We asked our panel of experts for their top customer service interview questions, while giving pointers on how to deal with them and some sample answers.
These questions cover four common bases from classics, team leadership, examples and role play as well as customer service – know-how and competency.
Also, if you are recruiting for staff you may find that this provides you with a few tricky questions to ask.
Classic Interview Questions
This group covers generic interview questions that you will likely be asked, no matter what job field you are interested in.
You will probably be asked one of these questions early on in the interview, so it is important to be prepared to face them and get yourself off to a good start that will boost your confidence as the interview progresses.
1. “Why do you want to work here?”
To answer this question you must have researched the company. Reply with the company’s attributes as you see them and how your qualities match them.
2. “Tell me about yourself.”
This is not an invitation to ramble on. If the context isn’t clear, you need to know more about the question before giving an answer.
Whichever direction your answer ultimately takes, be sure that it has some relevance to your professional endeavours.
Also, you should refer to one or more of your key personal qualities, such as honesty, integrity, being a team player or determination.
3. “Why do you want this job?”
Whilst more money, shorter hours or less of a commute are all potential factors for your next role, they are unlikely to make you the ‘stand out’ candidate of the day.
Know what the company are looking for and the potential job available. Align this with your career to date.
Another key bit of advice here is to highlight your relevant experience, goals and aspirations in line with the role, to showcase why you are the best person for the job.
4. “What was your reason for leaving?”
Wherever possible be positive, even if your role was short term or didn’t quite work out as expected, as it will have added extra experience or skills to your career history.
Although you are now looking to move on, acknowledge what you learned and what was on offer at the time.
Then, demonstrate good reasons for the decisions that you made and show that you understood what was to be gained, or acknowledge what you have learned from your past employer.
For a set of positive words and statements that will help you to stay upbeat in interviews and customer service scenarios, read our article: Top 25 Positive Words, Phrases and Empathy Statements
5. “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”
Many interviewers will ask you to name your strengths and weaknesses. Typically, people find it easier to express their strengths, but struggle when it comes to identifying even one weakness.
Part of the reason for this may be that they do not want to disclose a particular weakness, as this may result in them failing to be successful in getting the job.
A good initial answer (bearing in mind you are applying for a telephone position) to the “strengths” part would be: “I have been told that I am an excellent communicator, especially on the telephone, but I feel I have good interpersonal skills generally and find it easy to get along with all sorts of people.”
For weaknesses you need to think of something which is really a strength but put it across as a weakness. It is also important to make it clear what you are doing to address that “weakness”.
A good example would be:
“I am a very conscientious worker and I get irritated by colleagues who don’t share this value and take any opportunity to take time off work or do the minimum required when they are there. I am learning, however, that these people generally get found out and I leave it to my supervisor to recognise these problems and address them.”
An answer such as this would probably make the interviewer think: “Well, that’s not such a bad thing, actually.”
6. “Give an example of this behaviour”
Having given your strengths and weaknesses, you are then likely to be asked to give examples of when you have displayed this behaviour. Your credibility will plummet if you cannot give an example of the strengths you have stated.
With the strengths listed above, a good response would be:
“In my present job, I am often asked to handle difficult customer situations because my supervisor knows that I will handle them politely, efficiently and diplomatically and therefore only a few cases would ever get referred to her. Also, because of my strong interpersonal skills, I have often been asked to buddy-up with new team members, to make them comfortable in their new role at the earliest stage possible.”
When asked to give examples on the weaknesses, you need to think very carefully, and plan in advance what your response will be, as many people dig a very deep hole here.
A good response to the weakness quoted would be:
“I had a situation once where I knew that a more experienced colleague was regularly absent from work following nights out drinking, but she would say that she had a migraine. When this happened my workload increased significantly. I undertook this willingly but I must admit I was annoyed that this person was taking advantage of me and the company. However, I decided to let the supervisor do their job and just get on with mine. In quite a short space of time, the issue was addressed and the problem was resolved.”
A good interview tip is to use power words to build enthusiasm around your ideas. The follow articles shares lots of great examples: The Best Power Words and Phrases to Use in Customer Service
7. “Tell me about a difficult obstacle you had to overcome recently at work? How did you overcome this?”
Here your interviewer wants proof that you will tackle problems head on and not just bury your head in the sand.
A strong answer will clearly demonstrate a problem, an action and a solution.
- Problem: When I was first promoted to team leader, I consistently struggled to ensure that my team achieved their sales targets on a Friday.
- Action: I sought the advice of more experienced team leaders to find out how they motivated their teams through the Friday slog.
- Solution: Acting on the advice of the other team leaders, I implemented a combination of incentives over the next few weeks and successfully boosted my team’s sales figures.
8. “What is your greatest success and achievement to date?”
Here your interviewer wants to see that you will bring something to their company and not just fade into the background.
Whilst this question does open the floor for you to recite how you once doubled your team’s sales figures, employers are equally interested in hearing about how you have developed and maintained a strong professional network, or how you pride yourself on your reputation for being reliable and hard working.
Whatever you end up talking about, try to keep it short. You don’t want your ego to get in the way of you being offered the job.
