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How to Be a Successful Sales Representative

Sales can be an exciting yet stressful career. I'm talking about "Outside" sales, in which you are an
Independent Contractor, making your own hours, setting your own appointments with potential
clients (also known as Cold Calling), and attending these appointments yourself, as well as team
meetings, conferences, and seminars. It can be a load on your schedule.
There is a lot of Psychological and Social Skills that one must possess to be in this type of profession,
but most of all, you have to learn how to deal with stress, because sometimes you have to work long
hours on a lot of days to make any profit or commission (whatever the form of pay may be.), not to
mention all of the people that you have to deal with on a daily basis.
Please be professional and courteous with all of your customers and transactions, and be willing to
help and assist them in any way. This is a vital key to success and the growth of your client database,
and will make you feel better about yourself and what you are doing.
So, let's get started. First of all, It is CRUCIAL that you "believe" in your product. No questions
asked. If you don't believe in your product, then the person you are trying to sell it to will not either.
This is NOT a "fake" belief, or something you can put on like a "fake" smile. You have to "genuinely"
believe in what you are selling. So, if you don't, I suggest you find something else to sell.
Now, before we go any further, we are going to talk about "Cold Calling" a little bit. This is a vital part
of your achievement in what you do. It all STARTS with the first contact, and we all know how vital a
first impression is. Cold Calling is "similar" to telemarketing, except I never suggest that you just call
random people out of the phone book. You can get yourself in a lot of trouble this way. What you do,
is you use "leads", from previous customers, so when you call a NEW POTENTIAL customer, this
way you can make it personal:
For Example (Your initial statement upon receiving an answer on the telephone while cold calling)
"Hi, Leo, I was speaking to your friend, Debbie Smith, the other day, and she was very interested in a
product that I'm offering. She said that you may be interested in this as well, and that the same time,
you will be helping me out."
Now, Let's analyze this!!!
First of all, you are calling the person by their "first name". This creates a sense of informality and
you are being PERSONAL (but not too personal). Second, You have mentioned somebody that THEY
KNOW, so they are less likely to hang up on you. (Probably the most important thing about this
tactic) And, you are not lying when you said that "She said you may be interested", because you
actually received this person's information by telling (example person: Debbie) at a previous
appointment, "Write down a few people that you think would be interested in this product." (more
will be discussed on this tactic later on). With this approach, "Leo" is more likely to have an open

mind about what you are offering BECAUSE "his friend" SAID that he may be interested in it.
AHHA!!! And finally, Last, but not least, You finish by stating that she will be "helping you out as
well". See, people have a "natural" tendency to want to help people when they are in need.
If you give them a chance to think it over, your chances of an appointment, and virtually a possible
sale, has diminished. Most likely, if you use the Cold Calling tactic above, you won't have much
resistance. But if you do, just let it go, and move on. You are only wasting YOUR time, and you know
what they say in the world of business, "Time is Money".
However, let's say you do get a positive response: My first tip for you is to not schedule appointments
to far into the future. (Basic principle: Try to make them within 1-3 days, 5 days "at the most" of the
initial call.) This is because, after awhile, this person may forget about the appointment, or even
more likely, something may come up in their schedule.
Doing a Little Extra To Make Sure That They Keep the Appointment
Only Target Specific People for Sales
Attending Appointment: Sales Pitch
The most crucial and important tips that I can give you that underline everything that you do is be
positive, smile, use humor, and be professional yet personal at the same time.
Simply say, "Mrs. Smith, I understand that you have questions, and I am more than willing to answer
them, but can I please continue on with the presentation before I answer any of them. You have my
word that when I'm done, I will answer any questions that you have." IT'S AS SIMPLE AS THAT, and
it almost always works.
Closing The Deal
A lot of "professional" Sales Reps. Forget this. That is to close the deal. When you are finished with
your sales pitch, YOU MUST come right out and ask, "Does this sound like something you'd be
interested in?" or "Do you think you could benefit from this?", "Are you interested in this?", or even,
"Do you want to buy this?" You HAVE to ASK, or the person is never going to give you a direct
response, and more than likely will lose interest.
"Not Asking", but Insisting for Referrals
Receiving referrals (leads) is the central most important thing that keeps your operation running,
and a lot of people will be hesitant to give them to you. SO, you must INSIST that they supply some.
Here is what don't do: "Mrs. Smith, I'll understand if you don't feel comfortable, but can you, uh,
please give me some people that may be interested in this?" NOOOOOOO!!! Here is what you do:
Have a piece of paper ready. Have a pen ready. GIVE IT to "Mrs. Smith" and say, "Do me a favor and
write down at least 5 people that you believe would benefit from this product." In this second

