17 Survey Assistant Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a survey assistant, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

Survey assistants conduct interviews, administer and score tests, and collect data for social science research projects. Many survey assistants work on political campaigns, but others may work for marketing research firms, polling organizations, or government agencies. No matter where you work, you’ll need to be able to answer a variety of survey assistant interview questions.

Survey assistants need to have strong communication skills, as they will be talking to a wide range of people. They also need to be able to work independently and be comfortable with computers. If you have these skills and are interested in a career as a survey assistant, read on to learn more about how to answer common interview questions for this position.

Are you familiar with the principles of human behavior?

Interviewers may ask this question to assess your knowledge of the principles that underlie survey design. They want to know if you can apply these principles in a way that helps you create surveys that are easy for respondents to complete and interpret. In your answer, try to explain how you use human behavior principles to make sure your surveys are effective.

Example: “I am very familiar with the principles of human behavior because I have used them to inform my work as a survey assistant for several years now. For example, I know that people tend to respond more honestly when they feel their responses will remain anonymous. This is why I always ensure our surveys include questions about sensitive topics like income or political affiliation. Another principle I keep in mind is that people usually prefer to be presented with multiple-choice questions rather than open-ended ones. To avoid overwhelming respondents, I often limit the number of questions on each survey.”

What are some of the most important skills you have that make you a good survey assistant?

This question can help the interviewer determine if you have the skills and abilities to be successful in this role. When answering, it can be helpful to mention a few of your strongest skills that relate to the job description.

Example: “I am highly organized and detail-oriented, which helps me keep track of important information for surveys. I also have excellent communication skills, so I’m able to work well with others on projects. In my previous position as a survey assistant, I was responsible for communicating with clients about their surveys and ensuring they received all necessary information.”

How would you go about designing a survey?

This question can help interviewers understand your thought process and how you apply your skills to the job. When answering, it can be helpful to describe a specific example of when you designed a survey or helped someone else design one.

Example: “When designing surveys, I like to start with the basics. I ask what information we need from the survey and who will take it. Then, I consider the best way to collect that data. For instance, if I’m working on a marketing campaign for a new product, I might want to know what consumers think about the product’s packaging, its taste and other factors. So, I would create questions that allow us to gather this information. I also make sure to include an option for respondents to skip questions they don’t want to answer.”

What is your experience with data analysis?

This question can help the interviewer determine your experience with a variety of data analysis tools. Your answer should include which tools you’ve used and how often, as well as what you found most helpful about each tool.

Example: “I have worked with several different types of data analysis software in my previous role as a survey assistant. I primarily use SPSS for my data analysis because it’s easy to learn and has many useful features that allow me to analyze large amounts of data quickly. I also find Tableau to be an effective tool for analyzing data because it allows me to create visual representations of the data that are easy to understand.”

Provide an example of a time when you had to work with a difficult co-worker.

An interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your interpersonal skills and how you handle conflict. When answering, it can be helpful to focus on a specific example rather than generalizing the entire experience.

Example: “In my last position as a survey assistant, I worked with a co-worker who was very detail oriented. While this is usually a positive quality in a survey assistant, sometimes they would nitpick small mistakes that didn’t actually impact the results of the survey. This made me feel like I couldn’t make any mistakes at all, which led to some stress for me. Eventually, I talked to them about it and explained why their feedback felt overwhelming. They apologized and we developed a system where they could give constructive criticism without making me feel overwhelmed.”

If you had the opportunity to redesign a survey, what changes would you make?

This question can help interviewers understand your critical thinking skills and how you approach a project. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention the steps you would take when redesigning a survey and what you would change about the current survey process.

Example: “If I had the opportunity to redesign a survey, I would first evaluate the goals of the survey and determine if there are any areas that need improvement. If so, I would then create a new survey with questions that are more specific and clear. I would also make sure that the survey is easy to complete by using language that everyone understands and making sure all instructions are clear.”

What would you do if you noticed a mistake in a survey you helped create?

Interviewers may ask this question to see how you respond to challenges and errors. Your answer can show them your problem-solving skills, ability to communicate with others and attention to detail.

Example: “If I noticed a mistake in a survey I helped create, I would first try to fix it myself. If that wasn’t possible, I would let my supervisor know right away so they could help me correct the error. I would also make sure to document what happened in case we need to reference it later.”

How well do you handle stress?

Working as a survey assistant can be stressful. Interviewers ask this question to make sure you have the ability to handle stress and remain calm when working with clients or other team members. In your answer, explain how you manage stress in your life. Share an example of a time when you were able to stay calm during a stressful situation.

Example: “I am very good at managing stress. I practice yoga twice a week, which helps me relax and relieve any tension I feel throughout the day. When I worked as a receptionist for a law firm, I had to deal with many upset clients. I always remained calm and collected while speaking with them on the phone. This helped the lawyers feel more confident in my abilities and hire me as their survey assistant.”

