Call center interviews are crucial in selecting candidates with the right skills and experiences.
To make sure you stand out among other candidates, there are specific call center interview questions you need to prepare for.
This article walks you through some of the most common interview questions. Furthermore, we'll give you some do's and don'ts in answering them.
According to Erin Stevens, a corporate recruiter with MasterBrand Cabinets in Jasper, Ind., candidates are usually judged by the amount of effort they exert during the interview process.
"If you show up prepared, ready, open to new ideas, conversations and opportunity, and can go with the flow, you will go far,” Stevens said. “Not being prepared, being negative, complaining or not [being] open to the process will definitely hinder a candidate."
As you explore the opportunities of being a customer service agent, you may ask yourself, "How do I prepare for a call center interview?"
If you want to be a call center agent, early preparation for the interview is crucial.
Preparing for a call center interview involves two essential steps: researching the company and preparing for the possible interview questions.
Before attending a call center interview, familiarise yourself with the company you are applying to.
Take the time to understand the company's values, mission, and culture. This information will help you align your answers during the interview.
Knowing the company's values gives you insight into the customer service they prioritise. It also gives you an idea of their expectations for their call center agents.
Understanding what the company does goes a long way during the interview process.
Explore the company's website, read about its offerings, and understand how its products or services work. This lets you confidently speak about the company's offerings during the interview.
To enhance your chances of presenting yourself, you must prepare for the common interview questions and answers for call center applications.
There are three questions to focus on behavioural, technical, and customer service questions.
Let's talk about each of them.
Behavioural questions assess your past experiences and how you have handled specific situations.
They aim to evaluate your problem-solving skills, communication abilities, and ability to work under pressure.
Here are the common behavioural call center interview questions you need to prepare for:
Common question #1: Tell me about when you dealt with a demanding customer. How did you handle the situation?
How to answer: "In my last job as a call center agent at XYZ Call Centre, I talked to an angry customer. They were upset because their package was late. I stayed calm and listened to them. I apologised for the late package and told them I would find out what happened. I checked where the package was and talked to our team that handles shipping. I kept the customer updated about the package. By showing I cared and staying involved, I helped the customer calm down and ensured we solved the problem."
Common question #2: Describe a situation where you had to meet tight deadlines and how you managed to accomplish your tasks.
How to answer: “During a big sale at ABC Call Center, we received many calls all at once that required quick handling. We had very little time to rectify the issues. I called for a team meeting and assigned everyone a job. We devised a straightforward plan. We prioritised the tasks that required immediate attention and completed them. I frequently communicated with my team, updated them on our progress, and assisted them if they encountered difficulties."
Common question #3: Discuss a time when you faced a challenging situation at work. How did you approach it?
How to answer: “Our computers stopped working for a few hours. This made it hard to help our customers like we usually do. I stayed calm and found out what was wrong. I told my boss, and they got our computer team to work on it. While we waited, I figured out other ways to help our customers. I used paper and pen and told customers when we could help them. I kept talking to the people I work with and our customers so everyone knew what was happening. By working hard and thinking of new ways to do things, we were able to get back to normal as soon as we could."
Common question #4: Describe a situation where you had to prioritise multiple tasks to meet tight deadlines.
How to answer: "My call center team had to complete several deliverables quickly. To prioritise tasks, we held a team meeting to assess the tasks and their deadlines. We assigned roles based on individual strengths and divided the workload accordingly. I created a timeline and set realistic milestones to ensure progress. With my leadership, we successfully completed the project on time."
Common question #5: Tell me about a time when you had to handle a challenging call. How did you handle it and what was the outcome?
How to answer: “The customer was upset because no one had fixed their problem before. I stayed calm and listened to them without talking over them. I apologised for the trouble and told them I would investigate it myself. I did everything I could to help the customer. Ultimately, the customer was happy that I resolved his concern.”
Common question #6: Describe a time when you had to learn a new system or software quickly. How did you approach the situation?
How to answer: "In a part-time call center job, I worked with a new CRM software I hadn't used before. I proactively sought my colleagues' guidance and utilised available training materials to familiarise myself with the system. I dedicated extra time outside of work to practise using the software and familiarise myself with its features."
Technical questions assess your knowledge with call center software and other relevant tools used in the job.
Here are some common technical call center interview questions:
Common question #7: What call center software have you used in previous roles?
