As you prepare for the big interview day, you might wonder about the top client service specialist interview questions and how to answer them. You’ve come to the right place.
In this guide, we’ll provide:
- 5 of the most common client service specialist interview questions and answers.
- Tips to help you put your best foot forward.
- Resources to help you throughout the interview process.
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Client service specialist interview questions and answers
Interview questions for a client service specialist position will depend on the job and the company, but most potential employers want to know if you have experience if you’re invested in your career, and if you’re a good fit for the company. They also want to know if you have specific soft skills like leadership, relationship-building, communication and decision-making.
Practice makes perfect! Here are five common client service specialist interview questions and our sample answers for you to use as inspiration as you prepare your own answers.
1. How would you handle an angry client?
Hiring managers ask this straightforward client service specialist interview question to gauge how you handle conflict — a critical skill for client service specialists.
Provide one anecdote if you have one and share as much detail as possible while being succinct in your answer. If you do not have experience with angry clients, then imagine how you might handle such a situation. Highlight your problem-solving, interpersonal and communication skills.
“I have had to deal with my fair share of angry clients in previous positions. What is most important is to remain calm. My job was to help them in any way I could, so that is just what I did. I explored all possible solutions, making sure to communicate my efforts with the client every step of the way. Upon finding a solution, I made sure to verify with the client that his or her problem had been solved in a satisfactory manner.”
2. What would you do if you were presented a problem by a client that you didn’t know how to resolve?
Potential employers ask this client service specialist interview question to see how quickly you can think on your feet and how you solve difficult problems.
Potential employers expect that you will encounter problems that you can’t resolve on your own. Show that you know how to ask questions to help your clients.
“In a previous client services role, I was asked a question relating to a loophole in our policy that I had no idea how to answer. I explained to the client that I was not exactly sure how that section of the policy worked in her specific case, and told her that I would check with my manager. I then contacted my team leader and explained the problem. He provided me with the correct solution, which I was then able to pass on to the client. I made sure to note where the answer could be found for quick reference in the future.”
3. You are dealing with a customer on the phone, and you are struggling to find the solution to his or her problem. The customer starts getting impatient. How do you handle the situation?
Potential employers ask this interview question for client service specialists to see how you handle conflict.
To answer this question, think back to a time you faced a similar challenge and explain the problem in detail, then be specific when explaining how you arrived at a solution or compromise that made the client happy.
“I try to have all my resources readily available to minimize the amount of time spent searching for solutions, but it inevitably has happened that I have stumbled across a problem that was not so easily solved. If the search is taking longer than expected, I regularly check in with the client and explain to him or her what I am doing and why it is taking longer than expected. I also make sure to continuously thank the client for his or her patience. If the problem is particularly difficult to solve, I will ask if it is alright to call the client back, provided that this is permitted by company policy.”
4. Give an example of a time when you have gone the extra mile for a client.
When potential employers ask this client service specialist interview question, it is usually to gauge your customer service skills.
To answer this interview question for a client service specialist job, think about how you’ve honed your customer service skills through work experience, school, or other areas of your life and how you apply them to working with clients. Be specific, give details and highlight at least one relevant accomplishment.
“When working in the client service department of a bank, I received a call from a client who had been promised she would receive her debit card the previous day, but it never came. It was a Thursday, and she was leaving the country that Sunday and needed the card before then. Normally it would take until the following Monday to resend the card; however, I researched carriers in the area that offered Saturday delivery and was able to coordinate with our card shipping center to have the card printed first thing Friday and delivered by Saturday afternoon. The woman said I had saved her vacation, which made my day.”
5. What do you like and dislike about working in the customer service industry?
Potential employers ask this straightforward client service specialist interview question to get an honest idea about what you like and dislike about your work.
To answer this question, remember that honesty is paramount but put a positive spin on what you dislike about your job.
You might say something like,
“Nobody likes dealing with angry people, and there are days where angry customers can really get you down. It can be frustrating when you can’t make someone happy, despite your best efforts. However, when you are able to help a person and make his or her life just a little bit better, there is no better feeling in the world.”
Client service specialist interview tips
- Research the company. Review the company’s website, LinkedIn account, news channels, and employee reviews to learn about the company’s goals, needs, products and culture. Take notes and tie your findings into your answers as you prepare for your client service specialist interview.
- Use the STAR interview method. The STAR method is a tried-and-true way of answering interview questions clearly and concisely. It will help you to be specific and keep track of your thoughts when answering client service specialist interview questions.
- Use keywords from the job description in your answers. You’ve likely studied the job description by the time you reach the interview stage of the job application process. Review it before your interview and align your answers with keywords from the job requirements. For example, talk up your communication skills and knowledge of state and federal employee benefits regulations if they are listed in the job description.