9. “What attracts you to the position?”
This is an opportunity for you to show off your research on the role and company.
Talk about the benefits the company has to offer and how they suit you at this point in your career. For example, if you are joining the company as a graduate, discuss how you plan to utilise their highly-structured training scheme.
Also comment on the company’s reputation and try to make reference to a recent success you have seen on their website.
10. “How would your current team/manager describe you?”
Try to think about how you would describe yourself if someone asked you for your strengths, then relate these to what people say about you; peers, agents, managers and stakeholders.
Have three or four at the ready, ideally in line with the role you are being interviewed for.
Also, get good examples or situations ready, in case your interviewer wants to drill down as to why you think or believe these are your key strengths.
If you’re stuck, remember those key words that you used to describe yourself in your CV and build your answers around these. That is what attracted the recruiters to you in the first place.
11. “How do you keep yourself motivated?”
This is your opportunity to tell your potential employer what keeps you focused. Possible answers include:
- Breaking your workload up into daily or hourly targets to ensure that the next small success is never too far away.
- Living a healthy life-style. Eating the right foods and drinking lots of water in the office can have a big impact on your concentration levels.
- Motivating others and promoting a positive atmosphere in the office.
12. “What key factors drive you?”
Tread carefully with this question. While the truth may be that you only get out of bed every morning in order to pay your rent, this is not what your potential employer wants to hear.
This question gives you an opportunity to discuss what has attracted you to this line of work and what inspires you to persevere through the tough times.
In a sales role, this could be the adrenaline rush of meeting daily targets, whilst in a customer-service role, this could be the personal satisfaction you gain through helping people.
13. “How do you deal with work issues? Would anyone know you were having a bad day or would you keep it to yourself?”
Morale is infectious – whether positive or negative – and, when working in a team-orientated environment like a call centre, it’s important that there is always an air of positivity around.
It’s therefore vitally important to ensure that if you’re having a bad day, you contain this and don’t let it influence the morale levels of the team, and in turn the productivity and efficiency of the overall operation.
If you are applying for a role of a contact centre agent, you may also want to prepare for the interview questions put forward in the article: Customer Service Interview Questions
Team Leader Interview Questions
This interview question set is particularly important if you are applying for a management job in a customer service environment, but also if you are looking for a more basic customer service position.
This is because every employer is looking for someone who can build morale, provide guidance and promote values, so showcase yourself to be a leader and not a follower. So here are our top customer service interview questions for team leaders:
14. “How do you manage time and priorities?”
Here your potential employer wants to know that you are capable of organising yourself properly and ensuring that nothing gets forgotten.
Do you keep a diary? Use Google Calender? Write daily to-do lists? Use wall planners to keep track of out-of-office appointments? Whatever you do, now is your opportunity to tell them!
15. “What have you done to promote great customer service?”
Firstly, know what you think great customer service looks like. Look for situations and examples when you had an idea, a client, or customer call, where you personally went that extra mile.
Did you change a process or procedure? Or perhaps a staff member you mentored, coached or advised delivered a great customer service win or result for your team, brand or business.
16. “What are the key factors which make a successful call centre?”
Fundamentally, if you look under the skin of the best teams and call centres, they do have certain things in common: clear communication, consistency, fun, performance management, leadership, engagement, incentives, etc.
Think what made up the best team or company you have been a part of or have seen. Have examples to back up any statements for how you would play a part in, or create, this team or environment yourself.
17. “How do you manage change?”
Change is an essential part of life in any call centre environment, as the industry strives to achieve best practice for their customers and stakeholders.
Have some examples on how you personally managed, or were affected by, some change. What was your focus, what were you aiming to achieve and how did you deliver the outcome?
Know what the problems encountered were and what was learned through and following the transformation.
18. “How do you plan daily and weekly activities?”
Here your potential employer is looking to see that you are capable of planning your time effectively.
They want to hear things like how you hold team meetings to discuss the week ahead and allocate time slots and deadlines for various projects.
19. “How do you ensure that your department’s goals are in line with the overall company goals?”
This question helps your interviewer to gauge whether you understand your role in your current job, and how your efforts contribute to the goals of the organisation.
The company I currently work for publishes an annual report of KPIs relating to the goals they hope to achieve that year. I extract the company goals that are relevant to my department and break them down into weekly objectives. I then use these objectives to ensure that my team is constantly contributing to the overall goals of the organisation.
20. “How would you measure the success of you and your team over a 3, 6 and 12 month period?”
This question requires you to understand the benefits of setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound) objectives and developing action plans.
In line with the over-arching goals of the company, I would set personal goals for myself and my team which I would subsequently break down into weekly SMART objectives. I would monitor these closely through general in-office communication and a series of team meetings, as well as through scheduling individual appraisal meetings at 3, 6 and 12 month intervals.
21. “How would you manage your time and objectives in your role?”
This is your opportunity to assure your potential employer that you are capable of working in line with your objectives and getting the job done on time.
In my current role, I break down my objectives into daily targets and outline periods of the day when I am going to focus on achieving them. I find this system works well for me and I expect to carry it into my next job.