example, you are not "asking". You are not "giving them a choice". You are commanding, "DO me a
favor". This alone, will make you more successful in getting referrals. Most likely, they will comply.
But, this isn't the end of it. Before they are finished writing that last referral, say something like,
"Thank you, You are doing a great job, Go ahead and write down 5 more." They are already writing,
so they are most likely to continue. You can do this all day long. I've known of Sales Reps. that have
received 50 referrals from one person by continuing to do this.
Now for a small tip: You can request further details about the referrals, so that you will know if they
are a person that matches your "target".

Outbound Sales Agent interview questions


Outbound Sales Agent interview Questions

Outbound Sales Agent interview Answers
Outbound Sales Agent interview Tips
Interview Preparation Tests

Sales Agent interview questions for Informational interview:

- Have you ever dealt with company policy you weren't in agreement with? How?
- Give examples of ideas you've had or implemented.
- What five words would be describe you as Outbound Sales Agent?
- Situation in which you had to arrive at a compromise.
- How do you evaluate your ability to handle conflict?
- What are the qualities of a good Outbound Sales Agent?
- What are your strengths?
Your preference may also depend on where you are in your career. The best way to tackle these
Outbound Sales Agent interview questions is to answer as honestly as possible. The interviewer
wants to find out if you are focused and set goals for yourself.
Outbound Sales Agent interview questions for Basic interview:
- What was your major disappointment?
- Tell me about a difficult experience you had as Outbound Sales Agent.
- What kinds of things really get your excited?
- What's your ideal company?
- What was the most stressful situation you have facedas as Outbound Sales Agent?
- How do you keep track of things you need to do?
- Time when you have encountered conflict in the workplace.
This question is asked to find out whether you are committed to the Outbound Sales Agent job. It
takes a lot of thinking to be ready for these Outbound Sales Agent interview questions. When
interviewing, spend a few minutes describing your ideal environment so both sides can make an

informed decision.
Outbound Sales Agent interview questions for Face to Face interview:
- How do you propose to compensate for your lack of experience?
- Why did you leave your last job.
- What do you think is the greatest challenge facing Outbound Sales Agent today?
- What major challenges and problems did you face?
- What's the best movie you've seen in the last year?
- Why do you believe you are qualified for this Outbound Sales Agent position?
- What is your personal mission statement?
Show your qualities that will enable you to be successful in this position.
The best policy is to be honest with yourself, and be honest with the interviewer.
Let the interviewer know that you focus on getting the most important things done first.
Outbound Sales Agent interview questions for Phone interview:
- How much preparation on files for trial do you do?
- What are key tasks for Outbound Sales Agent?
- Give me an example of when you have done more than required in a course.
- Could you describe a difficult problem and how you dealt with it?
- What do you consider your strengths and weaknesses as Outbound Sales Agent?
- Give me examples of projects tasks you started on your own.
- What is your expected salary?
A good strategy for these types of Outbound Sales Agent interview questions is to brainstorm a list of
your top ten best qualities. This is your chance to show your depth and dimension as a person. If you
have changed careers make a logical argument as to why you did so.
Outbound Sales Agent interview questions for General job interview:
- Do you know anyone who works as Outbound Sales Agent at this company?
- Your greatest weakness in school or at work?
- What personal weakness has caused you the greatest difficulty in school or at work?
- Have you gone above and beyond the call of duty?
- Give me an example of when you have done more than required in a course.
- Did you ever postpone making a decision? Why?
- What are you most proud of?
The vast majority of companies value a collaborative work style. Let the interviewer know how the
company's mission reflects your values. Having a plan for your future demonstrates motivation and
ambition, both of which are important qualities.
Outbound Sales Agent interview questions for First interview:
- What are your salary increases?
- Give an example of how you set goals and achieve them.
- Tell me about your work experience? How has it prepared you for Outbound Sales Agent job?
- What questions do you have for me?
- What did you like least about your last job?
- Are you planning to continue your studies and training for Outbound Sales Agent?
- What motivates you to do a good job?
Your preference may also depend on where you are in your career. How you respond to these
Outbound Sales Agent interview questions may be a litmus test for how well you'll fit into the
During the Outbound Sales Agent interview, detailing how you work with others is important.

