14 Common Call Center Job Interview Questions & How to Answer Them
February 10th, 2017 Written by: Top Mast
Providing outstanding customer service is paramount for all companies — with 76% of consumers saying they view customer service as a “true test” of how a company values them, according to a 2015 Aspect report.
As a result, companies are looking to staff their customer service call centers with highly-detailed and friendly employees who can provide that outstanding service, as well as thrive in a fast-paced environment.
Masterson Staffing Solutions has years of experience connecting talented individuals with various call-center job opportunities. So if you’re preparing for a call center job interview, we’ve compiled some of the most commonly asked questions you’ll likely to encounter — as well as tips for successfully answering them.
General Interview Questions
Regardless of the industry or job title, all job seekers will likely encounter the following interview questions:
- Tell me about yourself.
This question is usually the opening ice-breaker. Take this time to highlight your accomplishments, strengths and previous job experience, while also mapping them to some of the specific desired qualifications outlined in the job description.
Be professional, but also show some personality. Beyond your experience and skills, interviewers are also trying to determine if you’ll be a good cultural fit.
- Why did you leave your last job?
Honesty is definitely the best policy here, but avoid disparaging your former employer. Some great responses could be:
- I wanted a new opportunity where I could learn new things and grow my career, but also where I could work more directly with people.
- I wanted to find something more challenging where I could perfect and develop new skills.
- Why do you want to work for our company?
Interviewers want to understand your career intentions, as well as know if you’ve done your company research. Share something you’ve learned about the company’s mission, values or reputation, and tell interviewers why it’s important to you. Your response could sound something like this:
- During my research, I discovered that your company really values training and ongoing learning for your employees, and as someone who loves to learn new things and be challenged this is important to me.
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Once again, match your strengths to the preferred skills and qualifications in the job description to reinforce that you’re a strong candidate. When it comes to weaknesses, look for ways to turn them into strengths. For example, if you believe that your lack of experience is a weakness be honest about it, but also detail how another strength such as being a fast learner will help you overcome that weakness.
- What questions do you have for us?
This question not only gives you the opportunity to learn more about the position and the company, but also the ability to promote your skills and desire to become a part of the team.
Compile a few questions while doing your company research. Some questions you may want to ask, as well as some potential follow up responses, are:
- What would a typical day look like for me?
- Response: I’ve been exposed to both structured and unstructured work environments, so I feel like I can easily adapt to this kind of work day.
- How many people would be on my team?
- Response: I’ve been a part of both small and large teams, so this seems like something that is right up my alley.
- What does your timeline for hiring someone look like?
- Response: That sounds great. I’m available to start in two weeks.
For more general interview questions and tips, Read 14 Commonly Asked Job Interview Questions & How to Answer Them.
For Call Center Agent Job Seekers
Whether this would be your first or next position as a call center agent, you can expect many of the following questions:
- What’s your idea of a call center?
If you have no previous call center experience, interviewers will use this question to gauge your familiarity with the call center environment. Use this opportunity to not only highlight the actual function of a call center, but also the role call center agents play in providing quality customer service.
- Why do you want to work in a call center?
Illustrate your knowledge of a call center’s atmosphere and the unique demands you’ll face in the position. For example, you could say that you’re excited to work in a fast-paced environment that will challenge you to use all your skills to solve problems and improve the customer experience.
- What is your idea of quality customer service?
Interviewers want to know what you think quality customer service is and how you would deliver it. Your response could sound something like this:
- My idea of quality customer service is being able to provide customers with friendly, professional service that not only solves their problems or answers their questions, but also leaves them feeling satisfied with the service they received.
- How would you handle a call from an angry customer?
Angry customer calls are a reality for any call center. Tell interviewers the steps you would take to de-escalate the situation and solve the problem. Be detailed in your response and emphasize that staying calm and empathetic during the call will be key to coming up with a solution the customer will be happy with.
- Are you able to work with multiple phone lines?
If you have previous call center experience, answering yes to this question should be easy. In addition, tell interviewers how many calls you handled during a typical day. For those without previous experience, highlight other positions that required multi-tasking skills.
For Call Center Supervisor or Manager Job Seekers
- How many people have you managed in the past?
Whether you’ve managed just a few employees or an entire team, expand on the management techniques you’ve used and the skills you’ve honed through your experience.
- Tell us about a time when a customer call was escalated to your attention. How did you handle it? What was the outcome?
Share a story that shows how you were able to solve the problem and improve the customer experience. In addition, tell interviewers how you were able to use that experience as a teachable moment for the entire team.
- Tell us about your experience in onboarding and training new employees. What does your process look like?
Interviewers want to know how you will efficiently and effectively set new employees up for success. As you walk them through the process, some good items to touch on are:
- Setting expectations
- Delivering hands-on training
- Evaluating new employee progress
- Ongoing training
- How would you address performance issues with your employees?
Be detailed in the steps you would take to have the conversation with employees, and the solutions you would offer help them make improvements. Share an example of how you’ve handled a similar situation in the past to show interviewers you’re up for the task.
Are You Ready to Ace Your Interview?
Interviews are nerve-racking, but taking the time to prepare thoughtful answers to some of these commonly asked questions will calm your nerves and boost your confidence.
If you’re looking for more interview preparation tips, check out our Job Seeker Tips section.