Having outstanding customer service is essential to any company. Lots of consumers believe that customer service is what defines how a particular firm values them. As a result, call center interview sessions are thoroughly done to obtain the best employees who are friendly, highly detailed, and capable of providing the needed services. The chosen staff should also be able to flourish in a fast-growing environment.
The Philippines Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry is tremendously growing each passing day, and it is showing no signs of halting anytime soon. Thousands of citizens have secured call center jobs in a variety of companies. The hassle comes with countless benefits such as a high starting salary and so forth. Here are some call center interview tips and tricks as well as common questions and answers that will aid in passing the session.
How to pass call center interview
To successfully secure this kind of job, you should exhibit exceptional skills, personality, and know-how during the interview session. This is only possible if you prepare yourself adequately before the stipulated date and time. In this article, we have listed some preparation guidelines, job interview tips as well as common sample questions you are likely to be asked together with their answers.
What is call center?
This is a centralized office that is responsible for receiving and transmitting a particular volume of inquiries via the telephone. There are two types of call centers, inbound and outbound. The former is commonly operated by a company to make sure incoming service support, product, or information inquiries from customers are attended to.
The latter is a part of telemarketing, emergency notifications, solicitation of charity donations, or even debt collection.
Further, a call center can handle individual communication channels such as faxes, letters, social media, e-mail, live support online software, and instant messaging. This is critical to any company out there, and thus only outstanding interviewees are hired.
How to prepare for a call center interview
Start preparations as early as when you are shortlisted to avoid a last-minute rush. You should adhere to the following tips:
1. Call center interview attire
You should look presentable when you show up for the session. Chose clothes that look professional and follow the required dress code that fits you well, and you feel comfortable in. Make sure you cut your nails short, style your hair perfectly, shine your shoes, and iron the attire.
Do not overdo this as it may be a turn off for many interviewers. For instance, if you use perfume, make sure you don’t use too much of it as you never know if your interviewer is allergic to such. Ladies should just wear shoes and jewelry that won’t cause much distraction when walking into an interview room.
Most importantly and critically, brush your teeth and, if possible, make sure to gaggle with a mouth wash. If your interviewer touches his/her nose when you first introduce yourself, you should at least have an idea.
2. Body language and behaviour
You should always be in the best practice during an interview session. Try not to appear as if you are uncomfortable or nervous. This can be easily achieved by taking deep breaths and meditation.
Practice having an excellent posture when sitting, walking, or standing as this will help you build your confidence. You should always be composed and courageous and, at the same time, approachable.
In terms of behaviour, customer cares are always polite. You should be able to demonstrate this trait.
To improve your behavior and body language, you can have an interview simulation with your family members or a friend. They will be able to identify your weaknesses and help you correct them.
3. Mind your pronunciation and grammar
Most interviews will be conducted in English and some in Filipino. Broken English in a call center interview is similar to committing suicide. You can’t be hired unless you are proficient in pronunciation and grammar. Remember that you will be attending to customer calls, and hence periodically pronouncing words inappropriately might affect the company’s brand or image.
Go to the internet, read articles and eBooks that will help you figure the correct tenses, verbs, onomatopoeia, and much more. Don’t forget to use YouTube tutorials to better your pronunciation skills. Once you feel that you are ready, have a friend listen to you and give you feedback. This will help you reinforce everything you have learned.
4. Make sure you can perform excellently under pressure
Dealing with angry and abusive customers is never a walk in the park. It is neither similar to rocket science. If you can maintain composure and stay alert even when under stress and pressure, then you are certainly among the candidates the company will consider hiring.
5. Make sure you know the company details
Go online and research as many details as you can about the firm in question. You can obtain relevant information from their about page. Read their mission and vision statements, history, notable milestones, and what they are famous for. Make sure you understand what it is like working for them.
Additionally, consider going through the call center job description. Understand your roles and duties.
Arrive at the interview location 30 minutes before the stipulated time. Please note that it is 30 minutes before and not 2 or 3 hours. Arriving too early can be a turnoff and an indication that you are desperately seeking for a job. If this happens, do not go anywhere close to the company’s administration offices. Instead, stay in your car or just have a walk around their premises.
7. Prepare your documents
Make sure you have original copies of the needed certificates to prove your education level and additional skills. Put them in an envelope or a small briefcase that should not be brightly coloured or so expensive.
Sample call center interview questions and answers for beginners
After adequately preparing yourself for the session, the next thing should be rehearsing how you will answer some of the frequent interrogations. The answers you give to each inquiry serves as an indicator of if you are promising and skilled or not. The following are some of the most common call center interview questions:
1. What do you know about a call center?
This is made to check if you have a realistic idea of how a call center works. This question will most likely be possed to you if you do not have any job experience.
You can answer it by saying,
A call center is a department in a company where people can have their queries, issues, or problems with a service or product attended to. It is where customer cares work best to ensure that consumers find answers to their questions, and their issues are fixed as fast as possible. Here, employees have different functions and flexible schedules.
2. Call center interview tell me about yourself
Make sure you portray your personality when answering this question. Avoid exposing to the interviewer something that is already indicated in your resume or curriculum vitae. Time is precious; do not waste it by repeating any information that is previously known.
You should not say your name, your date of birth, your marital status, and any other personal information. Instead, focus on your skills and perhaps anything related to your work experience or hobbies.