22. “How often do you challenge the way your current company does things or challenge something that you feel needs to change?”
This is a bit of a tricky question to answer, as how you answer can determine whether your interviewer thinks you are too strong-minded or, worse, too sheep-like in your approach to work. An ideal answer will show a degree of balance.
Throughout my term of employment, I keep a constant note of any areas that I feel can be improved. But I only present these concerns to my boss when I have developed in-depth and realistic solutions.
The frequency of these meetings is determined by how stable the company is. If the company implements several changes throughout the course of the year, I am more inclined to provide regular feedback to my boss.
23. “How creative are you in comparison to your colleagues, i.e. in managing, developing, encouraging and motivating your team?”
This question is asked to determine whether or not you are going to bring something to the team.
In an ideal answer you will confirm that you are creative in your job role, and markedly so compared to some of your colleagues. You should then proceed to give examples which demonstrate this.
This question gives you the opportunity to tell the interviewer about how you developed a Monday-morning prize-giving incentive to get your team fired up for the week – for example.
Other examples may include how you introduced daily staff meetings to keep your team engaged with the goals of the organisation or implemented a buddy-up training programme to help your new recruits settle in faster.
24. “How do you measure the success of your incentives?”
I introduced “Sugar Fridays” – giving my team sweets and treats to get them through the Friday slog.
An ideal answer to this question will demonstrate that you are capable of monitoring a situation as it evolves.
Whilst working in a call centre as a supervisor, I introduced ‘Sugar Fridays’ – giving my team sweets and treats to get them through the Friday slog.
Prior to introducing the incentive, I compiled a backlog of sales figures from previous Fridays. I then introduced the incentive on a trial period, continued collecting data and cross-compared the results. There was an obvious peak in sales figures and so the incentive became permanent.
25. “How have you utilised customer feedback to ensure business excellence?”
This question is set to test your ability to identify and analyse customer insight, trends and data, and drive continuous improvement, by identifying and understanding the root cause.
The interviewer will be looking for an example of where you have taken this insight and subsequently developed, implemented and improved your sales process. This could be through the introduction of training, post-sale procedures, a change in marketing communications, or other process improvements, to ensure that the cause of any future complaint is eradicated.
26. “How have you utilised customer complaint feedback to improve how your team are selling?”
This question is especially important if you are applying for a management position.
An ideal answer will demonstrate that you are capable of assessing a situation and implementing improvements.
I started to notice that a lot of customers were complaining about feeling patronised by my agents. In response to this, I listened to the calls these complaints stemmed from and realised that words such as ‘wonderful’ were being over used.
I then had a meeting with the worst offenders in my team and suggested changes that they could make to correct this behaviour. After this meeting, customer complaints reduced and sales increased.
27. “What is your experience of the whole end-to-end feedback process (talk through this process) and how do you ensure this feedback improves the service to customers?”
The answer to this will depend on the job you’re interviewing for and your experience.
I would recommend thinking about a specific instance and then discussing this in detail. Outline the process stage by stage and, if there are areas that need improvement, focus your answers on the solutions instead of the problems.
28. “How have you educated your front-line agents to ensure excellent customer feedback?”
As a leader or manager charged with delivering excellent customer feedback, you will know how important it is that customer feedback and insight are monitored, measured and acted upon, whenever appropriate or necessary.
But how about your agents? This question is very much aligned to your engagement, coaching and development skills. You need to think about the culture, communication and interactions you have with your agents.
Discuss how you impart your knowledge and experience to your agents and how you ensure that they can continue to develop the confidence, skills, knowledge and habits that will drive excellent customer feedback with every interaction.
29. “How did you recognise the level of trust or respect your team held for you and how did you ensure this continued?”
Only you will know if your team really trusts and respects you. Respectful employees will usually make you coffee, hold a door open for you, properly carry out tasks assigned to them and rarely undermine your judgement.
To maintain this level of respect, you should make time to recognise your employees’ efforts, occasionally explain how you reached a solution to a problem (this can help with buy-in for larger changes or projects) and do your best to be consistently level-headed and successful in your judgement – as it only takes one slip-up to undermine your credibility.
For more customer service interview questions, designed for the team leader role specifically, read our article: Top 10 Customer Service Team Leader Interview Questions
Give an Example/Role Play Interview Questions
At some point in your interview, you will have to answer a question that prods you to give an example or take part in a role play situation.
This group of questions will provide you with guidance on how to deal with questions of this nature and challenge you to think of scenarios where you have demonstrated attributes that are closely link to the job description.
30. “What is the biggest challenge you have faced in work in the past 12 months?”
This is often an opening question, as it allows you to use one of your strongest examples and may help you relax.
For the interviewer, it is also an indication of where your natural focus or achievements may be – people development, process, cost reduction, change etc.
31. “What is your biggest achievement?”
If possible, think work related. There will hopefully be a number of things you are most proud of in your career to date.
Think about your key achievements:
- Were they commercial, people or process orientated?
- What was the cause and effect?
- How were you involved, what was improved, saved or developed?
