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Interview for Customer Service Representative




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 have no prior work experience as a Customer Service Representative. 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 2007 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: I was captain of the volleyball team; I led competitions in English proficiency. These extra curriculum activities helped me develop interpersonal skills. In school I learned how to interact with my teachers and get along with classmates. I also learned how to manage stress, work effectively under stress. In college, I took an internship with Goldman Sachs for six months where I was exposed to direct customer contact face-to-face.

Question: What is your work experience?

Answer: I don't have professional work experience as yet, but as I mentioned I was a very active student in college and gained first-hand experience in market research through internship I took with Goldman Sachs for six months. In this position I was exposed to customer contact where I practiced effective listening, patience, professional demeanor. The direct customer contact along with interpersonal skills I developed at school helped me gain a good understanding of customer needs. I learned how to answer customers questions.

Question: What experiences have you had that demonstrate your skills in dealing with different types of people?

Answer: During my years in college I developed a sense of keeping my calm with difficult class mates and instructors. My internship helped me focus on people skills in dealing with customers face-to-face 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 this customer?

I had heard so much about "angry customers" before I took the internship position. I read about case studies that showed effective strategies in dealing with angry customers. Most effective strategies always entailed patience, giving appropriate help to the customer, being polite yet firm. If I did my best but still could not satisfy the customer, then I would report it to my supervisor.

Question: A customer calls and tells you he needs extra time to make his/her payment. Assuming you have the authority to make a decision, what information would you need before making the decision for this request?

Answer: I would consider first the company policy for delinquent customers: delinquent for 30-days, 60-days and 90-days. I would politely remind the customer of these three delinquency terms. Then, I would tell the customer the policy that best fits his/her credit history, and provide late payment interest rates for each delinquency terms.

Question: Dealing with a high volume of customers is a requirement of this job. Tell me about a time when you had to work under pressure. How were you able to perform successfully in this stressful situation?

Answer: In my internship position, I was expected to type when taking calls, Sometimes I had to answer heavy volume calls while I was typing. I followed my supervisor's instructions as well as common sense. I answered calls after three rings; I listened to the customer briefly and then reminded the customers to hold on. Or, I would turn on the tape response to customers' calls, and at the switch board I would pick the calls in the order they were received. Then, I would give an appropriate answer to the customer. Because I was trained on most frequently-asked questions, mostly I was effective in handling heavy volume calls. After I was done with the customer, I would resume typing.

Question: Is the customer always right?

Answer: The customer may not be always right but I must put my best face to the customer's demands. Because, first I understand customers are needed for business. Second, I am dealing with human beings and I must cultivate a professional demeanor, patience, and necessary skills serve best to the customer. As long as I serve the customer with a professional demeanor, the customer will not be unmanageable generally speaking. If I confront a difficult customer, I put the grand rules at work I have learned: don't argue with customers; do your best, be calm and professional.

Question: How many languages do you speak and/or write? Describe your fluency level.

For this question, most importantly you must speak fluent English if you are to work with English speaking customers. Improve your English by working at it everyday, by utilizing the Internet resources and companies who offer free help for certain customers (such as students).

Answer: I speak Urdu, Russian, Hindu or Spanish as my first language, and English as a second language. Please note whatever language you speak you will be told the level of English proficiency required for the position.

Question: 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 example:

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 distinguish you from other applicants, because many applicants will probably have the same type of skills, such as they may all meet requirements for education and experience. 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 people. An applicant who can offer the most will be hired. If you have a unique quality, talk about it.

General Skills for Customer Service Representative:

Focus on the aspects of your experience that apply to this position. For this position you need to have excellent people skills, telephone skills, listening and speaking skills. In addition, specific technical skills for the industry the Customer Service Representative position entails. Learn about the skills needed for the position and stake out the relevant skills you have. Write down your answers.

You definitely want to emphasize good customer service skills and problem solving. Think of an example or two for each, for example, staying calm under stress. Then, put down on your resume all relevant skills for the Customer Service Representative position. Keep in mind, if the company invites you for an interview, they must have liked your skills in your resume, so focus on those skills in your resume..

Customer Service Representative requirements will vary depending on the company, product and scope of the position. However typical knowledge requirements include:

Examples include:


1. Be groomed.

2. Wear proper attire, such as a two-piece suit or jacket and skirt. Do not wear excessive makeup and jewelry.

3. Be positive.

4. Be courteous and pleasant.

5. Listen well. Speak clearly.

6. Have eye-contact.

7. Do not over-produce yourself.

8. Have a copy of your resume typed and properly formatted. Include references in case the company would like to check up on your background.

9. 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 meditate regularly before the interview, that will help you a lot.

10. Role play with someone to rehearse the interview questions and answers.




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