Can You Answer These Call Centre Interview Questions?
A call centre job is one kind of a BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) job wherein companies outsource the call-based service operations to a call centre. The work can be outsourced to a call centre within the country or overseas. More specifically, there are inbound call centres and outbound call centres; the former only receive calls from customers (such as customer support services) and the latter make calls to customers (such as telemarketing services). Outsourcing the work to a call centre helps the company save time and money.
Call centre jobs are oriented to sales and customer service. As a call centre employee, you must be able to do business with people over the phone. Communicating clearly and effectively is one of the foremost perquisites of this job. If you enjoy talking to people over the phone, then a call centre job is something that you might love!
Call centre jobs are in great demand because they pay well, they don’t require any specific qualifications, and the industry is a fast-growing one with opportunities for career growth.
When interviewing for a call centre job, you will be asked some typical interview questions, and some questions that are specifically tailored to a call centre job. Apart from preparing your answers to the standard job interview questions, here are some typical call centre interview questions and our suggested answers for the same.
1. What do you know about a call centre job?
When asked this question, it is best to provide an overview of a call centre to the interviewer. A call centre job is a BPO industry job that is oriented towards customer service over the phone. Here, you could also talk about the two kinds of call centres- inbound and outbound. Depending on whether this is an inbound or outbound call centre, you could talk more about the sales, telemarketing or customer service operations.
2. Why do you want to work at a call centre?
Interviewers are likely to ask you this question. There are many better jobs available in the market, and recruiters may sometimes think that you are overqualified for a call centre job. In such a situation, you must highlight the key advantages of taking up a call centre job. For one, a call centre job enhances one’s communication skills, language skills and, hence, personality skills. Moreover, the BPO industry is a rapidly growing one. The salary and lifestyle provided by a call centre job is a covetable one. And, if you enjoy talking to people over the phone and have the skills required for such a job, it is perhaps the best one there is for you.
3. What are some of your skills that will make you a good hire?
A call centre job requires you to have at least two kinds of skills: communication skills and basic computer skills (typing skills, basic Internet skills). You should be able to communicate with others (especially over the phone) clearly, confidently and effectively. Your command over at least one language (English or Hindi) should be good. Additionally, you should be familiar with basic computer software and the Internet. Make sure to highlight these skills when answering this question. If you are applying for a sales job, then you must also be able to demonstrate your sales skills to the recruiters.
4. Why should we hire you for our company?
Apart from emphasising the skills that make you a good hire for a call centre, for this answer, talk more specifically about how you can benefit the company. The one way to do that is to do some research about the company, its goal, its clients and its key issues before the interview. This will allow you to present the interviewers with certain innovative ideas or strategies on how you will work to benefit the company and meet its goals.
5. Are you comfortable handling customers on the phone?
Even if you are a little unsure of your ability to handle customers on the phone, you must say yes. You must also cite some examples (from your previous job or everyday life) that will exhibit your patience when talking to customers/people. On the job, you should be ready to repeat things for the customers, spell things out, explain processes at length, etc. Moreover, you should be ready to spend a large part of your shift connecting with people over the phone. Do convey all these points to your interviewer.
6. Are you comfortable working night shifts?
Quite often, call centres operate at nighttime, depending on the country from the where the work has been outsourced. Therefore, to open up your chances of being hired by a call centre, you must be open to working night shifts.
For Experienced Candidates:
1. What is your idea of good customer service?
For this answer, you must state the key features of good customer service. Good customer service is all about understanding the needs and problems of the customer from his/her perspective. Doing so entails attentive and patient listening, careful noting down of the customer’s needs/problems, and offering the best possible service for the same. You must also emphasise that good customer service is the very basis of a successful enterprise.
2. What according to you makes a call centre successful?
A call centre handles a large number of incoming/outgoing calls on a daily basis. A successful call centre is marked by the happiness and satisfaction of not just the customer but also of the employee. Clear communication, successful handling of calls, a good relationship between managers and co-workers, incentives for employees, motivation to work, etc. are some of the key features of a successful call centre.
3. How will you handle an angry or abusive customer?
The most important thing in such a situation would be to remain patient and ensure that you don’t lose your cool. Under no circumstances should you argue with the customer. Instead, allow the customer to vent his/her complaint. In case the customer uses abusive language, you should request him/her to continue without using profanities. Listen to the complaints carefully and make a note of the same. Next, work on finding a solution that is in keeping with company’s policy and addresses the customer’s complaint. Once you confirm that the problem has been solved, reach the customer and ensure that he/she is satisfied. Remember that, ultimately, your goal is to ensure customer satisfaction. Do state all the aforementioned points during the interview.
4. What are some of the top BPO companies?
Interviewers will often ask you this question to gauge your knowledge of the BPO industry. It is important that you do your bit of research on the industry (as well as on the company and the role that you are applying for) before the interview. This will give you a good idea of some other prominent BPO companies in the industry.
5. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
Recruiters want to know why you are applying for the job—whether you want this job only until you find something better and more promising, or that you want to build your career in this industry. It is best to say that you hope to build you career with the company and in the given industry, and that you aspire to grow as a professional in the field.
Call centre jobs can be tedious and sometimes exhausting. Spending long hours on the phone and attempting to connect and communicate with a large number of people can take a toll on anyone. With multiple phone lines to attend to, the call centre often has a high-pressure environment. However, timely breaks, patience and an efficient style of working can simplify the task at hand. If you are asked how you will work efficiently in such an environment, do talk about your ability to multitask, stay organised and prioritise workload (preferably with examples from previous jobs).
During a call centre job interview, you must ensure that you exhibit all the skills that recruiters look for in the ideal employee. Make sure to communicate your answers clearly and confidently, while remaining calm and patient. How you handle the interview is always a good indicator of how will handle your customers on the job!
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