Here’s a call center job interview simulation between an interviewer and an applicant. The applicant is a college undergraduate who decided to drop out of college to apply for a Customer Service Representative position.

The purpose of this job interview simulation is for applicants to feel the atmosphere of an actual job interview and how interviewers dive deep by asking follow-up questions.

This mock job interview contains:

  • common job interview questions
  • behavioral questions
  • out-of-the-box questions

Job applicant’s background

  • No job experience
  • No call center experience 
  • Not a class achiever, just an average student.
  • College undergraduate (Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management)
YouTube video

Call center job interview simulation

Applicant: Miss Emma Valdez?

Applicant: Yes, it’s me.

Interviewer: How are you doing today?

Applicant: I’m doing great! Thank you, Ma’am.

Interviewer: Oh, you can call me Sheina. You don’t need to call me Ma’am.

Applicant: Okay, Sheina. Sure!

Interviewer: So I’m your interviewer today. I’m going to be asking you questions about yourself, your background, and why you’re a good fit for our company. I’m also going to be taking notes while we speak so I hope it won’t be too distracting for you. But I assure you that I will be listening. Okay?

Applicant: Got it.

Interviewer: By the way, how do you want me to call you?

Applicant: Emma will do.

Interviewer: Perfect. Okay, Emma. Let’s start. And of course, I’m going to have to ask you to tell me about yourself.

Applicant: I can summarize myself in two adjectives: ambitious but practical. This explains why I’m sitting here with you.

Two years ago, I was a third-year student taking up a Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management. I learned how to prepare a good meal, how to be an efficient housekeeper, and how to manage an event, among other things. Unfortunately, Covid happened and I had to drop out of college for financial reasons.

Now that life is almost coming back to normal, I decided that instead of going back to school, I will apply for a job in the BPO industry.

Interviewer: So you had to quit school because of the pandemic but now that you have the option to come back, you decided to apply for a call center job?

Applicant: Yes.

Interviewer: Why?

Applicant: First, I want to help my parents get back on their feet financially post-Covid. Second, I want to gain real-world experience and practical skills. These two things led me here.

Interviewer: And how long do you intend to work before you go back to school?

Applicant: (thinks) Honestly, it’s hard to tell exactly when or if I ever will. This is an opportunity that I am yet to explore so anything could happen. But I’m planning to work for around 3 years and then reconsider my options by then.
Interviewer: What is your idea of a call center?

Applicant: For me, a call center is an office where agents handle phone calls from customers who inquire about products and services.

Because of this setup, customers can transact from the comfort of their homes, sales agents don’t have to go door to door to sell, and technicians are only dispatched when necessary. So it’s a huge convenience for everyone.

Interviewer: And are you amenable to working the graveyard shift including weekends and holidays?

Applicant: Absolutely.

Interviewer: What about Christmas and New Year? Are you okay working during these holidays and not spending time with your family?

Applicant: Yes, I am.

Interviewer: Do you think you can handle irate customers?

Applicant: I’m confident that I can, yes. I’ve learned a number of transferable skills from my 2 and a half years in HRM and I believe they’ll come in handy in a call center workplace.

Interviewer: What are those skills? Can you give me a rundown?

Applicant: Okay, from the name itself, Hotel and Restaurant Management, a lot of people would think that we’re only taught hard skills like cooking, preparing the beverages, changing the hotel sheets, but we’re actually also taught a lot of soft skills.

Communication skills, first of all, because we have to interact with clients.
Multitasking, especially during peak seasons.

Adaptability to unpredictable situations which is quite common in the hospitality industry.

And cultural awareness because we’re bound to encounter people from all walks of life.

These are skills I learned from HRM that I know are transferable to the job description of a call center agent.

Interviewer: And what do you think is the best way to handle an irate customer?

Applicant: I think it’s a case-to-case basis. But in general, the golden rule is to address the customer’s emotions first. You can do this by listening to her and giving her the floor to her vent. This is very important. Miss this and an irate customer is going to double down on you. Meet this need and she’s going to be willing to negotiate rationally.

Interviewer: Why do you want to work at our company?

Applicant: Before I decided to apply, I made a list of the top BPO companies in Cebu and Kwestyon tops my list for two reasons. First, you have been the recipient of plenty of international awards like the International ABC Awards and Best Company of the Year. If this doesn’t attract a candidate, I don’t know what will.

Second, I have two friends who work here and they couldn’t be happier with the perks you give them. They believe that the management truly cares about its employees.

Interviewer: Are you interviewing currently with other companies?

Applicant: I’m scheduled to have my initial interview tomorrow at Convergys but your company is my first choice since it’s personally recommended by two people I know.

Interviewer: Mm-hmm… And why do you think we should hire you?

