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Call Center Representative interview questions and answers

This Call Center Representative interview profile brings together a snapshot of what to look for in candidates with a balanced sample of suitable interview questions.

Christine Del Castillo
Christine Del Castillo

Former Community Manager at Workable specialized in employee experience, talent brands and our event series, Workable Ideas.

call-center-rep

10 good call center representative interview questions

  1. What software programs are you familiar with?
  2. How do you manage your time? How many calls per hour do you usually make on a campaign?
  3. Describe a time you solved a problem with a coworker.
  4. How do you manage stress after talking to difficult customers?
  5. What do you know about our customers?
  6. Describe a time you successfully upsold a customer.
  7. What’s your approach to delivering great customer service?
  8. If you don’t know the answer to a customer’s question, what do you do?
  9. What would you do if you were on the phone with a customer while experiencing a system crash?
  10. This job tends to be repetitive. How do you stay motivated?

Here are 10 essential interview questions and sample answers to help identify the best candidates for this role.

1. What software programs are you familiar with?

Understanding the software tools a candidate is familiar with can give insights into their technical proficiency and adaptability to new systems.

Sample answer:

“I am proficient in using Zendesk, Salesforce, and Avaya. I’ve also had experience with Microsoft Office Suite, especially Excel for reporting purposes.”

2. How do you manage your time? How many calls per hour do you usually make on a campaign?

This question assesses the candidate’s efficiency and ability to handle the workload.

Sample answer:

“I prioritize tasks based on urgency and importance. On average, I handle 15-20 calls per hour, depending on the complexity of the issues.”

3. Describe a time you solved a problem with a coworker.

This question evaluates the candidate’s interpersonal skills and problem-solving abilities.

Sample answer:

“Once, a coworker and I had a disagreement about a process. We sat down, discussed our perspectives, and found a middle ground that benefited the team.”

4. How do you manage stress after talking to difficult customers?

Handling stress is crucial in a call center environment. This question gauges the candidate’s resilience and coping mechanisms.

Sample answer:

“After a challenging call, I take a short break to breathe and refocus. I also remind myself not to take things personally and focus on providing the best service.”

5. What do you know about our customers?

This question tests the candidate’s research and understanding of your company.

Sample answer:

“Your customers are primarily from the tech industry, looking for efficient and quick solutions. They value clear communication and timely responses.”

6. Describe a time you successfully upsold a customer.

Upselling is a valuable skill in call centers. This question assesses the candidate’s sales abilities.

Sample answer:

“A customer once called for a basic package. I highlighted the benefits of our premium package, and they saw the value and upgraded.”

7. What’s your approach to delivering great customer service?

This question evaluates the candidate’s understanding of customer service principles.

Sample answer:

“I listen actively, empathize with the customer, and provide solutions promptly. I also ensure to follow up to guarantee their satisfaction.”

8. If you don’t know the answer to a customer’s question, what do you do?

This question tests the candidate’s problem-solving skills and resourcefulness.

Sample answer:

“I’d tell the customer that I’ll look into it and get back to them as soon as possible. I’d then consult with a colleague or supervisor for the answer.”

9. What would you do if you were on the phone with a customer while experiencing a system crash?

This question gauges the candidate’s ability to handle unexpected challenges.

Sample answer:

“I’d apologize for the inconvenience, explain the situation briefly, and assure them that I’ll call back as soon as the issue is resolved.”

10. This job tends to be repetitive. How do you stay motivated?

Understanding how a candidate maintains motivation in a repetitive job can indicate their long-term suitability for the role.

Sample answer:

“I focus on the positive impact I make on customers’ lives. Each call is a new opportunity to help someone, and that keeps me motivated.”

What does a good Call Center Representative candidate look like?

A stellar Call Center Representative is not just technically proficient but also possesses excellent interpersonal skills. They should be able to handle stress, communicate effectively, and be adaptable to changing situations. A proactive approach to problem-solving and a genuine desire to help customers are also essential traits.

Red flags

Beware of candidates who lack patience, have poor communication skills, or show no initiative to resolve issues. A history



Call Center Representative Interview Questions

Although call center responsibilities vary a little from company to company (inbound calls versus outbound calls, for instance), the essential requirements for this position are the same nearly everywhere.  Candidates for this position should have exceptionally strong written and verbal communication skills. They should be able to listen closely to their customers and record conversations in accurate detail. They should also be able to solve problems efficiently while maintaining a high standard of customer service. Previous customer-facing experience is very desirable for this role.

Candidates can be trained to have the desired hard skills for this position, e.g. handling multi-line phones. As a rule, it’s good if they are comfortable with computers, have some basic knowledge of databases, and can type at least 30-45 words per minute.

Exceptional call center representatives are good at working in teams. They respect and motivate their coworkers and can work together with them to achieve a common goal. They can work together to manage stress and turn to each other for day-to-day problem-solving. Use the following interview questions to discern these hard and soft skills in your candidates.

Let’s summarize some of the questions and add a few more divided into specific types.

Operational and Situational questions

  • What software programs are you familiar with?
  • What tools have you used to record details from your calls?
  • How large was the customer database at your previous company?
  • What do you know about our customers?
  • Describe a time you solved a problem with a coworker.
  • Describe a time you worked with a team to achieve a common goal.
  • How do you manage your time? How many calls per hour do you usually make on a campaign?
  • Describe a time you calmed down an angry customer.
  • How do you manage stress after talking to difficult customers?
  • Describe a time you successfully upsold a customer.
  • What’s your approach to delivering great customer service?
  • If you don’t know the answer to a customer’s question, what do you do?
  • What would you do if you were on the phone with a customer while experiencing a system crash?
  • This job tends to be repetitive. How do you stay motivated? What do you hope to get out of this job?

 

Frequently asked questions

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