If you are short on career-based examples, use personal achievements which demonstrate the commercial skills required for the role, such as team work, commitment, empathy, determination, attention to detail, etc.
32. “Can you give me an example of… ?”
These questions will more often than not be based around the role competencies. Preparation and rehearsal are key to answering these effectively.
You will need two or three instances of how you may have: delivered change, managed conflict, improved performance, reduced absence, increased customer satisfaction, etc.
Also, you need to be able to clearly and concisely communicate the problem, solution and outcome.
33. “Can you give me an example of a time when you had to motivate and develop a team in a challenging work environment?”
During interviews, difficult or awkward questions could come your way. The intention is not to catch you out, but to test how you operate under pressure.
This question is (again) in the format of competency-based interviewing, so remember to outline the specific actions you took to motivate your team, as interviewers want to see evidence of hands-on experience.
Make sure to describe all processes undertaken. For example:
- Did you use incentives to motivate the team?
- Did you implement training programmes?
- Did you improve internal communications to help engage staff?
- Did you implement or revisit career development plans to make the team feel valued?
- Did you take the time to understand each individual’s motivations?
Be clear and precise and be sure to convey any previous first-hand experience you have – they will want to feel confident that you can handle similar issues within the new role.
34. “Give me an example of how you have dealt with an under-performing team member in the past.”
This question is a typical example of competency-based interviewing (CBI) in practice. It is the most popular interview approach, based on the premise that future performance can be predicted by past behaviour.
The best way to prepare for CBI questions is to revisit the job description and person specification before your interview. You should then ensure that you have covered all bases and can comfortably provide examples for each competency.
Also, you will ideally be able to describe the particular scenario, the actions you took and the impact it had on the business.
Approach this particular question by outlining the processes you followed to investigate and resolve this issue. It is also important to explain the outcome.
For example, you may have set an agenda of required actions following on from the meeting you held with the particular team member – can you describe what that was? If you created a performance plan that included clear training and development objectives make sure you say so.
Always finish by explaining how the action you took impacted the business. For example, the team member started to meet all targets and bring in more revenue.
35. Within the interview process you may be required to perform a role-play. A popular example of this is being asked to role-play an escalated call with an unhappy customer.
It is vital to have clear objectives before initiating conversation with the customer; what is your end goal? Ensure you are aware of the parameters, rules and regulations within the company.
For example; if the issue is over money, can you refund it? What else can you offer to pacify the customer?
It is important to remain calm, confident, be clear and always remember to ask questions. The interviewer is looking for a patient and composed response.
If you are still unsure about how best to approach role-plays contact your local recruitment consultant who should be able to offer you thorough advice.
For more advice on how you can best handle conversations with unhappy and angry customers, read our article: The Right Words and Phrases to use with an Angry Customer
36-38. “Please tell me about a situation where someone was performing badly in your team.”
“What was the situation?”
“How did you deal with it?”
“What was the outcome?”
A model answer to the above questions could look something like this:
As part of my regular team monitoring, I assess all advisors call quality in order to measure them against the relevant KPIs. When reviewing calls for one advisor, I noticed a trend where the advisor was quite abrupt with callers. I scheduled a meeting in private with that advisor, which I prepared for by reviewing supporting information (including their performance statistics for the month).
I adopted a supportive style as I raised my concerns with the individual regarding their approach with customers, and confirmed their awareness of the business expectations regarding excellent customer service. I sensitively discussed with them any reasons they felt they were unable to deliver this, and emphasised the balance which needed to be maintained between quality and quantity. I adopted a coaching style to enable the advisor to work through any barriers and identify solutions, agreed reasonable and tangible expectations for improvement, arranged appropriate support and scheduled weekly meetings to review their performance against these expectations. As a result, the advisor improved their performance and now consistently achieves all targets.
39. “Describe a situation in which you inspired trust and respect in your team.”
It’s important to think of and talk about a situation that’s relevant for the position you’re interviewing for. Ideally this will have had a positive outcome.
By doing this, you will help the interviewers to understand why you are a great fit for their team.
40. “Give an example of when you have been really stretched for a deadline, and how you made sure you completed your work on time.”
In asking this question, your potential employer is looking to see that you are prepared to go above and beyond the call of duty when the company needs you.
But you have to be careful when answering, as it is easy to fall into the trap of slagging off your current employer or seeming disorganised. Your interviewer does not want to hear how your current boss failed to provide you with resources or that you once pulled an all-nighter to meet a university deadline.
An ideal answer will centre round the busiest time of your company’s year (i.e. the Christmas rush in retail). In your example you should outline the reason for your stretched deadline and say what you did to ensure that you met it.
While working in retail over the Christmas period, there was dramatic increase in stock which needed processing. To ensure that I continued to complete my daily tasks over this time period, I frequently started work at 5am rather than 7am.
41. “Give an example of an occasion where you have given constructive criticism to a member of your peer group.”
No matter what level we operate at, we are all able to lend our experience of success to our peers – we just have to be careful not to patronise or undermine them in the process.
When answering this question, make sure that you give an example that is truly constructive and had a positive outcome. This will show your interviewer that you understand how to help improve your colleagues’ performance without hurting their feelings.
