We were asked…
I’m working as a data entry operator and want to move in to call centre work. My problem is this: I have attended several interviews but have not been successful in finding a role. I get very nervous when I go for interviews and I believe this is holding me back. Can you propose any methods that will help me relax and be more like myself? And are there some questions that I should be asking to show that I am keen to work in customer service?
Look at is Confidence
One of the important areas to look at is confidence that you can do the role you have applied for and your ability to express this to the interviewer. Experience is a real selling point. Your current data entry role is a job that provides customer service and it is important that you emphasise the accuracy of the work.
- Practise talking about your current role.
- Why do you want to be in customer service?
- Examples of where you have experienced poor customer service and what you would have done differently.
- Find out about the company you have applied to work for.
- Prepare a list of questions that you would like to ask; most interviewers will give you that opportunity.
- Find someone you can do a role play with.
- How you would like an advisor to sound if you rang a call centre?
- What is good customer service?
On the day:
- Give yourself plenty of time to be punctual; this will give you chance to relax.
- When asked a question, it is okay to tell the interviewer you would like a little time to think about it, without too long a silence.
Remember, the majority of people are nervous when they go for an interview and a good interviewer takes this in to account. The more confident you are in understanding the role you are applying for, the less nervous you will appear.
Thanks to Ken
Every New Candidate Exhibits Nerves
As a major contact centre operator, we conduct thousands of interviews each year – and virtually every new candidate exhibits nerves. It is our role as interviewers to get candidates to overcome those nerves, relax and bring out their true characters. We would never reject someone purely on the grounds that they showed nerves during their first interview.
The best advice I feel I can give you is to suggest some of the responses we’d like to hear from candidates during their initial competency-based interviews for a customer service advisor or customer sales advisor role. Clearly, everyone will have their own way of answering these questions, so this can only, at best, be a rough guide.
Q1. “Give me an example of when you have encountered a problem at work. How have you worked to resolve that problem?”
A1. We’d be looking for evidence that the candidate has listened, taken on board what has been said, and followed a process to resolve the issue. We’d obviously also be interested in the outcome.
Q2. “The role you applied for involves working to targets. What do you see as the main benefits of target-setting in a customer service environment?”
A2. We’d want to hear that the candidate enjoys working to targets and would be motivated to hit those targets. Ideally, we’d also be looking for evidence that the candidate could improve performance if, for example, they failed to reach targets or were set new, higher targets.
Q3. “If an irate customer called in and was abusive towards you and the company, how would you handle it?”
A3. The candidate must show that they would listen to the customer, take time to understand the issues they raise, stay calm, show empathy, build a rapport and communicate to the customer how they can add value to resolve their particular problem.
Q4. “Describe a time when you were requested to do something in a work environment over and above your normal requirement?”
A4. In this instance, we’d be looking for the candidate to demonstrate that they are prepared to give a higher level of commitment to the company if needs dictate.
Overall, we’d be looking for candidates to demonstrate that they can work as part of a team, are capable of self-development, and have good organisational skills. If candidates give responses like those indicated above, it would give us a strong indication that they are not only keen, but also very able to take up customer service advisor or customer sales advisor roles within our company.
Thanks to Call Centre Manager from a North East Call Centre.
Show You’re Keen on Customer Service
To answer your question: yes – there are some questions that you should ask to show you’re keen on customer service. However we would argue they are questions you should be asking yourself. There are no tricks, short cuts or magic things to say to employers, sadly.
To start with, think from your customer’s agenda – by which we mean your potential employer. You’re selling yourself to them at an interview, after all. Think about what’s important to them. What matters? What do they need to be successful? If you’re struggling, you can always ask them with a quick phone call prior to the interview. Most employers will applaud your initiative.
Once you have a clear idea about their requirements, we would recommend asking yourself three specific questions:
- How can I reassure potential employers that I’m as good as I say I am?
- How can I relate my skills and experiences to their unique challenges?
- How can I resolve any concerns they might have about me?
The ‘reassure, relate and resolve’ model is based on our core understanding of psychology and is worth remembering whenever you want to help someone say yes. In customer services, of course, that’s the business you’re moving in to.
If you can write – and writing will focus the mind – answers to the above questions before attending an interview, then you’ll be able to rehearse and overcome those nerves. Above all, though, stay positive. We wish you every success.
Thanks to Jo Thomson, managing director at training and change management business The Procter Consultancy.
