Do you need help with your interview?
I have been working as a call center agent for years now and I encountered a lot of call center interview questions. Some of them are common while some are just those that stuck with me.
Here are some interview questions in call centers and what they really mean. I also included some tips in answering call center interview questions:
- Tell me something about yourself
The main reason for an interview is for the company to know you better. However, this does not mean that you can tell them every little thing about yourself.
This question wants to know something about you that is not already found in your resume. Say something interesting about yourself that will make the interviewer remember you.
You may start with your current employment situation or whatever it is that occupies you now, then connect it to your previous experiences like what you have learned and developed that is relevant to the job that you are applying for. Then talk about your future with the company and why you chose them.
Keep your answer short but be sure to focus on the skills and strengths you have that is relevant to the company.
Tip: If you have a hard time talking this early on, try jotting notes on a piece of paper. Write bullets but not write full sentences so it does not sound too rehearsed. Use the bullets as a guide and practice talking about yourself in the mirror.
- What makes you qualified for this job?
Being called for an interview means you are already shortlisted for the job. You are probably qualified from what they see on your resume.
So why ask such question? Well, if you look at the waiting area, there are several of you who are qualified. The HR wants to see what makes you a better choice. So your job is to let them know exactly why they should choose you instead of the other applicants.
Tip: Think about what makes you qualified for the position you are applying for. Is it your educational background and/or experience? Do you have a special skill or talent that you can use for the job? Explain why this makes you qualified for the post.
- What are your long term and short term goal?
Nope, the HR does not want to know your travel plans or when you want to get married. This question wants to know what you plan to be in the future as a professional – do you plan to be a manager? Do you see yourself in the same company say in 5 years?
Call Centers in the Philippines are looking to hire employees who can stay longer and contribute more to the company. They would rather hire loyal employees who consistently deliver than rock stars who disappear after a bonus.
Tip:Visualize what you want to be in six months – maybe become a regular employee and then in 5 to ten years or more? What could you do or be to be more a productive or important employee in the company you are applying for.
- Most significant achievement
During an interview, you should be able to show your best self to the person interviewing you. The idea is to “sell” yourself as the best future employee for the company.
When asked about your most significant achievement, this is your chance to brag a little. However, do think of an achievement that really matters like a professional achievement. If you were employed before, were you given an award for customer service in a call center? Were you recognized as a best agent?
For those who just graduated, think of school recognition, academic honors and extracurricular awards that you received.
Do not worry if you are not an achiever. You can talk about other activities you do or memberships in organizations that you think can highlight a quality you have that you can bring to the job.
Tip: Whether you have multiple awards or none, you need to think of one most significant and then think of reasons why this is a significant achievement for you personally and in effect how can it affect you as a professional.
- Strengths and weaknesses?
Yes, the point of the interview is to “sell” yourself. So how do you answer this question?
I suggest you choose one strength and one weakness. For the strength, it seems easy to think of one and sell yourself with it, right? Usually it is, but do not overdo it. The last thing you want the interviewer to feel about you is that you are too full of yourself.
It is the same for weaknesses. When asked about one, don’t blurt the first thing that comes to mind. You have to consciously find one negative behavior or habits and then explain how you are working towards making yourself better. Give concrete examples of steps you have taken. Use this opportunity to demonstrate that you are aware of shortcomings you may have and that you have the discipline and determination to make yourself better.
Tip: Think about your strength and weakness before the interview day. Make sure they do not contradict each other.
- Why should we hire you?
It would be nice to blurt out “why not?” right? But when answering this question, do not be too arrogant nor too weak. The interviewer simply wants you to show them that you know about the position and that you know exactly what they are looking for. You also need to show in your answer that you are the best qualified person for the job.
Tip: Learn more about the company you are applying for, the campaign and your position. Search the internet about what is expected of the position, what are the roles and responsibilities. Think how you can relate your past experiences and skills to as many points as you can.
- How do you explain a color to a blind person?
This question might surprise you a little and put you off guard. That is exactly what some HR personnel wants to do, because the call center industry nothing is predictable. You can receive a number of calls a day and you may encounter impossible clients. In these situations, you have to remain calm and keep your thoughts together.
