10 characteristics to look for when hiring a customer support representative

10 characteristics to look for when hiring a customer support representative

Andrej Csizmadia

Andrej Csizmadia

Last modified on November 18, 2022 at 12:55 pm

Customer support is a thankless job. Service representatives are often under a lot of pressure, especially when something goes wrong. They have every right to make a mistake from time to time. You have to always keep that in mind. 

Unfortunately, there’re times, when the mistakes start stacking up and it has a negative influence on your company’s image. There might be 2 reasons for that:

  1. The reps are not qualified or motivated enough (see how to motivate your customer support team) or 
  2. You’re understaffed. (continue reading)

But what should I look for when hiring a new customer support rep to avoid future mistakes? 

Man with binosculars

Characteristics to look for at an interview:

A job interview serves to determine a candidate’s potential. However, it is equally important to explain the role, company policies, culture, and working environment before the interview. A quick way to share this information with your candidates is to create a hiring video to outline the expectations of the job. It should be as informative as possible so the candidate is well prepared and your time is not wasted. You can even request that potential candidates prepare a day plan for the interview, which will enable you to determine how well they can perform the job.

You can also ask them to create a basic cover letter so you can get a deeper insight into who they are as a person.

Below is a compilation of the most important characteristics to look for when interviewing a candidate for a customer service/helpdesk operator position:


Your new employee will come across customers who will be difficult to deal with. The representative must be able to handle the hard times that come with serving the public. Your chosen person has to have self-control.

Willing to help

Your candidate needs to be willing to help others solve problems.


It is vital to have tolerance for those clients that nobody truly wants to deal with. The more patient your customer representative is, the better for your support.


Given the high turnover of customer support representatives, a very significant quality you must search for in a potential worker is commitment.

Emotional stability

You should be looking for an employee with good impulse control, non-anxious and calm.


One of the first and most important steps when fielding a support call or email is to stop for a second after hearing/reading the issue and put yourself in the shoes of the customer you’re dealing with.


You need a candidate who is highly adaptable and extremely quick on their feet.

Communication skills

Service agents must be able to communicate fluently in the language of their clients.

Knowledge of the product

If your company sells something, it is important your service agent knows the product inside and out.

Sales skills

Customer service representatives are always in touch with the customers, so there is a high chance that they can instigate a sale.

A good work ethic

Your new rep must be willing to put the needed work in to provide exceptional customer service.

Ensure your agents know your product

Create a knowledge repository for your agents to ensure they’re well-versed in your product and ready to provide exceptional customer service.

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