Applicant: Unlike most students who drop their studies to earn a living, I do not think that working as an agent is a step backward. Sure, it’s different, sure it’s unconventional, but I believe that one day, this industry could open new and interesting doors for me.

If you were to hire me, you can very well expect that I will treat this job as how I treat anything important in my life: like an art. No grumbling, just hustling. That, and the transferable skills I learned from HRM are the reasons why you should hire me.

Interviewer: Interesting. Can you tell me about a time when you treated a task like an art? Paint me a picture of that. What does that look like?

Applicant: Everything in HRM is about treating everything like an art. You can see it in the elaborate way we present our delicacies, the way we fold the linens, and the way we present ourselves.

But one experience I remember in particular was when we designed this towering four-layer cake for a school event.

We paid so much attention to every detail that we ended up sourcing the cake’s ingredients from three different suppliers. One supplier for the frosting, one for the filling, and one for the decorations.

It took us 18 hours to bake and decorate it. But when we saw the final result, for us, it was the very definition of a masterpiece. So much so that when we cut the first slice, it felt like we were committing a crime.

Interviewer: Wow, that sounds fantastic! I’m sure it was delicious.

Applicant: Our instructors said it was so we were so happy about it.

Interviewer: Fantastic. Now, if we are to hire you, and you’ll be on the floor taking phone calls, what do you think would be your biggest weakness?

Applicant: My weakness once I start taking calls?

Interviewer: Yes, your possible weakness specifically when taking calls.

Applicant: I think my biggest weakness at that point would be the information overload in the first few weeks. There will be times when I won’t know what steps to take next. I heard from my agent friends that it’s possible to learn about the policy and procedures from the training but still freeze once you’re in the actual situation. The good news is, it will be temporary and I’ll get used to it.

Interviewer: What are your pet peeves?

Applicant: I have only one pet peeve and that is disorganization. At school, before I embark on a project, simple or complex, I make it a point to create a timeline so I know what to prioritize and when. Now I know that I have to make room for some type of chaos for creativity but I do it in small doses. For me, everything must be organized.

Interviewer: Tell me something about yourself that’s not on your resume.

Applicant: Hmm… When I was in grade six, I decided to start writing a journal. Now, six years and sixteen notebooks later, I still keep a journal. It’s where I preserve the thoughts and memories that I want my future self to remember.
It’s also where I set my goals.

Every January, I would list down all my goals for the year and I would cross them off every December. I guess I’m mentioning this because I believe writing those journals helped me develop a healthy amount of self-awareness and discipline. I think journals are a good life compass if there ever is one.

Interviewer: Interesting. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

Applicant: Now, that is a great question. I think I would have to say…a worker bee because worker bees possess a diverse and essential skill set. So essential are their skills that without them, the colony and the queen cannot survive.

They forage to feed their queen, they guard and ventilate the hive, they work as architects, and when necessary, they sting intruders to protect the colony. They’re indispensable. Without them, there’s no colony.

Interviewer: That’s fascinating! (pauses) Now, if money were no object and you don’t need a job to earn a living, you can do anything you want, what would you do?

Applicant: Hmm… that’s a very interesting question… because I think that if money were no object, that wouldn’t necessarily get rid of all my problems. Well, it will definitely solve my financial problems but I think it will eventually create another set of problems.

Interviewer: Good point. What problems for example?

Applicant: Well, after the high of traveling around the world and buying every luxury that money could offer, I’m sure, I’ll eventually feel unfulfilled and look for something more meaningful to do.

Interviewer: Okay. Now and what would you do at that point?

Applicant: I think I would use my wealth to provide an inexhaustible resource to all people on earth. And that would be free education. It sounds cliche but you see, when you give people money, that money eventually runs out. But when you give them knowledge and education, it doesn’t run out. It multiplies. Exponentially.

So I would probably get my money’s worth by doing that. And who knows, we might just find that one bright mind who will one day cure cancer or stop global warming.

Interviewer: Now, what are your salary expectations?

Applicant: My salary expectations for this position are between ₱25,000 to ₱30,000 a month including bonuses. I do understand that similar positions to the one I’m applying for offer salaries in that range for beginners.

Interviewer: Now, last question: Do you have any questions for me?

Applicant: Yes, I do. I’m just curious. Is working remotely an option for this position?

Interviewer: No. There used to be but that was temporary. We find that agents are just more productive when they work in an office with their colleagues. Would this be an issue for you though?

Applicant: Not really. I can work in an office since I live just 10 minutes away.

Interviewer: Perfect. Any more questions?

Applicant: That is all, Maya. Thank you so much for your time.

Interviewer: You are most welcome, Emma. Kindly wait outside until I finish interviewing everyone.

Applicant: Sure. Bye.

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