Market Research Interviewer Careers

How to become Market Research Interviewer

What does a Market Research Interviewer do?

Market research interviewers gather information about a particular product or service by interviewing members of the public. The interviews are carried out either on a one-to-one basis in person or on the telephone, or through group discussions. The research is usually for an agency that has been commissioned by another company. However, local and central government, public bodies and independent institutes also carry out research.

The interviews are based on a detailed brief or questionnaire compiled by a market research executive, which tells interviewers what to ask and how to ask it. They can be quantitative, which finds out how many people do, buy or think something, or qualitative, which asks people for reasons why.

There are three main areas in which interviewers work:

  • Consumer research covers a huge variety of subjects from brand preferences to television viewing habits and political opinions.
  • Executive interviews involve in-depth discussions with company executives, purchasing officers or other people in senior positions.
  • Specialist interviews involve discussing various topics with experts or professionals, for example interviewing doctors and dentists about medical equipment or discussing new fertilisers with farmers.

What's the working environment like working as a Market Research Interviewer?

Some interviewers can arrange their own hours, but they must be prepared to do some evening and weekend work, particularly when the job involves home visits. Part-time work is normal.

Interviews take place in shopping centres, shops, offices and private homes. Most work is carried out in towns and cities but some may involve travelling to rural areas. Interviewers spend long periods of time walking and standing.

Telephone interviewers work either from an office or from home.

What does it take to become a Market Research Interviewer?

To be a market research interviewer you will need:

  • to be friendly and courteous and enjoy meeting people
  • tact and patience to encourage people to participate
  • good listening skills
  • to be methodical and organised, with the ability to decide what is relevant information
  • to be good with facts and figures and pay attention to detail
  • legible handwriting in order to produce clearly written reports at the end of the survey
  • be reliable and self-motivated in order to work without supervision
  • the perseverance to complete a quota of questionnaires
  • basic maths and computer skills
  • a smart appearance.

Market Research Interviewer Career Opportunities

Demand for market research varies with the state of the economy. Most interviewers are employed on a part-time basis by market research agencies. Other employers include government departments, research institutes and opinion pollsters. Due to the variable nature of the work long-term employment is unlikely. Working for a number of different agencies increases the possibility of regular work.

There are few promotion prospects for interviewers. In larger agencies, it may be possible to progress to senior interviewer, supervisor or area field-work manager. Occasionally an opportunity to become a research assistant can arise, although further qualifications may be required. It is possible to specialise in certain areas such as social surveys, consumer habits, or executive interviews.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Market Research Interviewer that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Market Research Society (MRS)
15 Northburgh Street
Tel: 020 7490 4911

British Market Research Association (BMRA)
Devonshire House
60 Goswell Road
Tel: 020 7566 3636

Association for Qualitative Research (AQR)
Davey House
31 St Neots Road
Eaton Ford
PE19 7BA
Tel: 01480 407227