Call center jobs may be plentiful, but you still need to know how to answer common call center interview questions if you want to secure a great position.
For many businesses, the call center industry serves as both a major source of sales revenue and an important component of customer service. To fulfill those roles, the industry employs millions of workers around the world, including more than 2.8 million employees in the United States. It is also an industry with consistent job availability, making it a great option for job seekers who are interested in a career in customer service or who simply need a job quickly.
If you're a job seeker interested in working at a call center, it is important to know what to expect during the interview stage of the hiring process. To help you to prepare and make a great impression, we have compiled twelve of the most common call center interview questions, and some great tips to help you answer them.
Below are twelve of the most common call center agent questions that you might be asked during your interview. Also included are some great answers that you can use to demonstrate that you're a great fit for the position.
1. What does customer satisfaction mean to you?
The entire call center business model is built upon the idea of satisfying customer needs, so this question gets right to the heart of whether your mindset aligns with that goal. Your answer should include some key ideas that demonstrate your understanding and commitment to customer satisfaction. For example:
“For me, customer satisfaction is about providing each client with the professional, friendly, and polite interaction they need to resolve their problems. My goal with each conversation is to provide an experience that helps the customer, demonstrates our commitment to their satisfaction, and strengthens their brand loyalty.”
2. Why is customer service important for any business?
Interviewers will ask this question as a way to measure your commitment to fulfilling customer needs. As you answer, be sure to focus on the value that customer service representatives add to any business endeavor. For example:
“Positive customer interactions are vital for business revenue and overall success. Those interactions are the key to ensuring that every customer has the best possible impression of the company. As a customer service specialist, I'm always mindful of my role in furthering the company's brand and helping to build long-term brand loyalty with every customer I serve.”
3. How would you assess your own communication skills?
This question can often be a tricky one for job candidates, so try to keep it simple and to the point. As a general rule, you should avoid overselling your communication skills and instead let the interview speak for itself as much as possible. With that said, don't be afraid to rate yourself as high as a nine on a scale of nine to ten:
“I have always prided myself on my commitment to communicating ideas and messages in a clear and concise manner. At the same time, I also recognize that we all have room to grow in that area, so I would rate my skills at maybe an eight or nine out of a maximum ten. I look forward to continuing to improve those skills as part of your team!”
4. How do you manage high pressure jobs and situations?
Call center work is demanding, as you will encounter all manner of difficult customer attitudes and problems. Your answer should provide the interviewer with assurances that you are used to challenging circumstances and have the calm, cool demeanor needed to navigate that pressure.
“I enjoy a challenge and typically manage stressful situations by focusing on the big picture and our company's broader goals. My father taught me that pressure can eventually form diamonds, so I try to look at pressure-filled situations as an opportunity to expand my potential.”
5. Can you multitask or would you rather manage one problem before moving on to the next?
It is typically a good idea to demonstrate your flexibility by answering in a way that demonstrates that you can handle any situation. For example:
“I am comfortable with either. If there are multiple tasks that need to be managed simultaneously, I can do that. At the same time, however, I know that most of us are at our best when we handle problems one at a time, as they come.”
6. How would you deal with an angry customer?
Angry customers come with the territory when you're in customer service, so it's important to reassure the interviewer that you have the patience needed to manage hostile reactions. This can be a great opportunity to elaborate on your personal philosophy and values, by focusing on professionalism and your desire to resolve problems. For example:
“My experience has taught me not to take customer rudeness personally. Instead, I focus on being calm and collected and continually steer the conversation away from emotion so that we can work together to find a positive solution to their problem.”
7. How would you respond if you saw another team member being rude to a customer?
This question may be asked to test your ability to put the company's interests above your own personal fears or desire to go-along to get-along. It's a great opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to the customer and the company.
“I would start by approaching that colleague in private, to ask about the encounter. I would then remind them in a friendly way to always keep things civil and avoid too much emotion. Hopefully, that would help to resolve the situation. If it didn't, however, I would have to let a supervisor know so that the problem can be addressed at a higher level.”
8. What would you do if a customer asked you a question you can't answer?
Interviewers ask this question to see how willing you are to learn new things. Are you prepared to seek help, or will you just stumble through the call and hope that you gave the correct answer?
“I never want to mislead a customer, since that won't help them to solve their problem. So, I would either ask them to wait while I find out the answer or connect them with someone who can help.”
9. Why do you want to be a member of our team?
This is a common question asked by many businesses, so you should already be familiar with it. When interviewing with a call center, however, it's important to stress your desire to help customers to find solutions for their problems so that they know why they should hire you. For example:
“I am an extrovert, so I enjoy jobs where I get to interact with the public and help resolve their issues. Your company's focus on customer satisfaction aligns with my values and my love for communication. If you hire me, I look forward to doing my best to become a valuable asset for the team.”
10. What are your best customer service strengths?
To answer this question, it is important to remember which skills are important for any customer service role. Whether you are taking a role in call center sales or customer solutions, your strengths should include:
Clear and concise communication
Familiar with phone and computer technology
“In addition to my communication skills, I also pride myself on my commitment to being polite and professional with every customer I meet. In previous job roles, I've always worked to become knowledgeable about the products and services we sold, so that I could better assist each customer with any problems that they encountered. I am also a quick learner and can adapt to any new phone or software system with relative ease.”
11. What are your least favorite parts of customer service?
This might seem like an opportunity to complain about things that you did not like in previous jobs, but you should resist that temptation. Instead, you should stay focused on your desire to help customers and resolve problems. That can help to ensure that the interviewer fully understands your values and help to reinforce your customer service credentials.
“My least favorite part of customer service usually involves those rare times when I encounter a situation that neither I nor my supervisor can fully resolve. I look at each interaction as a chance to make a positive change in that customer's life, so it's always disappointing when we're unable to accomplish that goal. Fortunately, those instances have been few and far between and the vast majority of interactions result in positive outcomes for our customers.”
12. Where do you plan to be in five years?
Given the high rate of turnover in the call center sector, this might seem like a strange question for any interviewer in the industry to ask. After all, most call center hiring managers understand that relatively few hires plan to be with the center for that many years. Still, it's important to demonstrate your desire for longevity and even advancement within the company.
“My plan is to still be as committed to customer service five years from now as I am today, so I expect to still be advancing in this industry well beyond that timeframe. Ideally, there will be opportunities for advancement in this firm at some point in the future, as I continue to develop my skills and earn a chance to play an even bigger role in meeting the company's goals. For now, though, I am focused on ensuring that I add value to your team!”
Customer service jobs are plentiful, even in uncertain economic times. That's great news for those who enjoy interacting with the public, since it means that there are almost always good call center jobs available when you need one. Even so, you'll need to know how to answer many of the most common call center interview questions if you want to secure that job you're seeking. Hopefully, these answers to those questions will guide you as you prepare for your next call center interview.Still unsure? TopInterview's coaches are on hand to support you through your interview preparation - contact us today!
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