Call centers battle with high employee fluctuation. Many people will apply for a job in a call center, considering it a temporary role, a good source of basic income, until they find something better. After a few weeks or months in a job, they will leave the call center. And the hiring process can start all over again…

The call center managers try to avoid hiring people with the same attitude. They try to hire someone serious about the job, someone who actually wants to work in a call center. Let’s have a look at some questions they will ask you, while trying to understand your motivation, attitude to life and people, and readiness to handle the work in a call center.


Why do you want to work in a call center?

Nobody dreams of a job in a call center. No surprises at this point. In some stage of our career, however, or in a certain period of our life, this job can be something that we really want.

We may need something quick–a job that is easy to start and quit, or we may need something flexible. Or perhaps we want to improve our sales skills, and consider a job in a call center a great option for that.

You should relate to one of these reasons in your answer.

I am still studying, and I can not accept a full time work contract. I was looking for a job with flexible working hours and no requirements on previous working experience. From all available options, I consider a job in a call center to be the best option in my situation.

I was looking for a position on which I can develop my communication and sales skills and ideally work in the office. On the top of that, seeing your reward structure, I understand that if I am good, I will earn quite well in this job. These are the main reasons for my preferences.

* You can check 7 sample answers to the question here: Why do you want to work in a call center?


This job is repetitive. What would motivate you to do it well for a long time?

Again, you should try to be honest with your answer. Do not tell them that the job is not repetitive, or that you enjoy spending eight hours a day on a phone–since nobody enjoys that.

But you can say that your goals, and things you want to accomplish in life, will motivate you in a job.

Perhaps you need additional source of income to pursue your studies. Or you want to start your career in sales once you are older. Or basically you need a source of income, and once you get the job, you will do your best not to lose it…. Explain your honest reasons to the interviewers. Do not be afraid to open up.

Like in every other employment, one needs to deliver. If I do not do my job well, the results of my phone calls won’t be satisfactory. I understand the phone calls are monitored, so… I need a job, I consider this opportunity as a good one for my current situation and therefor I will do my best to keep the job. That is what motivates me to work hard.


How can we ensure that you will not leave our company after one week?

This question results from the most common problem the call centers face–the high fluctuation of employees. Obviously, you can leave them in a week, or in a month–it is your right to do it, the labor law backs you, and they can do nothing about it.

Once you interview for a job, however, you should try your best to convince them that you at least plan to stay for a bit longer. What really happens at the end is another story…

Look, I am in my first grade at the University. I plan to stay in this city for a few more years, and I need a flexible part time job, just like this one. If I get this position, I have no reason to quit it soon.

I know this job is very demanding and it is not easy to be eight hours on a call. However, if I was not ready to do it, I would waste neither yours, nor my time in an interview. If you hire me, I will do my best to have this job as long as possible.


Other questions you may face in your call center job interview

  • What do you want to accomplish on this position?
  • What do you believe is a main duty of a call center operator?
  • How will you deal with a client who does not want to talk to you at all?
  • How would you deal with an angry client?
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • How do you feel about making a cold call (calling someone who knows nothing about you and about our offer)?
  • In our work, we sometimes spend eight hours a day on a phone. How do you feel about doing that?
  • This is our product (They show you a product or read a description of a service). Tell me why someone should buy it.
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Which hours can you work? Would you mind working forty hours per week?
  • When are you able to start?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • Do you have any questions?

Line of call center oprators, all of them have headphones with built-in microphone. One woman from a row is looking in our direction.

Role play in a call center interview – the dreaded part for many job seekers

Role play is a common part of this interview. You will play a call center operator, and the interviewer will play an angry customer, or a tired customer you should call to–or basically any sort of a difficult customer.

The situation may vary, and your exact task depends on the business of the particular call center. You may be asked to sell them something, to fill a questionnaire with them, or may even ask them to provide feedback on some products they purchased before.

Remember: they do not expect you to handle the call perfectly, and you will get a training before you start the job. They just want to see that you are not afraid to talk to other people, that you won’t get distracted on the phone, or panic on the line.

Stay calm, accept the role play, talk with confidence on the phone, and do your best. Typically it will be enough to pass this part of a call center interview.


Final thoughts, next steps

Interview in a call center does not belong to the most difficult interview, for a simple reason–call centers need people. And they need them always.

Nevertheless, you still have to show the hiring managers that you know what it takes to have this job, are ready for the challenges it presents, and plan to have it for at least a few months.

If you feel anxious about your interview, or do not know how you’d answer some tough interview questions, have a look at our Interview Success Package, streamline your interview preparation, and outclass your competitors. Thank you for checking it out!

* Alternatively you can download the list of questions as .PDF, to practice with them later, or to use them in your interview template (when you are hiring new call center operatives):

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Matthew Chulaw
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