Help Thinking of an Answer
I’ve been in three consecutive call centre interviews all failed, unfortunately. I failed all in final interviews that was psychological and situational interview like ” how do you describe a colour in a blind person ” I’m not able to think an answer.
Thanks to Ykcaw28
I’ve got an interview tomorrow! I’m excited and nervous the key is to sit up look approachable smile when you talk eye contact think about your answers
Thanks to Maya
Be as Prepared as Possible
I am also going on a call center position interview in two days!! Am very nervous, but I hope I get it! Wish me luck. Thankyou for these questions and answers I wrote them down and am practicing I want to be as prepared as possible for my interview
Thanks to Anonymous
I Have More Confidence After Reading This
This site truly helps improve my skills more, thanks a lot for those who made this guide… I have more confidence after reading this ad than you once again…
Thanks to Renz
Control your Nerves
Well, in most cases nervousness can’t be avoided but controllable. Showing your nervousness to interviewee affects your possibility to get the job. Be prepared and do research of the company you are applying, know them because you will be asked by that for sure. Its just like when you are going to a battle there is a lot of preparation-mentally, physically and emotionally. When you are ready and know what you are doing everything will run smoothly but don’t be too over confident.
Thanks to Gaile
Successful People Help Others Succeed
I shouldn’t say this, as going for a perfect job, but told successful people help others succeed, but not if that means taking my best job!:) But all those key skills are fine and great on CVs, but you have to give concrete very specific examples from work experience situations and put to life the key terms/skill on the cv handed out as work in but elaborate in much detail. Words and terms can be thrown around and be generic lacking substance; so no good unless you can back it up.
Thanks to Alen
The above mentioned questions are very helpful however I would be more interested in finding how a psychometric test over the phone will help to understand employee’s or applicant’s deliverables and responsibilities that he/she going to take up if employed.
Thanks to Krishtina
Positive Attitude will take you to Some Job
Yes, I am totally convinced with discussion that is held by some of the most popular personalities in customer service.
Personally I believe your positive attitude will take you to some job. Talking about the positive attitude I mean, what job you are applying, is it you really want to do. Once your are clear with your interests, then everything shall be easy to you. Then the matter remains is how you are going to get it? Here expert opinions shall be helpful.
Thanks to Uzair
Instinct Takes Priority
I think these are good examples and will of course help you and in most company’s this should be enough. However the problem is that in most interview situations instinct seems to take priority and if the interviewer does not ‘feel’ that you are right for the job you wont get it. What this page does not cover is the psychology in an interview so I would like to raise some points of my own:
Dress to impress – First impressions last and the way you present yourself will have a strong impact about the way they ‘feel’ about you. Remember people make their judgments in the first 9 seconds of meeting so by being smartly dressed, shaking their hand and smiling you will set the best first impression possible.
Be confident – Understand that you will feel nervous and expect it to happen but just because you are nervous does not mean you can also be confident. Walk tall, be proud of yourself and tell yourself over and over that you are going to do it. If you follow these steps you will ooze confidence in the interview
Build Rapport – The last thing you want to be in an interview is forgetful. The first thing you do in any interview is shake their hand and smile. If you have the opportunity to build rapport or make a connection with the interviewer than do it. People like people who are like themselves.
Body Language and Tone – In any face to face interaction your body language subconsciously tells the interviewer how you are really feeling. It is best to have an open and relaxed posture. When the interviewer is talking it is important to give verbal nods to show you are listening. Your tone of voice should have an interesting inflection and should not be monotone and boring.
Words – It is also important to avoid using negative words or statements and try and use positive words and statements. Psychologically even the words ‘negative’ and ‘bad’ have a negative feeling to them so you should avoid using these types of words. There are a few words that have a massive psychological impact if they are used enough and in the right way in an interview and they are as follows;
Positive, Motivated, Professional, Flexible, Loyal
Although none of the above is ‘on paper’ taken into consideration, psychologically it will create a more positive experience for the interviewer and in turn they will get a good ‘feeling’ about you.
Thanks to Richard
Think More and Get Ready
Think more and get ready before doing anything. giving plenty of time is one the important thing that should be done. In general the call centers are not difficult to work in once you cross and success the interview. Hence, try to be strong during the interview and demonstrate that you are able to have a position among the employers by your integration, by your communication skills, by your magic answers.
Thanks to Jack
Click here for our Top 50 Customer Service Interview Questions