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Become an NORC Telephone Interviewer

Telephone Survey and Support Operations

Simply stated, working at the NORC telephone and data preparation facility as a telephone interviewer or production clerk is a great job.   Aside from the fact that you will be working at a prestigious research institution affiliated with the University of Chicago, telephone interviewers and production clerks have flexible hours, do meaningful work, and have excellent starting wages with possibilities of promotion within the first 12 months.  All this at a great location!  We are located at 1 North State Street in downtown Chicago, the epicenter of Chicago.  We are within a block of every El line and dozens of bus lines, and we are close to Metra as well.  Both floors have views of Millennium Park and Lake Michigan.

Tasks at the facility include telephone interviewing, respondent locating and screening, survey response coding, hard copy document management, computer assisted data entry, and survey material mailings.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do Telephone Interviewers do?
Our telephone interviewers are the backbone of our nationwide survey research operation. They interview people from all walks of life across the country, from big cities to small towns to rural areas.  The people being surveyed, who are chosen through a complex scientific sampling procedure, are called “respondents”.  Interviewers administer carefully developed, field-tested questionnaires to respondents using a computer.   For example, you may conduct phone interviews that are part of a major effort by the federal government to improve vaccination rates across the United States. Interviewers are responsible for protecting respondents’ privacy by keeping their answers confidential.
What is an Interviewer paid?
Telephone Interviewer pay is competitive - we offer an excellent starting wage for regular interviewers and a premium starting wage for bilingual interviewers (those who are fluent in English and fluent in one or more of the following languages: Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and Korean).   Telephone Interviewer work is monitored and evaluated on an ongoing basis. Within the first year, interviewers in good standing may receive an increase in pay in accordance with their performance and company guidelines for that year.
What hours do Interviewers work?
The hours that Interviewers work are scheduled according to the demands of NORC’s individual project deadlines and requirements.  However, the majority of our work is conducted in the evenings and on weekends when the respondents are most likely to be at home and available.  Currently, a weekend shift is required and you would work a minimum of 16 hours per week up to 36 hours per week.  Interviewers may set the hours they want to work, within the boundaries of the business needs.
What about training?
NORC’s experienced supervisors and managers train employees to become expert Interviewers. All newly hired interviewers receive general training. In addition, interviewers attend project specific training that varies in length from several hours to several days depending on the project.  All training (including new hire orientation) is paid!  Successful completion of training is a prerequisite to continued employment.
What benefits are available?
To see all of the benefits available to telephone interviewers, including retirement savings and a limited health plan, click here.
Why do people enjoy working for NORC as a Telephone Interviewer?
In addition to flexible part-time hours, ideal location, casual dress and friendly work environment, people who enjoy interviewing say they have the chance to talk with all kinds of people, and to see America from different points of view.  If you’re curious about the world around you, are open to talking with all kinds of people, having new experiences, and like challenges, this may well be the job for you.  

The experience of working as distant but essential partners with some of the top social scientists in the world is also a major attraction, as is an opportunity to contribute to the debate on important issues.

Established in 1941, NORC is the oldest social science research center established to do social research in the public interest. We believe the work we do has lasting social significance, and the data we provide enables legislators and others involved in setting policy to make informed decisions for the welfare of all Americans in an increasingly complex society. The interview is the basic tool by which we are able to provide this data; the Interviewer is the one who makes it all possible.
Why do some people decide Telephone Interviewing is not for them?
The job of interviewing has much to offer – in challenge, interest, flexibility, and a chance to be part of important work. But is has some features that are less attractive to some people. Before applying, and spending your time and NORC’s we ask that you take a moment to think about these aspects of the job:
• While interviewing is rarely boring, it can be difficult, challenging, and stressful.
• You will work in a large call center with many other interviewers and will be seated at a workstation with a computer for the length of your shift (4 to 6 or even 8 hours). 
• We expect our interviewers to read verbatim, use an expressive voice to establish a rapport, and demonstrate professionalism, warmth and courtesy, even while speaking with difficult respondents.  While most respondents are cooperative and many are delighted to participate in a survey, others will be more difficult, even hostile.
• You must feel comfortable calling all kinds of people and persuading them to do the survey. You will also talk with many who may have opinions that differ from yours. 
• We ask that you think carefully about whether you will be happy in a position with these challenges and these constraints. Interviewing can be a highly rewarding profession, but it isn’t for everyone.
Still interested in being a Telephone Interviewer?
NORC is looking for self-motivated, reliable people with the ability to learn and work on multiple tasks who are interested in challenging and dynamic part-time work.    Although there is no product or service selling, the prompting and retrieval positions require that clerks gain the cooperation of respondents over the phone.  Production clerks also need to possess good oral and written communication skills, attention to detail and the ability to work in a production team environment.

