Essential Call Center
Interview Guide

Anticipate and prepare for the likely call center interview questions you will be asked in your call center job interview. The call center guide applies to both outbound and inbound call center positions.

Review the interview questions that explore the knowledge and core workplace competencies commonly required for success in call center or contact center jobs and plan your interview answers using the samples provided.

Call center knowledge requirements will vary depending on the company, product and scope of the job. However typical knowledge requirements for call center work include:

  • typing/keyboard
  • basic computer and call center technology knowledge
  • knowledge of relevant software applications
  • numeric, oral and written language applications
  • administrative procedures and information processing
  • customer relationship principles and practices

Questions around the knowledge requirements can be answered by reviewing your qualifications, training and work experience as stated on your resume.

Prepare for call center interview questions that explore your relevant training and work experience.

Examples include:

"What  software applications have you used and are familiar with?"

"What was the size of the customer database you dealt with?"

"How many calls did you take/make in an average day?"

"What was the average length of each call?"

How to answer Call Center Job Interview Questions about your skills and experience

Behavior-based call center interview questions

The interviewer will focus on questions that look for evidence of call center-related competencies. You will be asked to give specific examples of when you have shown the required competency in your work.

Reflect on your past experiences, select appropriate examples and plan your response using the following structure:

  • Describe the specific situation or task
  • Detail the action and steps you took in the situation
  • Outline the results and outcome of your actions. What happened, what was achieved, what did you learn?

Scroll through the call center interview questions that explore each core competency. Use the answer guidelines to help you prepare your own excellent interview answers.

Team Work

Call centers all involve some degree of team work so expect call center interview questions that explore your ability to function efficiently as part of a team.

"Tell me about one of the toughest groups you have had to work with in order to achieve a task or objective."

"Tell me about a time when you were able to help out a team member."

"Describe a situation when you felt a team member was not contributing enough. What steps did you take?"

Answer Guidelines: In your example show how you are able to work effectively with other people towards task and goal accomplishment, how you interact with others to establish and build efficient working relationships that contribute to team and organizational success. Indicate your value, respect and encouragement of colleagues, your enjoyment of working as part of a team and how you put the team first.

Customer Service

Key to success in a call center position are your customer service skills and customer relationship management.

"Describe a situation when you had to deal with demands from an unreasonable customer."

"Tell me about a time when you went the extra mile for a customer."

"Describe a situation when you had to calm down a very angry customer."

Answer Guidelines: Focus on how you proactively develop the relationship with the customer, make the extra effort to listen and understand the customer, ask the right questions and give high priority to meeting the customer's needs. Describe your ability to handle negative customers in the call or contact center without being intimidated or getting upset.

How to answer other common customer service interview questions such as "What does excellent customer service mean to you?" is covered here.

Problem-solving and Judgment

An essential call center competency for dealing successfully with customer issues in the call center.

"Describe a complex problem you recently had to sort out for a customer."

"Give me an example of a decision you had to make quickly while dealing with a customer recently."

"What steps did you take when you found out that a problem was a result of inefficient service by your company or colleagues?"

Answer Guidelines: Discuss your ability to take an appropriate course of action after gathering and considering all the relevant facts. How you are willing to analyze and resolve issues promptly, use your troubleshooting skills and follow a logical path to a positive outcome.

Learning Skills

Call center jobs often require the successful candidate to undergo both product and technical training. In the interview you will be asked questions that explore your ability to learn and apply new information quickly and willingly.

"Tell me about a time you were able to learn something complex in a short time period."

"Describe the last time that you volunteered to gain new knowledge at work or in your own time, without being asked to."

"How have you gone about finding answers to questions you have about your work?"

Answer Guidelines: Detail how you are able to learn and apply new job-related information in a quick and efficient manner. Describe your own activities towards self-development and ongoing learning.

Stress Tolerance

A call center is usually a very pressurized environment to work in, your ability to deal with stress is core to your success.

"Describe a situation when a customer really upset you but you had to remain composed."

"Tell me about a stressful interaction you had with a team member, how did you handle it?"

"How have you handled conflicting demands in the past?"

Answer Guidelines: Describe your ability to maintain work performance under pressure or provocation. Detail how you reduce your stress levels and what coping techniques you have developed. Give examples of how you have dealt appropriately with demanding tasks, customers and colleagues.

Persuasiveness

A call center interview will explore the candidate's ability to successfully persuade and influence customers.

"Describe a situation when you had to change your approach because your first attempts to persuade a customer failed."

"Tell me about how you approached a recent brand new prospect."

"How have you managed to overcome a customer's objections in a recent call?"

Answer guidelines: Show how you are able to select the right approach according to the situation and the type of customer. Discuss how you determine the customer's needs and convince them of the benefits of your product or service. Describe how you overcome objectives to gain commitment from customers. Highlight your successes.

Communication skills

Your competency in communicating effectively and your listening skills will be assessed as you interact with the interviewer. Make sure you speak clearly and concisely, choosing your words with care and using correct grammar.

Listen carefully to questions during the call center interview and ask for further clarification if you do not properly understand a question.

For comprehensive advice on how to communicate effectively in the job interview go to these communication tips for job interviews

Motivation

Call centers have a high rate of staff turnover. During the call center interview expect questions that explore your motivation to work in the call center and your commitment to staying in the job, such as:

"What do you enjoy about working in a call center?"

"Why have you chosen a career in this industry?"

The Call Center Interview Part 2

Often call center job candidates are asked how they define good customer service. Find out the correct definition of customer service

Call center job performance centers around excellent customer service skills. You will be asked a number of interview questions that explore your customer service skills. Find out how to prepare for these interview questions at customer service job interview questions

For a comprehensive guide to answering competency based or behavioral questions go to master the behavioral interview and review the sample questions and answers.This will help you in preparing for call center interview questions.

Related job interview resources

The initial interview for the call center job opportunity may be conducted over the telephone. Get help with handling phone interviews and know which phone interview questions to expect.

Prepare for common interview questions

Tell me About Yourself

What are your Strengths and Weaknesses?

Why Should we Hire You?

What Motivates You in Your Job?

Asking the right questions in your interview is key to making the best impression. Make sure you have a list of good interview questions ready when the interviewer asks "Do you have any questions?"

Your call center job search

Call Center Job Description

Call Center Resumes

Call Center Cover Letter

Call Center Manager Cover Letter

Entry Level Customer Service Resume

Cover Letters

Be well prepared and stand out from the other candidates as the right person for the call center job.

Job InterviewsJob Interview Guide  > Call Center Interview

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