Top 10 Questions to Ask When You Hire Your Next Call Centre Representative

Asking the applicant what they think working in a call centre looks like can help gauge their familiarity with the environment. In their answer, look for key aspects of what a call centre’s purpose is, and the role its representatives play in providing quality customer service. If they aren’t knowledgeable of what the environment is like or how representatives provide customer service, chances are the applicant will require lots of training and supervision if they’re hired for the job.

1. What does working in a call centre look like to you?

Asking the applicant what they think working in a call centre looks like can help gauge their familiarity with the environment. In their answer, look for key aspects of what a call centre’s purpose is, and the role its representatives play in providing quality customer service. If they aren’t knowledgeable of what the environment is like or how representatives provide customer service, chances are the applicant will require lots of training and supervision if they’re hired for the job.

2. What about working in a call centre interests you?

When you ask an applicant why they want to work in a call centre, you give them the chance to provide information about their skill set related to the role. For example, they may say they’re interested in the position because they enjoy problem solving, working in a fast-paced environment, or working independently. On top of skills they already possess, an applicant will likely include skills they wish to improve or learn, such as “I’m eager for the opportunity to work in a fast-paced environment and practice multitasking.” This question can aid in your evaluation by assessing the amount of potential growth for them as a call centre representative. Also giving you insights into how “coachable” the applicant may be.

3. What do you think are the top qualities a call centre representative needs to have?

By asking the interviewee what they think the top qualities of a call centre representative are, they are given a chance to describe their work ethic and how they would fit into the role. They are most likely to list qualities of a call centre representative that they have displayed on their resume and cover letter, such as the ability to function in a high stress environment and work independently. This question can help you judge their work ethic and skills for the job.

4. What does quality customer service mean to you?

Understanding the applicant’s idea of quality customer service gives you insight as to the level of customer service they have provided in the past, what quality of customer service they’ll provide to your clients if you hire them, and what their understanding of the purpose of customer service is. If their idea of quality customer service doesn’t meet your expectations, they likely need more experience and are not ready to take on the role.

5. Describe one of your previous experiences working in a customer service role.

If the interviewee has previous customer service roles listed on their resume, asking them to describe one of their experiences on the job can let you know how skilled they are at dealing with customers. Probing for more details with follow up questions can further determine their experience level. For example, ask if they dealt with customers in person or over the phone, how many customers they’ve worked with daily, and whether they served in retail or business.

6. Tell us about a time when you encountered a problem. If you were to encounter the same situation again, what would you do differently?

Asking a candidate how they have improved themselves to solve a problem shows you their resiliency, dedication and professionalism, and that they learn from their mistakes and tough situations. A candidate who confesses room for improvement and takes responsibility for their mistakes is a future employee who is trustworthy, dedicated to their role and open to constructive criticism and learning opportunities.

7. Provide us with an example of when you had to handle conflict. How did you resolve the conflict?

Conflict resolution is a vital skill in customer service. Getting to know the applicant’s method for conflict resolution is important before hiring them. Knowing how developed their skill set is not only helps you compare them to other applicants under consideration, but also lets you determine what type of training would benefit them best and how much time needs to be invested in training them on how to resolve conflict with customers.

8. How would you handle a dissatisfied or upset customer?

Similar to asking the candidate how they have dealt with conflict in the past, giving them a specific scenario and asking them how they would handle the situation shows their level of experience. Getting to know how they would handle an upset customer also shows their ability to maintain a calm and professional image when facing clients, as well as their commitment to customer satisfaction.

9. Tell us about a work or educational experience where you had to multitask to meet a deadline.

Multitasking is a significant part of being a call centre representative. Following a script, taking notes and handling multiple phone lines are all part of the job. Asking the applicant to tell you about a time where they had to multitask gives you important information regarding their ability to handle stressful situations and compartmentalize. It also gives them the opportunity to show they possess the skills for the role even if they have no previous work experience in a call centre environment.

10. Give us an example of when you handled a communication issue. How did you resolve it?

This question measures the candidate’s communication skills and their ability to recover the situation when things don’t go according to plan. Customer service isn’t always straightforward and not every possible situation can be covered in training, so it is important to look at how the interviewee handles miscommunication after their first attempt at solving a problem. They should be able to remain calm and collected, even if a customer misunderstands them and becomes more upset.

Finding the right call centre representative candidate can be difficult if you don’t know what to look for. Assessing your applicants’ qualifications with these interview questions will surely make your search easier.

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