Can you really make big money participating in research studies? In this User Interviews review, I’ll show you what happened when I tried for a month. Plus, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about the platform.
It is truly one of my greatest pleasures to help people earn extra cash in their spare time.
So, when I heard that people were making $50, $100, or even $150 per hour or more just for giving their opinions in online focus groups like User Interviews, I knew I had to check it out.
I dove in and spent a month on the platform. I applied for and participated in interviews, focus groups, and other research studies, and what I discovered was pretty incredible.
Below, I’ll break it all down in a comprehensive User Interviews review, which will fill you in on everything you need to know about the platform.
I’ll also give you the hard numbers behind the average pay of studies. And the average time they take to complete.
And yes, I’ll show you exactly how I did in my month on the platform!
So, let’s get started!
User Interviews Review
User Interviews is a legit website that lets you sign up for online market research and focus groups. As a participant, you will make money by sharing your opinion.
From my reseach, you can make an average of $100 per hour (see more below).
What is User Interviews?
Companies spend billions of dollars every year on market research to uncover the preferences, opinions, and experiences of their target audience.
User Interviews is a platform that connects these companies with consumers and professionals who provide this data through paid research studies.
This could mean testing a new product and providing feedback, giving opinions on branding and function, performing usability tests, or describing experiences in specific life or work situations. Mostly from the comfort of your home.
In short, User Interviews helps companies obtain the critical data they need. In exchange, they pay study participants for giving their opinion all by conducting user interviews.
Is User Interviews Legit?
User Interviews is one of the largest and most well-respected companies in market research. It works with major companies like Amazon, Spotify, Adobe, Citibank, Pinterest, The Washington Post, and many more.
In fact, they have helped more than 10,000 teams launch over 100,000 studies!
Moreover, in the last year alone, they paid out more than 87,000 study participants!
In other words, yes!
User Interviews is absolutely legit, trusted by the world’s largest companies, and tens of thousands of User Interviews participants looking to make money every year.
How does User Interviews work?
All you have to do is sign up and fill in your profile, and they will immediately start sending you invitations to apply for studies.
You can also go directly to their paid research studies page. From here, you can browse a complete list of all the studies that are currently recruiting participants.
This includes online, over-the-phone, and some in person opportunities.
Click on any study listed, and you will see some basic information about it. Things like how much it pays and how long it takes, as well as an overview of what the researcher is looking for and their research methods.
Types of Studies
Broadly, there are four types of studies available – four ways in which researchers conduct user interviews:
- 1-on-1 Interviews – These are sessions between you and a researcher. In this sessions, you will be asked interview questions about a specific topic or given instructions to follow and provide feedback on.
- Focus groups – Here, you will participate in a group of about 3-8 people. A moderator will lead the group and you’ll provide feedback on a company, product, or service.
- Multi-day studies –These are longer studies where you will complete tasks over the course of days or weeks. Usually, this will mean testing products where a researcher needs feedback on the customer journey over an extended period of the product’s use or through the design process.
- Unmoderated tasks – “Unmoderated” means tasks you can complete on your own without having to coordinate with a researcher. Often, they will take less than 30 minutes. They will usually consist in providing brief user feedback on a product, usability testing an app or website, or filling in a quick survey.
While 1-on-1 interviews are the most common type of study, you will find plenty of each to choose from.
When you decide to apply for a study, most will require a short screener survey with your application. These usually take five minutes or less. They are designed to help researchers decide whether or not you fit what they are looking for.
If you are accepted, all you have to do is schedule a time to do the study, complete it, and get paid!
Note that you won’t qualify for every study you apply for – more on that below – so it is a good idea to apply to as many studies that seem to align with your experience and interests as possible.
The good news is that with over 2,000 studies launching every month, there are always plenty of options.
In fact, the page updates with new studies every single day!
How does User Interviews pay?
When researchers list studies on User Interviews, they can choose to pay participants in one of two ways:
- They can have User Interviews distribute payment on their behalf
- Or they can distribute incentives themselves.
If a study says incentives are paid “via choice of dozens of digital gift cards,” this means that User Interviews is distributing the incentive.
If it is anything else, it means that the researcher is distributing it.
The ‘choice of dozens of gift cards,’ as the name suggests, allows you to be paid with a gift card from numerous popular brands, such as Amazon, Target, Whole Foods, Uber, DoorDash, Airbnb, Starbucks, StubHub, Southwest Airlines, and so on.
If the researcher is distributing the incentive, they can choose to do so with gift cards, but also through PayPal, by direct deposit to a bank account, with a Visa gift card, a check, or even a free product or free subscription.
It can take up to 10 business days to receive a payment from a researcher.
If User Interviews is distributing your payment, it will appear almost immediately after you complete a study.
Note: User Interviews used to be paid out with Amazon gift cards. Indeed, if you have read other (more outdated) User Interviews reviews, you may have heard this is the case. This is no longer true. Today, the large majority of studies are paid out via a ‘choice of dozens of gift cards.’ And many also offer cash or other incentives.
How much money can you make with User Interviews?
User Interviews advertises that their average study pays “over $65.”
