11 common call centre interview questions (and how to answer them) thumbnail image Published on 1st April 2017 by Gemma Harding

Few things in life can feel as daunting and nerve-wracking as a job interview. But like any other opportunity, preparing ahead of time can make the process far easier and much less daunting.

By understanding the type of questions you will likely be asked and preparing for them as early as possible, you can go into your interview with a greater sense of confidence.

In this post, we’re going to cover 11 of the most common call centre interview questions used to help companies learn more about the people they’re hiring. For each question, we’ve included a short piece of advice to help you prepare an effective answer that demonstrates your skills.

If you’re interviewing for a call centre job, you be prepared to be asked several of these questions. The more prepared you are, the more likely you are to come across as an ambitious, intelligent and serious contender for the job.

How would you describe yourself?

This is one of the most common interview questions, not only for call centres. The goal of this question is to give you the opportunity to share your qualities, especially those that line up with the values and objectives of the company that’s interviewing you.

The best way to answer this question is to focus on the aspects of your personality that are the most closely aligned with the demands of the job. If you’re a hard worker, don’t be afraid to say so. If you’re a creative person, let the interviewer know.

If you emphasise your qualities while staying modest and humble, you’ll communicate that you have the right values for the job.

What makes you qualified for this job?

Just like the question above, this question is designed to let you explain the qualities you have that are relevant for call centre work. As such, answering it is simple — focus on why you’re an excellent choice to be a call centre agent.

One of the most effective ways to answer this question is to explain how you’re a good choice for this type of work specifically. If you’re a calm, patient person and you don’t mind working on an unusual schedule, it’s definitely a good idea to tell the interviewer.

What achievement are you most proud of?

Every employer wants to know that you’re ambitious, motivated and hardworking, which is the ultimate purpose of this question. This is your opportunity to share a personal detail about your life and achievements that gives the interviewer a better understanding of your mindset.

Good achievements to mention include graduating from university, competing as an athlete or completing a challenging, rewarding project. Any achievement that showcases your work ethic and patience will create a positive impression and help you as a candidate.

Where do you see yourself in five or 10 years?

This is an extremely common interview question across all industries. It’s also a surprisingly difficult one to answer if you’re not prepared.

For the call centre industry in particular, employers want to know that you’re ambitious, hardworking and motivated, but they also want to know that you’re not going to join the team and leave for a newer, more exciting opportunity in a few months.

The best way to answer this question is to focus on how your goals in life line up with the major objectives of the company. Give an honest answer about what you want to achieve so that the interviewer knows what they can expect from you as an employee, not just as a candidate.

What do you consider good customer service?

If you work in a call centre, you’ll obviously need to provide excellent customer service. The objective of this question is to make sure that your idea and understanding of what constitutes good customer service matches the company’s definition.

There are two ways to answer this question. The first is to focus on what you view as the key features of good customer service – things like asking a lot of questions, explaining everything to the customer and maintaining a pleasant, friendly tone of voice.

The second is to focus on the goal of good customer service – making sure the customer gets what they’re looking for and ensuring that you, as someone providing customer service, exceed the customer’s expectations.

Why are you leaving (or planning to leave) your current job?

A common interview question but also a tricky one to get right. One of the biggest mistakes to make is to answer this question by mentioning something bad about your previous job, employer or boss.

Instead of focusing on the negatives, focus on the positive aspects of the position for which you’re interviewing – that it’s a great new opportunity for growth and progress and you feel like you’re ready for this next step in your career.

How would you deal with an angry, difficult customer?

Great customer service is all about staying calm in the face of angry, difficult customers. If you keep your cool and defuse a tough situation, you’re an asset to any call centre. Lose your cool, on the other hand, and you can quickly become a liability.

The key to handling an angry customer is to give them the space and time they need to talk to you and vent their anger. Listen to their concerns, and provide a solution that ensures they’re satisfied while remaining within your company’s rules and regulations.

Fighting fire with fire never works, especially over the phone. Focus on how you’d handle this situation in a calm, sensible and level-headed manner and you’ll earn a passing grade on this question.

Are you qualified to work in a high-pressure environment?

Call centres can be challenging and stressful working environments, especially on busy days that involve a high volume of calls. As a result, this is a common question that you can expect to be asked if you’re interviewing for your first call centre job.

The key to answering this question effectively is to demonstrate that you’ve worked well in other high pressure environments. If you’ve worked in sales, let the interviewer know. If you’ve already worked in customer service, relay an anecdote about a tough situation you’ve faced in the past.

As the saying goes, “the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour.” If you have prior experience dealing with high pressure environments, it’s worth mentioning it in your answer.

What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses?

This can be a tough question to answer. The cliché answer is to list your strengths, then mention several “weaknesses” that aren’t weaknesses at all, such as a desire to work overly long hours or a perfectionist attitude.

While this can get you through an interview, most interviewers are aware of this tactic and prefer an honest answer that actually addresses your weaknesses.

The best way to answer this question is to be direct, honest and straightforward. Explain the key strengths that you think qualify you for the job, and give a real overview of what you see as your biggest professional weaknesses. Most interviewers will appreciate and respect your candor.

Why do you want to work for our company?

Again, it’s always best to answer this question honestly. Before you interview for any call centre job, research the company and make a list of values, features and strengths that inspire respect and appreciation. You can then mention these in your answer to this question.

If you’ve been referred to the company by a friend or acquaintance, mention that they told you about what a great place it is to work. Focus on the positive aspects of the business to show that you have a real interest in working for the company.

What are your salary expectations?

Salary-related questions can be very difficult to answer, especially if you’re new to the industry and don’t have a great understanding of how much people are paid.

There are several ways to answer this question. The first is to avoid mentioning a specific figure and instead mention that you’re happy being paid what other people with similar experience and qualifications earn.

The second is to give a fair, reasonable figure that reflects what you believe your time and skills are worth. The best strategy ultimately depends on your confidence and qualifications – if you’re a professional with lots of experience, don’t feel afraid to ask for a fair, competitive salary.

Have you come across any interview questions for call centre positions that we haven’t mentioned above? How would you answer the questions above if they were posed to you? Let us know through the social media buttons below!