Preparation is the key to a successful interview in any field. Many applicants do not spend the necessary time preparing responses to common interview questions, then find themselves stumbling, stuttering and rambling through their answers. Most interviewers will tend to ask the same kinds of questions to all applicants, but it's also important to anticipate questions specific to your field or position. This article will discuss tips for answering interview questions for call centre applicants.
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Tell me something about yourself.
Most interviews will begin with this question or something similar. The key is to know how to summarise your background, experience and skills as they relate to the position, not ramble about personal or unrelated details. Take the time to think about the word or words that describe your work experience over the last 5 to 10 years (i.e., customer service, administrative support, sales) and the top two skills that most closely define your work ethic. Highlight skills directly related to call centre associate (i.e., good problem-solver, strong communication skills).
Describe one of your strengths. Describe a weakness.
Again, the strength you choose to highlight should be one called for in the company's ad, or one directly relating to a strong call centre associate. The weakness question can be difficult if you are unprepared. Think of a skill that needed improvement (like confidence in handling a company's database program) and identify what you did to address the problem (attended a training course or volunteered for an after-hours project).
Why should I hire you?
This question is an opportunity to remind the interviewer exactly why you feel qualified. Cite the specific skills requested in the job ad, if possible, and remind the interviewer your strengths in these areas would allow you to make a positive contribution to their team.
Be sure to study your resume and be prepared to discuss specifics. The more details you can give about work experience, the more confident and sincere you will appear.
Be ready with details about the software applications you've encountered, the number of phone lines you've handled at one time, the number of calls you've processed in a day and the average amount of time spent on each call.
This is also a good opportunity to discuss numerical successes like monthly goals you exceeded.
Actions always speak louder than words. By asking how you handled a specific situation, or what you would do in a certain circumstance, interviewers can try to determine your effectiveness. To prepare for these questions, think about the work you performed in your day-to-day activities and especially any difficult or challenging situations you handled well.
Most call centre workers will occasionally have to deal with disgruntled customers. Be prepared to answer how you would handle an angry customer. Give details about the proper procedure and ethics involved. Think of a specific example you encountered, if possible, and detail how you handled the caller and how you resolved the issue.
Every employer wants a good team player. Be prepared to discuss how you pitched in when necessary or helped a colleague when it was not required. This same type of ability carries over into good customer service. A good call centre associate will do what it takes to help meet the customer's need. Prepare to discuss examples of your strengths in this key area.
Tips and warnings
- Bring a list of strong professional references and present it at the interview's conclusion. Be sure to get a copy of the interviewer's business card so you will be able to send a thank-you letter, or e-mail, immediately following the interview.
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