Thursday, March 3, 2011

Rule #55.

Today in Social Research Methods:

Dr. C: "So, we hired this agency to do the interviews for our survey.  When I went in there to see how it was going,  the head of the company asked me if I would like to listen in on an interview one of their best interviewers was about to do.  I said 'sure', so we listened in on the interview without her knowing.  It was one of those surveys where you ask one question and if they answer 'yes', then you ask them another 10 or so questions on that same topic.  The interview went something like this:

Interviewer: Have you had any formal education past high school?

Respondent: No.

I: Have you ever been married?

R: No.

I: Do you have any children?

R: No.

I: Have you served in the military?

R: No.

I: Have you had a steady job or source of income since graduating from high school?

R: No.

I:  What the (blankity blank) have you been doing with your life?

The head of the company immediately turned off the the recording and started apologizing profusely to me.  She was so embarrassed and promised me that they would be removing the interviewer from that position.  Personally, I found it hilarious.

So, you have to be careful of what you say in interviews, especially as the interviewer.  You can lose your job in a second."

Student: "So, Dr. C., just out of curiosity, what was that person doing with their life?"

Dr. C.: "Well, rule #55 in doing surveys: Don't swear on the phone during an interview, especially if the person you're interviewing is a monk living in a monastery."


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