42. “Give an example of a time when things happened in work to dampen your enthusiasm. How did you motivate yourself and your team?”
This question is a test of character and is especially important if you are being interviewed for a management role.
An ideal answer will demonstrate that you are able to support your team, even when things don’t go according to plan.
Whilst I was working in a fast-food restaurant, an unexpected coachload of football supporters came through the door. What followed was a hectic half-hour as the few staff we had on struggled to serve the high influx of customers.
To motivate my team, I came out of the back office and signed onto a till in the middle of the counter. From that position, I could support my team either side of me with phrases like ‘you’re doing well, Kelly’ whilst helping to offset the work load.
When the rush was over, I congratulated everyone on their efforts and brought chocolates in for my team the next day.
Customer Service Know-How and Job Competency Interview Questions
These interview questions are about customer service specifically. So this category tests your suitability for the job, probing your customer service knowledge and judge your applicability for the role.
So, expect to be asked questions involving technical terms, your understanding of the organisation and your awareness of relevant job situations.
43. “What do you know about the centre/company/role?”
You are not required to be an expert on the organisation or role, but a genuine interest and basic understanding is expected.
If you are working with a recruitment consultant then they should be able to provide you with extra details and assist with preparation.
In addition, look for and use press releases, corporate and social websites. Ring the call centre to see how they handle your call: do they offer “up-sell”, “cross-sell”, how was the service?
Read the job description to prepare for this question, a few key facts or some knowledge show a genuine interest and commercial awareness.
44. “Discuss your current role and your reasons for applying to the organisation.”
Before your interview, you should have researched the company and seen a full job description. This information will be key to how you answer this question and show that you have made a considered application.
You need to try and align the experience gained from your current role to some of the challenges or responsibilities of the role you are applying for. Keep it to a few clear bullet points where you can.
Also think about where you are at your happiest or best. The role you are applying for may be in a new field or industry, but you may already have many of the transferable skills required.
You then need to be able to concisely explain what you can bring to the role and demonstrate how some of the skills you have (making passing reference to some of the experience you have just mentioned) would make you a good fit for this role.
45. “If successful in joining the organisation, what do you envisage your biggest challenge will be in joining it as a…?”
The answer to this really depends on the job/company you’re interviewing for. However, it’s a good idea to discuss your understanding of the company, processes, products, clients and the marketplace.
As a sales team leader, you’ll also be expected to deliver strong results against your personal sales and team targets.
With thanks to Capita’s Internal Recruitment Team
46. “How to deal with a difficult customer?”
Most customer service interviews will include the “How to deal with a difficult customer” interview question.
- “Can you give me an example of a particularly difficult customer you had to deal with and how you used your skills to successfully overcome the problem they had?”
- “Describe a time you had to deal with a difficult customer and how you handled the situation.”
Many interviewees freeze at this question, simply because they cannot think of an example, rather than the fact that they have never dealt with one.
So, have an answer prepared and make sure it is one where you resolved the issue, not one where you had to refer the customer to a higher authority (it’s amazing how many people do this).
What the interviewer is looking for are the skills you possess in handling difficult customers, not the intricate detail of the particular issue the customer had.
How to answer the “how to deal with a difficult customer” interview question.
In your pre-prepared interview answer, including any of the following pieces of advice is a good approach:
- I listened carefully to what the customer had to say.
- I apologised and empathised with their situation.
- I confirmed my understanding of their concern.
- I took responsibility to resolve the issue.
- I offered a solution (plus alternatives if possible).
- I confirmed the customer was happy with this.
- I thanked the customer for raising the issue with me.
- I took immediate action following the call to resolve the situation.
- I remained calm throughout the whole process.
- (If appropriate) the customer wrote in to my supervisor congratulating me on my efficiency.
This may seem like a very long answer. But by explaining the situation, without going into the minutia of the product or the complaint, your response need be no more than one minute or so.
Also, you will be able to impress your prospective employer by demonstrating that you already have the skills necessary to handle the most difficult calls.
To go into more depth in your response to this interview question, read our article: How to Deal With Difficult Customers
47. How to deal with an angry customer
There will often be a question about how to deal with an angry customer. Typical questions include:
- “Name a time you had to deal with an angry customer”
- “Describe a recent situation when you had to handle an angry guest or customer”.
There are two things that they are looking for here. The first is to see what your customer service skills are like. The second is to see if you lose your temper or if you can keep your cool.
It may help to answer that “the customer is always right” and that it is your duty to help customers out of a difficult situation. You can describe the steps where you helped to calm a customer down, show some understanding, empathy, patience etc.
Ideally use an example of where you were able to turn the customer around and then the customer was able to thank you for your effort.
For more insights into how to handle contacts from angry customers, read our article: Dealing with Angry Customers
48. “Describe how you have brought about business change through use of technology and process re-engineering, describing what particular techniques you have employed, e.g. 6 sigma, lean management, etc.”
What you need to show here is primarily an understanding of the particular project management methodology. For example, 6 sigma or lean management.
