Top 25 Call Center Interview Questions (+ Example Answers Included)

By Mike Simpson

It’s easy to believe that anyone who’s trying to land a call center job should be a natural at interviewing. After all, it’s a job that’s all about talking. And, when it comes down to it, a call center interview is just another kind of conversation, right?

You’d think dealing with call center interview questions would be as comfortable as a pirate on calm seas with good wind in the sails. But that isn’t always the case.

If you use the wrong approach, it’s no different than dropping the anchor in the middle of the ocean and somehow expecting to still make it to shore.

It won’t happen.

Now, that doesn’t mean you should panic. Instead, channel that nervous energy into something useful: proper preparation. So, let’s hone those conversational skills, ensuring you can navigate these waters with genuine seamanship and join the 3 million other pirates customer service representatives sailing the seas today.

How to Answer Call Center Interview Questions

Even if you’re an extroverted, people person, that doesn’t mean answering call center interview questions is easy. You aren’t just chatting with a friend when you meet with the hiring manager; you’re trying to convince them that you’re the best candidate for the job.

Plus, with COVID-19 running rampant, your interview may be especially awkward. Call centers are increasingly interviewing remotely to keep people safe, and, for many candidates, these meetings feel a bit like sailing into the Bermuda Triangle; you just don’t know what to expect.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t get your sea legs. The right preparation can be your compass, ensuring you remain sailing toward your destination no matter how much the waves try to push you off course. So, let’s get that compass on target.

Begin by reviewing the job description. When it comes to interviews, that little cluster of paragraphs is like a treasure map. That list of must-have skills and qualities? It’s “x marks the spot.” They tell you exactly what the hiring manager wants to find. After all, if those capabilities and traits weren’t important, they wouldn’t have ended up on the list. You need to be ready to talk about anything in the must-haves list if you want to land call center job gold.

Now, that only covers the basic. If you want to take your answers to the next level, you have to keep digging. Take a detour through the company’s website. Navigate to the mission and values statements. There, you’ll get insights that can help you on your quest to nail the call center interview questions. They provide you with details about this employer’s priorities, and you can use that information to craft stellar responses.

But don’t stop there. Use the right strategies to create your answers. For behavioral interview questions, combine the STAR method and the Tailoring Method (which we’ve covered in detail before) to really refine what you’re going to say. Those approaches let you craft meaningful, relevant, and engaging answers by combining storytelling methodology with the right examples from your work history. If you want to impress the hiring manager, it is the way to go.

And, if you’re interviewing remotely, review our tips for video interviews and our Zoom interview tips articles to make sure you are ready for this new paradigm. While much of what you need to do is similar to other interviews, there are some nuances that are worth reviewing.

Top 3 Call Center Interview Questions

Now that you have a solid idea of how to handle call center interview questions, it’s time to sail off toward the horizon and hope into the meeting, right? Well, let’s just say you don’t want to shove off from shore just yet. We have one more piece of the treasure map that can help you reach job gold: example answers.

If you want to make sure you are ready to shine like the sun bouncing off a recently uncovered doubloon, here are the top three call center interview questions and tips for answering them.

1. How would you handle a customer question that you didn’t know the answer to?

The vast majority of a contact center employee’s day is spent answering typical questions. That means, in a fairly short time, you’ll be able to handle most inquiries without having to give them much thought.

However, that doesn’t mean a question can’t rise up like a Kraken out of the deep and drag you under. You will face questions you could never have imagined; it’s inevitable.

Hiring managers want to know that you can handle the unexpected. This question aligns with the most common surprise situation you’ll face, so they want to make sure you have a strategy in place for when that time comes.

EXAMPLE ANSWER:

“If a customer asked me a question and I didn’t know the answer, the first thing I would do is use my available resources. I may turn to the internal company knowledge base as a starting point. While I may not have faced a particular question, there’s a decent chance another employee has, which I think makes that a great place to start. If the question wasn’t proprietary or company-specific, I would also do my own outside research, such as by conducting an internet search. However, if that didn’t yield a result, I would then consult with my fellow team members or direct supervisor. Additionally, throughout the process, I would touch base with the customer to inform them of my progress and that I was working toward a resolution. That allows me to reassure them that their question is a priority and that it has my full attention until an answer is found.”

2. If you were on a call with an angry customer, what would you do to diffuse the situation?

If there was ever a job where “parley” was a skill you’d need, it’s customer service. At times, you’re going to take calls from angry customers. That’s just a fact.

Hiring managers prefer candidates who can deal with frustrated callers. As a result, you shouldn’t be surprised when this question comes up.

