Prepare yourself for an interview for customer service position

Question 1: How would you deal with an angry customer, or with one who were strongly unsatisfied with your service?

Customers are only people, and they can be angry–for whatever reason. Tell us that you would approach every customer with smile, stay calm and positive, and that you would try to uncover the reason why they were unsatisfied with your service. You can also say that if you failed to understand why they were angry, or address their request, you would call an experienced staff member to help you. Angry customers belong to the job, and you should show us that you are ready to meet them.


Question 2: Is there anything extra you would do for your customer?

Competition is tough, both in retail and in the job market. Show us that you belong to the exceptional customer service assistants who always strive to do something extra for their customers.

Informal talk with the customer, a small unexpected present, a discount you negotiate for them (if possible) are just a few ideas for a good answer to this question. Even such a simple thing like shaking hands with them can mean a lot for some people, since it is a gesture of friendship.


Question 3: If a customer buys 3 items, each for $4.43, and gives you $20 bill, what is the change?

With simple mathematical questions, we try to understand if you have basic financial literacy and can count two and two, if you won’t make some simple mistakes in your job. Pay attention and listen carefully, and give us a correct answer. You can use pen and paper for quick calculation, none interviewer will be upset seeing you doing your math with pen and paper (but calculator is not a good idea).


Question 4: What plays the key role in retail? Price, product value, or communication?

In many cases, it is the price and the product value that determine whether the customer makes a purchase or not. But as an applicant for CS position, you should definitely say that communication plays the prime–because that’s the only thing you can influence. And it is true that some people will come back to the retail store and spend more money just because they like the people who work there.


Question 5: The role-play.

We will ask you to play a customer assistant, and we will play a customer. You will have to sell us something, or at least try to convince us to purchase a product (a pen, a notepad, any simple item the interviewers have with them in an interview).

To flourish in a role play is not easy, and the chances of many job seekers perish as soon as they finish their role play with the interviewers. Try to ask additional questions, and understand your customer. Then it will be easier for you to offer a product in a most suitable way. Practice makes perfect, so if you still have time, practice a role play with a friend.

Question 6: What are your weaknesses?

Every person has some weaknesses–also you do. Try to mention those that are not central to the job. Weak computer skills, lack of leadership, or being over-friendly with customers are some of the good weaknesses to mention in your interview answer.


Question 7: Where do you see yourself in three years from now?

The career growth possibilities in customer service are limited, or non-existent in some companies. That’s why you should say that you would like to have a good job in the same field in three years time. You can also say that you do not think much about the future, and focus on the present day, trying to get a job, and later deliver the best customer service day in, day out.


Question 8: Why should we hire you?

Try to come up with some skills and abilities you have, those that relate to the job. If you can, say something that differentiate you from other applicants for the job, from your competitors. The following sample ideas should help you to find a good answer for yourself:

People enjoy being with me and I am sure they will return to the store again if I serve them.

I am very enthusiastic in work, and bring a lot of energy with me to the team. That helps the other colleagues with their motivation and work performance. At least that’s my experience from the other jobs I had.

My sales skills stand out, and I am sure I will not disappoint you in this job.


Question 9: Are there any customers you would struggle to serve?

Some of us do not like to talk to teenagers, while some other struggle to deal with seniors. However, as a good applicant for this job you should mention that you can get along with everyone, and that you enjoy the diversity which the job offers.


Question 10: Why do you want to work for us, and not for some other retailer (call center, company in general)

Try to focus on the good things, something that is specific for their company. It can be their goals and values, their good reputation, their product portfolio. Alternatively, if you can not find any better answer, you can simply say that the location of their store is perfect for you, or mention any other reason for your preferences.


More questions? Walmart?

If you apply for a customer service job at Walmart, you should check the Walmart Interview Guide from Jacob Gates, one of the guest authors who writes for InterviewPenguin.com . Walmart has a specific interview process, and Jacob, who worked for them for several years, knows exactly how to ace an interview with them, and get any job with this company.

Alternatively you can have a look at 15 most common interview questions article on our website, or check the interview preparation section.