Call center interviews are unique in the world of job interviews…
The hiring manager is looking for a specific skillset and candidate for the role, so if you haven’t prepared yourself for the interview in any way yet, now is the time to do so.
The following interview tips for call center jobs give a well-rounded understanding of what you should be focusing on before and during your interview.
If you’re serious about landing this role, then take this time to get prepared.
27+ Interview Tips For Call Center Jobs & Sample Questions/ Answers
Key interview tips for call center jobs
This article offers valuable tips, going into detail for before and during the interview, as well as offering key example answers you can use. Below is a short summary of some of the tips, though read the full article to get the most out of your interview.
1. Familiarize yourself with the initial job listing – especially the specific skills and qualities that were expressed in the posting.
2. Research the company and get to know it as best you can before the interview.
3. Be mindful of your tone of voice and body language during the interview.
4. Consider what the interviewer really wants to know about you – are you a positive person? Do you have strong communication skills?
5. Prepare answers to the most common call center interview questions (as detailed in the article with sample questions and answers).
In preparation: Interview tips for call center jobs
Take time to research and prepare for your interview so that you have more confidence walking into the meeting.
6. Read the job posting carefully.
Note the key skills that they are asking for. There will be call-taker skills specific to the role, so notice if there is anything on the list that looks unique so that you can be sure to reference it during the interview.
For example – if you are required to up-sell for this role, find a way to share that you are proficient in up-selling during the interview.
7. Research the company that you are applying for.
You’ll be given the training you need when you get the job, though it’s vital for you to know as much as you can about the business and their services before you step into the interview.
Call center representatives are the front-end of a company, and people will no doubt be asking you many questions daily, so start learning about the company as soon as you can.
8. Rehearse the interview.
Find a trusted friend or family member to run through a mock interview so that you get a chance to practice answering questions. Take on their feedback if they notice something that you might not have been aware of (like your body language, or the tone of your voice).
9. Prepare answers to common questions.
If you aren’t sure the general questions you’ll likely be asked during the interview, we’ve included a section at the end of the article which gives example questions and answers for you to refer to.
10. Do some social research.
Ask friends, family, coworkers – anyone you can – about their own experiences with customer service calls from different companies.
This ‘social research’ will help to get a well-rounded view of what qualities the best call center employees have and what doesn’t work well in this role. You can then take this information into the interview to remember when you are speaking about your own personal qualities and strengths as a worker.
During the interview: Best practices
The following interview tips for call center jobs are specific to the actual interview process. These are essential to be mindful of on the interview day so that you can be sure that you’re making the best impression you can.
11. Get there early.
Arrive at least 15 minutes before the scheduled interview time. When you arrive this early, it is considered ‘on time’ in the professional world. Any later, and you will not come across as respectful and serious about the role. So remember, less than 15 minutes early is ‘late.’
12. Remember your preparation.
From the preparation that you’ve already done, you can now find ways to reference this information. Speak about the company and what you already know, reference any achievements the company has had, speak about the qualities that you learned were desirable in call center workers.
Researching is a waste if you don’t actively put the info out into the conversation. Show what you know!
13. Be mindful of your body language and tone.
Know that the way you answer is almost as important as the answers themselves. Are you speaking clearly and loud enough? Do you sound friendly and positive? Are you using hand gestures and are you sitting in an open way (not crossing your arms)?
14. Use specific examples.
If this isn’t your first call center job, then it will be valuable for you to reference specific scenarios in your past job when you answer questions.
Don’t just say ‘I handle difficult customers well’, instead speak about a time where you had a difficult call and how you handled it for that specific scenario. If it’s your first call center job, then use examples from your schooling or everyday life.
15. Breathe and take your time.
Have patience with yourself to think through answers. Take space between the questions and giving your answer. It’s far better than rushing through and then ‘umming’ and ‘ahhing’ when you feel stumped at an answer that you need to think about. Silence is ok; it shows your thoughtfulness and ability to be confident in yourself in this patience.
What the hiring manager is really looking for: Interview tips for call center jobs
When you can understand what the hiring manager is really looking for in a prospective call center employee, you can tailor your answers to fit this image. So below are some key things that the hiring manager will be observing.
16. Key call center skills.
Beyond up-selling and callback, they might also be looking for your knowledge of key customer service tools like Assisty, UserVoice and Zoho Support, for example.
They want to see that you are confident in yourself so that they can have confidence in your to be outspoken and clear in your calls.
18. Strong communication skills.
Since you’re communicating verbally in your everyday role, the way in which you communicate during the interview will be telling for the interviewer to see how your communication skills are. Be clear, speak loud enough, use direct language, be respectful, and sound interested.
This goes for all roles in all industries. Employers want to trust their employee’s word, so being honest in the interview means telling the truth in your answers. If you don’t know something, then say this. They will like you to give an honest answer.
20. Calm and collected energy.
Keeping calm and composed in the face of difficult customers is an essential call center skill. So show your calm and collected energy in the interview by speaking slowly and (as mentioned above) allowing time and silence to be there when you are formulating your answer.
Positive and happy people are more likable. If the interviewer likes you, chances are you’ll have more customers also get this positive vibe. The hiring manager will be looking for friendly candidates.
Common questions and sample answers: Interview tips for call center jobs
There’s a good chance that you’ll be asked some of these questions below in your interview. Here are some possible ways that you can answer the following call center interview questions.
22. Question: ‘Why are you interested to work in a call center?’
Answer: ‘I’ve always loved communicating with people, and I know my strength is my verbal communication, so it makes sense to me to put my interest and key personality quality into the professional world, making this my job.’
23. Question: ‘What are the key qualities of a great customer service representative?’
Answer: ‘Listening is key, as there is nothing worse than a customer feeling ‘brushed off’ and not heard. Also, patience to take time to understand their needs, and also objectiveness to not take things personally, especially when dealing with difficult customers that will come up often.’
24. Question: ‘How do you deal with unreasonable/difficult customers?’
Answer: ‘I first listen and repeat back their question/comment so that they feel understood, then I let them know I will do what I can. Overall, I stay neutral and not take their aggression or complaints personally, which helps me stay calm.’
25. Question: ‘What are your main strengths as a call center employee?’
Answer: ‘I would say my positive energy. I’ve always been called an optimistic person, and I find that it is well received on calls as I feel like this energy can brighten someone’s day.’
26. Question: ‘Do you have experience handling multiple calls at the same time?’
Answer: ‘Yes, I’ve used hold many times in a way where customers aren’t left waiting long, and my memory is very strong to keep the thread of each call clear and not get confused between customers.’
27. Question: ‘What is your favorite part of being a call center employee?’
Answer: ‘I honestly love talking to people. I find it dynamic and interesting to be able to speak to many different people each day. Also, being able to solve problems for others is very gratifying.’
If you are looking to make the most out of your next telemarketing job, don’t forget to check out my post on the best online sales training courses that you can take for free. These classes will help you to sell more and be an effective salesperson.