To apply, please select the TSSO Positions link above and select the Telephone or Survey Support position you wish to apply for.
Requirements
In addition to meeting specific job requirements, all employees hired for this position must present evidence of their identity and authorization to work in the United States (I9 documentation) and undergo a background check.

NORC is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer that values and actively seeks diversity in the workforce.
What do Production Clerks do?
What do Production Clerks do?
Production clerks work on a wide variety of tasks and may perform functions including mail-out center activities, receipt control of documents or perform computer assisted data entry.  Other production clerk tasks include: 
• Prompting –contacting respondents to prompt the respondent to return a completed questionnaire. 
• CADE (computer assisted data entry) - data entry of respondent questionnaire data.
• Retrieval - contacting respondents to collect incomplete, inconsistent or illegible data. 
• Transcription/editing –interpreting and transcribing records in addition to identifying and correcting errors which is incomplete or unclear.
• Receipt Control - updating the status of documents into a project specific database
• Performing various filing jobs and adjusting files
• Quality control of various data preparation related activities
• Manually preparing bulk materials and assembling packages for mailouts
What is a Production Clerk paid?
The Production Clerk pay is competitive - we offer an excellent starting wage.   Production Clerk work is monitored and evaluated on an ongoing basis. Within the first year, Production Clerks in good standing may receive an increase in pay in accordance with their performance and company guidelines for that year.
What hours do Production Clerks work?
Production Clerk hours are flexible and part-time.  Generally, Production Clerks work a minimum of 16hours per week between 8am and 4:30pm Monday through Friday with occasional increases up to 40 hours depending on project workloads.
What about training?
NORC’s experienced supervisors and managers train employees to become expert Production Clerks. All newly hired clerks receive general training. In addition, Production Clerks attend project specific training that varies in length from several hours to several days depending on the project.  All training (including new hire orientation) is paid!  Successful completion of training is a prerequisite to continued employment.
What benefits are available?
To see all of the benefits available to production clerks, including retirement savings and a limited health plan, click here.
Why do people enjoy working for NORC as a Production Clerk?
In addition to flexible part-time hours, ideal location, casual dress and a friendly work environment, production clerks do meaningful work processing data which will be used in making decisions in the public interest.  Production Clerks gain valuable data entry skills, learn to pay attention to details and are able to work fairly independently.

Established in 1941, NORC is the oldest social science research center established to do social research in the public interest. We believe the work we do has lasting social significance, and the data we provide enables legislators and others involved in setting policy to make informed decisions for the welfare of all Americans in an increasingly complex society.
Why do some people decide the Production Clerk position is not for them?
While the production clerk position has much to offer in terms of interest, flexible hours and the chance to be part of important work, some people may decide that some of the features are less attractive to them.  Before applying, and spending your time and NORC’s we ask that you take a moment to think about these aspects of the job:
• While the work is interesting it can be repetitive making it harder to focus on attention to detail.
• You will work as part of a team and will be seated at a workstation with a computer for the length of your shift (usually 6 to 8 hours).
• Some of you will work as prompters and, as such, you must feel comfortable calling all kinds of people and persuading them to co-operate with you.  While most respondents are co-operative and happy to participate, others will be more difficult, even hostile.
• You may be called upon to do some light lifting and pack boxes of supplies to send to our field staff.
We ask that you think carefully about whether you will be happy in a position with these challenges and these constraints. Being a production clerk can be a highly rewarding, but it isn’t for everyone.
Still interested in being a Production Clerk?
NORC is looking for self-motivated, reliable people with the ability to learn and work on multiple tasks who are interested in challenging and dynamic part-time work.    Although there is no product or service selling, the prompting and retrieval positions require that clerks gain the cooperation of respondents over the phone.  Production clerks also need to possess good oral and written communication skills, attention to detail and the ability to work in a production team environment.

To apply, please select the TSSO Positions link above and select the Telephone or Survey Support position you wish to apply for.
Requirements
In addition to meeting specific job requirements, all employees hired for this position must present evidence of their identity and authorization to work in the United States (I9 documentation) and undergo a background check.

NORC is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer that values and actively seeks diversity in the workforce.  We evaluate qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, veteran status and other legally-protected characteristics.

Current Job Opportunites

View all current Telephone Interviewer job opportunities at NORC's Career Central website