Preparing for the Interview - Part 1

Nancy Anderson
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A large amount of companies, probably most all of them, have some kind of customer service position, whether it is a reception position, a sales representative, a supply coordinator, or a large call center for incoming and outgoing calls. If you are seeking to enter into such a role with a company, there are a few things you can do to prepare for the interview process.

Your role in any of these positions will be to establish a positive experience for whoever it is that your company is servicing. Therefore, you really need to be a people person to handle such a position in a fruitful manner for your company. So, when you go for your interview, you will probably run into the more typical questions, such as "Tell me about yourself," “Why should you be given this position?" and "What are some of your strengths and weaknesses." As always, you should have quick and ready concise answers for these type of questions, and you should be able to answer and present yourself in a professional manner, without fumbling around for answers. A position like this requires good communication skills. If you are not comfortable speaking to others, or you do not communicate in a clear and understandable manner, this is probably not a good field to go into.

Other questions you should be prepared to answer would be those like "What does great customer service look like to you?" or "Explain your principles or philosophy of customer service." You need to be prepared to gives reasonable and professional answers, showing you have a firm grasp on what makes (and breaks) great customer service. In future segments we will delve into a bit more detail on great ways to answers these questions, but for now, I wish to just give more of an overview of the interview procedure.

You can expect to also go through a series of behavioral type questions, which can be typical for most any position, but in this case will most likely focus on customer service problem solving, accuracy, and stress related scenarios. It is always good for you to go online and find some sample scenarios and see how you would honestly feel in such a situation. If you struggle to "do the right thing" in your own mind, then again, maybe this is not a field you should go into. Patience, understanding, and a true service mentality is what is needed to excel in this type of job.

Some of the questions you may encounter will be specific to the company and position, so it is always important to have a firm knowledge on the company and their services. Do some research and become familiar, not only so you can better answer the potential questions, but also so that you will be able to ask detailed questions about the position yourself when the time comes for you to ask. Most people who have applied and just walked in off the street, do not have many meaningful questions, if any questions at all, when given the opportunity to ask during the interview. This is a key time for you to show you have the knowledge and desire for the position, that you understand a bit about it enough to have additional questions (outside of the typical salary and benefit questions), which can put you on the list above the average person who passes on this opportunity.

Jeff McCormack resides in Virginia Beach, VA. where he works as a web designer by day. In his off time he is a husband, father, and musician. Aside from being a freelance writer for this Customer Service Jobs blog, he also seeks to assist in career choices and information by contributing to other Nexxt blog sites.

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