There is a lot of competition for call centre jobs since they offer convenient hours and a safe, comfortable environment which suits many people. It can be a casual, short term job for some or a longer term career for others who choose to start at entry level and work their way up to team leader, group leader etc…
The qualifications and experience you will need will vary according to the job but as a general rule you will need to have the following 5 key areas covered:
- Solid typing/keyboard skills
- General computer and software knowledge
- Call centre technology knowledge
- Numeric, oral and written language skills
- Customer relationship experience
Call Centre Interview Questions – Background, Qualifications & Experience:
Why do you want to work in a call centre?
Try not to focus on things that make you look like a short term employee e.g. flexible hours etc… Positive answers can include the fact that you enjoy the fast pace of call centre work, that you like to keep busy and a love of communicating with lots of different people. You can also mention the positive team atmosphere and that you like helping people solve their problems.
What do you like about working in a call centre?
Focus on factors that are typical of the call centre environment. These can include the fast pace environment, working as part of a team, helping customers, learning new skills as products and services constantly update and change and improving your communication and persuasive argument skills.
What have you found the most challenging aspects of working in a call center? How have you handled these challenges?
This is about ‘what is hard’ not what you don’t like. Focus on things like dealing with angry and aggressive customers, excessive client expectations, the pressure of meeting performance targets and maintaining an enthusiastic and positive attitude over long shifts.
What do you consider the key criteria for a successful call center?
Your answer here should focus on results. Talk about things like delivering on customer needs including reliability, consistent performance and responsiveness. Discuss the need for accountable metrics such as response times and resolution rates. Talk about the importance of broad knowledgeable amongst all staff as well as professional and accurate responses.
What do you know about our company?
Make sure you thoroughly research the company before the interview. Look at their website, social assets, speak to current or past employees and learn everything you can about who they are and how they operate. See our blog post on How to Thoroughly Research Any Company.
How do you deal with angry or aggressive customers?
Make sure you explain that you understand and accept that this is part of the call centre function and you are comfortable dealing with it. Focus on your strategy. Mention that you always allows the customer to vent their anger. If they are abusive, you assure them you’re willing to listen, but only if they stop using profanities. Next, you hear what they have to say and note down all key points. Then you re-state the main points so both of you are clear about the situation. Once this is done you find a solution that fits within your company’s policies and helps the customer with their issue. Finally you confirm with the customer that their problem has been addressed and that they are satisfied with the solution. This shows you have a stable plan to deal with any aggressive behaviour.
Are you comfortable working with multiple phone lines?
If you are comfortable then answer honestly and explain that this has been part of your past training and experience. Mention your multi-tasking skills as part of your answer.
How do you work in a high pressure environment?
Your answer should focus on the skills you have developed. Mention that you are highly organized, and always prioritize tasks to ensure all key deadlines are met with excellent accuracy. Highlight that you always allow some time to deal with unforeseen urgent tasks that might arise.
What is your average typing speed?
Make sure you provide an accurate answer. It is important to show that you can be specific and prepared. You will look sloppy and unprepared if you answer that you don’t know.
You can also expect some very specific questions about your past work experience results. You should prepare answers to the following questions based on your own performance with either inbound or outbound calls.
Call Centre Interview Questions – Inbound Call Centre Agents
- What computer software applications are you familiar with?
- What call center training have you received ?
- What shifts/schedules have you worked?
- What was the size of the customer database you worked with in your previous role?
- How many calls did you take per hour on average?
- What was the average length of each call?
- What is your average first call resolution rate?