How to Hire an Interviewer for Competitive Intelligence Research

Finding someone who’s qualified to conduct a poll or interview for your competitive intelligence research needs can be quite a challenge, but the following steps help you choose the right candidate:

  1. Draft a clear, concise list of the questions that you want customers to answer or a list of insights you hope to gain through customer interviews.

    The interviewer you hire will most likely revise the questions to improve their effectiveness.

  2. Contact two or three firms that conduct consumer or industry research and ask the following four questions:

    • What are your company’s qualifications to do this type of work? If you’re looking for an in-depth interviewer, for example, ask candidates to describe their background in conducting in-depth interviews. Get some success stories that indicate their ability to do the kind of research that fits best with what you need.

    • What are the qualifications of the person who would do the work? Obtain a detailed résumé that includes education, training, and references. Consider contacting schools that the person claims to have attended for validation; people have been known to lie and even use phony diplomas and transcripts.

    • What references do you have from former clients that you have done this type of work for in the past? Ask candidates for two or three references from projects that closely resemble yours. Call the references to check on the quality of the services they obtained.

    • What experience does your firm have in using the techniques required for this type of inquiry? In other words, if you’re hiring someone to conduct a poll, ask about their experience in conducting polls. If you’re looking for someone who has skills in projective techniques, ask about their experience in that area.

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