(Please note: this article does not include information about eligibility and loan interviewers.)
Do you like talking to people about their lives and activities? Are you good at asking questions? If so, you may want to consider becoming an interviewer. Many different companies and organizations of all kinds hire interviewers to collect and confirm information by mail, telephone, or in person.
If becoming an interviewer is a job path that might work well for you, here’s what you need to know.
- What are the job tasks? Interviewers mail letters, make phone calls, or set up personal appointments with individuals and businesses to go over their information. Depending on your employer, as an interviewer you might ask questions to help with market research, applications of various kinds (including insurance and higher education), census forms, and medical histories.
- In addition to asking the questions, you would also review the answers to make sure nothing is missing or incorrect. You may also need to answer any questions individuals have about your company’s products or services, once you finish your part of the interview. You won’t be expected to know all the answers to their questions, but you should be able to direct them to someone who can help.
- What about training and education? Most employers train on the job, meaning that once you are hired you will go through at least a week of training before you are expected to do the job without help. A high school diploma or its equivalent is preferred, but often employers will accept a combination of experience and some education if it shows that you can handle the work. You must display the ability to interact well with people, getting them to open up and easily share their information with you.
- What is the job outlook? This is a great time to be looking for an interviewer job. Employment growth in this field is expected to increase by about 16 percent over the next decade. The rapidly growing health-care and insurance industries fuel much of this need for interviewers, as does the increasingly competitive marketing industry. There’s also a high turnover rate, so if there aren’t many interviewer jobs available now, wait a while and it will probably change.
- How much can I expect to earn? On average, interviewers make about $28,000 a year. Interviewers with more education and experience, and who can show excellent communication skills and effectiveness, often make more than their inexperienced counterparts. Part-time interviewers naturally earn much less than full-time interviewers, and often don’t receive benefits.
- Who hires interviewers? Businesses and organizations that conduct surveys, collect applications, or administer other types of questionnaires need interviewers to get out in the field and talk with people. This includes a variety of industries, from insurance of all kinds (vehicle, health care, life insurance, property insurance, and so on) to sales and marketing companies trying to understand their customers. The United States government also needs interviewers during the census-preparation period. Some interviewer positions—such as with the census—are for a limited amount of time and not intended to be permanent.
- Communication and professionalism are essential. Because interviewers work with people in a variety of situations and circumstances, to be a good interviewer you must have excellent communication skills, with the goal of working with people to complete the interviews and answer any questions they may have. As the interviewer, you have requested to use some of their time, and a thoughtful interviewer never abuses this request.