The country’s BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) industry is continuously growing and it shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. Thousands of Filipinos are working as call center agents since the job usually comes with benefits and offers a high starting rate than most jobs in the Philippines.
Are you one of the Filipinos who aspire to work as a call center agent? Read this guide to prepare better and eventually pass any call center interview.
How To Prepare for a Call Center Interview: 6 Tips
1. Dress Well
Make sure that you look presentable when you show up for the interview. Pick clothes that look professional, follow the required dress code, fit you well, and you feel comfortable in.
2. Mind Your Behavior and Body Language
Always be in your best behavior during interviews. Try not to make it obvious if you’re feeling nervous or uncomfortable. Practice having the correct posture when walking, sitting, or standing because it can definitely help you build confidence.
You should look confident, composed, and at the same time approachable during the interview.
3. Polish Your Grammar and Pronunciation
Read articles and books that can help you figure out the correct uses of verbs, tenses, articles, and more. You can also learn how to pronounce words the right way through Youtube tutorials and online dictionaries.
Once you’re ready, there are various quizzes and exams that you can take to reinforce everything that you’ve learned.
4. Learn How To Perform Well Under Stress
Handling angry customers is certainly not a walk in the park. However, if you work on maintaining composure and staying alert even when you’re under stress, then you’re the perfect person for the job.
5. Study About the Company and Job You’re Applying For
Before the interview, research as much as you can about the company you’ve applied to. Know more about its history, important milestones, what it’s like working for them, and what they’re known for.
Sample Call Center Interview Questions and Answers
1. Tell me something about yourself
The answer to this question is a good indicator of an applicant’s potential.
When answering it, make sure to be yourself so your personality will shine through. Time’s precious in an interview so make sure not to waste any by telling the interviewer things that are already included in the resume.
Sample answer: “I’m a person with varied interests. When I’m not doing anything, I like to paint nature and animals. I also have great cooking skills which I’ve learned from my mom. I love reading books and watching movies because I feel like I’m transported to a different world with each book and movie.”
2. What do you know about a call center?
This question is asked during interviews to check if the applicant has a correct or at least a realistic idea of how a call center works. It must be noted that questions like this one are usually asked if the applicant has no call center experience yet.
Sample answer: “I know that a call center is where people ask for support when they’re facing some issues and problems with a product or service. It’s where representatives help customers with the best of their ability to find answers to their questions and fix issues they’ve encountered while using the product or service. It’s also a place where people work on flexible schedules and different job functions.”
3. Why do you want to work as a call center agent?
It’s another question asked only if an applicant has zero call center work experience.
It’s important that you avoid talking about money when answering this question. Doing so will alarm them that you’re only after the money.
You shouldn’t also say that you just want to work there to improve your English language skills. Call center agents should already be skilled and well-spoken in the first place.
Instead, talk about your skills, experiences, and what you can offer.
Sample answer: “I have all the necessary English language skills of a call center agent like pronunciation, grammar, and creativity. I’ve also done a lot of volunteer work through the years which makes me an expert when it comes to communication with people.”
4. Tell me about your strengths and weaknesses
Companies want to hear what you can bring to the team and what might negatively affect your work. Enumerate all your strengths that will be useful in a call center company. You can be honest about your weaknesses but avoid oversharing lest you leave a negative first impression.
Sample answer: “I’m very skilled in using Microsoft Office. I can handle upset customers well since I have a calm and soothing voice. One weakness that I can think of is being a perfectionist.”
5. Why are you qualified to work in a call center?
Your answer to this question should be inspired by the previous questions. As much as possible, enumerate all the things that you can offer to the company.
Sample answer: “I believe that I have all the qualities that companies are looking for in a call center agent. I can work on a flexible schedule and I can deal with stress well.”
6. What do you know about our company?
Have an edge over other applicants by knowing more about the company you’ll be applying for. Do your research and ask around about all the important things you should know about the company. This way, you can show to teh recruiter that you’re eager to work and render your services to the company.
Sample answer: “From what I’ve read, this company is really concerned about the welfare of its employees. The benefits plus the huge opportunities for career growth are what drew me to this company. A great workplace is one that knows how to take care of its people.”
7. What achievement/s in your life are you most proud of?
When answering this question, think about the day when you felt the happiest and most fulfilled.
It doesn’t have to be about status, grades, or recognition. Share to the employer/recruiter a memorable feat that you achieved through sheer hard work and great work ethic. Be honest because you’ll sound more enthusiastic and inspiring if you’re being sincere.
Sample answer: “My most cherished achievement is when I emerged as one of the passers with the highest scores in the civil service exam. I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare so achieving that impossible feat will always be memorable for me.”
8. What are your main goals in life?
Do a quick rundown of your short-term goals and briefly discuss your long-term plans. Show that you’re someone with ambition and how that drive to succeed will translate to great performance on the work floor. Provide as many details as possible without making your answer way longer than necessary.