Sounds good, right? Except, this is only the beginning.
This is the average pay per study, not the average per hour. Since many of their studies take only a few minutes to complete, this means that on a per-hour basis, the pay is actually substantially higher.
Don’t believe me? I’ve taken a look through the first 100 studies available on User Interviews right now, and here is what I found:
|Average Time Per Study
|Overall Pay Per Hour
|Best Pay Per Hour
|Worst Pay Per Hour
|$500 (1.5 hours)
|$10 (15 minutes)
So, the average pay for a User Interviews study right now is almost $100/hour!
Even the least lucrative study pays $30/hour! It’s not quite passive income, but it’s pretty great.
Want more details?
Below are some examples of studies currently available on User Interviews, along with how much they pay, and how long they’ll take.
|Pay & Time Commitment
|Feedback on the website for handheld ultrasound devices
|$274 - 1 HOUR
|Are you a marketing leader? We're looking to hear from you.
|$250 - 1 HOUR
|Are you working in retail business? We would like to hear your opinion!
|$400 - 2 HOURS
|Pay & Time Commitment
|Shopping Habits of Busy Moms
|$250 - 2 HOURS
|High School and College Student - Tell us about your homework methods.
|$225 - 1 HOUR 30 MINUTES
|Let's talk TV shows and movies!
|$150 - 1 HOUR
|Have student loans, come talk to us!
|$150 - 1 HOUR
|Use technology in your day-today work? We'd love to talk to you!
|$100 - 1 HOUR
|Seeking Online Shoppers and Sellers
|$125 - 1 HOUR 15 MINUTES
|Mobile App Study
|$145 - 1 HOUR
|Pay & Time Commitment
|Video game playtest
|$150 - 2 HOURS
|Online Zoom interview among dog owners!
|$150 - 2 HOURS
|Digital mortgage loan application feedback
|$25 - 30 MINUTES
|How do *you* manage your health?
|$80 - 1 HOUR
|Provide Feedback on Short Videos!
|$80 - 1 HOUR
|Seeking your opinion on Beverages!
|$60 - 1 HOUR
|Seeking your opinion on Banking!
|$60 - 1 HOUR
Who can join User Interviews?
User Interviews recruits study participants from:
- United States
- South Africa
As long as you are 16 years of age or older and reside in one of these countries, you can join User Interviews.
Remember, you don’t need any special skills or qualifications, just a willingness to share your opinion!
User Interviews Sign Up Process
First, click on the “Sign up free” button on the top right-hand corner of the page. Then click on “Sign up as a Participant.”
Signing up for User Interviews can be done using an email address, a LinkedIn account, or a Facebook account.
You will also need a mobile number, which will be used to activate your account and verify your first User Interviews login. It will also be used to send transactional text messages, such as study confirmations, as you use the platform.
From there, you will want to fill in your profile. This includes:
- Demographic details like your first and last name, date of birth, city, gender, ethnicity, household income, marital status, and living situation.
- Employment information like your employment status (full-time, part-time, unemployed, student, retired, homemaker) and professional details such as your job title, company, industry, and whether you are a small business owner.
- Technical details such as whether you have a computer with a webcam, the internet browser and computer operating system you use, and your smartphone or tablet operating systems.
I know it sounds like a lot, but it is extremely important that you fill in your profile with as much detail as possible.
Because this is the information that User Interviews uses to match you with appropriate studies. It’s also what researchers use to make sure you are exactly what they need when you apply.
It is, in effect, how you get User Interviews jobs.
By filling out your profile with as many details as possible, you will increase your chances of getting invited to and accepted when you apply.
What it’s like participating in studies: My experience
I signed up for User Interviews and worked on the platform for one month, so that I would be able to provide you with a first-hand look at how it really works and with some relevant tips and tricks to achieve success.
Here is my experience:
Shortly after I signed up for User Interviews – as in, within 24 hours – I began receiving invitations to apply for studies.
The first thing I learned is that you’ve got to jump on these invitations fast if you want a chance of being accepted.
Of the first four invitations I received, three were already full by the time I got around to applying.
For me, it was easier, and a lot less pressure packed, to just look at their paid research studies page on my own time.
Remember, they update the list with new listings every single day. So I found the best idea was to take a quick look and apply to a handful every morning while I sipped my smoothie.
The one thing that jumped out to me on this list was the wide variety of topics the available studies covered.
There were studies about health and beauty, social media and video games, banking and finances, apps and other technology, even pets!
Really, I never felt like there was a shortage of interesting studies that might be worth applying for.
As I started applying, I found two ways to streamline the process in order to get the most out of my time.
First, some studies display a ‘quick apply’ icon. This means you are able to bypass the usual screener survey. By targeting these, I was able to get more applications done in less time.
Hide Irrelevant Studies
Second, when there is a study that you feel does not apply, you can use the icon of an eyeball with a line through it to hide the study.
I did this as often as possible, and it made looking through the list of available studies much quicker.
Something you are going to want to be prepared for is the absolute bombardment of emails you’ll get.
Seriously, User Interviews sends you emails with studies to apply for. Plus, every time you apply for a study, every time you’re accepted, scheduled, and paid, you get emails. As well as reminders leading up to studies you have booked.
