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Employment Interviewer Job Description, Career as an Employment Interviewer, Salary, Employment

Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

Education and Training: High school plus training

Salary: Median—$40,970 per year

Employment Outlook: Very good

Definition and Nature of the Work

Employment interviewers are matchmakers; they help job seekers find suitable job openings and employers find qualified staff. They may work for private employment agencies or for state government employment services.

Employers often ask private agencies to search for workers to fill specific jobs. Job seekers come to agencies on their own or in response to classified ads that agencies place to advertise specific jobs. At the agencies job seekers are asked to fill out application forms with information about education, job experience, and references. The applicants also list the kinds of jobs they want. The applications are kept on file on paper or in a computer database. Also on file are job openings submitted by employers. Employment interviewers interview the applicants to explore their interests and abilities. The interviewers then attempt to match the applicants with jobs that are on file. If suitable jobs are not already on file, the interviewers may contact nearby companies in an effort to find jobs for their clients. Interviewers then send clients for interviews with employers who are hiring workers. The interviewer may give the prospective employee advice on how to handle him- or herself during an interview or on how to arrange Employment interviewers spend most of their time interviewing applicants and talking with employers on the telephone. (© Martha Tabor/Working Images Photographs. Reproduced by permission.) a resume. Interviewers often check applicants' references, because they don't want to recommend unqualified applicants to employers.

Some private agencies place only certain kinds of workers, such as engineers, teachers, or clerical workers. Some of the fastest-growing agencies are those that provide temporary workers for employers. In these agencies employment interviewers have a large number of people on file who can be called to fill in for absent staff or on a temporary basis.

All private agencies are paid a fee each time they match a worker with a job. The fee may be paid by the employer, the applicant, or both.

In state government employment offices, a similar matching process takes place. However, much of the searching is done with the help of computerized job banks. In these offices employment interviewers talk with applicants, review their application forms, and may help them identify the type of work for which they are most suited. Employment counselors recommend training and educational programs to people who need to develop new skills to get jobs.

Education and Training Requirements

Most public and private employment agencies prefer to hire college graduates. Agencies look for people who have a degree in psychology, guidance, vocational counseling, or business administration. However, high school graduates with some college training or work experience in fields such as personnel may be hired. Many private agencies also require college graduates to have previous work experience in related fields. Private agencies that specialize in certain kinds of work such as engineering or teaching sometimes prefer to hire college graduates with backgrounds in those fields. Typing skills and computer skills may be necessary. Private agencies generally offer several months of on-the-job training to newcomers. In some states employees of private agencies must pass a licensing exam to become fully qualified workers.

Getting the Job

Jobs with private agencies can be found by applying directly to the agencies or by checking job banks on the Internet and classified ads in local newspapers. Civil service examinations are required for jobs in government employment services. Apply to take the necessary test for federal, state, and local government jobs.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

Privately employed interviewers who are good at their work and place many applicants may advance to management-level jobs. In large agencies they may become department heads or office managers. Some go on to open their own employment agencies. An interviewer can become a certified personnel consultant by passing an examination given by the National Association of Personnel Services. Certification carries with it the association's approval of the interviewer's business practices and gives the interviewer professional status.

Employment interviewers who work for government agencies undergo initial training during which they learn interviewing skills. After gaining some experience, they can take additional training programs to prepare them for more responsible jobs. Some interviewers go back to school to earn college or graduate degrees required for jobs in counseling and supervision.

According to the 2002–12 employment projections by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 175,000 Americans held jobs as employment interviewers in 2002. Growth in employment in this field between 2002 and 2012 was expected to be faster than the average for all occupations.

Working Conditions

Private agencies range in size from those with branches in several cities and many employees to those with as few as three or four employees. Employment interviewers must enjoy working with people. They spend most of their time interviewing applicants or talking with employers on the telephone. Because they earn commissions, privately employed interviewers are under pressure to place as many job seekers as possible. Interviewers in temporary employment agencies are also under pressure to supply employers with temporary staff at short notice. Employment interviewers generally work thirty-five to forty hours per week. Some interviewers in private agencies work longer hours to accommodate working people with evening or Saturday appointments.

Earnings and Benefits

Starting salaries for employment interviewers in state government agencies vary. In their 2003 Occupational Employment Statistics survey, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the median salary for employment interviewers was $40,970 per year in 2003.

Where to Go for More Information

National Association of Personnel Services
PO Box 2128
The Village at Banner Elk, Ste. 108
Banner Elk, NC 28604
(828) 898-4929

National Employment Counseling Association
5999 Stevenson Ave.
Alexandria, VA 22304
(800) 347-6647

Interviewers in private agencies generally earn commissions based on a percentage of the annual salaries of the positions they fill. Commissions can provide opportunities for higher earnings. Employment interviewers working in temporary employment agencies may receive a salary alone or a small salary plus commissions. Salaries vary geographically and are higher in large cities. Benefits may include paid holidays, insurance, and vacations. Some workers may be eligible for pension plans.

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesHuman Resources