- Practice with others and in front of a mirror. Use these questions and other commonly asked interview questions, such as “Why should we hire you?”, “Describe a time when you needed to cope with a stressful scenario,” or “Why did you choose this career?” to answer interview questions for a client service specialist job.
- Be ready to answer behavioral interview questions. Most potential employers will ask at least one behavioral question so don’t let them throw you off guard!
- Prepare questions for your interviewer. Asking questions during your job interview is as important as answering client service specialist interview questions. Have three to five questions ready to ask during or at the end of your interview. This is an opportunity to show you’ve done your research on the company and to ask pertinent questions about the job. Sometimes it helps to have them written down in a notebook so you don’t forget.
- Bring hard copies of your resume and cover letter. Impress your interviewers by bringing in a hard copy of your application documents.
- Write a follow-up letter to each person you interviewed with after your client service specialist interview. Doing so keeps you fresh in the interviewer’s mind, displays professionalism, and allows you to elaborate on answers from your interview or correct mistakes you might have made. An interview follow-up letter provides the opportunity to thank your interviewers for their time, and ask questions that you didn’t get to ask during your interview. Customize your letter for each interviewer to show you were paying attention and to personalize your correspondence. Time is of the essence: send your follow-up letter within 24 hours of your interview.
5 common client service specialist interview questions key takeaways
- Research the company before your interview.
- Practice makes perfect. Review the 5 common client service specialist interview questions and answers on this page to start.
- Use keywords from the job description to craft the answers for your interview questions for client service specialists.
- The STAR method can help you articulate your answers to client service specialist interview questions clearly and concisely.
- Follow up.
5 Client Service Specialist Interview Questions & Answers
What is the STAR method for job interviews?
The STAR method is a technique to answer interview questions. It is an acronym for “Situation-Task-Action-Result.” It is particularly effective with behavioral interview questions, yet it can be used with any questions that require storytelling to highlight what you bring to the table. This method structures your answers to ensure you’re highlighting job-relevant skills and showcase how you used them.
How does it work? It shows you what to include and the order, giving your answer a beginning, middle and end. In simple terms:
Situation — This was the problem.
Task — This was my role or responsibility when said problem came up.
Action — This is what I did to solve the problem.
Result —This was the successful outcome of my actions.
Using the STAR method in an interview helps hiring managers learn about who you are as a candidate. Your resume tells them you have the skills; your STAR method answers will tell them how effectively you used said skills.
What questions should I ask a hiring manager during a benefits administrator job interview?
The best interview questions to ask a hiring manager for a benefits administrator job interview will come naturally during the conversation. We recommend you bring a notebook and a pen to jot them down as they come, although you should always arrive to a job interview with at least three questions prepared.
Some great questions you might ask are:
- What about this position is most important for the goals of the company?
- What would you want me to accomplish in the first six months?
- What is the team workflow process?
- In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge for a person in this role?
- What is the culture like here?
- How would you measure my success for this role?
- Are there professional development opportunities available for someone in this role?
What are the top three things to avoid in a benefits administrator job interview?
Job interviews are always nerve-wracking, no matter how prepared you are. Because of that, job applicants often spend so much time preparing that they forget what to avoid.
Here are our top three job interview killers:
1. Getting too personal.
It’s a great sign if you develop a strong rapport with your job interviewer. After all, a friendly attitude and a bit of humor go a long way to ease the tension and to show the interview a bit of your personality. Still, there’s a fine-line between being friendly and being to casual, so keep your questions and answers on the professional end of the spectrum.
2. Talking too much.
It’s natural to be nervous during a job interview but be careful that your nerves don’t get the best of you. Take a few moments to process each interview question and think about your answers before responding so you don’t trip over your tongue or ramble, which can ruin the interview. Job interviewers want clear, concise answers, so be straight to the point, provide pertinent details, and avoid tangents. Speak slowly and clearly and never interrupt your interviewer!
3. Focusing on yourself.
It’s vital that you share your professional achievements, skills and goals during a job interview, but to balance the conversation, your answers should focus on how you can use your experiences and skills to the potential employer’s benefit. To do so, use details about the company you gleaned from your research, call up the job requirements, and explain how you would go above and beyond to help the company grow.
How we reviewed this article
Since 2013, we have helped more than 15 million job seekers. We want to make your career journey accessible and manageable through our services and Career Center’s how-to guides and tips. In our commitment to bring you a transparent process, we present our Editorial Process.
- Zendesk Blog. Olson, Sarah. 33 customer service interview questions and answers to identify outstanding talent