Statistical interviewer’s work
Statistics Finland employs a total of around 160 statistical interviewers all around Finland. The work is independent remote work in which interviews are conducted by telephone from home. In addition, some data collections include face-to-face interviews conducted at the home of the survey respondent or in a separately agreed place of interview. In addition to actual interview work, the work includes ascertaining the contact information of target persons and mailing of material.
In addition to interview work, some interviewers collect price data from retail outlets for the Consumer Price Index.
The interviewer has to move about very much when making face-to-face interviews, so the use of a car is necessary for the interviewer, except for interviewers in the area of good transport connections in the Helsinki region.
The work of an interviewer is people-centred and interesting, varying and demanding. The work is also quite independent – the work must be planned so that the interviews can be completed by the set time.
Many kinds of people can be encountered in interview work. Although most people feel positive about Statistics Finland's surveys, sometimes the interviewee must be convinced that the survey is necessary before the interview can be conducted. In such cases the interviewer explains to the respondent the importance of the survey and responding to it. Much is demanded from interviewers: flexible behaviour, tenacity, independence, systematic planning and organisational skills.
Why are interview surveys carried out?
Statistics Finland is a government agency that collects and publishes statistics describing conditions in society and conducts surveys on living conditions. Data are collected from various sources and some of the data can be obtained only by asking people personally. Statistical interviewers are needed to collect these data. Many types of data are collected from people, such as:
- How do Finns live? How do people spend their money, how do they spend their holidays, how do they travel to work?
- In what conditions do Finns work? How many are out of a job? How many open job vacancies are there?
- What do people think about Finland's economy?
The data collected by statistical interviewers are used to produce the Labour Force Survey, the Consumer Confidence Survey, the Household Budget Survey, the Consumer Price Index, and the Survey on income and living conditions. Statistics Finland does not conduct commercial surveys or political party polls.
Our interviewers are experienced employees who have been trained for their job. The interviewers receive sound basic training including self-studying, preliminary tasks and basic training of a few days held in Helsinki. Training also includes guidance on how to use the computer and the necessary software. Practice makes good interviewers.
In order to maintain and develop professional competence, interviewers are provided with additional training and continuing training annually in connection with topical surveys.
Interviews are conducted in Finnish, Swedish and English, but other languages may also be included. It is of great benefit if the interviewer is able to carry out interviews in several languages.
The work of a statistical interviewer is part-time work and the amount of work varies. However, there is so much work at times that it cannot be done in addition to full-time work or studying requiring full-time attendance. Working hours are affected by the time period, the number of ongoing data collections and to some extent also the interviewer's own wishes. Working hours are at least 12 hours and at most 38 hours 45 minutes per week. Weekly working hours are usually 12 to 30 hours. There is usually less work in summer. The work is mostly done in the evenings.
Statistical interviewers can plan their own working hours fairly freely within given time limits and instructions, apart from the group working in the telephone interview centre in Helsinki where personal and enterprise data collections are carried out in shifts.
Because the amount of work varies quite much during different times of the year, it is necessary to be flexible about the working hours and work load in order to work as an interviewer. This requires adaptation from one's family and childcare arrangements, for example.
Pay and terms of employment
An hourly pay is paid for the work of a statistical interviewer, consisting of a basic pay and a personal supplement. The hourly pay for statistical interviewers starts from around EUR 13.37.
The work of an interviewer is to some degree seasonal and both work load and earnings can vary considerably by month.
The typical monthly earnings of a statistical interviewer before taxes have varied between EUR 1,000 and 2,000. Earnings may be somewhat lower at the start of the employment relationship.
The pay is the same for all work: interviewing, travelling and work done at home. Travel allowances are paid separately. Compensation for using one's own car is currently EUR 0.44 per kilometre. Statistics Finland acquires the tools needed for the interviewers: telephone, mobile telephone subscription, handsfree headset, computer and wireless data connection.
The interviewers have paid annual leave determined in accordance with the Annual Holidays Act and agreement. The interviewers are covered by Statistics Finland's occupational health care.
The interviewers are selected on the basis of job application forms, video interviews and personal interviews. Each person selected is expected to take part in basic training for new statistical interviewers, which is held partly in Helsinki and partly remotely. Wages and travel costs are paid during the interviewer course. Work starts immediately after the course.
Do work that matters
The responses of the interviews are used for statistics and surveys on the basis of which important social decisions are made.
Therefore, the work carried out by the interviewers is very significant in society.
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