How to answer: "I have experience with various call center software systems in my previous roles. I am also proficient in utilising CRM software such as Salesforce and Zendesk. Moreover, I have hands-on experience with workforce management tools like NICE and Verint."
Common question #8: How familiar are you with customer relationship management (CRM) systems?
How to answer: "I am well acquainted with CRM systems as I have used them in my previous quality customer service roles. I have worked with CRM software like Salesforce. This enabled me to manage customer information, track interactions, and provide personalised service. I am skilled in creating and updating customer profiles and recording relevant details. I also use CRM functionalities to enhance customer experiences and streamline workflows."
Common question #9: What metrics do you consider important in a call center environment?
How to answer: “In the call center agency, several metrics help assess performance and service quality in the call center industry. Key metrics I consider important include:
First Call Resolution (FCR):
This indicates the percentage of customer issues resolved during initial contact without further follow-up.
Common question #10: How would you handle a lot of calls in a call center job?
How to answer: "With many calls, I'd focus on time management and choosing what's most important. I would listen to the customer and fix their problems. To handle work well, I'd use things like call scripts or templates for usual questions, look at knowledge bases for quick answers, and write cases shortly to avoid repeating."
Common question #11: How do you deal with private customer information and keep it safe?
How to answer: "I know keeping customer information private and safe is key. In my last job, I followed the rules about protecting data. I made sure to use information only when needed. I used safe ways to keep and throw away data, like passwords, encrypting files, and changing access often. I also stayed professional by not talking about customer information outside of work."
Common question #12: What strategies do you use to provide personalised customer service in a call center setting?
How to answer: "Good customer service in a call center means making it personal. I listen to the customer's needs and let them discuss their problem. I try to feel what they feel and show that I really care. To make it personal, I answer them in a way that fits their situation. If they tell me something special, I remember it and bring it up later. This helps make their experience feel more personal."
Customer service questions focus on your ability to deliver exceptional service. It also tests how you handle upset customers and resolve conflicts.
Common question #13: How do you ensure excellent customer service in a high-volume call center?
How to answer: "In a busy call center, I focus on talking clearly, working fast, and being kind. I listen to customers and show that I understand how they feel. I try to give them clear and short answers so I can handle many calls. I also use tools and technology to make things run smoother and keep people from waiting too long."
Common question #14: Describe your strategy for dealing with an upset customer.
How to answer: "When faced with an upset customer, my strategy involves active listening, empathy, and problem-solving. I remain calm and patient, allowing the customer to express their frustrations. I validate their concerns and assure them that I understand their perspective. I then focus on finding a solution by asking probing questions to gather all relevant information. Once we identify the issue, I propose a resolution or escalate the problem to a supervisor if necessary. Throughout the interaction, I maintain a professional and courteous tone. I also keep the customer informed as we resolve their concerns."
Common question #15: How do you handle conflicts between team members in a call center setting?
How to answer: "In call centers, team members might not always get along because they are different. If there's a problem, I deal with it right away. I get everyone to talk openly so I can hear what's bothering them. I make sure everyone is respectful and helps them find something they agree on. This way, they can work together to solve the problem."
Common question #16: How do you handle tough or hard customers?
ow to answer: "When a customer is tough, I stay calm and kind. I listen to what's wrong without cutting them off and show I understand how they feel. I ask questions to find out exactly what the problem is. Then I give them choices to fix it. If it gets too hard for me, I get a boss to help."
Common question #17: How would you deal with a customer who's unhappy with a product or service?
How to answer: "If a customer's unhappy, I work fast to make it right. I listen to what's wrong and say I'm sorry. Then I tell them I'll fix it. I might give them their money back, a new item, or help them in another way. By working hard to help, I try to make them trust us again."
Common question #18: Tell me about a time you did something special to help a customer.
How to answer: "Once, a customer was upset about being charged wrong. I told them I understood and would fix it. I talked to other workers, found out why it happened, and made it right. I even gave the customer a discount for next time. They were happy with what I did."
Common question #19: How do you ensure effective communication with customers who may have different levels of technical knowledge?
How to answer: "When I talk to customers who know more or less about technical things, I change how I talk so they can understand. I don't use hard words, and I explain things in simple ways. I listen to what they ask and sometimes ask them questions to make sure they get it. If something is really tricky, I might show them pictures or tell them how to do it step-by-step."
