When applying for a job at a call center, you must be prepared to answer some job interview questions. The questions are all relatively straightforward, but just a little interview preparation can vastly improve your chances of acing the interview and landing a job as a call center agent.
Here are the 10 most common call center job interview questions, and some great example answers to help you out.
1. How would you handle a call from an angry customer?
"I’d let them express their anger, hear them out, and take note of any key points. I’d make sure to repeat the problems back and find a solution that deals with their problem within company policy. With the confirmation that the problem is solved and the customer is happy, I’d wish them a good day and end the call."
It can be hard at times, but it is crucial that you hear the customer out and try to find a real solution for the customer.
2. Why did you leave your last position?
For this question, try an answer like this: "The job wasn’t challenging enough for me", "The workload was too sporadic", or "I spent too much of my time waiting in ’idle mode’."
Never speak negatively about your former company! No interviewer will hire you if you start bad mouthing your previous boss because they will assume that you will feel the same way about them.
3. Have you ever been in a conflict with your boss?
"Personality differences are just a part of life, and understanding that has helped me to avoid conflicts with my managers. Communication is the key to solving all problems."
Having a conflict with a boss is not the end of the world if you never had some sort of conflict with your boss it would be strange. Just keep things positive and try to show how you solved them and that they weren’t a problem.
4. Are you prepared the handle the high-pressure environment?
"I am a very organised person, and I do my job punctually and professionally. Emergencies don’t faze me, as I always leave time for unscheduled, surprise tasks."
Call centers can be extremely stressful workplaces. If you can’t handle the heat you should be honest about it because you won’t be able to work properly.
5. Can you handle more than one phone line?
"Absolutely! I’ve been trained to do so, and my excellent multi-tasking skills make it possible for me to manage multiple phone lines efficiently."
Everyone says that they can multi-task. If you can’t handle more than one phone line at once you should tell them because it is unlikely that you would be an effective worker.
6. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
"My greatest strength is my ability to remain calm under pressure. I have been told that I care too much about the people whose problems I try to solve."
The trick with strengths and weaknesses is to turn your weaknesses into strengths by showing that you are actively improving them.
7. How many calls per hour can you make/receive?
This question primarily applies to telemarketers, but it is also applicable to employees who receive calls. Figure out what the average time per call is, and use that time to figure out how many calls you can make per hour. Customer complaint/problem calls tend to run a bit longer than telemarketing calls, so you will make fewer calls per hour if you are providing support or technical assistance.
8. How do you handle a customer who begins to yell at you?
"The customer is no doubt having trouble with their product, and having to wait on hold for technical assistance can be frustrating. I understand this, and thus I can avoid getting angry because I can sympathise with their frustration. Irate customers are part of life, and a simple apology will usually go a long way toward calming them down."
The ability to empathise with irate customers is something that every employer looks for. Emotional intelligence is an excellent quality for employees to have.
9. What are your goals?
"I plan to work hard and distinguish myself from the others in the call center. I expect to be one of the top performers within the next 6 months and possibly team leader by the end of my first year."
Quantifying your goals and showing that you have a lot of ambition always earns you points with interviewers. If you don’t have ambition, then you look like a much less desirable candidate.
10. What do you enjoy about working in a call center?
"I love talking to people, so it’s always enjoyable for me to interact with people over the phone. Plus, being able to help people solve their problems is a very rewarding job."
Again staying positive and showing that you enjoy the work is always necessary. It might not be 100% true as there really are not that many people who love working in call centers, but it’s important to give the illusion that you enjoy the work.
Pretty simple, easy answers, right? Give these responses - or variations on the same theme - and you’ll be ready for your interview!
Have you ever interviewed for a call center job? Were the questions similar to the ones mentioned above? Let us know in the comments section below…
This article was originally published in July 2014.