In your pre-prepared answer you should include the following:

1. I listened carefully to what the customer had to say.
2. I apologised and empathised with their situation.
3. I confirmed my understanding of their concern.
4. I took responsibility to resolve the issue.
5. I offered a solution (plus alternatives if possible).
6. I confirmed the customer was happy with this.
7. I thanked the customer for raising the issue with me.
8. I took immediate action following the call to resolve the situation.
9. I remained calm throughout the whole process.
10. (If appropriate) the customer wrote in to my supervisor congratulating me on
my efficiency.

Inbound Customer Service

These questions will cover the basics of phone customer service, call etiquette
and other essentials of inbound customer service call centers.

1. Why did you leave your last position?

This is a tricky question because anything you say can and will be held against
you! Be careful and only answer with a positive tone. You can say that you didnt
find the job challenging enough for your skills, or that the workload was sporadic
and you spent, say 40%, of your time on idle mode. Never speak ill of your last
employer because it shows that you will do exactly the same once you leave this
one! Protect the image of your previous employer, and your current one will
respect you for it.

2. How would you handle an angry call from a

First, you need to allow them to vent their anger. If they are abusive, tell them
youre willing to listen, but only if they stop using profanities. Next, hear what they
have to say and note down key points. Third, re-state the main points so both of
you are clear about the situation. Fourth, find a solution that fits within your
companys policies and can redress the customers problem. Fifth, confirm that
the problem has been solved and that the customer is satisfied with the solution.
You may not be able to do all of this in one phone call, but this is the essential
process. The important part is to keep your cool at all times, and genuinely try to
find a solution that will make the customer happy.

3. Have you ever had conflict with your team leader

or manager?
This can be your answer: No, my work ethic is strong, so theres been no reason
for conflict. However, at times I have had disagreements on how to resolve a
particular problem for a customer, but I have always been able to talk it out and
find a solution that my team leader has supported.

4. Are you able to work with multiple phone lines?

Your answer: Yes, this has been part of my training, and my previous job entailed
handling several lines. I have good multi-tasking skills and my previous employer
can vouch for this.

5. How would you handle a high pressure


Your answer: I am highly organized, and I prioritize my workload so that

everything gets done on time and with high quality. I also leave room for urgent
tasks that might be assigned to me so that my schedule is basically unaffected
by emergencies.

Outbound Telemarketing
These questions are often asked of candidates aspiring to a position as a
telesales representative.

6. How many calls per hour can you make on an

average campaign?
Make sure you do your homework/research before you answer: My average call
handle time was about X minutes at my previous job. On a similar campaign I
can typically make 60/X calls per hour. On a predictive dialer I can usually make
10 to 20 percent more calls.
To improve your sales skills, try this online course Sales Skills by Learning

7. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Your answer should be relevant to telemarketing, so you could say: I have the
ability to talk effectively and persuade people. I am a good listener, and that
helps me identify customer needs so I can sell more effectively. My one
weakness is that I sometimes get too involved with customers, but I have
counseled with my previous manager on this and I believe I no longer have that

8. What are your goals as a telemarketer?

Your answer: My goal is to have a very short learning curve on this particular
product portfolio. By doing this, I can aim to be among the top performers in the
next 3-6 months. After showing consistent results for another 6 to 12 months, I
will aim to become a team leader in the same company because I believe that
growing with the same company will give me a strong foundation for my career

9. How do you handle a customer who starts yelling

at you as soon as they pick up and find out that you
are a telemarketer?
Your answer: Not every customer is in the right mood for a sales call, and I
understand that. Irate customers are part of the game, and I can easily calm
them down with an apology; however, I will usually attempt to get a callback time
so a valuable potential customer doesnt lose out on the great benefits your
products can give them.

10. What do you do if the dialer puts a Do Not Call

number through to you by mistake?
Your answer: As soon as I know that this is a DNC number, I will apologize at
once to the customer for the error and assure them that their number will be
immediately included in our internal DNC list. I will also make a note in the CRM
application so even if the system error happens again the next agent wont be
forced to deal with an escalated problem. I will also report the problem to my
team leader or manager as soon as I hang up.

