Customer Service Interview Question & Answer Guide- Behavioral Interview Questions

What customer service interview question can you expect when interviewing for a customer service job opportunity?

Although the customer service job varies from employer to employer you can anticipate and prepare for interview questions that explore the common customer service skills and competencies necessary for successful job performance.

Be ready with fluent interview answers to these type of customer focus competency questions in your next customer service job interview.

Knowing the knowledge and core competencies required for success in customer service work will help you to predict which questions you will be asked.

What do you know about customer service?

The customer service knowledge requirements will vary depending on the organization, the product or service and the scope of the customer service job.

However typical knowledge requirements for a customer service job include:

  • knowledge of relevant computer applications
  • data entry
  • information processing
  • numeric, oral and written language applications
  • administrative/clerical procedures
  • customer relationship principles and practices

Questions around the knowledge requirements will usually be answered by reviewing your resume as they refer directly to your qualifications and work experience.

Prepare for questions that explore your customer service training and your work experience relevant to the specific knowledge requirements listed such as:

"Which software applications are you proficient in?"

"What products and services have you dealt with?"

"How many orders/queries did you deal with on an average day?"

Behavioral Interview Questions for Customer Service

Companies tend to focus on the customer service interview question that looks for evidence of the required customer service competencies or behaviors.

These are called behavioral interview questions. You will be asked to provide specific examples of when you have previously displayed the required competency.

Go through the customer service interview question that explores these 6 core competencies. Use the answer guidelines to help you prepare your own excellent customer service interview answers.

Think about your past experiences, select appropriate examples and plan your response using the following STAR structure:

  • Describe the specific situation or task you were involved in
  • Detail the action and steps you took in the situation
  • Outline the results and outcome of your actions.

Problem Analysis and Problem-solving Skills

Key to success in a customer service position is the ability to analyze and assess problems and find workable solutions. Prepare for these sort of interview questions:

"Tell me about a time you had to evaluate a large amount of information to sort out a problem. Talk me through the steps you took."

"Tell me about a difficult situation to which you found a simple solution."

"Give a specific example of when you had to sort out a complex problem for a dissatisfied customer recently."

In your interview answer show:

  • you are able to collect and organize information to identify key issues and detect problems
  • your ability to consider alternatives
  • you are able to find the most appropriate solution considering the facts, your resources and the customer's needs

Problem-solving behavioral interview questions

Customer Service Orientation

The interviewer wants to know that you have proven yourself to be both able and willing to provide excellent service to the customer.

"Describe a time you had to ask a number of questions and listen carefully to fully understand the customer's query."

"Describe a recent situation when you had to handle an  angry customer."

"How do you define going the extra mile for your customer, give me an example of when you have done this."

In your interview answer discuss how you develop positive customer relationships by:

  • actively listening and making the effort to understand the customer's needs
  • meeting and exceeding the customer's expectations
  • taking responsibility for the customer's satisfaction

Attention to Detail

A frequently asked customer service interview question will focus on your ability to collect and process information accurately.

"Take me through the process you use to check that you have the right details from a customer."

"Describe a time that you picked up an error or problem that had been overlooked by others at work."

"Tell me about a time that you had a confusing interaction with a customer, how did you clarify things?"

In your interview answer describe your attention to all details of the customer interaction, however small. Show how you clarify the details by asking questions.

Describe the steps you take to ensure you have complete information and accurately check your work processes and output.


Customer service means dealing with a variety of people and demands, the ability to adjust to the situation and the individual is an important job requirement. Expect the customer service interview question that evaluates your adaptability.

"Describe a time you had to change your approach to a customer because your initial attempts were unsuccessful."

"Tell me about a time you have had to adjust to a new manager who had a different management style to what you were used to."

"Give an example of when you had to deal with a major change in the customer relationship practices in your workplace."

In your interview answer show how you are able to maintain your effectiveness in different situations and when dealing with different people.

Describe how you adjusted your approach, your communication style and your behavior to meet different needs and demands.

Text interview answer to the customer service question "Describe how you change your approach to best serve different customers"

Stress Tolerance Skills

It is difficult to keep calm and patient when dealing with unreasonable and demanding customers, however this is essential behavior when providing efficient customer service! This will be assessed with a customer service interview question such as:

"Tell me about a recent situation with a customer that really tested your patience."

"Tell me about a time you experienced conflicting work demands, how did you respond?"

"Describe a situation when you had to deal with an unpleasant customer who was making unreasonable demands."

In your interview answer show you are able to maintain a positive attitude and a high performance standard under pressure and in the face of challenges.

Describe how you use appropriate coping techniques to keep calm under provocation and stress and that you are able to show patience when faced with a difficult customer.

The comprehensive guide to answering behavioral based questions.

Use this customer service job description to gain a full understanding of the customer service role and responsibilities.

Communication Skills

Your ability to communicate effectively with customers and your ability to actively listen 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 closely to questions and ask for further clarification if you do not properly understand something.

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

Communication skills interview questions

Job Motivation

Prepare for the customer service interview question that explores your motivation for the customer service job. These include:

"What do you regard as being the most positive aspects of dealing with customers?"

"What do you like and dislike about the customer service job?"

Prepare for these common customer service interview questions

What is good customer service?

Are you ready for the following typical customer service job interview questions?

What is good customer service?

How do you measure good customer service?

What does customer service mean to you?

Job candidates recommend

Use these sales interview answers to help you prepare for sales-related interview questions you are likely to face in a customer service job interview.

Customer service is core to a number of different jobs in an organization. These call center interview questions explore many aspects of the customer service job.

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Stand out in your job interview by being thoroughly prepared to face any customer service interview question and be confident of your success!

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