Sample answer: “My short-term goal is to be a part of this wonderful company for as long as possible. A couple of years after achieving financial stability, I’m thinking of opening my own bar. Some of my long-term plans include getting promoted several times and eventually becoming a supervisor.”
9. How do you see yourself five years from now?
Answering this question is quite tricky and might even make or break your destiny as a potential employee of the company. However, you can answer honestly so you and the company will be on the same page when it comes to objectives and goals.
Sample answer: “I see myself still working in this company but at a higher position.”
10. How do you describe quality customer service?
The reason behind this question is very simple: employers just want to know if your idea of customer service aligns with theirs. Even if you didn’t work in a call center before, it’s not an excuse since the principles of quality customer service are universal and span different industries.
Sample answer: “A quality customer service involves an agent who goes out of his way just to provide what the customer needs or wants. He ensures that customers who need help will be taken care of as soon as possible and to the best of his ability.”
11. What are the ideal skills of a call center agent?
You’re being tested if you know what it takes to be a call center agent. Be honest and include everything you can think of.
Sample answer: “A good call center agent is a quick thinker, adept at technical knowledge, Internet-savvy, and a great problem solver.”
12. Why did you leave your previous workplace?
As much as possible, be honest and state only the facts without bad-mouthing your former company. Tell them that you’re looking for other opportunities for growth and success when you left your previous workplace.
Sample answer: “I want to start something new that can help me develop my skills and grow as a professional. I want to always challenge myself and never stop improving my skills as well as developing new ones.”
13. Why is teamwork important in the call center industry?
Teamwork plays a pivotal role in succeeding in the call center, and the interviewer wants to know if you’re aware of it. Answer honestly since there are no right or wrong answers.
Sample answer: “Teamwork is highly important in the call center industry since each team usually has to meet a performance level or quota every day. Working together will help all the team members reach their goals as a team together.”
14. How do you handle stress?
The call center industry is not for the faint of heart. You’ll be receiving complicated issues and angry callers from time to time. Of course, the company wants to know if you can handle that and still provide your services.
Sample answer: “I try to stay as calm as possible and do breathing exercises if the stress is getting too much. I always do my best to always remain calm in any situation and never let stress get the best of me.”
15. How will you handle an upset customer?
Inform the interviewer about the things that you would and wouldn’t do to improve the situation while still providing a wonderful service to the customer.
Sample answer: “First, I’d stay calm despite the situation and empathize with the customer, letting her know that I’m here to help with whatever’s causing the problems. We’ll come up with a solution together.”
16. Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t hire you.
The interviewer is testing your creativity skills and how fast you can think. There are no right or wrong answers so just say what comes first to your mind, as long as it’s appropriate and does not make you appear haughty and proud.
Sample answer: “If you’re not looking for a person who’s trainable and can easily adapt to a new working environment, then you should definitely not hire me.”
17. Out-of-the-box questions
- How would you describe the color red to a blind person? Questions like this are usually asked during the interview to test the English-speaking skills of the applicant. The key is to be creative when describing a particular color and use expressive words. It’s okay to keep your answer short but meaningful. Sample answer: “Red is an intense color which can signify a wide range of feelings including love, passion, and hatred.”
- Why is the pizza round? It’s another unusual question meant to test how skilled you really are when it comes to speaking the English language. There’s no right or wrong answer. Try to think of the most creative way to answer the question while demonstrating that you have great grammar. Sample answer: “Pizzas are round so it’ll be easier for the customers to carry and also easier to divide it into separate pieces.”
- Why are pizza boxes square? The key is to answer this question in the wittiest way while making sure that your grammar and pronunciation are both correct. Again, there are no right or wrong answers so you just have to show that you have a good command of the English language. Sample answer: “Pizza boxes are square so pizzas can fit better in the boxes. It will get too cramped if pizza boxes are square.”
- What’s your greatest fantasy? This question might be a little difficult since you really have to think long and hard for the answer. However, it’s a great way to prove that you have a wide vocabulary. The answer should be as creative and descriptive as possible. Sample answer: “My greatest fantasy is to have superpowers that can take me places I’ve never been to before. I’m talking about teleportation and I think I’ll have the time of my life if I can just have that superpower for a day. I can go from chilling at a stunning beach in Indonesia to marveling at the beautiful glaciers in Iceland in just a matter of seconds. The possibilities are endless and I’d definitely make the most out of my teleportation ability if I ever get one.”
(Other) Tips and Warnings
- Always be honest but not to the point of oversharing that can spread negativity during the interview.
- Be confident when talking so you’ll sound more convincing and persuasive.
- Don’t badmouth anyone including your former boss, colleagues, or even yourself.
- Your answers don’t necessarily have to be lengthy. It’s okay to provide short answers as long as you’ll be able to perfectly get your point across. Remember KISS (keep it short and simple!).