How to Answer Common Call Centre Interview Questions
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated 19 October 2022 | Published 29 September 2021
Updated 19 October 2022
Published 29 September 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Call centres offer assistance on behalf of companies to customers with questions, concerns or feedback about products or services. Interviewing for a call centre position is an opportunity to showcase your problem-solving skills and demonstrate your ability to build trust with customers. By preparing for call centre interview questions, you can feel more confident when answering them in your interview. In this article, we review common call centre interview questions, provide sample answers and explain how to formulate your responses.
Related: What does a call centre agent do?
How to answer common call centre interview questions
Consider following these steps when you're preparing to answer call centre interview questions:
1. Consider the interviewer's intentions
An interviewer's goal is to understand your behaviour and how you'd use your skills to succeed in the call centre role. Remember that their questions typically have a more profound meaning. Use this opportunity to present yourself as a highly qualified candidate. Take some time to think about what exactly the interviewer is expecting to learn from your answer in relation to your potential role in the call centre. Doing this can help you give your answers a better structure, and you may find it easier to link to your strengths to the responsibilities you'll have in the call centre.
2. Think about your body language
Sitting straight, maintaining passive eye contact and staying calm during your interview may help you position yourself as a self-aware, confident candidate who can easily overcome any challenges of the role. Remember that first impressions matter, and interviewers may pay attention to your body language from the moment you enter the room. If they see a smile on your face, they may see you as enthusiastic, approachable and passionate about the job. It's important to show these traits, as you'll need to have the same approach when speaking with customers and helping them with their queries and concerns.
3. Use the STAR response technique
Responding to the interviewer's questions using the STAR technique allows you to explain how you use your skills in real-life situations. It's a proven method for structuring answers to behavioural and competency-based questions. If you decide to use it, be sure to describe the situation, explain the task, share details about the actions you took and conclude the story by talking about the results of your actions. You could use figures and statistics in your favour, for example, by stating by what percentage you increased customer satisfaction with a product or service.
At the beginning of the meeting, you may expect to hear some general questions to start off the interview and make you feel more relaxed. Interviewers may ask these questions to get to know you better:
Why have you decided to work at this company?
How would you assess your communication skills?
Do you like working with people?
How do you define quality customer service?
What are your strengths?
Would you feel comfortable speaking on the phone for long periods of time?
Do you prefer working on one task at a time or multitasking?
Walk me through your CV.
If you could change one thing about your personality, what would it be?
Do you have any questions for us?
Questions about background and experience
An interviewer's primary goal is to learn what experience and skills you have that would make you suitable for a role at a call centre. Here are some common questions that they may ask during the interview:
Do you have previous experience working at a call centre?
How would you assess your customer service skills?
What CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools have you used in the past?
Tell me about a time you had to resolve a conflict with a customer or co-worker.
What skills are you interested in improving while working in this role?
What qualities should a perfect call centre employee have?
Why did you leave your last job?
What's your idea of a call centre?
Do you have typing and writing skills?
How do you handle negative client feedback?
Asking more in-depth questions about a call centre role allows interviewers to understand your thought patterns and assess your expertise in the field. Towards the end of the interview, you may expect to hear a combination of situational and behavioural questions like these:
How would you describe the role of a call centre representative?
How do you handle calls from dissatisfied customers?
What's the goal in every conversation with a customer?
Do you think you can easily adapt to talking for long hours?
Do you have experience working with multiple phone lines?
The computer system is down, and you've got customers on the phone. What would you do?
What's your approach towards cold calling?
How do you encourage customers to buy additional products or services?
What's more important, the quality of customer service or speed?
This role may require that you help train new employees. How would you approach call centre onboarding?
Common call centre questions with sample answers
Here are sample answers to some other call centre questions that you can use to prepare for your job interview:
Describe a complex issue you helped a customer resolve
Interviewers may ask this question to understand how you handle difficult situations and if you're ready to go above and beyond to help customers. Your approach towards resolving issues can significantly improve the company's reputation. In your answer, you can share a story from your past and describe a time when you helped a customer. Be sure to explain the situation and the issue, what steps you took and how the customer reacted.
Example: 'In my previous role, I worked as a technical support representative. My primary duties included helping customers set up modems at home by guiding them through the process on the phone. One time I received a call from a nervous customer whose connection was down, but they needed to attend an important meeting for work later that day. It was a serious issue that required changing the internal settings on the device.
I knew how to solve the problem, so instead of scheduling a technician's visit, I made the decision to explain the solution step-by-step. The call was longer than usual, but the customer was able to reconnect the device on their own. This made them really happy and they thanked me for my help. A few days later, my supervisor asked to talk to me, and it turned out that they even sent the company a thank-you note saying I saved the day.'
What steps do you take when speaking with a customer?
This question helps the interviewer understand your strategy for dealing with customers. Your response to this question also allows them to observe how comfortable you are working as a call centre representative and if you have relevant knowledge and experience in the field. In your answer, be sure to briefly go through the steps you take. You can also explain how your approach helps maintain the company's reputation.
Example: 'I always greet the customer, ask them about their day and introduce myself first. I choose to casually introduce the company, too, and explain why I'm calling. If it's the customer who's calling me, I make sure to listen to them carefully and, after that, I ask follow-up questions to make sure I understand their needs. Depending on the purpose of the conversation, I then proceed to help them resolve their issue or present the company's products or services.
One of the last steps that I take when speaking with customers is thanking them for their time and notifying them that the conversation will only take a few more moments. This also helps calm down nervous or rude customers. Lastly, I ask if they have any more questions and conclude the conversation.'
How would you handle a customer request or question that you didn't know the answer to?
Interviewers ask this question to see if you're prepared for the different kinds of situations that may occur in customer service. Your reaction and response tell them if you feel confident using your problem-solving and analytical skills to quickly find information or ask for help.
Example: 'I realise that such a situation might occur in this role. If this happened to me, I'd make sure to quickly come up with follow-up questions in hopes that the customer's responses may help me better understand their question. I'd also ask them to rephrase the question if they frame their original one in a confusing way. If that didn't help, I'd pick out what I know and try to help the customer as best I can. If I was still unable to fully address their needs, I'd ask a colleague for help answering the customer's question.'
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