Practical Tips to Win Your Call Center Interview

by | Interview Tips

As with any other job, the interview is probably the most-awaited yet also the most dreaded part. Some people don’t have problems with being interviewed while some just freak out completely. If you are worried about your call center interview, then let’s take that load off your shoulder. Well, even if you’re not worried at all, for sure you want to do your best and snag that chance to make a good first impression and get hired.

For me, the key is always preparation. You can never tell what happens exactly during the interview but it’s best to come equipped as much as you can. Case in point: Miss Universe or any other beauty pageants. The contestants aren’t just there because they’re picked 5 minutes before the competition. They had months or even years to prepare!

Unless you’re competing for a beauty pageant, at least you don’t need to speak in front of a massive audience so keep that in mind – plus no online bashing at all, and a week or two of preparation will do. Just use your time wisely.

Nail your call center interview with these tips. These are my personal experiences and not just something I took from the internet. 😉

Before the interview

1. Research

Know the company you’re applying for. What are the products and services they offer? What are the goals, mission, and vision? You don’t have to memorize those by the way. What’s important is that you know the basics about the company and how they operate. Also, make sure that you have credible sources. No to fake news!

The internet is vast and you can always do a Google search but make sure you triple fact-check. If you have a network of trusted friends working in the same company, they can be a good source of information too. If you are a first-timer, it’s also best to know how call centers operate so that you have an idea what you are getting into.

2. Prepare your resume ahead of time.

Sure you have a resume template, or you’ve made one long ago. But don’t just grab and print it on the day of your interview. Spend some time checking it to see if you’ve got everything covered. Most call centers are not particular with the format so just make sure you’ve included the basics such as personal information, updated contact details, work experiences, info about your education, skills, and character references.

3. Prepare your outfit.

Yup! If your interview is over the phone, then of course this doesn’t apply. Some people tend to not care about what they wear because the call center culture usually has a chill dress code (not all). This isn’t an excuse though. This is your first and probably only chance to make an impression and a proper outfit is certainly necessary to establish yourself.

Just have something simple and appropriate. Don’t overdo your makeup. Keep it natural. When it comes to dressing up, my gauge is always comfort. If I can breathe, move, talk, and walk in it, then it’s good to go. I’d never go if I feel like something’s loose or too tight.

Also for ladies, you’re not required to wear heels or stilettos if that’s something you’re not comfortable wearing. Flats are okay but never slippers. You’ll probably be given a chance if you wear sneakers but I suggest you don’t. Just be on the safe side always. 😉

4. Practice answering questions.

Going back to the Miss Universe case in point, you will do better if you’ve had some practice. Even Pia Wurtzbach admitted she had a notebook with a list of pageant questions. In your case, basic and common call center interview questions. Having a list and practicing beforehand is so much better than being clueless!

5. Know the venue or location of your interview.

For all the apparent reasons, you don’t want to get lost and panic when it’s just five minutes before your interview and you’re still looking for the venue. Research the directions. You’ll feel more confident if you know where you are going because you don’t need to rush, plus you’ll have enough time to take a bath and eat a decent meal.

6. Sleep well the day before your interview.

This is perhaps one of the best things I usually do. More and more people think that sleep is a luxury, but it’s actually a necessity. Good quality sleep is what will essentially prepare your mind and body for your interview. If you’ve prepared everything beforehand, sleeping early shouldn’t be a problem (given you don’t have sleep issues).

During interview day!

Assuming you’ve slept well and know the venue or location of your interview, everything should be starting well during your big day. Claim it!

1. Be early.

Need I say more? Seriously, I don’t think we should remind people to be early. 😉 Sadly, this Filipino time culture has been ongoing for God-knows-how long. But still, I’d say it again – just be early. Consider the distance, traffic, and some leeway in case you stepped on a rotten tomato or worse, a piece of sh*t on your way (God forbid).

2. Be polite.

Be polite when answering questions. It goes a long way. Don’t be condescending and sarcastic. 🙂

3. Breathe.

Are you nervous? That’s good. For me, it means that you really care about the job enough to be a little anxious about the interview. If you aren’t nervous, that doesn’t mean you don’t care. Perhaps you have everything under control, so use it to your advantage.

Most interviewers are friendly and accommodating. They wouldn’t want to scare you away. If they do act a little off or like a heckler, I’d say they could just be playing the part to see how you’d handle uncomfortable situations or scenarios. Just try to relax and maintain your composure.

Mind your body language and keep your voice loud enough and firm but not stiff. Your voice can reveal a lot. If you start off strong then your voice trails off or becomes quieter, it may suggest that you aren’t sure of your answers.

4. Focus on the question at hand.

It’s easy to get distracted by peripheral thoughts and external factors. Do your best to listen to the question first before thinking of an answer. You’ll get distracted when you are already thinking of an answer even when the question isn’t done yet.

Take the interview one question at a time. It’s okay to spend a few quick seconds to think instead of blurting out an answer right off the bat. But be mindful. You don’t want to spend five minutes just thinking of an answer.

5. Maintain eye contact and smile.

Eye contact shows you are listening and that you are sincere. Smiling can make you more beautiful or good-looking! I’m not saying that call centers are hiring the ones with the most beautiful smile ayt. Just saying that a gentle and genuine smile shows that you are personable, relatable, and that you are not a pain to work with.

After the interview

1. Don’t just leave.

Thank the interviewer and ask relevant questions if you have any.

2. Give yourself a pat in the back.

You did it! Now, don’t stress yourself anymore at this point. Overthinking can hurt you and it’s not like it’s gonna change anything about the interview. Move on graciously, and hope for the best. ♡

If you are a walk-in applicant, bring some snacks or refreshment because you never know how long you’ll be waiting for the next phase of your application. Some companies have a one-day hiring process but you may have to wait if there are a lot of applicants. Some companies will schedule your interview the next day or another day.

For phone interview

1. Set an alarm for your schedule.

It’s a phone interview so there’s likely a chance you’ll forget it. Set your alarm an hour or 30 minutes before schedule so that you have time to prepare. This doesn’t mean you wake up an hour before interview. Wake up even earlier than that, sheesh! 😀 Ahhh you know what I mean.

2. Prepare your “interview room”.

Since you won’t be in a physical office, set a quiet and well-ventilated space where you are comfortable taking the interview over the phone.

Inform the people in your house (including your dogs) that you have an interview so they won’t come knocking or screaming (or barking) while you’re trying to answer.

3. Check your phone for issues.

Of course, you want to make sure it’s fully charged and the volume is good. You can have a test call with someone just to be sure. This way you can also check how you sound over the phone. Fix any issues ahead of time. Also, check if your headset and mic are working if you plan on using them.

4. Speak clearly.

With over the phone interview, speak as clearly as you can, and enunciate the words properly. It’s an extra effort to communicate via phone because of the barrier. But if you are to work as a call center agent in a voice account, you better get used to speaking with people over the phone as early as possible.

So there you have it! Good luck and go get that job! 😉