To answer the call center job interview question “What are your strengths?”, think about all your strengths and pick the ones that are most relevant and useful in a call center workplace. If you want some sample answers, read on:
Why interviewers ask this question
Simple. Interviewers ask this to see if you’re a great addition to the team. And by great addition, I mean possessing the qualities, skills, and/or experience that make you a great fit for a call center job. Therefore, you must get as specific as possible. How exactly do you do that? Here’s how:
How to answer: What are your strengths?
To prepare your answer, follow the three steps below to create an answer that is unique to yourself alone. While I’ll give you sample answers, it’s still best that you tailor your answer that specifically applies to you.
Step 1: Brainstorm your hard and soft skills.
This is the time to sit down with a pen and paper and think about all your strengths. Whatever comes to mind. To make this easier, think in terms of hard skills and soft skills.
Hard skills are skills that you acquire through practice, repetition, and education. These skills are concrete and objective like speaking a language, having technical knowledge about computers, or knowing how to code. Meaning, you might objectively claim them by getting credentials (diploma, certificate of employment, or other types of certificate).
Examples of hard skills are your job experience or your education on a certain field.
- experience in a particular job (customer service, sales, etc.)
- a technical background in computer hardware/ software management
Soft skills, on the other hand, are subjective skills. They are behavioral and are related to personality. You don’t really get a certificate/ credential for it. If you’re great at dealing with different people, then that’s a soft skill. Soft skills could also be the positive way you think or behave at work.
Examples of soft skills
- great listener
- work well in groups
- effective communicator
- work well under pressure
Step 2: Pick a hard skill with a matching soft skill.
Hard skills and soft skills complement each other. Ideally, therefore, you want a combination of both. You also want them to match each other.
Step 3: Combine both skills.
Once you’ve picked your soft and hard skills, combine them when formulating your answer. Here’s an example:
soft skill: able to work well under pressure, attentive listener
hard skill: experience in customer service
I believe one of my greatest strengths is my ability to work efficiently under pressure. Having worked in customer service, I fully know that this job could be stressful at times and that I won’t only be dealing with smiling, happy customers but also with irate and frustrated ones.
In my 3 years of experience, I’ve probably dealt with almost all types of customers.
I’m also an attentive listener. And by attentive listening, I mean I listen not only to the words that customers are saying but also to the words that they are not saying. The non-verbal cues, the tone of voice, the pauses. They are equally important when it comes to dealing with customers wisely. And I’m fully equipped to handle that.
Another example: great answer if you’re applying in sales and upsell accounts.
soft skill: relentless
hard skill: experience in sales
I am relentless and strategic. And I owe that to my experience in sales for 3 years. In my previous job as a salesman, when a potential customer said no, it was my rule to not take it as a final no. Instead, I looked for opportunities to make the customer say yes.
You’d be surprised at how many customers can actually be influenced when you exert that extra effort. Every time a customer says no but I hear some hesitation in her voice, I take that as a cue to push a little harder.
Instead of taking that hesitant no as a final no, I change gear and ask the customer about her concerns about the product I’m selling. The goal is to get her talking so I can listen to her then I can gauge exactly what type of person she is, what motivates her, and how can I influence her best. Most of the time, it works.
Your company might be a little different from the company I was working for but I’m confident that the skill I acquired is universal and can be applied to your company to close deals and skyrocket your sales.
For call center applicants with no clear hard skills
If you’re a fresh graduate and don’t have any job experience to highlight, don’t worry. You can absolutely focus on your soft skills and still answer this interview question well. Here’s an example:
soft skill: work well with any personality type, work well in a team
One of my strengths is my ability to get along with possibly all types of personalities. I have a knack for making a shy person feel at ease as well as matching the energy of a very outgoing person or even dealing with a difficult person.
As a result, I work well in a team and have no problem submitting to a superior. I believe this is useful in customer service where I’ll be talking to different types of people over the phone.
Or, you can talk about the degree you’ve studied in school and relate that to a call center job if possible.
hard skill: Mass Communication background
soft skill: effective communicator, great at PR (Public Relations)
I always pride myself as an effective communicator. I guess that’s partly because of who I am and partly because of the degree I studied in college.
As a Mass Communication student, I learned how to communicate clearly and effectively in any type of medium, be it email, face-to-face conversations, or over the phone, which all apply in a call center workplace.
In my field, we’re also taught the art of public relations, something that could be very useful when it comes to promoting the relationship between the account and the customers.
I think I could use what I’ve learned from school and apply it as a reliable foundation for this job.
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