Market Research Training


excelDo you have a favorite job interview question?

Some like the Google-ish interview questions like: “How many ways can you think of to find a needle in a haystack?”

Others like case-based questions that have you problem-solve out loud such as: “”How much time does it take to relocate an average size mountain 10 miles using an average size dump truck?”

Some like emotional intelligence questions such as: “What top three factors would you attribute to your success?”

Do you want to know my favorite job interview question?

“Tell me about pivot tables.”

Let me tell you why that is my favorite job interview question.

In my time in the research and insights industry, I’ve lost count of the many research and insights job applicants who have crossed my threshold.

In all the interviews, we discuss skills applicable to the job they are interviewing for. Most, if not all, applicants mention being “very skilled” if not “expert” in Excel. So, I ask the question:

“Tell me about pivot tables.”

And what’s disheartening is that more than half the time I get a blank stare from the interviewee. And then some stumbling.  And then asking for clarification. It becomes apparently fairly quickly that these research and insights professionals do not, in fact, have solid skills when it comes to using Excel for research purposes.

While there are certainly research functions, calculations, and even full projects that need specialists and specialized software, knowing Excel (and knowing it well) is pretty much a standard life skill for research and insights professionals nowadays.

If you’re a bit fuzzy on using Excel for research and insights purposes, or haven’t learned at all yet (my pivot table people!) please run don’t walk to sign up for Excel for Market Research Data Analysis kicking off next month on May 11. In this fun, hands-on class we cover pivot tables, t-test and chi-square tests, correlation, regression and more! All in Excel.

Once you have analyzed the data and found the story and insights in your numbers, it’s time to prep that data to share with your audience.  If it’s a quick data dashboard you need, learn how to produce those in our Data Visualization & Dashboard Design for Market Research class.

For more comprehensive reporting, get up to speed quickly in Writing Quantitative Research Reports where we align interpreting quant data with addressing project objectives, and we cover how to report the findings in various text, visual and multimedia ways.

Want to flaunt your quant smarts? This Excel class is approved for the Insights Association Certificate in Quantitative Research Principles!

Finally, do you have a favorite job interview question? Give us a shout out in the comments below, or on social media!



Katie Clark

VP of Content Marketing and Strategy at Research Rockstar LLC

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