Many customer service workers were replaced by chatbots and robots. What’s more, even humans who still have these roles often resemble robots–always saying the same things, following the exact set of steps with every customer, having a predefined answer ready for each possible question or objection. I find it quite sad to be honest. It is a pity to live in such an impersonal world… Back to the interview question though. What should you say when the hiring managers ask you about your strengths and weaknesses?
Back in the day, communication skills played the prime. Creativity also mattered, to be able to quickly come up with the right response to whatever a customer threw at you. Times have changed, however. Nowadays, virtually each customer service worker has to pass an extensive training before starting the job. Creativity is not needed, it often isn’t even welcome. Because the managers want you to follow the same processes with each customer, like a robot, instead of creatively trying to come up with a personalized answer.
Let’s have a look at 7 sample answers. I tired to be creative with some, and also added some typical answers I’ve heard from job applicants in customer service interviews I led in the past, answers I considered good. Do not forget to check also the final part of the article below the list of sample answers, to understand some important nuances of this interview question.
7 sample answers to “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” for customer service interviews
- I would say that I am responsible and can stay focused on a long shift, answering one phone call after another. It definitely helps me to keep a high standard of service on the entire shift, and also to be efficient at work. When it comes to weaknesses, I struggle a lot with managing small teams, and I am not the best with numbers as well. That’s actually one of the reasons why I want to work in customer service, and have never tried to get some managerial or supervisory role. I just do better on my own.
- Communication skills are my greatest strength. I am an excellent listener, speak clearly, and have a lot of empathy. Often I know what the customer wants before they even pronounce their question. It helps me to address people in the right way, and to quickly help them with their requests. But I struggle with computers, which I know is an important weakness. One cannot avoid working with computers in the 21st century, regardless of the job they have. I do what I can though, attending evening classes, practicing at home, in order to become more efficient with computers, and get rid of this weakness.
- This is my first job application in the field, and I cannot tell yet what my greatest strengths as a customer service worker are. The reason is simple–I lack the experience. In my opinion, one has to do the job first for a couple of weeks to understand what they excel in and what they struggle with. And I am sure I will excel in some areas of the job and struggle with others. But for me it’s not a status quo. As soon as I understand the areas I struggle with in the job, I will do what I can to improve on them.
- I am a quick learner, which I consider my greatest strength for this type of work. Let me explain. You have a great training program in place for new hires. And I’ve experienced your customer service from the other side of the line–calling as a customer of your company, since I also have a monthly program with you. I quickly understood that the customer service workers follow the same patterns with every phone call, asking the same questions, saying thank you after every response, and so on. You can learn such thing and with my learning abilities I won’t have a problem of doing so. And my weakness is definitely lack of creativity, but I do not consider it important for this position, following the reasons I just described.
- Let me start with my weaknesses. I am sometimes impatient with people. Always wanting to take care of my job quickly, in order to be available for another customer, I sometimes overestimate the intelligence of the person on the call, and give them instructions they aren’t able to follow. Or I speak in a way that’s hard to understand. This is definitely something I have to improve on if I want to become an excellent customer service worker one day. When it comes to my strengths, I would pick my strong determination to be successful in whatever I do, and also my focus on achieving tangible goals set by my employer. I am competitive by nature, and I believe it will help me in the job.
- Mental resilience is probably my greatest strength when it comes to this type of customer service work. I know I will hear a lot of bad things from the customers. Some people may even threaten me. But I also understand it is their emotions speaking, and I cannot take such things personally. I must say I do a good job of not letting them get under my skin, regardless of what they say on the call. On the other hand, I sometimes struggle to come up with the right response on the call. I just do not know what to say, in order to move the conversation in the right direction. However, I have heard about an excellent training for customer service workers in your company, and have no doubt that once I pass it, I will be ready to handle all common and less common situations on the phone.
- Communication skills, empathy, and also love for the product range are some of my greatest strengths. I know a lot about cosmetics, and I’ve tried many products you sell here. Having personal experience, I will find it easy to talk to customers and recommend them the right product to purchase. My biggest weakness is probably lack of experience. I’ve never worked in a retail store before, and this is also my first application for any customer service job. But I believe that my motivation and love for the field will help me to quickly get into it, and start delivering an excellent service to your customers.
Your attitude matters more than anything else
Without a doubt, some strengths (and weaknesses) are more important than others when we talk about customer service jobs. You should have an idea now, after going through seven sample answers. But one thing is even more important than the abilities you pick for your answer: your attitude.
As long as they see that you are not complacent with your abilities, that you want to progress, learn new things, and improve on your weaknesses, they will typically give you the chance. Because as I’ve already said, all these big companies have excellent training programs in place, and you will learn everything important before starting the job. As long as you are willing to learn of course…
Ready to answer this one? I hope so! Do not forget to check also 7 sample answers to other tricky customer service interview questions:
- Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer.
- Describe your definition of an excellent customer service.
- Describe your experience working in a fast-paced environment.