You should do this by giving an example of a project that went well, and show some of the challenges that you had to overcome along the way.
In particular, it would be useful to show examples of how you managed to get the team on your side and sharing the same vision for success.
If you have no experience of these types of methodologies, you should just give an example of a project that you worked on that went well.
49. “Please tell me about an occasion when you had to analyse a large amount of complex information which led to you identifying an improvement in service delivery or cost.”
Here your interviewer is testing your ability to analyse data. An ideal answer will clearly outline the problem you were faced with, the information you extracted from the data and the changes you subsequently made to improve.
- Problem: The appliance-delivery company I work for was getting consistently low ratings on its delivery service.
- Action: I looked at all of the online feedback forms and personally phoned customers who had rated our service 0.
- Findings: I found that the majority of our unhappy customers hated waiting in all day for their items to be delivered.
- Solution: I piloted a new system where the delivery driver phoned the customer an hour before their item was due to be delivered. This stopped our customers from having to hang around the house all day waiting for their delivery.
- Outcome: During the trial period, we saw a marked increase in our customer satisfaction ratings and the new system soon became standard practice.
50. “Please outline and describe your current targets and KPIs – How do you ensure you achieve these?”
Here your interviewer is checking that you are capable of working consistently towards your targets.
In an ideal answer you will outline what your current targets are, then follow this up with a discussion about how you break these targets down into weekly objectives to ensure that you are consistently working towards your annual goals.
We put together this extensive list of interview questions with the help of the following customer service and recruitment experts:
- Mark Lightburn, Artis Recruitment
- Michelle Ansell, Douglas Jackson
- Geoff Sims, Hays Contact Centres
- Clive Harris, Specialist Contact Centre Services
- Francesca Randle & Kirsty Ryan, Cactus Search
If you are preparing for an interview within the customer service space, the following articles also include some great advice which you may find helpful:
I always stumbled on the what is your biggest weakness. I hated that question when I was in interviews. I’m sure the interviewer saw the beads of sweat running down my forehead. On one occassion I actually said I can’t think of any and the interviewer said I need you to answer so I sat there for seemed an entire age trying to think of something my head went completely blank. Very embarrassing.
As easy as some of these questions may look, they can some time put you in embarrasing situation as you are least prepared to answer them…this article is great lesson in preparing for questions that may sound simple but difficult to answer when thrown at you in an interview…Thanks to all who contributed to this article.
Can the answers to the questions be more eloborated, keeping in mind that a call centre manager is going for an interview, what specifically he should answer so that its his day.
excellent source of information,But
Having become a raving fan of the Strength Finder system, I now have a range of answers to that tricky “what are your weakness” question and have no problem telling them the truth. My weaknesses are in areas that come no where near my working life (I’m a business analyst) e.g. sport, science, music. I do the job I do because my strengths work well in an office and in my career I avoid my weaknesses e.g. sport.
So before you get this question again, stop and think, what are you REALLY bad at that you NEVER do at work – that is probably your weakness cos not many people work in areas of their altimate weakness. You will get surprised reactions to this type of answer but it will be the truth.
Having become a raving fan of the Strength Finder system, I now have a range of answers to that tricky “what are your weakness” question and have no problem telling them the truth. My weaknesses are in areas that come no where near my working life (I’m a business analyst) e.g. sport, science, music. I do the job I do because my strengths work well in an office and in my career I avoid my weaknesses e.g. sport.
So before you get this question again, stop and think, what are you REALLY bad at that you NEVER do at work – that is probably your weakness cos not many people work in areas of their altimate weakness.
You may get surprised reactions from this type of answer but it will be the truth.
Information given is highly appreciative by me.
It makes me more aware/prepared for upcoming interviews.
I have learnt a lot from it and will not hesitate in passing on this info to colleagues.
The Question of strengths n weaknesses are mind boggling…It should be stated that whatever you are at is your strength, and whatever you have difficulties in handling is your weakness.(we should try to relate them to job in question)
Thanks for such valuable info!!
what have done in my team that everyone tried doing but couldnt and i eventually did it.
great article thanks very much.
Can you tell me about a time that you were able to solve a tough problem that you encountered with a customer without referring to your direct supervisor or manager?
Describe a situation when you have helped drive a business change as a result of customer research/analysis
Any one knew what type of questions would be asked to assess the candidates’ “Analytical Skills” and “Interactive communication skills”? Does not any one have clues. THanks
well done. great hint for job seekers
my question is ”how you would deal with different situations you are likely to encounter”? position : Senior Admin Assistant in a clinic
very usefull, im alot calmer about my interview now i have a general idea of what i’ll be asked, and obviously how i’ll answer them! thanks alot!!
Describe a time where you were presented with the challenge of working with or gaining information from a person with specific needs?
Very well explained questions, very helpful for job hunters. Great.
I m a fresher n it was being little difficult for me to think how to encounter questions in an interview but to my fortune it is a privilege to get answers so directly that i feel much more confident n optimistic for attending interviews now…i am really thankful to the whole team for giving such drastic answers to frequently asked questions which just seemed simple.This would really resolve one’s issue.
