Your excellent resume and well-written cover letter have caught the attention of the hiring managers, and you've landed a first interview meeting. Now is the time to prepare for the upcoming dialogue and to practice answering a few types of questions so that you'll sail through the interview.
Most interviews include several general questions, and you should be prepared to discuss why you are interested in the position and your employment history. When it comes to the more detailed, industry-specific inquiries, it's a great plan to write down some ideas and brainstorm a few examples prior to the meeting. That way when you are asked a question, you'll have several ideas to pull answers from. Avoid memorizing dialogue and instead come up with a variety of personal experiences that highlight relevant skills. Use these customer service associate interview questions to aid in your preparation.
5 Customer Service Associate Interview Questions & Answers
1. Describe your ability to resolve conflict.
Conflict resolution is a combination of emotional control and finding common ground. When I find myself in a disagreement, it always helps if I take a step back and look at it from the other perspective. This aids me in finding commonalities rather than dividing the conversation further. When I was employed at a local grocery store, I spent time working at the customer service desk. During that time I served multiple frustrated customers. I would always seek first to understand their position and then restate it back to them, so I knew we both understood each other. In combination with using an even tone of voice and an apology when needed, this method of conflict resolution led to happy customers.
2. How has your previous experience working with people prepared you for this position?
When I first began working with the public, I wasn't always sure how to say the right thing. I have learned a great deal of confidence and am now proficient at greeting clients with a smile and a verbal acknowledgement, and offering assistance to them throughout their visit. I have learned essential skills such as asking, "How can I help you today?" rather than "Do you need any help?" I have also learned the art of using small talk effectively. I found in my time working at a clothing store that a sincere compliment and a smile were often more effective than longer conversations.
3. What would you consider to be the most important personality traits needed to succeed with our company, and how do you exhibit those?
I believe that an outgoing personality is essential for this position, due to the amount of time that will be spent interacting with and assisting customers. I enjoy getting to know regular customers and recommending products to them based on their past purchasing habits. Honesty is also a key character trait that will allow me to excel in this position. I am completely trustworthy and have two years of experience at my prior position opening and closing cash drawers without discrepancies.
4. Describe a time when you took initiative during your previous employment.
During my time at the clothing store, we underwent an entire inventory reorganization and counting. I volunteered to help with this process and designed a spreadsheet that we used to keep track of items. I arrived early and stayed late during the weekend to help finish moving items and ensuring everything in the store had been counted. Afterwards the owner verbally thanked me for all my extra work on the project.
5. What does it mean to be a "people person?"
A people person is someone who is genuinely concerned about others. This type of person will seek to find win-win solutions that enable trusting relationships to be formed. In my current position we have several repeat customers. As a people person, I work hard to come up with ideas for products to recommend to these clients. I consider their past purchases, price range and taste when making these endorsements. I don't recommend the same items to each individual. When they purchase and love an item because of my recommendation, trust develops between us. I have their best interests at heart and sincerely want them to be satisfied with their purchases.
To give yourself the best chance at being offered the job, spend some time considering answers to these customer service associate interview questions and others that can apply to the position.