You can say,
I am a person with a couple of varied interests. When I am free, I like painting nature. I also have great cooking skills, which I acquired from my mum. I fancy reading and watching TV shows as each book and film transport me into a new different world and universe.
3. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Every interviewer wants to hear what might negatively affect your work and what you are bringing to their company. Enumerate your call center skills that might be useful in the company. You need to be honest with your weaknesses. Also, avoid oversharing them as this might be a turnoff.
You can answer,
I am a fast typist. I can literally type over 300 words in a minute. I can also handle upset customers since I always have a calm, soothing voice. One weakness that I can think of is somewhat being a perfectionist.
Also, you can state weakness and also what you are doing to counter it. For instance:
I usually have a problem in waking up in wee hours to go to the job. However, I have managed to fix this by having multiple alarms.
4. Why did you apply for this job?
This is another essential question that will be asked if you do not have any experience.
You should avoid talking about your money problems when answering this inquiry. Doing so will just alarm the interviewers that you are just after money and nothing else.
Also, you should never say that you want to work in the company so you can improve your English skills or behaviour. Call agents have excellent grammar and pronunciation, as well as attitudes. They are well-spoken and not rehearsing.
You should only talk about your experiences and skills, as illustrated below:
I have a good English proficiency and excellent skills of a call agent such as creativity and pronunciation. I have done a lot of volunteer jobs for a couple of years, where I used to communicate with people. This is where I discovered my passion and expertise in solving general public queries.
5. Why do you think you are qualified for this job opening?
The response to this inquiry should be inspired by question number 4. Just enumerate all the things that you can best offer to the company.
Here is a sample why should we hire you call center interview answer:
I have all the qualities that most companies are looking for in a call agent. I can work on flexible schedules. I also deal with my personal stress perfectly and avoid it, affecting my work progress at all costs.
6. Tell me what you know about the company
This is one of the most common call center interview questions that you should be prepared to answer. You should purpose to have the edge over other applicants by having all the company details at your fingertips. This way, you will demonstrate to your recruiter that you are actually eager to work for the company.
From what I have read so far, this firm is really concerned about its employees’ welfare. The endless opportunities for career growth are what drew me to this company. It is a great job and company that knows how to take care of its employees.
You can also mention some significant milestones that are critical to the company and so forth.
7. What are the achievements you are proudest of in your life?
Think of a day you helped someone or felt most fulfilled. It shouldn’t necessarily be about recognition, grades, or even status. Mention memories where you achieved high work ethics. Be honest, do not lie to sound more inspiring and sincere.
You can say,
My most cherished moment is when I managed to pass the Civil Service Exam with the highest score. I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for it, and so I achieved a next to impossible thing that I will always remember.
8. Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
The answer to this question is quite tricky and might be suicidal to your career as a potential employee. You should answer the question with honesty. Do not say that you plan to be working for a different company.
I see myself still working for this great company but in a much higher position.
You can also say stuff concerning advancing your education and so forth.
9. Describe quality customer service in a few sentences
Employers want to know if your idea aligns with theirs. Even if you have never worked in a call center, you can answer this question excellently.
It involves an agent who strives to provide what the consumers need or want. He/she ensures that anyone who needs help is attended to as soon as possible and in the best way possible.
10. Why did you leave your previous employment?
Be honest and state only facts which will not be bad-mouthing your former colleagues or company. You can tell them that you were just looking for success and growth.
I want to start something that will help me develop my passionate skills of handling consumers as a professional. I want to challenge myself by developing new skills too.
11. Why do you think teamwork is essential in a call center?
These play a very vital role in ensuring the success of a company. The interviewer just wants to know if you are really aware of it.
Each team has to meet certain performance levels or quota after a specific period. By working together, the goals can be achieved in the fastest and best way possible.
12. How do you handle your stress?
As you know by now, a call center is never a perfect workplace for the faint-hearted. You will encounter complicated issues, abusive clients, and angry customers periodically. The company wants to ascertain if you can handle such and still provide services ideally.
I try to be calm as much as possible, take deep breaths if the stress is too much. I try as much as possible not to let stress get the best of me.
13. How can you handle upset consumers?
Tell them what you would and would not do to provide the best customer service.
I would stay calm, empathize with the user, let her/him know that I am here to help solve whatever problems he/she has. Through that, we can come up with a solution together.
14. What are the ideal call center agent skills?
You are just being tested if you know what it takes to be a good call agent. Be honest.
He/she is a quick thinker internet savvy, adept at technical stuff, and great in solving problems.
15. Give me a good reason why we shouldn’t hire you
This is one of the final interview questions commonly asked by a lot of interviewers. There isn’t a right or a wrong answer here. So, just say whatever comes to your mind as long as it is appropriate and doesn’t make you seem proud.
If you do not want a person who is trainable and can easily or quickly adapt to a new environment, then you should not consider hiring me.
Additional call center interview tips and warnings
- Be honest and avoid oversharing any negative details about yourself.
- Always be confident, convincing and also persuasive.
- Do not bad-mouth anyone, including your former colleagues, boss, or yourself.
- Your answers should just be short and precise. Keep them short and utterly drive your point
When attending a call center interview session, you should have done proper preparations. You should be presentable, confident, and polite. Additionally, you should at least have an idea about the kind of questions you will be asked.