EXAMPLE ANSWER:

“If a caller was angry, I would first focus on remaining calm and professional. That way, I can hear their concerns fully and from a place of empathy. I would listen to what they have to say and affirm that I understand their needs by paraphrasing what I’m hearing. Along the way, I’d ask clarifying questions while reassuring them that I’ll find a solution. My goal would be to gather meaningful details that can lead to a resolution while ensuring the customer felt listened to, as that is often enough to diffuse the situation.”

3. Why do you think you would make a great call center employee?

This is a bit of a sneak interview question. Usually, the hiring manager’s goal is to see if you understand what it takes to thrive in the environment. If you don’t provide them with an overview of relevant skills, they probably won’t consider you a great fit.

EXAMPLE ANSWER:

“I believe that I have the necessary skills to excel as a call center employee. I pride myself on my active listening skills, and I feel those would allow me to serve customers well. Additionally, I am calm under pressure and incredibly patient. Even in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment, I can keep myself centered and focused, ensuring that customer service remains a priority at all times.”

22 More Call Center Interview Questions

Here are 22 more call center interview questions that you might face as a candidate:

      1. Why do you want to work at this call center?
      2. What do you think it is like to work in a call center?
      3. How do you define customer service?
      4. Are you comfortable with cold calling?
      5. How do you deal with rejection?
      6. If you overheard a coworker being rude or inappropriate while on a call with a customer, what would you do?
      7. Can you describe your sales (or customer service) experience?
      8. How would you describe your people skills? How would your former managers and coworkers describe them?
      9. If a customer provides you with negative feedback, how would you respond?
      10. Can you give me an example of a time you went above and beyond for a customer?
      11. Do you work best as part of a team, or when you can work independently?
      12. Can you describe a situation where you and your manager had a disagreement? How was the situation resolved?
      13. How do you respond to constructive criticism?
      14. Is there something unique that you feel you can bring to the team?
      15. If a customer wanted to return an item, but the item wasn’t eligible, how would you handle the situation?
      16. Tell me about a time you made a customer service mistake. Were you able to correct the issue? If so, what did you do to remedy the situation?
      17. How do you balance high-quality customer service with speed?
      18. Describe a time when you faced a problem and had to come up with a creative solution.
      19. Can you tell me about your most impressive customer service moment?
      20. If a customer began complaining about how they were treated by one of your coworkers, what would you do?
      21. How familiar are you with computers, multi-line phone systems, and other forms of technology?
      22. Imagine you were working with a customer and, after explaining a situation several times, they still don’t understand. You are already 15 minutes passed the end of your shift. What would you do?

5 Good Questions to Ask at the End of a Call Center Interview

Phew! Some of the questions above are tough, right? If you’ve managed to navigate your way through them, you’re probably thinking, “Alright, I’ve nailed my interview, and I can relax.” While that seems like the case, now isn’t the time for complacency.

Why?

Because, at the end of the interview, you’ll usually get the chance to ask a few questions. While this may not seem like a big deal, it really is. First, it’s an opportunity for you to learn more about the job. That way, you can make sure it’s a great fit for you.

Second, you can use this time to showcase your interest. With thoughtful questions, you are proving that you care about this opportunity. That is critical if you want to make a lasting impression on the hiring manager.

If you don’t know what to ask as the end of your call center interview, here are five great options to keep in your back pocket:

      1. What do you think is the biggest challenge new call center employees face? Do you have any advice that could help them overcome it?
      2. How do you define success for this role?
      3. Does the new hire onboarding process include training?
      4. Can you describe what a typical day in this call center job is like?
      5. How would you describe this call center’s culture? What are its strengths and weaknesses?
MIKE'S TIP: Are you looking for an end-of-interview question that lets you gauge the hiring manager’s interest in you? If so, we’ve got your back. Asking, “Is there anything that is preventing me from being your top candidate?” lets you gain insight into the hiring manager’s perspective. Plus, it creates an opportunity. If they have doubts, you can address them directly. You can give them peace of mind, and you can feel more confident about your performance. Really, it’s a win-win, and it works for essentially any job interview, regardless of the position.

Putting It All Together

With the tips above, you can navigate the choppiest interview waters. Spend time preparing and, remember, you’re a great candidate. Let the information above be your compass, and, in no time, you’ll have amazing answers ready that are sure to impress any hiring manager.

Good luck!

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About The Author

Mike Simpson

Co-Founder and CEO of TheInterviewGuys.com. Mike is a job interview and career expert and the head writer at TheInterviewGuys.com. His advice and insights have been shared and featured by publications such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, CNBC and more as well as educational institutions such as the University of Michigan, Penn State, Northeastern and others. Learn more about The Interview Guys on our About Us page.