Call Center interview questions and answers

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5

Download Call Center HR interview questions!

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BPO/Call center skills assessment test!
How would you describe yourself as a person?
The main purpose of this question is to see if you have some of those qualities which employers look for in their
employees like dedicated, performance oriented, hard working, creative etc................
Read Answer

What is a call center?

A center equipped to handle a large volume of telephone calls. These calls could be the calls coming in from
customers for service or support or these could be the calls.................
Read Answer

What according to you is a job like at a call center?

The purpose of this question to see if you are aware about the type of job you have applied to and if you are aware of
what call centers do................
Read Answer

What is the difference between a BPO and a call center?

Call center is a subset of BPO.................
Read Answer

Why do you want to work in a call center?

Relate the qualities you have to the requirements of a call center job like, good command over the language(English),
team working capabilities, patience, good listening skills etc...................
Read Answer

How do you rate your English skills?

Again, before you apply for a job to a call center you should be aware that most of the call centers cater to English
speaking customers and this needs you to speak clear English without any grammatical mistakes. ....................
Read Answer

Do you get along well with co-workers?

Getting along well with co-workers boils down to being a good team player..................
Read Answer

Why do you want to quit your present job?

If you are currently working or worked in the past, it is one of the most obvious questions you would face. So, you
must go prepared with a good answer for this..................
Read Answer

How would you manage your accommodation?

This question might be thrown at you unexpectedly to see your reaction..................
Read Answer

Do you think you can work under pressure?

Work and pressure are always going to co-exist. It might be the pressure at work or on personal front but you should
be able to deal with it................
Read Answer

Would you leave us if another company offers you 2K more than us?
By asking this question the interviewer tries to analyze if the candidate will leave the job for a couple of thousands.
Recruiting a candidate costs money to the company..................
Read Answer

Are you patient, give an example to show this

Patience is considered as a strength, by showing you are patient you are letting the interviewer know that you know
what to expect and that you are prepared for it.
Show that you are able to maintain a positive attitude and a high performance standard under pressure and can face
of challenges head on. Describe a situation when you used appropriate methods to overcome provocation and stress
and exhibit that you are able to keep patience when faced with a difficult customer.

Can you work in shifts/rotational shifts?

Call Centers provide 24*7 support to customers, so if you want to make a career in this industry, make sure you are
ready to work in shifts. You will not only work at odd times, but your shifts will rotate on weekly, fortnightly, or daily
basis. So be prepared to say yes to this question and be open to working in shifts.

Can you work under pressure?

Here again they are checking your patience level, so you need to provide some examples to answer this question,
some sample answers:
In any job one has to face with stressful situations that require them to work under pressure on a daily basis and
with time one learns to manage stress. For most of us it is just part of the job
I like the challenge of working under pressure, but proper planning and time management skills can take the
pressure of.
I work well under pressure. But I do not panic when faced with stressful situations. Instead of reacting to a situation,
I analyze the situation and try to come up with an optimal solution.

What motivates you to work in a call centre?

You need to again show them that you know what does a call center do and you would enjoy working at one. Some
of the following would be good reasons:
I like to deal with customers over the phone and develop my customer service skills

The call center industry is booming

I like the type of work done in call centers and the salary provided by call centers is decent and I look forward to a
long term career in this industry, as it is bound to grow and will provide long term career stability.

What do you know about BPO?

BPO is an abbreviation of Business Process Outsourcing. It could be outsourcing of various processes, such as,
manufacturing, call centers, IT, and others.
There are 2 types of Call Centers:
Inbound Here agents receive calls from customers
Outbound Here agents are supposed to call random people, to sell a service or product.

What is the difference between inbound process and outbound process?

Inbound customer service agents handle incoming calls from customers for:
Requests for help
Inquiries or requests for information
Placing orders, in product purchases
Applications for services
Filing complaints
Outbound customer service agents make calls to random potential customers to sell a service or product. These
agents can also be called as telemarketing executives.

What will you do when a customer is abusive/irritated?

