8 Common Call Center Interview Questions (Plus Example Answers)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated May 24, 2022
Published October 7, 2019
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Call centers offer assistance on behalf of companies for customers with questions, concerns or feedback about products or services. Interviewing for a call center position is an opportunity to showcase your problem-solving skills and demonstrate your ability to build trust with customers. In this article, we review some common call center interview questions and provide examples of impactful responses.
Call center interview questions and answers
Here are eight common questions and example answers to prepare you for your upcoming call center interview:
1. How would you describe the role of a call center representative?
The role of a call center representative is to answer questions and provide solutions to customers over the phone. When you interview for a call center position, it’s important to know the expectations of the role and understand what value you will bring to the organization. Review the job description and answer this question by explaining the skills you can use to address the requirements of the position. Highlight experiences that demonstrate your ability to navigate the role's responsibilities and meet company goals.
Example: “As a call center representative, I would be the first point of contact for incoming callers. I am skilled at actively listening to customer questions or concerns and identifying the best solution. For example, if a caller needed to refill a prescription but did not know how to do it on the website, I would first help the caller complete the refill over the phone. Then, I would provide instructions on navigating the website and prescription portal so that the caller could complete the task online in the future.
I have strong communication skills with which I can teach customers how to use the company's helpful online tools and assist them in completing tasks they may not know how to do.”
2. What are the most important skills for a call center representative?
Skills such as empathy, active listening, speaking, problem-solving and time management are key to helping customers effectively. The job description may mention specific skills the company is looking for, so be sure to address those skills with examples when possible.
Example: “I would say the most important skills are listening, critical thinking and multitasking. In this position, I would be able to listen to a customer's concern, identify a solution and talk them through my process of solving their issue. I also think a good attitude is crucial in this role because it makes customers feel heard and supported, and it gives them a positive impression of the company.”
3. How do you define quality customer service?
Successful call centers require quality customer service from kind, knowledgeable and helpful representatives who support a strong company reputation. Your answer should demonstrate your experience treating customers with respect, resolving conflict and putting their needs first. If you do not have much customer service experience, it can be helpful to answer this question in terms of how you prefer to be treated as a customer.
In both cases, you should illustrate what quality customer service looks like, what value it brings to the company and how you ensure quality customer service to each caller.
Example: “Quality customer service is being able to empathize with a customer and view their issues as your own. For example, the caller who wanted to refill a prescription online might not have understood how the online portal worked. If I were in the customer’s position, I would want the representative to explain the online system so that next time I could do it myself.
As the representative, I would understand the fact that the caller might not be familiar with the online portal, and I would be patient as I walked through each step. A thoughtful, comprehensive solution is what I would appreciate as a customer, so I would aim to provide the same for my callers.”
4. What steps do you take when speaking with a customer?
Some call centers provide scripts for representatives to use when on a call, while others train representatives on standard practices. Call guidelines ensure representatives meet quality service standards and allow the customer to ask more questions.
During your interview, demonstrate your process from the beginning of the call to the end. Be sure to mention each step and what purpose that step serves. Some steps might include introducing yourself to the caller, asking for the caller's name and necessary personal information, inquiring about how you can help them and ending the call with an opportunity for you to provide any additional help.
Example: “I begin each call by introducing myself, thanking the customer for calling and asking for their name. Exchanging our names helps me personalize the customer's experience. I also find that thanking the customer for taking the time to call us lets them know they are valued. After learning the customer’s name, I ask how I can be of service and then reassure them that I can help. If they are calling to address an issue they have, I also apologize for any inconvenience it may have caused. These steps allow me to build trust with the customer.
When the call comes to a close, I always ask if there is anything else I can help them with. This opportunity allows them to ask any follow-up questions. I end the call by thanking them for their call and continued patronage. This is my last opportunity to ensure they had a positive experience.”
5. How do you handle calls from dissatisfied customers?
In order to be successful as a call center representative, you should know how to navigate handle challenging customer conversations. It is important to remain respectful and focused on the customer's needs while resolving their issue and creating a positive experience for the caller. In some cases, you may need to follow a certain protocol or bring in your supervisor to help you find a solution.
When answering this interview question, use the STAR method to describe the situation, illustrate what task you needed to complete, explain what action you took and provide the results of your efforts. You can use an example from your own experience or discuss a hypothetical scenario.
Example: “I had a customer who was very upset about his subscription service which did not meet his expectations. As the representative, I apologized for the inconvenience and assured him that I would research his issue. After gathering more details, I discovered he was having connectivity issues due to a lapse in updating his software. I explained the issue and the solution to update his software, but he explained that he was considering canceling his service altogether.
The customer agreed to a brief hold while I discussed with my supervisor possible reparation for the inconvenience. I was able to give the customer an additional month of service at no charge. The customer seemed pleased with my solution and thanked me for solving his issue. He even agreed to sign up for additional service with us.”
6. Describe a complex issue you helped a customer solve.
Your job is to provide the customer with an efficient solution to their problem and encourage them to continue using your product or service. In your answer, demonstrate your ability to troubleshoot issues, solve problems and satisfy customer needs. Use the STAR method to describe the situation, actions taken and results achieved. If you do not have an example to discuss, consider using your knowledge of the company to explain possible scenarios customers might encounter that you might help solve.
Example: “I once had a customer call about having his subscription terminated without his consent. I apologized for the inconvenience and asked for his account information. I reviewed his account and discovered there was a billing error. I explained to the customer that he would need to update his credit card information so it could be charged and his service resumed. I offered to update his billing information over the phone and helped him resume his service.”
7. How do you work to improve your customer interactions?
When it comes to providing the best possible customer service, there is always opportunity for improvement. Additional or advanced training, asking a supervisor for feedback and reviewing your customer satisfaction survey numbers are all ways to improve how you interact with customers and address their needs. In your answer, discuss your willingness to learn and adapt to new techniques and policies in order to make the customer experience the best it can be.
Example: “In my previous position, I met with my supervisor every quarter to review my customer satisfaction survey results. I asked for additional training on the specific service and advanced customer interaction techniques. For this position, I want to expand on that practice through your customer service training program and continue to improve my survey numbers.”
8. How do you encourage customers to buy additional products or services?
You might be asked to offer new or existing products and services to callers as additions to their current account with the company. These roles include sales positions and customer service helplines that handle customer accounts.
When answering this question, demonstrate that you can share your in-depth knowledge of a product or service and emphasize to the customer how they would benefit from purchasing it. You can even discuss one of the company's products or services and explain how you would sell it to one of your potential customers. This strategy shows you have researched the company and that you are capable of helping them meet sales goals.
Example: “If customers call about a certain product, I listen to what they need and try to identify similar or additional products that would further help them. For example, let's say a customer was interested in your bookkeeping software and was planning to use it for billing at her small company. As the representative, I would answer any questions she had about the bookkeeping software and its compatibility for her company. I would also be sure to mention the add-on software that makes bookkeeping in a small company much simpler.
By explaining the benefits, the customer can see how the combination of the main software and the add-on can solve her billing issues. She can then make her own informed decision to purchase without feeling that I have pushed her to do so.”
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