Do you have any questions for us about the position?

This question is your opportunity to show the interviewer that you have done your research on the company and are interested in learning more about it. It also gives you a chance to ask any questions you might have about the position or the company’s hiring process. When preparing for this interview, make sure to read through the job description thoroughly so you can come up with some intelligent questions to ask.

Example: “I was really impressed by the work you do here at XYZ Company. I noticed that there are several positions open within the organization, which leads me to believe that the company must be growing. I would love to learn more about what opportunities there are for advancement within the company. Also, I am very passionate about customer service, so I would like to know how the survey team interacts with customers.”

When would you use a closed-ended question versus an open-ended question?

Interviewers may ask this question to see if you understand the differences between these two types of survey questions. They want to know that you can use both effectively and when each is most appropriate. In your answer, explain what makes closed-ended questions different from open-ended questions and give an example of a time you used one or the other in a previous role.

Example: “Closed-ended questions are great for getting specific information from respondents. For instance, I might ask someone their age, gender or income level with a closed-ended question. This allows me to get the exact information I need without having to read through long answers. Open-ended questions, on the other hand, allow people to write out longer responses. These are useful for gathering more detailed information about a topic.”

We want to improve our surveys by including more questions about the respondent’s demographics. How would you go about finding this information for our respondents?

This question is an opportunity to show your knowledge of the survey process and how you can improve it. You should explain how you would find this information, as well as what types of questions you would ask about demographics.

Example: “I would start by asking for their age, gender and education level. I would then use these answers to create a list of other relevant questions that I could add to the survey. For example, if someone tells me they are in their 20s, I might ask them if they have children or not. This helps me understand who our surveys are reaching and gives us more data to work with when we analyze the results.”

Describe your process for conducting research.

Interviewers may ask this question to learn more about your research skills and how you apply them in the workplace. When answering, consider describing a time when you used your research skills to help someone or something succeed.

Example: “I start by identifying what I need to know and then searching for that information online. If I can’t find it there, I’ll search through books and journals at my local library. If I still don’t find what I’m looking for, I’ll contact experts in the field to see if they have any advice. Once I’ve found all of the relevant information, I organize it into an easy-to-read format so that others can understand it.”

What makes a good survey question?

Interviewers may ask this question to see if you know how to create a survey that is easy for respondents to answer. They want to make sure you understand the importance of creating surveys that are clear and concise, so they can get accurate results. In your answer, explain what makes a good survey question and give an example of one you have created in the past.

Example: “A good survey question should be short and simple. It should also be specific and include only one idea or concept. I once worked on a project where we had to create questions about different types of food. We wanted to find out which foods people liked most and least. Instead of asking them to rate all kinds of food, we asked them to rate just two things—their favorite kind of food and their least favorite kind of food. This made it easier for them to respond.”

Which computer programs do you have experience using to help with your work as a survey assistant?

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your computer skills and how you use them in your work. You can answer this question by naming the programs you have experience using, such as Microsoft Office or other survey software.

Example: “I’ve used SurveyMonkey for my past two jobs as a survey assistant because it’s free and easy to use. I also have some experience with Google Forms, which is another program that helps me create surveys.”

What do you think is the most important aspect of human behavior to consider when designing a survey?

This question is an opportunity to show your knowledge of human behavior and how it relates to survey design. It also allows you to demonstrate your critical thinking skills by explaining the reasoning behind your answer.

Example: “I think that the most important aspect of human behavior to consider when designing a survey is the respondent’s motivation for taking the survey. If they are not motivated, then they may be more likely to abandon the survey or provide inaccurate answers. I have seen this happen in my previous role where we had low response rates because our respondents were not interested in the topic of the survey.”

How often do you think a survey should be administered to maintain accuracy?

Interviewers may ask this question to assess your knowledge of survey design and the importance of administering surveys regularly. In your answer, you can explain how often a survey should be administered based on its purpose and the type of data it collects. You can also mention that regular surveying helps ensure the accuracy of collected data.

Example: “Surveys should be administered at least once every six months to maintain accuracy. For example, if I were working as a survey assistant for a company that wanted to collect information about customer satisfaction, I would recommend they administer their survey twice per year. This frequency allows them to gather accurate data while still maintaining cost-effectiveness.”

There is a discrepancy in the data from two different surveys. What would you do to investigate the issue?

An interviewer may ask this question to assess your problem-solving skills and ability to work independently. In your answer, describe the steps you would take to investigate the discrepancy in data and resolve it.

Example: “If there was a discrepancy between two surveys I worked on, I would first check if the information is entered correctly. If so, I would then look at the time of each survey to see if they were completed at the same time. If not, I would contact the person who conducted the second survey to find out why the times are different. After that, I would compare the answers from both surveys to determine which one has the correct data.”


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