would it suit you to work for us?
– Up to 20-25 hours would suit me perfectly, I would be able to combine that with what else I am doing.
– What if it is less than that?
– That would be fine too. Then I would probably combine it with more freelance work.
– Our information material says that a workload averages 6 – 10 hours per week.
– That is … fine too..

Who switched off my trap-detector?

– Thank you very much. We will call you back next week if we decide to call you in for an interview.

Blunder alarm! I knew the average hours to expect, and I even had precisely that page open right in front of me. Yet I answered as if I haven’t read it… Why do I always blow phone screenings… *sigh*

Did it kill my application? I guess I will have to wait and see.

What would be good about working as an interviewer:

1. I already know the job

The job involves to drive around to randomly selected households and interview each member of the household for a research survey about their usage habits of certain infrastructure.

I already know how to undertake the job because I was interviewed as a respondent in the survey. During the interview it occurred to me that I might like the interviewer’s job. The combination of rigid structure and meaningful purpose, social interaction and snapshots of different people’s life styles, driving in own car (paid), independence and absence of office politics appealed to me.

So I asked the interviewer out about her job: her routines, the pay, her employer, good and bad. Her replies sounded good to me. It turned out that the research organisation is currently looking for interviewers in my region – Yay! (more…)