My take is that if you are going to sign up, you need to set up a separate email account. Or use a filtering system for all their emails.
Beyond that though, the actual user experience of taking studies was straightforward and as advertised. They took the amount of time they said they would and paid the amount promised promptly.
In the month I was on the platform, I applied for 50 studies and was accepted into three, earning $535. But more on that in the section below.
All told, I found the platform easy to use and actually kind of fun.
I will admit that I particularly enjoyed the idea of helping major companies with my humble opinions.
How much time do you need to invest?
Remember from above that among 100 studies currently listed on User Interviews, the average study takes just about one hour to complete and pays $93.33.
Of course, when asking how much time you need to invest, it’s not just the time that the actual study takes that you need to consider.
You must also account for the amount of time you spend applying for studies.
For most studies, you’ll have to complete a screener survey as part of the application process, which will usually take about five minutes.
As mentioned before, I’ve found that by targeting studies that are ‘quick apply,’ you can bring down the average time spent applying to about three minutes per application.
Plus, not every application will result in being accepted into the study. In fact, most people will be accepted into somewhere between 5%-10% of the studies they apply for.
So, do the math: If you apply for ten studies, with each application taking three minutes, that will be 30 minutes of your time. From these ten applications, you might expect to get accepted to one study. If this study hits the average of one hour to complete and pays $93.33, then you will have put in one and a half hours, and earned $93.33, meaning just over $60/hour.
Want an example of how this works in reality?
Here is how I did in my one month on the platform:
|Studies applied for:
|Studies qualified for:
|Total time spent participating in studies:
|Total time spent apply for studies:
|Earnings per hour:
Is it worth your time?
As you can see in the section above, on a pay-per-hour basis, User Interviews is absolutely worth your time.
Even when you factor in the time you spend applying for studies, the per-hour rate is still exceptional.
Note: You may have heard that the most lucrative studies on User Interviews require highly specialized skills or experience to qualify. In my experience, while it is true that there are numerous highly paid studies for those with special credentials, there are actually a ton of lucrative studies that anyone can qualify for.
Of course, depending on work experience, living situation, family status, and so on, some people will qualify for more surveys than others, so it’s a good idea to get started and see how you do.
Pro Tips for User Interviews: Dos and Don’ts
Don’t miss an appointment
User interviews takes not showing up for a scheduled session very seriously. Simply, if you ghost, you can be disqualified from participating in future studies. If you do need to cancel a session, then you must inform them at least 24 hours in advance to avoid a penalty.
Don’t be late
Similarly, if you are late to a study, the researcher may lower or withhold your payment or cancel your session altogether, and multiple late arrivals might disqualify you from participation in future studies.
The worst thing you can do on User Interviews is be untruthful in your profile or your study responses. If you give conflicting or falsified responses, you will be suspended from future studies.
Do respond quickly
When studies become available, they often fill up quickly. If you are invited to a study by email, don’t put it off for later, jump in there and apply right away!
Do keep your profile up to date
It is critical to keep your profile up to date if your living, employment, or family situations change. It’s particularly devastating when you get invited to a study, only to find out they were looking for your old credentials.
Do refer friends
Every time you refer a friend to User Interviews, and they complete a study, you and your friend both get $10. Even better, some studies will provide you with the opportunity to refer a friend to that study specifically, and if they are selected and complete the study, you will both earn $30.
Pros and Cons
- High hourly rate
- Payout is quick, easy, and reliable
- A wide variety of interesting study topics for users
- Shape the future of products and brands with your opinion
- Low qualification rate (5%-10%)
- Some highly paid studies required specialized skills or experience
- Most payouts in gift cards, not cash
- So many emails!
Alternatives To User Interviews
User Interviews is great, but if you find you are not qualifying for as many studies as you’d hoped, or if you are simply having such a good time that you’d like to expand your opportunities to participate in studies and make money, well, there are a few other great solutions out there.
Like User Interviews, Respondent offers user research studies that provide a substantial hourly wage for participants, particularly qualified professionals, whom they advertise can make up to $750/hour!
Earnings are paid exclusively through PayPal, and Respondent is open to participants from the US, UK, Canada, New Zealand, Spain, Germany, Ireland, France, and the Netherlands.
Remember, there is no reason you can’t sign up for multiple platforms and hunt for the best, most interesting, and most lucrative studies.
If you want even more options beyond User Interviews and Respondent, check out my complete list of the best online focus groups.
And if you want even more opportunities to get paid for giving your opinion, take a look at my breakdown of 15 Legit Online Survey Sites that Pay Cash.
No, they don’t pay as much as platforms like User Interviews or Respondent, but survey sites are still a good way to make extra cash in your spare time.
After a deep dive User Interviews review, we can reach a simple conclusion – the rumors were all true; you really can make a huge hourly wage on User Interviews just for giving your opinion.
Even factoring in the time it takes to apply and qualify for studies, there is no reason you should not be able to make $50, $100, even $150 per hour or more without any special skills or experience.
With this article, you have all the resources you need to succeed.
The only thing left to do is get started!
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