When you work at a call center you will come across irritated, angry, and abusive customers, you can say you will do
that following to handle them:
Listen to them and empathize with their situation
Apologize and take ownership of the problem and give a solution
Approach them and ask for a reason for their displeasure
If they insist on talking to your manager, get him on line ASAP
Follow up after giving the solution and ask for feedback

Rate yourself on communication skills

Communications skills are one of the key skills an interviewer looks for in an interviewee
Be confident and say "I would give myself an 8+ for communication skills, and I am improving on it."
You could tell them to get in touch with references who think you are good and say: "My previous Manager who
rated my communication skills gave me a 9."
Give a range to be on a safe side: "Anywhere between 8-10"

Sell a product
Pen/Watch are common products as they come handy. Sales is one of the most difficult jobs and you need o prove
that you can sell the product to someone who does not actually need it, you need to:
Focus on how the products features and how it addresses your potential customers needs
Be persuasive, confident, and lively
Do not list down the features of the pen, be creative and think about the situation when you will need a pen
One such example would be, signing a check; you could give a blank check to the interviewer with your sign and
ask him how it would be like to have a pen in this situation.
You will need to consider your customers concerns and how to handle them. Your interviewer might counter your

points, but keep your cool and focus on addressing those concern. Show your willingness to take up the challenge.

What is your current CTC and what are your expectations?

Be honest about your CTC, as you will have to produce you salary slip as a proof of employment
Be realistic when you state your expected CTC, you can ask for a 20-30% hike
If you are underpaid at your current company you can look for the standard salary paid for the
experience you have and ask for that amount.
For freshers, call centers usually pay a decent amount and there are lot of other benefits so make sure you ask for
the industrys standard salary.

Are you planning to go for further studies?

Be transparent in your answer.
If you are pursuing further studies, say so. Tell them why you want to go for that course
If you are taking up a distance education course or a part time course, they should know. They might not even hire
you if you say you are going for higher studies.

If well qualified, why do you want to work in a call centre

This is a very important answer, as you will need to convince them with your tone, answer, and expressions. Some of
the answers could be:
I want to work in a call center because it is a fast growing industry. Call centers provide a good working
environment, and a good salary to maintain a good lifestyle, and offer great opportunities to develop my skills.
Call centers provide a work hard, play hard environment, with rewards, and job satisfaction

What is the difference between BPO and call centre?

A BPO is responsible for executing a process of another business organization/unit. That means a business process
is outsourced to save on costs or increase productivity.
A call centre handles telephone calls; it could be handling customer complaints coming over a telephone.

What is back office?

Back office manages a companys technology, services, or human resources. Back office is involved
administration/services that are not seen by customers.

How to impress your customer?

When selling a product remember that you are the one (your company) who created the solution, so you know your
customers problem better than anyone else.
When you have no answer, or dont know an answer, make something up. A customer will always be impressed by
someone who knows everything.
Do not make them wait or leave them to assume what youll do.
Create a niche around your product/service that you offer, you need to know why your customers come to you.

What does customer service mean to you?


How long will you stay in our company?

You should ensure that you give an impression that you will pay back more than what you take from the
You can say I will stay here as far as I see an opportunity for growth, as I am looking for a stability in work place
If they stress on number of years say 3-4 years, and more if I can explore new challenges/growth opportunities
Show them that you want to grow vertically and that is possible when you stay in a company for long and not when
you switch jobs frequently.

What do you expect from us, as an employer?

The employer is interviewing you to see what you can do for the company, but now wants to know what you want
from them, be reasonable and not very demanding, if you want to be hired:
Say whether you want to work alone or in a team?
You can express how would you want to be motivated?
You can also say the following:
A company that encourages learning
A company that encourages open culture

Tell us about your qualities that affect this job

You need to exhibit qualities that will affect the job you will be hired for, following points will help:
I believe in hard work and honesty, and these two are very important characteristics that a call center executive
must possess.
I am confident and patient, so I can handle difficult customers
I like talking to different type of people and possess strong communication skills, and I can understand human
nature quickly, this is again a very crucial skill for customer service professionals

What do you know about our company?

Do some research about the company, make sure you know about their processes
When you have done your homework, they will be convinced that you are interested, as you have taken out time to
learn about the company and its work.

Download Call Center HR interview questions!

What do you like about working in a call center?
Answers include the fast pace of the call center environment, working as part of a team,
communicating with and helping diverse customers, learning new skills as products and
services constantly update and change. Give specific examples of the positive experiences
you have enjoyed working as a call center agent.

