Hiring new agents for your contact center is never easy due to the many steps in this process. You need to read through resumes, select the most promising candidates and check their references. After all that, you still need to schedule and conduct interviews, often discovering that your candidates aren’t a good fit in many cases. However, you can greatly improve your chances of hiring the best candidates by asking them the right questions during the interview and knowing what to look for in their responses. The top interview questions for contact center agents may be classified into the following areas:
Roleplaying generally consists of the interviewer playing the part of a customer, while the interviewee plays the part of the agent. The role-play should be based on a realistic situation with an unhappy customer to test the candidate’s customer service skills under pressure. Common scenarios include a customer who has received a defective product or the wrong product entirely.
Look for candidates who remain calm and patient during the role-play. Some nervousness is to be expected, but a candidate who gets easily flustered may not be a good choice for a contact center agent. Strong candidates will ask questions in advance to clarify the situation and to ensure they understand the methods available for satisfying a customer, especially refund policies.
Questions in this category should measure a candidate’s ability to demonstrate confidence and authority. They typically include questions like “What was the biggest challenge you have faced as a contract center agent, and how did you overcome it?” The response to this question provides great insight into the areas where a candidate feels most confident, whether it’s people skills, process or technology.
Follow up on this question based on the candidate’s response. A question like “What made this experience in particular the most challenging?” is a common method of accomplishing this goal. The candidate’s answer will tell you more about that person’s thought processes and attitudes towards others.
Questions that identify good listening skills are essential for selecting candidates with the customer relationship and customer service skills they’ll need to succeed in a call center. They should also assess a candidate’s ability to handle upset customers without becoming intimidated or upset. These questions include the following:
- “How did you handle a situation where you had to deal with a customer who had unreasonable demands?”
- “How do you calm a very angry customer?”
- “How have you gone the extra mile for a customer?”
Strong candidate should talk about the importance of listening to a dissatisfied customer vent before attempting to solve to solve the problem, which allows candidates to proactively develop a relationship with the customer. It’s also important to look for agents who make an extra effort to understand the customer’s problems by asking the right questions.
Questions about adaptability assess a candidate’s ability to solve unusual problems that aren’t covered by a script. Questions in this category include the following:
- "What steps did you take to correct a problem caused by mistakes by your colleagues?"
- "What decision did you have to make quickly while dealing with a customer?"
- "What was a complex problem you recently had to solve for a customer?"
The responses to these questions demonstrate a candidate’s ability to select an appropriate course of action after considering the relevant facts. They also show how candidates use their troubleshooting skills to achieve a positive outcome for a customer.
Hiring the right candidates for your contact center is only the first step in building a talented team of agents. You also need to equip them with the right technology to help them do their jobs. Aceyus, Inc. provides contact centers with next-generation reporting tools that help them improve their efficiency.Contact us today to learn more about our solutions.