Key 10 Customer Service Interview Questions and Sample Answers

Creating a customer-centric, high-performing customer service business begins with hiring exceptional individuals.

Employing unsuitable team members will immediately have a detrimental influence on the customer experience. This is regardless of how fine-tuned your processes are, how dependable your data is, or how well you’ve prepared responses to inquires.

We will discuss who an ideal candidate should be as well as interview questions and appropriate answers. This article should guide you into selecting a suitable fit for your team. Let’s dive in!

two women sitting on chair
two women sitting on chair

Who Is an Ideal Customer Service Candidate?

A customer service superstar is someone empathetic, friendly, and always helpful. This person must radiate good vibes and be enthusiastic about helping others.

This ideal candidate must value interpersonal interactions and be grateful for the opportunity to serve others. In addition, this person should have superior organizational skills and a knack for reflecting and redirecting when needed.

An excellent customer service candidate believes in the power of client retention and assists customers in achieving success with a company’s product or service.

The chosen individual must be a team player and believe that great customers can impact businesses.

Customer Service Interview Questions and Sample Answer

An excellent customer service interview question lets you identify whether a candidate is motivated, coachable, optimistic, empathic, and shares your company’s values. 

These characteristics and features are critical when hiring a new customer care representative. You may teach best practices and skills, but it is difficult to teach character traits.

Good responses will emphasize the importance and impact of customers on the growth of a company and commitment to servant leadership.

1. How Did You Measure Success in Your Previous Position?

Whether their previous position was in customer service or not, it is essential to comprehend how they perceive accomplishment. You’re attempting to determine whether this individual cares more about their own achievement or their team’s success.

Consider “the team’s success was a CSAT score of X%” or “our goal was to enhance renewals by Y%.” Raise a red flag if they prioritize their ambitions over the teams’.

2. As a Reference, Would You Be Willing to Introduce Us to a Current or Past Supervisor?

Once a prospect learns that you will request an introduction past manager, they will be far less likely to embellish their successes.

3. What Does Success Look Like to You Here at [our Company]?

Similar to the last question, this assesses whether an applicant cares more about the team or themselves. However, it also provides insight into how well they comprehend your business.

They may not get it perfect, but their response should show interest in the role and grasp of your company’s beliefs.

4. What Was Your Most Significant Failure in Your Previous Position, and How Did You Recover?

This question evaluates coachability and candor. Everyone has failed, but what matters is whether or not the candidate learned from it or if they blame someone else.

Some candidates will provide evasive responses. You are searching for an answer demonstrating the candidate’s sense of personal responsibility, resiliency, and ability to learn from past mistakes.

5. What Are Your Greatest Workplace Pet Peeves?

The ideal answer is when the candidate explains how they recognize their pet peeves and avoid making it a problem for others.

The question serves as a filter for positive responses. Poor responses entail assigning blame to others or avoiding the subject entirely. Good responses are sincere but courteous.

6. How Do You De-Escalate Irate Customers?

Determine a candidate’s stance on how angry customers should be dealt with to assess their empathy. You’re searching for indications that the candidate can empathize with others and turn a negative experience into a positive one.

Good responses include conflict resolution skills, customer respect, and humility. An apology is sometimes more beneficial than an explanation to an irate client.

7. What Are Your Professional Aspirations?

This is a method for determining if a candidate has the required motivation. The most motivated candidates have an idea of where they want to be in the next years. Less motivated candidates will state, “I just want to work at a fun place” or “I’m not sure.”

Many people don’t know exactly where they want to be. But, they should have researched other job paths or have a general concept of where they may want to end up. They should reference a career path, industry, or set of talents they wish to add to their resume in the future.

8. What Was the Most Difficult Customer Service Case You’ve Ever Dealt With?

In response to this question, you seek positivism and empathy. A subpar applicant would discuss how unreasonable the customer was in this scenario or how difficult it was to fix the issue with them.

A great candidate won’t criticize the customer, but will show how they empathized with them and found a solution. They will also describe the problem-solving tactics they employed along the way.

9. What Is Your Understanding of Empathy? Can You Offer an Instance Where You Demonstrated Empathy in Your Past Positions?

You are not seeking the literal meaning of empathy here which is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. You desire a candidate who can describe empathy in their terms and present an example of their ability to relate to clients. 

Good responses will contain a tangible example that goes beyond merely apologizing to a client. It should demonstrate how they used understanding and rapport-building to create a solid relationship with a customer and assist in effectively resolving their situation.

10. What Does Client Satisfaction Mean to You?

This issue is ideally suited for customer service positions because we are in an economy where satisfactory outcomes are no longer sufficient. Customers are impressed when teams go the extra mile.

The candidate must distinguish between an “excellent” outcome and one that is “above and beyond.” Even better if they can connect this to what customers desire and anticipate from companies in this regard.

To Wrap Up

This is not an exhausted list of customer service interview questions and sample answers. However, you now understand what to look for and what questions to ask when screening candidates for customer service positions.  

Key 10 Customer Service Interview Questions and Sample Answers

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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