Call Center Interview Tips for Beginners
When applying in the BPO industry, the interviews are usually one of the first screening process you have to pass to have a chance of getting hired. You have to handle the interviews well and impress your interviewer to have a bigger chance of proceeding to the next level of the screening process. For someone new to the BPO industry you will not be made to answer very specific and technical questions. They will most likely gauge you on your current skills and capabilities. I still recommend doing a little research on the call center industry and the company you are applying for. It is best to come in prepared.
First we must understand that the Interviewers are looking for certain competencies or traits that would tell them that you have the potential to be able to work and succeed in the call center industry. There are lots of things we can discuss, but I decided to bunch all these things and summarize it in a nutshell so it’s easier to digest.
One should be able to converse using the English Language, if not fluently, at least, he/she should be able to handle a conversation. You should be able to understand the questions given to you and give targeted answers. It is highly recommended that your answers be straightforward and that you avoid beating around the bush. The interviewers will measure and test your Listening Skills, Comprehension, and Logical Thinking by carefully paying attention to your answers. They will also be particular of your diction, grammar and pronunciation. They don’t expect you to be perfect on these things, but at least you minimize your errors, the less mistakes you commit, the better. When answering a question you have to make sure you answer it right away. It is okay to pause for a couple of seconds to gather your thoughts, it has to be quick, and then proceed in answering confidently and smoothly. If the question was not clear to you, you can ask the interviewer to repeat the question but as much as possible avoid it.
Being in the BPO industry, especially in a Call Center setting that supports American customers, the likelihood of you working on graveyard shifts is high. You have to assure the interviewer that you will welcome this change and that you will do everything necessary to adjust and cope with this new environment. You can also cite previous experiences wherein you had a similar experience dealing with the night shift. You should come into the interviews with this mindset. This will give you a higher chance of passing the interviews.
In any work environment, you should be able to work and coexist with your co employees. You have to show a positive attitude to the interviewer. In the BPO industry you will have a lot of interaction with your customers, co workers and superiors. Each with different and unique personalities. You should try your best to be able to adjust/adapt and avoid being emotional. You should treat everyone, especially your callers, with utmost respect and professionalism. The willingness to learn is also essential for a newbie. Most interviewers like to hear from positive and optimistic applicants. It will be hard for the interviewers to pass someone who just aired his grievances with his previous employer or is just complaining all the time.
If you pass the screening process, you will be sent to training. It is there you learn all the things you need to know about your job. If you don’t pay much attention, you will have a hard time come the time you take in calls. Worst, you might not make it past the training classes and you will be terminated. You will have a hard time understanding what your customer is talking about and you will have difficulties in resolving their issues or addressing their concerns. The interviewers will look to hire people who can easily be trained and are willing learners. You need to make sure you exhibit these qualities for you to land the job. Convince your interviewers that you have a good learning attitude.
Here are common questions that Interviewers usually ask new applicants.
1.) Tell me about yourself.
You don’t have to complicate this. You can express your individuality, your hobbies, likes, wants and dreams. What is truly important though is that you highlight the qualities that will entice your interviewers to hire you. A good example will be “I possess a good learning and listening attitude. I want to continue learning and enhance my skills for me to be effective in the things I do…” or “I am a competitive person, I only strive to be the best, and I will do everything in my power to achieve this…”. However, you need to make sure that you can relate to what your saying, it would be better if you truly meant what you said. So say things that really apply to your personality. Sell yourself, but don’t overdo it to the point that when the interviewer asks you follow up questions, you will be caught in a limbo and you won’t be able to give good answers or specific details.
2.) Why are you applying in the call center industry?
A lot of times, people who don’t land jobs in their respective fields apply as sort of a last resort, and are ashamed to admit it. You don’t have to hide this thinking this might affect your application. Call Center Interviewers are smart enough to know that this is a reality. They won’t take it against you. You just need to make sure you give your interviewers a sense of security, in which I mean, don’t give them ideas that you might be leaving soon. Make it known to them that you are here for the long run and you are serious about the job. If it does not apply to you, or you have future plans in going elsewhere, avoid raising it up or going to that conversation. Going back to the question, you have to give sensible answers like e.g. “I want to support my family and for me this is the best avenue to achieve my goals and dreams in life” or “I have always wanted to work in a corporate world, I want to succeed in this type of environment, I want to be a supervisor or a manager someday…” or “I have always been amazed at the prestige of working for this company, it is my life long dream to work here…”
3.) How would you describe the color “red” to a blind person?
This is a tough question especially if one is caught off guard. The key to this question is to be creative. You have to use your imagination. Your answer has to make sense to the interviewer. It does not need to be scientifically true, what’s important is that it makes sense. A sensible answer will sound something like this e.g. “I would describe the color RED to a blind person as a color that defines love. It symbolizes passion and warmth. It is a color mostly associated with beauty and splendor. It is also the color of blood, which represents pain and suffering…”
4.) How do you see your self 5 or 10 years from now?
Well to start off, you just have to exude your optimism here. You can answer by telling them in 5 or 10 years, you see yourself having a family, happy and progressive. You are successful with your job and you are already promoted to a higher position. Thanks to your job you are able to achieve your goals in life and support your family. You have to make sure you tailor fit your answers to your real goals and dreams in life. If you plan to have a business someday coming from the savings you got from working in the company, then that would be a good answer too. Remember, just be positive and figure out a way to credit your job, as a mechanism for you to achieve your dreams in the future.
5.) Do you have any questions for me?
Well, be careful with the type of questions you ask. Some ask very basic questions that’s not even worth answering and would turn off the interviewer. Remember to maintain professionalism and politeness in your questions. It’s good that most of the time, applicants don’t ask questions and that’s perfectly fine. However, if there are things that you need clarifications with about the entire process, then go ahead and ask. Just make sure your questions make sense.
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