There are other questions that interviews may ask during the interview. Take time to review them below:
Additional question: Tell me about yourself
How to answer: "I'm [your name], and I love helping customers. I've worked with people for [number of years] years, and two of those were at a call center. I'm good at fixing problems, taking lots of calls, and making customers happy. I know how to use the tools to answer questions fast. I work hard to make sure customers know I care about them. I can't wait to help your call center team do great."
Additional question: Why should I hire you in our call center?
How to answer: "I'm really good at helping customers and I like working fast. I've done great in other jobs like this. I know how to talk to people and find out what they need, then help them quick. I'm also good at dealing with surprises and tough situations without getting confused or scared."
Preparing for a call center interview? These tips will guide you through the process.
When you answer call center interview questions, you should use real examples from your previous experiences. Ensure your samples fit the question and discuss how you solve problems, help customers, and handle challenging situations.
You can use the STAR method to answer questions. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result. First, tell them about the problem or job you had. Next, say what you did to fix it. Last, tell how it ended. This way of talking helps you show that you can handle tough jobs and make things turn out well.
In the interview, talk about how you listen to what customers say and then say it back in your own words. This helps you make sure you know what they need. It shows that you pay attention and want to help them in the right way.
Another part of listening well is repeating the main things. When you answer interview questions, talk about how you say back the main things customers tell you. This helps you make sure you know what they need. It shows that you want to get things right and helps prevent mistakes.
Talk about how you figure out and fix problems for customers. Use real examples from things you have done before. Explain how you find out what's wrong and how to fix it. Show that you can think differently to help customers arrive at a solution.
Talk about how you can make quick decisions that solve problems, even when busy or complicated. Show that you can stay calm and think clearly, even when customers ask tough questions or when issues come up that you didn't expect.
Entering a call center role without prior experience can be challenging, but you can still excel in your interview with the proper preparation and approach.
Here are some common call center interview questions you must prepare for if you have yet to gain experience.
Interview Question: How would you handle demanding or angry customers if this is your first time doing it?
Answer: "Even though I've never dealt with tough customers, I'm ready to learn. Listening, being kind, and staying calm can improve things. I would try to find out what's wrong and say I understand their feelings. If necessary, I would try to fix it or ask my boss for help."
Interview Question: How do you pick what to do first when many customers need help?
Answer: "Even though I've never worked in a call center, I know it's important to pick what to do first based on what's most urgent. I would think about things like how hard the problem is if the customer is unhappy and what's most important for the company. I'd follow the company's rules and ask my boss or team for help if I needed it. Staying organised and changing plans quickly would help me help many customers well."
Interview Question: How would you deal with not knowing an answer to a customer's question?
Answer: "If I don't know an answer, I would tell the customer I'm sorry and that I'll find out for them. Then I'd look in places like guides, training stuff, or ask my boss to find out quickly. I think it's good to keep learning from things like this, so I can get better at helping customers."
As the call center interview draws close, asking the interviewer thoughtful questions is essential. Doing so demonstrates your interest in the position and allows you to gather valuable information to make an informed decision.
Here are two questions to consider asking and why they're essential:
Asking about the average call duration provides insights into the pace and efficiency of the call center company. Understanding the average call duration can help you gauge the expectations for handling customer inquiries, managing time effectively, and meeting performance targets.
It also gives you an idea of the workload and the opportunity to assess if you are well-suited to work within those parameters.
Asking about training and ways to get better shows you want to keep growing and doing better. Find out how they teach new people, how they help you keep improving, and if there are chances to move up in the call center company.
Knowing how much the company helps its workers improve shows you're excited to learn. It also shows you how you can grow in the company.
During a call center interview, you must make a strong impression by showcasing your skills, qualifications, and suitability for the role. However, there are common mistakes that you should avoid during the process.
Preparing for an interview can be nerve-wracking. To ensure a successful call center interview and leave a lasting impression, consider implementing the following tips:
In conclusion, a successful call center interview requires careful preparation and thoughtful responses. Remember to be professional, maintain a positive attitude, and showcase your skills and experiences in a way that aligns with the call centre's goals and requirements.
Excelling in call centre interviews not only opens doors to exciting opportunities but also paves the way for professional growth and fulfilment. Good luck in your interview!