How to Have a Great Customer Service Job Interview

Business man and women happily shaking hands

 
Do you like to help people? Are you enthusiastic and outgoing? Possess strong communication skills? If you’ve answered yes, yes and yes, then it sounds like you have a good shot at scoring a job in customer service. But first you’ll have to have a successful customer service job interview. Here are some tips.

 

Customer Service Interview Questions

In order to provide great customer service, businesses must hire great customer service personnel. And that starts with the interview process. Here are some customer service-specific interview questions you can expect to hear during your interview:

  • Why do you enjoy working in customer service?
  • How have you handled a situation with an angry or difficult customer?
  • What do you enjoy about working in the customer service field?
  • Do you prefer working alone or in a team-oriented environment?
  • How have you gone the extra mile for a customer?

How you speak to your interviewer will definitely be used to judge your potential for communicating with customers, recruiter Marissa Letendre says.

“The hiring manager will look for strong communication strengths, which is important in a customer service role,” Stephanie O’Neil of Professional Staffing Group adds. “Candidates can demonstrate this strength by being engaged, speaking clearly and using proper grammar, demonstrating enthusiasm and being aware of their body language and vocal inflections.”

Other traits that hiring managers and recruiters say businesses typically look for when filling customer service positions include problem-solving skills, listening skills, customer focus, the ability to work under pressure, confidence (not cockiness) and empathy.

“We are looking for a people person,” says Jeremy Levi, director of marketing at Mars Med Supply. “A people person will generally be able to solve customer service needs. Someone who is upbeat and friendly will generally land the job.”

 

Prepare for Your Customer Service Job Interview

As with any job interview, solid preparation is the cornerstone of a successful interview for a customer service position.

First, you should be prepared to use examples that illustrate the customer service skills that many companies will look for in job candidates. That means preparing specific anecdotes that demonstrate your customer service strengths.

Career coach Anna-Jane Niznikowska says, “A good candidate should be able to give a range of strong examples of how they used empathy and persuasion when they had to influence a customer.”

She adds that “customer service examples that show that the candidate made an effort to understand customer expectations, ensured a positive customer experience, dealt with a complaint constructively, and monitored customer satisfaction” are valuable.

Researching the company prior to your customer service job interview is crucial. Some questions could focus on how much you know about the business and its products or services. Relate any personal experience you might have had with the company and be able to explain why you were drawn to work for them. Knowledge of the business will make it easier to adapt your answers to how you would apply your customer service skills to fit their particular needs.

“Customer service is not just a job, it’s a skill set,” says Nicholas Webb, founder of Cravve, a customer experience consulting firm. “The bottom line: Learn the principles, the practices and the vernacular of customer service, and you will significantly increase your chance of getting the best customer service job.”

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