Questions on weaknesses and strength is mind blowing!it has actually helped me convert my weakness into strength..
I hope the team puts forward more answers to such questions which would help the applicants in mere future.
Hi thanks alot for this it will help in my interview in the morning i feel abit calmer now
VERY USEFUL QUESTIONS FOR AN INTERVIEWEE …..
These questions really don’t change a lot from postion to postion or company to company, either. 😉
These questions were really very helpful.
I love how u made everythng simple 4 me*smiling*hope I pass all my interviews now
thanks for that some questions . it helps me a lot 🙂
THIS DOCUMENT HELP ME LOT IN MY ACADEMY WAY OF LIFE
excellent im more confident.i have an interview today hope it comes in handy n finally get my dream job.
The “weaknes question” is the meanest. By now, every interviewer is already prepared for the standard answers like “i am perfectionist”.
Great guide anyway.
Please provide an example of when your determination or competitive spirit has been key to a successful outcome. Personal or professional examples are acceptable.
hi this questions really helps me how to answer the questions politely thanks a lot
Admirable article, I think words are not enough to say… you
Thanks a lot
This site is Awesome! Great to see the comments constructive feedback for the blog! It really works, if your committed. Head down! NAIL IT. Go hard eeryone. Thinking caps on and GO FOR IT. god bless me for my interview tomorrow now that I hae found this FORTUNE. Time to make it happen. THANKS ALOT MUCH APPRECIATIVE 🙂
Am soo lucky to come accross an info as this. I’m pretty much more confident to take on any interview. Lucky enough am preparing for one soonest. Thanks for enlightening me the more.
I´m very thankful with you guys, this is a priceless info.
Thanks for all the info.
I have a roll play as an insurance agent dealing with the difficult customer for my 2nd interview. Can you give me an idea to prepare for it. This is my second interview with AAA Club as a sales agent. Thanks in advance!
This is an excellent website and tool to use for hiring and for being a candidate.
Thank you a lot,
the Question provided here help me a lot to face my interview.
Thank you sooo much for this article! I have an interview as a customer service representative at HSBC and this helped a lot!
Great article. Gave me insight on why most lose it during interviews
I interviewed somebody once who told me his weakness was his flat feet lol
geat this helps soooo much keep it up
Questions and hints to the anwers are very helpful in relation to an interview next week. I believe it will help others.
For the question what is your strength and weakness? I think the best answer is th same i mean what’s your answer in strength is also your weakness…for me the best answer is FAMILY..
Thanks for this wonderful piece. its really informative.
Should help me a lot, thanks
very great article….!
gonna help me a lot..tnx
Brilliant, This will help me very much in my upcoming interview.
Thanks very much, even the comments taught me more
This is a great and helpful site. Thanks and more grease to your elbow
Excellent post – both for human resource managers and people looking for jobs!
A great foundation to build on or personalised answers.
The questions seem simple but need an ability to think stay focus and go Ace the interview
If you don’t have a degree, place that down as a weakness. Tell the interviewer that you always have to prove that you are capable of doing the work by trying to be the best, just like in your previous positions.
If you have a degree, tell them that employers may take this achievement as a shield and not focus on personal qualities. You have more than this ‘shield’ to offer to the company.
Am so happy to come across your article…..am sure i will be more confident in my upcoming interview.thank you.
I have passed my 2nd interview and ready for my 3rd with a telephone call for the following day, this has been alot of information I was seeking for..thankyou you have been very helpful with your tips..
very important & helpful
As a hiring authority, many of the questions are similar to what I ask. However, memorizing answers will get you nowhere when it comes to integrity, team chemistry and personality. I can see through most of the charades. Most skills can be taught, determination, drive and perseverance cannot. Always be honest and candid. It makes more of a difference than you may think.
Thanks for the information, really useful. Hoping to score that job
It was good. Hope ill get through my interview 🙂
Im about to undergo interview lst wik,but for some risons it was posponed.den suddenly,i saw this article..then realized dat im not yet ready for dat said interview.god is good.e evrythng hapens for a reason.finally i can say dt im confident enaf to undergo and pass to my interview.thanks a lot
Thanks for the advice and alerts
Great article, with a good insight into interviewers and the types / angle of questions you may get.
There are only so many question you can ask that are general and then specific to the role. You always get the weird questions within some interviewers I think its just to see how the candidate reacts…
[Part of post removed by moderator]
its very help for me of my further interviews. thanks alot
this is a very helpful information to interviewee….. thank you so much…
Very interesting and helpful information. Thanks alot.
really helpful i have only ever had meinual jobs and not had the confidence to go for any jobs I thought too above my station even though I know I could do them so I think this will help hey who knows I could be prime minister in a few years
Very useful. This has really helped me. Thank you
Amazing Help this is!
Haven’t even read through everything as of yet but thought it was worth commending first.
Thanks for this…
I got the job Thanks you
I think to be your self, scrbble nots down on paperwork, no tv no sounds a very quiet room. And say this, what is it i did my previous job each day and how i did it, what steps i took to do my job and when things got to some thing needing a repair or an upset customer its very easy the problem is the brain tends shut off when put on the hot plate, don,t let this cause to be blinded by it, its just how you human body reacts.
