Since the rise of the BPO industry here in our country, call centers provided jobs for a lot of Filipinos. Until now, a good percentage of Filipinos still yearn for a call center job. Many people belittle and look at this career in a negative way. What they don’t know is this job requires more than just English skills.
Currently, more than half of the youngsters are looking for a job in the industry. Why? Because the industry pays well, the schedules are different so you won’t succumb yourself in traffic, and there are a lot of good-looking people as well.
In any job application, the interview is one of the things you need to think about because this is where they gauge your ability to converse. Call center interviews pretty much have the same format. They may not entirely have the same questions but their way of asking it is almost the same. Why do you think this is so? Well, they want to know how you can express yourself spontaneously. In addition to that, they also like to see how you answer questions. Your job is to pick up the phone and carry the situation smoothly.
So let me give you the common call center interview questions, what they mean, and how you should answer them.
Question 1: Tell me something about yourself
Now this question is not common in call centers; this question is asked in almost all interviews. You would think that this question is easy, right? Usually, this question is where most people make a mistake. How you answer it will set the path of the rest of the interview. With this question, interviewers would get like a summary or a hint if you are a good candidate or not.
In a call center, answering this question correctly can give you the upper hand. This would let them gauge how your storytelling is. In answering this question, you should NOT say things found in your resume. You need to give them interesting things like your hobbies, what you were before, what you like doing, etc. Make them hooked by narrating what you like to do during your spare time.
Question 2: Why do you want to work in a call center?
This is a question that recruiters ask applicants who have little to no experience in a call center. Of course, they want to ensure that the applicants are well-versed of the industry and that they know very well what to do in the field. Do not say things like “Because you need to help your parents,” or “you need extra TEMPORARY money for school,” you know, things that would make your application fail. The interviewer would want to hear that you are not just in for the money; that you are not applying for a temporary post. Make them feel like you really are interested in the business/industry. If you are a graduate, try and link your degree to the call center industry.
When you answer this, you need to be prepared for additional questions. Make them feel that you are purposely giving a few years of your time for the call center and your application, I can guarantee is a success.
Question 3: What is your idea of a call center?
Imagine hiring a person who have no idea of what they are about to get themselves into. This question gauges applicants’ expectation of a contact center. Applicants need to give their best ideas and expectations; describe the flow of work you are expecting, the general expectations of a job in the industry.
So how do you answer this question? In a call center, there’s what we refer to as account types. These types would dictate what nature of work you are getting. if it’s a normal call center, customer service, describe the care you are willing to put into the work. If it’s a sales account, selling; if it’s a technical account, instructing callers and being patient, etc. Take note that this question will be asked to applicants who have no contact center experience.
Question 4: What makes you qualified to work in a call center?
This question is asked for you to enumerate what you think your strengths and weaknesses are. This question can be in line with the next question. Why do you think they ask this question? Well, they would want to know how you want to improve in the skills that requires more practice and training. Also, they would want to know your strengths. They can also gauge your ability to construct descriptive sentences. Thus, making it hit two birds with one stone.
Question 5: What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Firstly, answering this question doesn’t need any guide or cheat; it’s pretty self- explanatory. Another thing is that you need to incorporate as much relevant skills you can (even though you are not really that skillful). In this question, you don’t tell about your strengths literally. Like how much you can life or how many hotdogs you can eat. You would want to enumerate your skills needed at a call center. Be sure to mention the following skills for a guaranteed booster:
- Good communication skills
- Flexibility in schedule
- Active/good listening skills
- Adaptability to working schedule
- Proficiency in MS Office programs
- Excellent multi-tasking skills
Even if you do not have all these skills, two to three of these can give you an advantage because that’s what almost all contact centers are looking for.
For your weaknesses, you don’t want to say as much because these might negate all of the strengths you’ve mentioned. Furthermore, the interviewer might suspect that you are not telling the truth. Examples of weaknesses that do not hold too much negativity are:
- Too friendly
- Easily attached
Question 6: What do you know about this company?
Like the first question, this does not only apply to call centers as most companies would want the reason how you found out about them. Your answer here can be a plain one – it doesn’t need to be a Shakespearean verse. Although it is not necessary to know the roots of the company, who founded it, etc., it is essential that you mention little relevant information you know about the company. All you need to do is to let the interviewer know that you spent time to learn about the company even a little bit.
Question 7: Why do you want to work for our company?
In addition to the above, of course, recruiters would know the reason behind you wanting to work for the company. The way of answering this is simple: just state the positive attributes of the company that you know. You can also tell them that you think working for the company is a challenge; you just need to make sure that you back that up.
Question 8: What has been your most significant achievement?
This question likes to look at how you see yourself positively. What you can do is to tell them achievements that are connected to the post you are applying to. Most people who would apply to call centers are people that are young with little to no experience. Having that said, you cannot expect to have job experiences that much.
Tickle your brain and think of all the achievements; make a link to what your post will be.
Question 9: What is your idea of quality customer service?
This question is simply for the recruiter/interviewer to know your perspective on good to excellent customer service. Why? Because how you think it is would enable you to do that level. To answer this question, you can say that good customer service is always doing the extra mile for the customer; going out of your way for the customer.
The questions above are part of the more common questions asked in a call center job interview. I did not give some answers because all of us and all situations are different; what I gave you are key tips on how to answer these questions.
Why is it better that I only gave tips and not direct answers?
Well, as mechanics say, “It’s easier to fix a car where the problem is very evident. On the other hand, if it’s a hidden problem, you have to find the true root of the problem first before you can fix it.” The point is, if I gave you straightforward answers, it can mix up with your idea. The tendency is that you might get confused or lost. It’s better if you start on a clean slate; I just gave you key tips you can start from.
Working in a call center is more than just being a good English speaker. It requires a lot of effort, sacrifice, and understanding to survive the nasty but fun call center experience.