FIVE Interview Questions You Need to Nail….
….when interviewing for a job in Customer Service!
Are you getting ready to interview for a job in service or a call center and want to know more about how to put your best foot forward? Here are five questions you need to get prepared to answer!
And as you prepare, keep in mind that most hiring managers are looking for candidates with the right skills or experience AND with the right attitude towards delivering service. While your background in customer service can get you in the door, it’s your positive, can-do attitude that “makes the difference” when its time to hire!
Here are FIVE questions we know you are likely to come up in your interview….
Question: What do you like most about working in customer service?
Sample A+ Answer: There are many reasons starting with most service jobs, particularly those in a call center, are very fast paced. I also get to talk to people on the phone which I love doing. The feedback you get in a service environment is quick and to the point, making it easy to get good at what you are doing. In my last job, my supervisor would listen in on my calls and offer constructive ideas for me to improve right after their listening session. I’m looking forward to use what I’ve learned in my next job.
Never – complain about a previous job or employer. If you thought the last call center you worked in wasn’t managed well, find something positive to say like…
Our call center was relatively new and fast growing, and from my point of view had some challenges managing that growth. I learned everything I could there and found some role models who really helped me do my job well.
Whenever Possible – make positive comments about your previous employers. Talk about what you learned and how you plan to put your learnings to work in your next job.
It’s always a good idea to point out positive relationships with former supervisors. Hiring managers like to know that you will get along well with management, and in particular how you will deal with constructive feedback, which in most call center environments, happens regularly.
Question: What did you like least about working in a call center?
Sample A+ Answer – There isn’t anything too negative for me to say about my last jobs in service, some of which were in a call center. Yes, some elements of the job, such as the short notice changes in schedules, can get annoying from time to time, but nothing that I really disliked. What I liked most was the training I got and how I was allowed to learn from others like our supervisory team and fellow reps. This helped me develop some new ways of approaching my work and some short cuts that helped me be more productive.
Never – offer up too many negatives about a previous job or employer, even when asked. Hiring managers like people who are real but do not hire people who think will turn into complainers.
Whenever Possible – turn a question that asks for your concerns or complaints into something positive. Hiring managers aren’t specifically baiting you when they ask you for things that concerned you, but again, if you come across sounding negative about your past work experiences, it won’t play well when it comes time to decide who to hire.
Question: What types of customers/callers did you consider the most difficult to handle?
Sample A+ Answer – That depends on what you mean by difficult. Some customers are certainly easier to work with than others, but many of the customers who others thought were difficult, were actually challenges for me. I learned early in my work that not everyone who calls in will be as pleasant to me as I am with them.
What I do is listen carefully for the reasons why they are being difficult and let them know I understand. I also let them vent as much as they need to, so that I can later ask them questions to get their problem solved. I think just showing that you care about making things better goes a long way.
Never – complain about the type of customers you had to work with, shortcomings in the resources your company provided to you in order to deal with difficult customers, or discuss issues with the morale of your work group that made it difficult to cope with difficult customers.
Whenever Possible – provide specific things you have done to deal with difficult customers. Definitely bring up your ability to listen and show empathy. Show how your approach to service might be different from other customer service reps who might be interviewed for the job.
Question: How will I know I can count on you to be at work every day?
Sample A+ Answer – My track record of attendance and punctuality is really good. I learned early on how important it is for most call centers to have their reps at work every day.
Please feel free to contact my previous employer who will tell you that I missed only 2 days of work the entire time I worked for them which was well over 2 years. I was able to do this because I always had a back up plan in case something went wrong with my car and I always scheduled any medical or dental appointments on days I wasn’t scheduled to work. I know how important reliability is in a call center and I won’t disappoint you.
Never – lie about your record of attendance in previous jobs. If you’ve had a problem in the past, address it directly…
You know I had some attendance issues in my past jobs and had to come to grips with some things that I needed to fix in my personal life. Having a reliable way to get to work was one thing – I now ride a bus instead of relying on a car that wasn’t always working. I have come to understand how important being reliable is in a call center and I won’t let you down.
Whenever Possible – maintain an employment record that shows you are a reliable, dependable employee. Get your previous supervisors ready to comment on your track record of getting to work regularly and on time.
Question: Why are you interested in this particular job?
Sample A+ Answer – I saw your job posting online and it seemed like a job that could use my background and experience but would expose me to a different type of service setting. Your customers are likely the type of people I most enjoy helping. I am interested in (healthcare, social services, retail, etc.) I’ve seen your website and also checked with people I know who work here. What I’ve learned is that you are a great place to work, and that you take service seriously, which are the things important to me.
Never – make your interest in the job sound casual or unfocused.
Whenever Possible – do internet research on the job and the company before you interview so that you can talk intelligently about what the company does and can ask questions that are important to you. You want to look interested but thoughtful about the type of job you are looking for or will accept.
This article was written by Cecil Jackson a senior recruiter for the PACE Staffing Network, a 2017 and 2018 Best of Staffing winner. One of Cecil’s specialties is high volume recruiting for busy service centers. He is a pro at helping employers find the staff they need when they need them. He also loves helping candidates further their service careers in a variety of specialty areas like healthcare, public services, technology and member support. If you’re looking for a role in a call center, contact Cecil at firstname.lastname@example.org
PACE Staffing Network is a “Best of Staffing” award winner. We have been connecting Puget Sound area employers to Puget Sound area job seekers for over 40 years to help everyone find that “just right fit”!
We provide contract, temporary and direct hire career opportunities in all areas of administrative and corporate services. We represent many of the Northwest’s Best Places to Work with a strong concentration in healthcare.
Temp to hire auditions are one of our specialties! 75% of the employers we represent hire the employees we refer. Check all of our placement resources at www.pacestaffing.com