Working at a call center is a rewarding experience with lots of opportunity for social interaction – with your peers as well as with people at the other end of the telephone line. Most call center jobs offer convenient hours, tons of benefits and a high-tech workplace that is comfortable and safe. In addition, the growth prospects at a call center are tremendous. Starting at the agent level, you can work your way up the ladder to senior executive, team leader, group leader, program manager and then senior manager operations. The pay is great and the opportunity is fantastic.
Here are some basic call center courses you can take to prepare you for the interview:
Below, you will find questions related to outbound sales and inbound customer service. These are the two major categories in call center jobs. Some are more specialized than others, but these questions will cover whatever you need to know to successful attend a call center interview for the position of customer service/sales executive.
Inbound Customer Service
These questions will cover the basics of phone customer service, call etiquette and other essentials of inbound customer service call centers.
1. Why did you leave your last position?
This is a tricky question because “anything you say can and will be held against you!” Be careful and only answer with a positive tone. You can say that you didn’t find the job challenging enough for your skills, or that the workload was sporadic and you spent, say 40%, of your time on ‘idle’ mode. Never speak ill of your last employer because it shows that you will do exactly the same once you leave this one! Protect the image of your previous employer, and your current one will respect you for it.
2. How would you handle an angry call from a customer?
First, you need to allow them to vent their anger. If they are abusive, tell them you’re willing to listen, but only if they stop using profanities. Next, hear what they have to say and note down key points. Third, re-state the main points so both of you are clear about the situation. Fourth, find a solution that fits within your company’s policies and can redress the customer’s problem. Fifth, confirm that the problem has been solved and that the customer is satisfied with the solution. You may not be able to do all of this in one phone call, but this is the essential process. The important part is to keep your cool at all times, and genuinely try to find a solution that will make the customer happy.
3. Have you ever had conflict with your team leader or manager?
This can be your answer: No, my work ethic is strong, so there’s been no reason for conflict. However, at times I have had disagreements on how to resolve a particular problem for a customer, but I have always been able to talk it out and find a solution that my team leader has supported.
4. Are you able to work with multiple phone lines?
Your answer: Yes, this has been part of my training, and my previous job entailed handling several lines. I have good multi-tasking skills and my previous employer can vouch for this.
5. How would you handle a high pressure environment?
Your answer: I am highly organized, and I prioritize my workload so that everything gets done on time and with high quality. I also leave room for urgent tasks that might be assigned to me so that my schedule is basically unaffected by emergencies.
These questions are often asked of candidates aspiring to a position as a telesales representative.
6. How many calls per hour can you make on an average campaign?
Make sure you do your homework/research before you answer: My average call handle time was about X minutes at my previous job. On a similar campaign I can typically make 60/X calls per hour. On a predictive dialer I can usually make 10 to 20 percent more calls.
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7. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Your answer should be relevant to telemarketing, so you could say: I have the ability to talk effectively and persuade people. I am a good listener, and that helps me identify customer needs so I can sell more effectively. My one weakness is that I sometimes get too involved with customers, but I have counseled with my previous manager on this and I believe I no longer have that problem.
8. What are your goals as a telemarketer?
Your answer: My goal is to have a very short learning curve on this particular product portfolio. By doing this, I can aim to be among the top performers in the next 3-6 months. After showing consistent results for another 6 to 12 months, I will aim to become a team leader in the same company because I believe that growing with the same company will give me a strong foundation for my career growth.
9. How do you handle a customer who starts yelling at you as soon as they pick up and find out that you are a telemarketer?
Your answer: Not every customer is in the right mood for a sales call, and I understand that. Irate customers are part of the game, and I can easily calm them down with an apology; however, I will usually attempt to get a callback time so a valuable potential customer doesn’t lose out on the great benefits your products can give them.
10. What do you do if the dialer puts a Do Not Call number through to you by mistake?
Your answer: As soon as I know that this is a DNC number, I will apologize at once to the customer for the error and assure them that their number will be immediately included in our internal DNC list. I will also make a note in the CRM application so even if the system error happens again the next agent won’t be forced to deal with an escalated problem. I will also report the problem to my team leader or manager as soon as I hang up.
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