What have you found the most challenging aspects of working in a call center?
How have you handled these challenges?
Be aware that call center interview questions like this are not asking what you don't like
about the job but what you find a challenge. Focus on a couple of job aspects and describe
the steps you take to manage them. Examples include dealing with angry and aggressive
customers, excessive client expectations, the pressure of meeting performance targets and
maintaining an enthusiastic and positive attitude over long shifts.
What do you consider the key criteria for a successful call center?
This call center interview question explores your understanding of what a call center should
deliver. A successful call center provides what the customer wants including reliability,
consistent performance and responsiveness that is both fast and willing. Discuss metrics
such as response times and resolution rates as a means of calculating efficiency. Customers
want knowledgeable, professional and accurate responses from call center agents.
A prospective employer will explore your knowledge of the company.
What do you know about our company?
You are not expected to be an expert on the company but you are expected to have an
interest and basic understanding of the organization. There are a number of excellent
resources you can use to find out about the company before your interview. Go to Job
Interview Information to find out more.

Expect straightforward questions about your call center skills and experience.
What is your typing speed?
Have an accurate answer ready. A number of candidates don't know their typing speed and
this creates a bad impression with a prospective employer. The call center interview
questions that follow also demand an accurate and detailed answer. Have the information
ready for your interview.
What is your average daily call volume?
What is your average first call resolution rate?
What is your average handle time?
What industry software are you familiar with?

What call center training have you received ?

What shifts/schedules have you worked?
For outbound agents prepare for the following call center interview questions.
What products and services have you promoted?
How do you obtain customer leads?
What steps do you take to qualify prospects?
How many outbound sales calls do you make on average per day?
What is your conversion ratio?
How many existing accounts do you service?

Call Center Interview Questions part 2

The majority of call center employers conduct background checks on candidates, including
drug testing. Go to the employment background check to find out what to expect.
Professional references are usually requested for call center representative jobs. Find out
more about obtaining and using the right job references atemployment references.
The detailed call center job description provides you with an overall understanding of the
call center job.

General Skills for Customer Service Representative

You are scheduled for an interview for an entry level position as a Bank Customer
Service Representative for the City Bank. You will be asked questions about your
relations with your superiors, your learning abilities and aptitudes.
See Recommendations after you go over the questions and answers below.
Question: Tell us about yourself.
Focus on the aspects of your experience that apply to this position.
Answer: I graduated from Boston University in 2006 with a major in Business Administration. I was
a top student in my major study in college as I expected of myself to be. I was involved in extra
curricular activities. Extra curriculum activities helped me develop interpersonal skills. Then, I took a

Customer Service Rep position with HSBC in New York for two years. In this position, I was given
front-desk assignments. I served to customers directly face-to-face. The tasks this position entailed
were: I looked up information on the computer for customer inquiries. I answered customers'
questions on the phone, transferred calls to appropriate offices. I listen to customers' complaints and
offered alternatives for what action to take, or people to contact. I made telephone calls to customers
for emergency purposes. I answered questions on interest rates on savings accounts. I escorted
customers to appropriate offices when needed.
Question: What skills did you learn on this job?
Answer: First and foremost I have learned people skills: how to listen, how to answer questions and
how to deal with difficult customers. As for technical skills, I have learned a lot about banking
transactions, how to look up information on the computer for customer accounts, interest accounts,
and service charges for business accounts. I learned how to trouble shoot computer problems, deal
with downtime problems. I also learned database accounting interfaces my bank uses. They are
universally the same, but also different in terms of layout, data storage and access to customer
Question: What experiences have you had that demonstrate your skills in dealing with
difficult customers?
Answer: During my customer service representative position I had developed a sense of keeping
my calm with difficult customers. This position helped me focus on people skills in dealing with
customers in person and over the phone. I learned how important it is to listen well, make the
customer feel I understand his/her point.
Question: How did you handle angry customers? Assume a customer is yelling at you. How
would you deal with the situation?
I have seen "angry customers" first in my customer service rep position. In dealing with angry
customers, I have come to know this: most effective strategies always entailed patience, giving
appropriate help to the customer, being polite yet firm. If I did my best, then I would take on the next
step; I would report to my supervisor. Or, I would remind the customer we would contact him/her
shortly with an answer to the problem.
Question: A customer calls and tells you that, because of some unusual circumstances, he
needs more time to make his payment. Assuming you have the authority to make a decision,
what information would you need to make a decision on his request?
Answer: I would consider the payment history of this customer. According to the customer's
payment history, I would tell the customer's what options he or she has. First the company's policy
for delinquent customers, interest charges for delinquency--30-days, 60-days and 90-days. I would
politely remind the customer of these three delinquency terms, and which one best fits his/her
payment history. Then I would explain interest terms, rates for each delinquency term.
Q: Dealing with a high volume customers is a fact of this job. Tell me how you worked under
pressure in a fast-paced environment. How were you able to perform successfully under
Answer: In my position with HSBC, I was expected to type when taking calls, sometimes heavy
volume calls. I followed my supervisor's instructions on how to handle high-volume calls. I answered
calls after three rings; I listened to the customer briefly and then asked the customer to hold on and I

