Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry

Unemployment Compensation Claims

Intermittent Intake Interviewer

 

Pamela Opiela, Training Manager

 

My job is the training manager here and a large part of it has to do with training new employees, specifically Intermittent Intake Interviewers. It is a very intense course where people are required to learn, retain, and then ultimately apply the information. There is an awful lot of information to learn because this is not a job thatís scripted. The computer does not take you along in most cases to the next step, so you have to rely on what youíve learned. What Iíve seen as far as successes are people who are computer literate, who have an interest in the job itself. It requires very good communication skills. A person needs to listen very closely to our callers. They need to be able to write very succinctly and well. They need to read. They also have to know how to talk to a diverse community of people on the phone. Know that you are going to work hard. Youíre going to be on the telephone seven hours a day, talking to people from the beginning of your shift to the end and that youíre going to have to be as pleasant to the last person of the day as you were to the first person of the day. Know that assignments change and you have to be very adaptable. Periods of high and/or low unemployment can cause your hours to fluctuate and during the peak volume times when weíre very busy, the hours you work may be adjusted. These positions are intermittent positions, meaning that you are called to work a variety of schedules and when claim volumes are low, we might have to reduce the number of interviewers that we have on staff. Once youíre employed by the Commonwealth, there may be opportunities for advancement to other positions depending on your background and the availability of positions.

 

Ashley Dreisbaugh, Intermittent Intake Interviewer

 

You definitely need to be able to multi-task for the position, you have to have excellent computer skills, analytical skills, you canít take anything to heart that anybody that a claimant on the phone may say because theyíre upset, considering their situation, so you definitely have to be a motivated person as well and have a lot of ambition for the position. You donít sit on the phone and just type. You actually have to pull up different type of word documents, youíre filling those in, youíre flipping from different screen to screens, youíre emailing, youíre going through all different other types of computer programs all at once, so itís not just a data entry position. Itís a very structured day. Once your shift starts, you need to be on the phone, ready to go, to start taking calls. The system does give you a required time that you are required to take your break and then as soon as your breakís over, get right back on to the phone system. I love helping the public. I love helping people who truly need the help that they need as far as benefits are concerned.

Mike McGurrin, Intermittent Intake Interviewer

 

When you take a phone call, you know they come in to our phone system automatically, you identify yourself, verify the identity of the claimant, find out what the nature of the call is, whether the claimant needs a new claim, if they have a claim, if they have questions on their claim and then proceed from there. When people are upset, I just try to remain calm, patient, understanding of the scenario, make sure they understand weíre doing our job, doing everything that we can to help them move forward.

 

 

Ashley Dreisbaugh, Intermittent Intake Interviewer

 

I love that each and every single day is different. My co-workers are great, my management and everybody we work with is fun. I love being a customer service representative. I love working with the public, so knowing that Iím helping people out that need the help is probably my most favorite thing about the job.

 

 

Mike McGurrin, Intermittent Intake Interviewer

 

I like the fact that when you come in you know that youíre gonna be helping people out in a tough spot. Itís a very interesting job, no two phone calls are always the same, so it does keep you on your toes and it makes the day go by quickly.

 

Pamela Opiela, Training Manager

 

If you like a busy work situation, if you like a lot of interesting challenges throughout the day, if you also like problem solving and reading and can switch from one thing to another on the turn of a dime, and youíre self-reliant and resourceful and learn your material, I think thatís a recipe for success.