But instead see it through, good preperation and practice and practice and practice i usual go 4 – 5 days of just running through my answers, ok yes you are in effect talking to your self, but you practice at chatting talking more and more and more, the more you do the better you will get at it, the answers to these questions have been thought out of the answers an situations you have been in, when you look and think back, to your pre jobs all the answers are there, the phone call you recieved, the upset customer, the actions you took to put it right and reassure them, how delt with a time deadline ie what did you actually do to carry that out, was it in a team, did you have help, was there obstacle what did you do to get round them, how did you plan your repair, what tools did you need, was it scheduled or instant repair, put into words what you actually do in your job, from Am and Pm and will see it was all there for you to answer, just let you brain relax and do some deep thinking.
Just like im thinking right now to type this, that is some i did. Ie i used the internet to get this acroos ie the tool i used and used typing to convey the idea across to like minded people in this area of employment working with people ie in this comment page which is in affect the group of members in coming together to solve problem, ie your already actually answering what you know will be asked. Remember be strong smile have some fun with it, practice at controlling your breathing and do it each day, remember practice practice, wright it down, go online, research, and no matter how you feel spend several hours each before the big day, the more armed you are the better you will feel on the day, also you control your nerves not the other way round, breath relax, show them you know how to solve situations as that is one of the things they are observing, they are not there to embarres you, they are just trying to build up a picture, just be your self.
remember practice practice pracice, see the situation in your minds eye, open up your thoughts thats teh best way to approach it and trust your self more.
hope this helps guys.
go for it, be strong.
As a professional trainer of english job interviews and being an ex-head hunter I come across lots of advice. This article is one of the better ones and I really enjoyed reading it ad will be adopting some of your interview answers in my training material. Thanks and keep up the good work.
QUESTIONS ARE A LITTLE BIT HARD BUT THROUGH THIS YOU CAN HAVE AN IDEA ON HOW YOU HANDLED EVERYTHING DURING THE INTERVIEW.
Going to use these today 🙂 very good questions to ask.
Thanks for this wonderful piece. its really informative.
great help! thanks
thank you for the information this is very usefull and for thr future purpose.
Thanks a lot for wonderful info on how to tackle interview most useful i have come across keep it up well done to you all 5* rating info
Thankyou for the help
Exactly what I needed before going to my final interview tonight. Thanks for the insights!
With a huge number of people going for customer service posts in the call center industry, it should be important that they learn how to handle interview questions. I am part of a company that helps people get good jobs after taking a course with us and so these questions are definitely going to help in our training. Thank you for sharing these.
How do I answer a question like how do you rate your computer skills including keyboarding and data entry
It is best to be honest. For keyboard skills some idea of words per minute would be a good idea.
Thanks ! It will help me a lot
Great… It’s really help me out to clear my interviews…. Thank… 🙂
This is really helpful Thank you more than you can imagine 🙂
Thanks, useful information.
Really good.. helpful article with detailed answers..GOD BLESS YOU..
Thanks! Great Help!
thanks for giving such a good point of information.thank you for the help
This can help to those people who wants some more difficult questions .. anyway this is amazing, it helps me a lot !
very good questions thank you for the insight..it is thought provoking..
thanks for giving more good point of information.ones again thank you for the help
thank you soooo much….it is realy helpful
Why do you want to work here? When this question is asked, many interview candidates make the mistake of rambling how they aren’t getting growth in their current organization which is why they are making the switch.
You genuinely want passionate people to join your organization rather than someone seeking an escape route.
This is so very helpful and is going into my bookmarks.
really it was very help full to me………..thnx alot
Hope itwill help 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
By far one of the best websites about prepping yourself for an interview. Very detailed and positive. After bombing my last interview I’m surely ready for the next one! thumbs up for the people that took the time and process in developing this yay
realy good 🙂
Really well written article…
thank you so much for this article. this really gave me insights to be confident and be ready for my first ever job interview! whew…hope it will work out well. haha.
very useful information, at least I feel relieved
Going back into job search after redundancy eight months ago and undergoing an operation in the meantime, I thank you for this insight
SUCSESSFUL CANDIDATE OF CALL CENTURE,
1. CONFIDANT YOUR ABILITY TO ACHIVE.
3. BE SOCIAL
4.CONTROL YOUR FEELINGS TOWARDS PEOPLE
5.LOVE YOUR WORK.
6.TALK POSITIVELY TO THE CLIENT
i read whole and i m sure it will help me in future.
thank u so much …for this tips really good 😉
I have been read your 50 interview question for recruiting staff. Thats question maybe I am use to my new recruit staff for my company. I hope I will find the best staff for my company. Thanks for your helpful tips….
I am very grateful for this pathway which will smoothen my career history.God bless you mightily
Helpful tips, thank you so much
.i learn a lot for this article i hope i finally reach my dream work thank so much
This is really good. I have learnt a lot by simply skimming through ua interview guidelines.
These questions and reply are great ,thank you so much.
This article helped me understanding my interview answering clarity,, thanks