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So, you’ve secured yourself an interview for a Customer Service role – nice work! Next comes the nerve-wracking process of preparing for an interview. Let Workingmums do the heavy lifting for you – we’ve pulled together some typical customer service interview questions and things to think about to make that interview a success.
First of all, dress smartly and give yourself plenty of time to get there. Aim to be at last 15 minutes early: being late is a stress you don’t need in an already demanding situation.
Make conversation as you’re walked into the interview: you often won’t know whether the person that collects you is going to be your interviewer. Either way, it’s worth making a good impression.
Do remember to smile and make eye contact – they’re essential in building rapport with your interviewer and will help you feel more relaxed.
Most interviews begin with a chat about your CV and career experience, which you should be able to manage fairly easily. It will help settle you into the meeting and give you a sense of what to expect.
Your interviewer will then start asking you a few more formal questions. Always remember that interview questions are designed to help you demonstrate why you’re right for the job. So, while it’s important to prepare for certain queries, it’s even more important to make a list of the key things you want to get across – and use the questions to help you do that.
If you haven’t worked in customer service before, bear in mind that there is a ‘customer’ in pretty much any job – so think about your past experiences and use them to demonstrate your skills. You can even call upon experiences outside of work if they’re relevant.
Here are some typical questions to be ready for:
Inevitably you’ll be asked something unexpected. If so, don’t be afraid to pause for thought. It’s better to give something proper consideration than respond with the first thing that comes into your head.
Avoid making lots of statements like ‘I’m a great leader’ and ‘I have excellent people skills’. Instead, recount situations or challenges that help demonstrate those qualities.
You should also seek opportunities to show that you’ve researched the company ahead of the meeting. Drop in a few comments like ‘I noticed on your website that…’ and ‘I liked the LinkedIn post where…’.
Do ask questions as the interview progresses: it demonstrates confidence, enthusiasm and that you’re keen to make sure the opportunity is right for you. It also makes the interview feel more like a conversation. Taking notes also shows that you’re taking the session seriously – but only do so at key points. Don’t transcribe the entire conversation!
You’ll have a good sense by the end of interview as to whether it went well. If you’ve done your preparation and research, it will have been as good as you can have hoped.
If you don’t feel that it was positive, try to work out why. Don’t be tempted to put all the blame on yourself: you and the interviewer may just not have clicked – which means you’d struggle to work together anyway.
Remember – an interview is as much for you to decide if you want a job as for the employer to see if you’d fit. You don’t marry the first person you date, so don’t expect to land your dream job at the first interview of your job search!