So, how do you explain a color to someone who can’t see? Think about it, they can’t see but they can smell, taste, feel and hear, right? Example, you need to explain white, then describe how a cotton feels – soft, light and fluffy.
Tip: There may be other similar questions during the interview, if you encounter one remember to stay cool, think and give your best smartest answer.
- Why do you want to work in a call center?
Philippine Call Centers would rather hear a thought out and straightforward answer to this. It can be anything from being practical salary wise, the benefits or that you want a corporate position in the future.
Tip: Read about Call Centers in the Philippines. What kind of campaigns are here and what kind of culture it brings to the agents and to the city.
- Why do you want to work in this company?
This is your chance to show that you actually know about the company. Employees who learn about their company tend to be more loyal than those who just clock in and out.
With that line of thought, of course it would also make a difference if a job seeker actually wants to work for a company rather than simply because there was a job opening.
Tip: These days, it is easier to learn more about a company through websites, social media and even in forums.
- Why did you leave your last position?
For those with previous experience, this question simply wants to know if you are a call center hopper or if there is a valid reason for your resignation.
If there is a reason, you can share it during the interview but refrain from bad mouthing your previous company. No matter how negative your experience is, bad mouthing is not a professional thing to do.
Tip: If your experience from your previous job is not good, prepare yourself beforehand. If you must, list words that you can use to describe your previous company to avoid using emotional or negative connotations.
- How will your boss and/or professors describe you?
HR personnel usually asks for reference persons. These are important people who can vouch for you like your professors, supervisors, team leaders etc. To answer this question you can do one of three things:
- Quote a direct reference – if you happen to have a recommendation letter from one.
- Share a story you have in the workplace that makes one of your values shine. Use this time to share something about yourself that you think will benefit the company you are applying for.
- If you find it hard to tell a story, think of three positive traits about you and give a short explanation for each.
Tip: If you are carrying important documents, bring a clean folder or envelope with you so that the documents are still presentable.
- How do you handle stress?
Call centers in the Philippines have a fast paced environment. When asked this question, you should be able to show them that you recognize what stresses you and its effects on you and other people. Most importantly, you should be able to show that you know how to handle stressful situations.
Tip: Think of a situation when you were able to handle stress well. Remember what you did and give a short explanation.
- What is your superpower?
I’ve only been asked this question once and at that time I felt that the interviewer was just being silly.
No, you are not being asked about your favorite Avenger (or Justice League). This interview question in a call center is trying to gauge what you think about having more power or how you would handle responsibility. They would like to see how if you can be trusted a higher position like a team lead in the future.
Whether you choose to have super speed or super strength, your answer will reveal what you think about being more powerful, how you’ll use it and why.
So, be careful of your answer and make sure to explain and give an example. Remember, “with great power comes great responsibility.”
Tip: Think about your priorities in life first and then think of a superpower that you think can help you achieve them.
- Do you have any questions for me?
This is usually the final question. Use this time to show that you are interested about the company. You may ask, for example, if they regularly have internal promotions.
Do not be shy to ask relevant questions. When done right, this can show that you are not just here for the monthly income but that you are willing to invest in the company.
Tip: Again, learn about the company you are applying to and learn about the industry. Even if it is your first job, you don’t need to go to an interview without knowing anything.
Call Center interview questions are a way for the company to get to know their perspective employees. Understandably, they want to get the best applicant, so always put your best behavior forward.
As an applicant for a call center job position, it is important that you can speak and understand English well. During your interview, always remember:
- Normal speech rate. Nervousness might make you speak too fast. Keep calm, it’s just an interview. Speak as you would normally do – not too fast, not too slow.
- Clear sentences. When you answer a question, always answer in clear, complete sentence. Do not just nod or mumble, this may translate as lack of confidence.
- Give an example. Try to expound your answer with an example. Aside from explaining your point better, giving an example, shows off how well you can carry a conversation in English.
- Smile and be presentable. During the interview, it will help if you are properly dressed and well-groomed. A smile will also go a long way. A personable character usually receives favorable response.
There is no reason to be intimidated if you are well prepared. We hope this article will help you ace your interview. Good luck!