Alison Doyle is the job search expert for The Balance Careers, and one of the industry’s most highly-regarded job search and career experts.
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Updated October 25, 2019
Are you interviewing for a job in customer service? The questions you’ll be asked depend on the role you’re interviewing for, but there are some frequently asked questions you’ll most likely be expected to answer. Read on to learn more about the questions you might be asked during an interview for a customer service representative job.
In addition, you’ll also find tips below on how to prepare for an interview, as well as a list of specific interview questions. Practice answering these questions, so you’ll feel more comfortable and confident during your interview.
Customer service interviews may include a number of different question types. Many will be common interview questions you might be asked for any job, such as questions about your employment history, your educational background, your skills and qualifications for the job, and your goals for the future.
You may also be asked questions about you personally, including questions about your personality and work style. These typically aren’t “yes” or “no” type questions and often require a little thought.
Some of your interview questions will also be behavioral. Behavioral interview questions ask you to explain how you dealt with past experiences on the job.
In addition, you’ll probably be asked situational interview questions. These are similar to behavioral interview questions, in that they ask you about different work experiences. However, situational interview questions address how you would handle a future situation related to your job in customer service.
Finally, you might be asked questions about your work schedule and your flexibility. Many customer service representative jobs have schedules that include nights and other irregular hours, so an employer may want to know if you are able to work a variety of shifts.
Watch Now: How to Answer 3 Common Customer Service Interview Questions
The hiring manager will want to know how you’re qualified for the job, why you’re a strong candidate, and whether you have the customer service skill set the employer is seeking.
Here are examples of some of these types of interview questions, along with examples of the best answers.
Even though jobs in customer service vary, there are basic principles of good customer service that are important for every employee to follow. One way to find out what the employer is seeking in qualified candidates is to research the company’s mission statement and website. You’ll find indicators of what’s expected. Also, be prepared to share why you want to work in a customer service role, both in general and specifically with this company.
- What is customer service?
- What is good customer service?
- Why do want to work in customer service?
- What are the top three qualities everyone who works in customer service must have to succeed?
- What have you done to be a better customer service representative?
The hiring manager expects you to have done your homework. To prepare for questions about what you know about the company and its products and services, take the time to carefully research it ahead of time.
Many customer service jobs require employees who are available to work a flexible schedule. If it’s not a 9 – 5 job, you will be asked about your availability to work evenings, weekends, and holidays. Be prepared to share your availability with the hiring manager, keeping in mind that the more flexible you are, the better your chances of getting a job offer.
- Can you work a flexible schedule?
- Are you available weekends and holidays?
- Are there any reasons why you can’t work your assigned hours regularly?
- Would you be available to work additional shifts?
- What type of schedule are you looking to work?
When you’re answering behavioral interview questions, be prepared to share real examples of how you handled a situation. The interviewer is interested in learning how you responded in specific circumstances in order to get insight into how you would handle a similar situation if you were to be hired.
- Explain a time when you assisted in resolving a dispute between others.
- Tell me about a time that you helped resolve a particularly difficult customer issue.
- Talk to me about a time when you were unable to help the customer with their problem – what was the issue and how did you handle the situation?
- Give an example of a time that you changed a customer’s emotions from frustration to joy.
- Tell me about problems with the products or services you previously supported. How did you deal with these issues?
- What have you done at your current company to increase revenues, reduce costs, or save time?
A situational interview question is more hypothetical than a situational interview question. The hiring manager will ask how you would handle issues that might arise on the job. How you answer will be an indicator of how good a fit you will be for the job. A good strategy for answering both situational and behavioral questions is to use the STAR interview response technique to describe a situation from the past that exemplifies how you would handle a similar challenge in the future.
- The customer is saying you’re taking too long to solve the issue: what do you do?
- The customer is pointing out a well-known problem with your product: what do you do?
- What should you do if a customer asks a question you don’t know the answer to?
- How would you handle an angry customer?
- What would you do if the customer is wrong?
To prepare for your interview, make sure you know the requirements of the job. Look back at your resume and list any experiences you have had that demonstrate your ability to meet those requirements. This will be especially helpful with behavioral and situational interview questions.
As mentioned above, while you prepare for your interview it’s vital to do some research on the company you are interviewing with. Make sure you have a sense of their mission, their products, the population they work with, and the company culture.