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Customer Service Jobs: Sample Interview Answers

written by: J.B.•edited by: Linda Richter•updated: 9/2/2010

This article will explore the top questions employers ask in an interview. You will understand the reasons why employers ask these questions. Sample customer service interview answers are also provided.

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    Preparing for your Interview

    Job interviews are a vital aspect of applying for a job. The interview process allows for the employer to learn more in depth who their potential employees are. Job interviews can be challenging and even scary. There are three vital things employers are constantly, business meeting, by br3akthru looking for when conducting interviews:

    1. Your attitude: Remember that your attitude is a top priority to employers. How you act in an interview is how the employers will assume you will handle and present yourself when dealing with customers. You have a chance at being the “face" of the company; employers have to choose people they believe will treat their customers with fairness, respect, and consideration.
    2. Proper professional relationship: Your potential employer needs to have a sense that you understand how important customer interaction is. When dealing with a customer service job, being able to create a healthy and clean professional relationship with the customer is vital.
    3. Your experience: Your experience can matter greatly to some employers. Customer service may seem like a simple job; however, employers take customers very seriously. Without customers the stores would not exist. Employers will need to provide relevant facts about their previous experience with customer service.

    This article will cover the top sample customer service interview answers to help calm some of those nerves and prepare you for a job-landing outcome.

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    Tell Me About Yourself / How Would You Describe Yourself?

    To begin, a very simple, yet important interview questions is Tell me about yourself / How would you describe yourself?

    This question can be intimidating to many people. Remember to keep your answer simple and informative. The first five minutes of an interview are very important.

    Explain to the interviewer how your life up until now has been geared toward preparing yourself to become the best customer service representative you can be. Give the interviewer your background including where you grew up, where you went to school, and what courses you studied if they relate to this specific career path, past experience and education or training, where you’re at in your life now, and where you hope to go next. A great pointer is to prepare a one-minute biographic sketch. Practice this sketch multiple times to gain confidence. In your sketch accentuate your skills, interests, and accomplishments.

    Your interviewer wants to learn more about you as a person, not just an employee. So, although stating facts from your resume can be great pointers, keep your answer simple yet informative.

    A proper sample customer service interview answer would be:

    I grew up here in Hollywood. I have spent many of my summers employed with customer service positions. I am a hard worker, goal orientated, and professional. I am a people person and that helps me to satisfy my customers professionally.

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    Provide an Example of a Goal that You Desired, and Explain How You Achieved It.

    Employers need to know that you are driven, that you work hard for positive outcomes. When answering this question Provide an example of a goal that you desired, and explain how you achieved it, keep your answer simple and organized. The employers do not want your life story, only a simple, stick-to-the-point answer.

    Remember to stick to the S-A-R method:

    S - Situation

    A - Action

    R - Result

    A proper sample customer service interview answer would be:

    As a senior in high school, my dream and goal was to attend college on a basketball scholarship. However I was nowhere near being trained enough to make the team. Over the summer I played daily, practicing, working out, joining our local fun team, and taking courses to learn new skills. I entered a few tournaments and nearly won them all. I spent all my spare time practicing to become a better all around player. I returned this past September and was immediately drafted onto the senior player’s team. This is my step closer to college!

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    Which Skill Would You Most Like to Improve?

    When we enter an interview we are ready to talk ourselves up. We want this position and we want to look like positive people. Employers know this and this question, Which skill would you most like to improve? gives them an opportunity to learn where you as an employee and person need to grow.

    A proper sample customer service interview answer would be:

    At times I need to learn to admit when I am struggling to understand a situation. I fail to admit when I need help in completing a task, or in understanding what someone wants me to do. I prefer to push myself to finish tasks on my own and without anyone's help. I need to learn to realize that help is not a sign of weakness but a sign of maturity. This is something I am working on to improve in my daily life.

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    This article explains sample customer service interview answers to specific questions that will ease your mind, so you can get that job you've always wanted!
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    What Steps Did You Take in Order to Prepare for This Interview?

    With this question What steps did you take in order to prepare for this interview? employers want to know how badly you want this position. Are you interested enough in this position and company to complete some research? Believe it or not, researching the history, achievements, and overall important information on your possible job opportunity is very important and can be very useful. Showing you took the initiative to research the company shows a lot about who you are as a person and as an employee.

    A proper sample customer service interview answer would be:

    When I searched and found this position with ----- in my local paper I was very interested. I viewed the company’s website and their mission statement. I researched the biographies of the company founders and the executives, and I was very impressed. After I had submitted my resume many friends and family expressed how wonderful and positive they feel about -----. And I cannot wait to learn more in today's meeting.

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    Explain a Time when You Were Forced to Deal with an Unhappy Customer. How Did You Handle the Circumstances?, paper emotions by atsoram How you react when others disagree or lose their tempers is a vital skill in the customer service industry. If people are having a stressful day they will tend to take it out on you. You have to learn the proper ways to deal with these situations, and it is okay to ask for help. With this question Explain a time when you were forced to deal with an unhappy customer. How did you handle the circumstances? giving an example of a time when you were faced with a difficult customer and how you handled the situation could help you explain yourself to the employer. Your answer always needs to display your maturity, awareness of your customer’s needs and feelings, and diplomacy.

    A proper sample customer service interview answer would be:

    I previously worked in a customer service position as a telephone sales worker. Occasionally we dealt with irate customers. When those situations happened I found it important to talk in a calm, even voice, hoping to transmit the tone to the unhappy customer. Speaking in the proper mature voice is important in a business position. I stayed focused in trying to resolve the situation at hand. One time a customer became verbally abusive. I remembered to stay calm and not bring my own feelings into the situation. Despite my efforts the abuse persisted and I had to politely ask the customer to call back and ask for my manager because at that point I knew I was unable to resolve the issue.

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    Do You Work Best Alone or in a Group Setting?

    With this question Do you work best alone or in a group setting? the employer is looking for someone who is versatile. In a customer service position you mainly will work alone. However, at times it is important to come together as a team to achieve specific goals. An employer wants to know that you can be of help to others and they can seek help from you. Be honest and communicate that you are a flexible and adaptable employee.

    A proper sample customer service interview answer would be:

    At time I do enjoy working alone, time to plan and develop professional relationships with the customer base. At other times I enjoy the activity of working with other people around me and the ability to share my opinion and stress my ideas. Working as a team can make things go faster and smoother, and everyone has great ideas that we may not have surfaced alone.

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    Succeeding in Your Interview

    It was the goal of this article to help you succeed in your interview. These sample customer service interview answers will hopefully help you feel more confident about your upcoming appointment. Good luck, and show your possible future employer what an amazing employee you will make!

    Image Credits:

    FreeDigitalPhotos, business meeting, by Br3akthru, paper emotions by atsoram