would get back to him or her shortly. Or, I would turn on a tape-recorded response for the customer
to listen to if I needed more time. On the switch board I would pick up the calls in the order they were
received, and then give an appropriate brief answer to the customer's inquiry. Because I was trained
on what to say on most frequently-asked questions, I effectively handled customers' questions. After
I was thorough with the customer's calls, I would resume my typing.
Q: Is the customer always right?
A: The customer may not always be right, but I must put my best face to the customer's demand.
Because, first I am working for a business where we need them to have a business. Second, I am
dealing with a human being; and, maintaining professional demeanor to serve the customer is a
must. I've learned that nothing is as more helpful as serving the customer with professional
demeanor. To a difficult customer, I would apply the grand rule: Be calm, don't argue with the
customer; do your best.
Q: Why should we hire you?
They usually ask this question at the end: "Tell us why should we hire you if we have other
applicants as good as you are?" This means: in order to choose you over other applicants, you
should come up with a skill or trait that is rare. Think about your good traits and talk about them. For
You are a problem solver, you can handle stress, you listen well, you work well under stress. You
are a leader to inspire others to do their best; you are a team worker, you know how to work with
others. You must have one or two of these qualities that may clearly distinguish you from other
applicants. Many applicants will probably have the same type of skills, such as they may all meet
education requirements and experience for the job. What makes you an outstanding applicant is a
unique quality you can offer. So, for example, not every body will have leadership qualities; not
everybody has an interesting personality. Many of us may be good workers but not leaders, have
good personalities but just average. An applicant who can offer the most will be hired. If you have a
unique quality, talk about it.
Question: How many languages do you speak?
For this question, you must speak fluent English if you are to work with English speaking customers.
Improve your English by working at it everyday, by utilizing Internet resources. See our conversation
Answer: I speak Urdu, Russian or Hindu or Tagola as my first language, and English as a second
language. Please note whatever language you speak, you will be told the level proficiency required
for the position.
General Skills for Customer Service Representative:

excellent people skills: telephone skills, listening and speaking skills

technical skills for the Customer Service Representative position required by the industry.
Customer Service Representative requirements will vary depending on the company, product
and scope of the position. However, general skills for the customer service position include:
o typing/keyboard (usually over 40 wpm)
o basic computer and Internet knowledge
o knowledge of relevant software applications
o numeric oral and written language applications


administrative procedures and information processing

customer relationship principles and practices
problem solving skills

Recommendations for the Interview of Customer Service Representative

Learn about the skills needed for the position and write them down for the interview. You
definitely want to emphasize people skills, technical skills, and problem solving skills. Think
of an example or two for each. Also, if you are experienced in this line of work, for example in
high call volume (call center experience), put it down on your resume. If the company invites
you for an interview, they must have liked your skills on your resume for the Customers
Service Representative position. So, talk about those skills in your resume.

Role play with someone to mock the interview and to answer questions.

Learn about other skills needed for the position and write them down for the interview Think
of an example or two for each. Also, if you're experienced in this type of work, in high
telephone call volume, put it down on your resume.
Have a copy of your resume typed and properly formatted. Include references in case the
company would like to check up on your background.

During the interview if you are relaxed, you will do well. So practice relaxation before the
interview, learn how to maintain your calm in a stressful situation. If you do meditate regularly
before the interview, that will help a lot.

Attire for Interview:

Be groomed. Do not wear excessive makeup.

Wear proper a two-piece suit or jacket and skirt.

Interview Demeanor:

Be positive.
Be courteous and pleasant.
Listen well. Speak clearly.
Have eye-contact.
Do not over-produce yourself.