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Dec
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10 Simple Questions for Interviewing Quantitative Research Job Candidates

Getting a lot of people applying for a quantitative research job? Want a fast way to weed out those that lack basic quant knowledge? Here are ten interview questions you can use to quickly, and even by phone, weed out quantitative research fakers:

  1. Using examples, what’s the difference between ranking and rating questions?
  2. In questionnaire design, what is randomization and why do we use it?
  3. What’s the difference between branching and piping?
  4. What is an example of nominal data?
  5. Using an example, what’s the difference between median and mode?
  6. Why might you use both unaided and aided questions in a questionnaire?
  7. What is weighting?
  8. Consider this scenario: You have just completed data collection for a survey about vacation trends. Your client wants to know how vacation interests vary by gender. How might you accomplish this?
  9. Consider this scenario: A colleague has done a survey of 50 people to measure satisfaction with auto leasing terms. He reports that overall satisfaction is 2.375. What questions or concerns might you have?
  10. Consider this scenario: You have collected survey data from 500 people to learn about their frozen pizza shopping behaviors. Your want to see what combination of demographic variables predict higher frozen pizza purchase volume. What type of data analysis might you use?

If they get all 10 correct, your job candidate has some solid quantitative research knowledge and just may be a research rock star. You may still want to test them for hands-on data analysis (if that is required). But at minimum, you know they have appropriate knowledge and will be able to hold their own when working with colleagues, clients, and data analysis partners.

If they get items 1 to 7 correct, they likely have a strong grasp of questionnaire design, and some light data analysis skills. For some positions, this may be adequate—especially if your research team includes dedicated data analysts.

If they only get items 1 to 3 correct, this is a person qualified for a junior-level position. This job candidate has some quantitative research knowledge but is not yet able to manage an entire project. They will likely be able to contribute to questionnaire design and programming, but they will need data analysis support.

If they get none of these questions correct, hirer beware. This may be a candidate aspiring to be a quant researcher, but they will need significant training and support to get them there.

 

[Did any of these questions stump you? Would they stump your team members? Then maybe it’s time to brush up on quant skills. Try our Intro to Quantitative Data Analysis or our 10 Point Checklist for Questionnaire Design.]

 

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Dec

Video Will Rock the Market Research World in 2015

Personally, I think there are a lot of interesting theories, a lot of long-term shifts taking place. But as for something we will truly experience in 2015? Something that will really change what we do, how we do it? It’s simple: …

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Nov

Article Synopsis: A Unique Value Proposition “Designed with You in Mind”

While the importance of regional and cultural factors when crafting marketing messages is a well-known consideration, the authors do a persuasive job of showing that marketers can mitigate risks by using the structured guidance of their four factors. As for market researchers, these four factors can also be used to test variations of messaging …

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Nov

Article Synopsis: “Tips on Measuring Crucial Social Factors in New Product Research”

Consumer behavior about new products or product categories are often hard to anticipate for many reasons, but one that is often overlooked is social factors. According to author Briana Brownell, the success of some new products heavily depends on social factors which are often undetectable during concept-testing. Failure to reco…

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Nov

Recipe for eLearning: A Letter from Research Rockstar’s Director of eLearning Curriculum

…the President, Kathryn Korostoff, was clear: it was time to raise the bar on self-paced learning for the market research industry. She gave me a mission: continue delivering the same high-quality content while improving student comprehension and retention. Oh, and keep it fun.

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Nov

110 Ways to Handle Project Overload

End of year can be a surprisingly busy time for market researchers. Some clients have “left over” budget they need to spend. Others are trying to get a head start on 2015. And then you get a few of those “rush” projects that seem to pop up at the worst possible times. What if you could temporarily expand your research team with the precise skills you need to cover these temporary spikes? You can.

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Oct

Is Your Market Research the Functional Equivalent of an iToaster?

Is it the functional equivalent of an iToaster? Sure Apple has a loyal fan base that would get excited if it launched an iToaster. But the company enjoys a broader base because it consistently raises the bar on ease of use and innovation. If Apple started launching new products with dramatically less intuitive user interfaces and featuring stale technology, its new launch momentum would be lost. And quickly.

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Oct

Article Synopsis: How to Link Customer Loyalty to Profits

[Article synopsis]…Another hot topic in customer research is NPS (Net Promoter Score), based on self-reported likelihood to recommend as a measure of loyalty. However, as the author points out, respondents may give high recommendation scores at the same time they give low satisfaction scores

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Oct

Article Synopsis: Quantitative or Qualitative Research Methods, Let’s Go Back to the Basics

data, different statistical methods and models can give different readings. Gray states, “Causation requires correlation of some kind but correlation and causation are not the same.”

When looking at probabilities and categories, Gray cautions the researcher to, “Avoid confusing the possible with the plausible and the plausible with fact. It’s also not difficult, though, to miss something of genuine practical significance that lies hidden beneath the surface of our data.”

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Sep

12 Actionable Tips from the 2014 MRA Corporate Researcher’s Conference

The MRA’s Corporate Researcher’s Conference (CRC) was full of great sessions and first-class attendees. And I came home with a pile of business cards that are covered with scribbled down notes for follow-up. If you didn’t make it to CRC this year, here is a sampling of my notes from this 2.5 day event.

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