How to Prepare for a Call Center Agent Interview

November 09, 2018

You may not think so but working as a call center professional has great potential: if you perform well in your job there’s no doubt you will thrive – and so will your career.

Although call centers have a bad rep, the industry has changed a lot in recent years. One significant change is that the demand for call center professionals is definitely on the rise. According to a survey carried out by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, call center agent jobs are expected to grow 5% between 2016 to 2026, and 39% between 2014 to 2024.

Furthermore, working as a call center agent now requires a lot more than carrying out the same repetitive tasks. As customers these days can rely on self-service options to resolve their own issues, they only contact customer service teams when they have complicated issues. So, instead of handling simple tasks, agents need to rely on their solid industry knowledge and problem-solving skills in order to best serve customers.

If you’re thinking about starting a career in the call center industry, then the first challenge you’ll need to overcome is to nail a call center agent interview. In this article, we’ll show you how you can prepare for and get the most out of your interview. Read on and go get that job!

Research, research, research…

Needless to say, never go to an interview unprepared. If you want to make a good impression (and we trust you do), make sure to allocate enough time to research the company and the position you apply for.

Call center agent interviews usually start with some opening questions. There’s no doubt you’ll be asked questions regarding the position, so make sure you have detailed information on what call center agents do on a daily basis. There are tons of articles out there (for example our articles on the most important call center agent skills and useful agent life hacks), or you can even turn to a friend who is already working in the industry.

In addition, many interviewers ask candidates questions about the company’s history, and it’s definitely a plus if you can answer these questions. In fact, being well-informed will make you more confident, while demonstrating that you’re serious about working for the company in question. 

Language competence

In today’s globalized world, businesses are constantly expanding into new markets, while also focusing on creating a solid online presence. And as multilingual customer service departments are on the rise, call center agents often find themselves interacting with customers who speak a different language. You will also talk to a bunch of customers with a strong accent, so it’s vital that you have advanced language skills. 

There’s no doubt, most call centers are constantly on the lookout for agents with excellent language proficiency, so your language skills will probably be tested during any call center agent interview.  

It’s definitely a good idea to refresh your grammar knowledge as interviewers may ask you to fill out a language test. Plus, you can be sure that you’ll be required to use your language skills in an everyday conversation as well.

Situational questions

Call center agents interact with hundreds of customers on an average day, and have to resolve all kinds of customer issues. As you’ll be the face of the company, it is of utmost importance how you’ll handle difficult situations.

Therefore, you can be pretty sure that you’ll be asked to participate in situational exercises. During a situational exercise, you’ll be put in a problematic situation where you’ll need to come up with the best solution.

These exercises are used by interviewers to review the candidate’s capability to react to a situation when faced with conflict. Our best advice here is to try and remain calm while relying on your problem-solving skills. Also, putting yourself in the customer’s shoes will definitely help you come up with a customer-centric solution.

Typical call center agent interview questions

Last but not least, let’s look at some classic questions you can expect during a call center agent interview.

Why do you want to work as a call center agent?

It’s no secret that agent turnover is extremely high in call centers. Therefore, motivation is one of the most important traits interviewers look for in candidates. Make sure to think over why you applied for the position in the first place and prepare with an honest but persuasive answer. Whether you have ambitions to climb the call center ladder or simply enjoy interacting with customers, make sure to express it during the call center agent interview.  

Are you technologically savvy?

These days most call centers utilize several technology solutions, and agents are required to use them on a daily basis, so don’t be surprised if the interviewer asks about your computer proficiency, such as your familiarity with certain systems.

As call centers use different systems, don’t worry if you’re not familiar with all of them. Once you get the job you’ll be trained on how to use them. Just make sure to demonstrate your willingness to learn.

Are you a good multitasker?

Call center agents work on several campaigns and deal with a great number of customers. And these days customers expect answers quickly, meaning you’ll already need to think about a possible solution as you listen to the customer. As a result, the ability to multitask is of utmost importance for any call center who wants to thrive in their job.

Can you perform well under pressure?

If you want to work as a call center agent, what you can be sure about is that you’ll face plenty of unexpected issues. In addition, you’ll get into situations where you simply cannot find the solution at first. In such cases, you’ll need to try and remain calm in order to sort out the issue in the shortest time possible.

As working under pressure is highly characteristic of any call center agent job, you’ll need to convince the interviewers about your ability to perform well in a stressful environment. Start by remaining calm during the call center agent interview, then share some examples from your previous jobs where you managed to successfully resolve a stressful situation.

Interviewing for a new job is never easy. But if you follow our tips to prepare for your call center agent interview, you’ll definitely have better chances to get hired. May the odds be in your favor!

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