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5 Collections Specialist Interview Questions and Answers

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Q:

What do you perceive the duties of a collections specialist to be? 

A:

Generally speaking, a college degree is not required for a collection specialist. This means that many applicants don't have extensive knowledge in the field. Because of this, it's important that they have a good idea of what they will be expected to do if they are hired. This helps you understand their preparedness and how much training they're likely to need. What to look for in an answer:

  • Job history requiring multitasking and customer service
  • Experience relevant to the duties listed in your job description
  • Specific skills like success in telesales over general skills like good communication
Example:

"Collections specialists are responsible for creating and maintaining an up-to-date list of clients with overdue loans and bills and reaching out to them to collect payment. Reviewing terms of sale, ensuring customer information is correct, listening to customer's issues and recording customer's new commitment to payment are all part of the job in my experience."

Q:

What are some things collection agents are not allowed to do?

A:

It is critical to keep your business protected. Although you may need a large volume of new hires, you should never compromise on quality. To help you avoid legal problems, this question helps you weed out applicants who are more likely to get your business into legal hot water. It will also identify candidates who will be an ideal cultural fit for your company. What to look for in an answer:

  • Quick responses to related questions
  • Understanding of the most important legal stipulations
  • Ability to provide several examples and not just the obvious ones
Example:

"You should never call someone at work if they've asked you not to. Calls can only be made between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m."

Q:

How would your previous employer describe your work ethic and skills as a collections agent?

A:

History is prone to repeating itself. You have access to the job candidate's work history. When you ask this question, pay close attention to applicants' body language. They know you could call and confirm their answers if you choose to, and this can make them nervous if the answers wouldn't be positive. You can also learn how well they're able to maintain a positive relationship. What to look for in an answer:

  • Calmness when answering
  • Highly positive response
  • Attitude toward previous employer and work
Example:

"I maintain a positive relationship with my previous supervisor. They would describe me as a problem solver with the ability to multitask."

Q:

Are you familiar with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?

A:

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was enacted to prevent abusive debt collection practices. Although a good job candidate doesn't necessarily have to know all the ins and outs of the act, they should have a good grasp of the general concept. The act's stipulations are important for keeping consumers protected and your business running thoroughly and ethically. What to look for in an answer:

  • Spontaneous and honest answer
  • Ability to easily recall the important aspects of the act
  • Respect for and willingness to follow the law
Example:

"The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was enacted to protect consumers. It prevents the collection agent from employing deceptive tactics to collect debts, which helps to keep the company running smoothly."

Q:

What would you do if you could not contact a consumer despite multiple efforts?

A:

While the candidate may provide great answers related to what a collections specialist can and cannot do, this question is designed to put them in a situation in which it can be easy to bend the rules. Furthermore, it can reveal how quick and creative they are at coming up with a viable solution to a common issue. What to look for in an answer:

  • Ethical solutions even if this wouldn't help them meet their goals
  • Knowledge of when to be persistent and when it's time to move on
  • Ability to handle stress well
Example:

"It's my job to do everything possible to inform customers of their outstanding debt. I would seek out public records to update contact information."

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