A market research interviewer interviews people to carry out opinion surveys on the quality or popularity of consumer goods or on matters of public interest.
You could be:
- approaching people individually or in groups (focus groups)
- approaching people on the street, by telephone, by email, at home or at work
- explaining to people you interview what the information will be used for
- asking people questions from a list and noting down their answers
- asking people to complete a questionnaire
- recording the information on paper, on computer or on video
- helping to prepare questionnaires and to analyse the results
- using the internet to do any necessary homework beforehand
- encouraging people to buy a particular product (in some jobs).
Market research topics include:
Consumer attitudes – opinions on price, quality, after sales service and availability of goods and services. Assessing, for example, the popularity of television programmes or loyalty to a particular brand of butter. Predicting the future success of new products.
Specialist trends – such as the machinery and raw materials which factories buy in, or the medicines which doctors choose to prescribe.
Social trends – opinion on issues such as politics, unemployment, crime rates, race and sex discrimination, sources of energy, health and housing.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual salaries may vary, depending on:
- where you work
- the size of company or organisation you work for
- the demand for the job.
Starting pay ranges from £7.90 an hour rising with experience to around £11.50 an hour. You may also get a mileage allowance and might be able to earn a performance related bonus.
- You might work in shopping centres or in stores, or you could be standing out in the street in all kinds of weather.
- You might be cold-calling people (approaching people who have not been involved before) at their homes door-to-door, or on the phone.
- You will travel about.
- You may have to work irregular hours, including evenings and weekends.
- Many jobs are temporary and part time.
- You have to work to deadlines and meet targets.
- Some of your pay might depend on commission.
Workforce Employment Status
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- You do not usually need formal qualifications. Communication skills and enthusiasm tend to be more important.
- Computer skills are useful.
- It helps to have a driving licence.
- You may need your own transport and a landline phone with internet connection.
- Previous experience of dealing with the public is useful.
- Most jobs are with market research agencies.
- There are also jobs in local government and the Scottish Government, and in the market research departments of commercial firms.
Workforce Education Levels (UK)
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Job Outlook Scotland
Job Outlook Scotland and UK
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What Does it Take?
You should have:
- excellent communication skills
- resilience, to accept rejections
- good attention to detail
- good record keeping skills.
You should be:
- smartly presented
- friendly and polite
- observant, with excellent listening skills.
- Training is mainly on the job.
- The Market Research Society (MRS) offers qualifications in market and social research practice at Certificate, Advanced Certificate and Diploma level, which can be completed by distance learning.
- The MRS website lists accredited centres that offer these qualifications.
- You may specialise in a particular area such as social surveys, consumer habits, or executive interviews.
- You can apply for promotion to senior interviewer, supervisor and area manager.
The following organisations may be able to provide further information.
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