Outstanding customer service naturally starts with exceptional customer service employees. Even with the best tools, systems, finely tuned processes and training in place, a company won’t be able to provide excellent service experience without having the right people in their customer service teams. Since not everyone is suited for the role – how to find and select the most appropriate candidates? The following article highlights some of the most common customer service interview questions to help employers weed out the wrong applicants and pick up the best ones.
The right customer service interview questions and answers can reveal more useful and relevant information about a candidate than their previous work history mentioned in the resume. These questions can be divided into several groups:
The questions related to customer service in general are aimed to determine a candidate’s commitment to the role and help to gain insights about their customer service philosophy. A candidate should be able to clearly explain the importance and impact of customer service on a company’s growth and bottom line, and provide examples of good and bad service. They should also be prepared to talk about what it takes to be a great customer service representative and what is required to succeed in the role. These starter questions can be asked at the beginning of the interview to get the conversation flowing:
Behavioral customer service interview questions require potential candidates to share true stories of their previous work experiences in order to find out if they have the right set of soft skills needed for the job. The answers should provide verifiable, specific evidence of how they dealt with customer issues in the past. A good candidate will share detailed examples from their own experiences and will take responsibility for their mistakes rather than blaming customers or the company. These questions typically start with ‘Describe how you have handled…’, ‘Tell me about a time when you’ or ‘Give me an example of…’:
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Situational customer service interview questions are similar to behavioral ones and are asked by employers to understand how a candidate would handle different – often difficult and challenging -circumstances with customers that might arise on the job. The candidate is asked to assess a particular situation and to provide solutions on how they would manage it. The answers will help to reveal their thought process, problem-solving, analytical, self-management and communication skills. The questions could be as follows:
Asking personal questions is an important part of any interview as it helps an employer to determine if a candidate is a good match for both, the job and the company culture. They usually relate to the candidate’s personality and qualities, strengths and weaknesses, work style and work ethic, how well they handle stress and what they expect from an employer. Some of the personal customer service representative interview questions may include:
Asking potential candidates what they know about the company they are applying to is a great way to find out how much preparation they have actually done for the interview. It helps to separate those candidates who might be applying to dozens of positions per day without even looking from the ones who took the time to carefully research about the company, its mission, products and services. Some of the examples of such questions are:
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