Call it an icebreaker, an opening question, or even just a formality. In four out of five cases, you will get the “tell me about yourself” question, and interviews for customer service jobs are no exception to the rule. It isn’t the most important question you will face, but a good answer will help you relax (at least a bit), and set a good tone for the rest of your meeting with the hiring managers.
As you can imagine though, the way in which you should introduce yourself depends on a variety of factors. Your level of education and experience in the field, whether it is the first or second interview, and also the job you are trying to get. Applying for a position in customer service, you should perhaps focus on something else than applying for a job in police, or for some engineering role for example.
Let’s have a look at 7 sample answers to the question first. I tried to include on my list answers for both experienced and inexperienced people, as well as some unconventional answers. Once you read the answers proceed to the last section of this article, in which I explain why these job candidates said what they did, and what you should focus on in your own interview answer.
7 sample answers to “Can you tell me something about yourself?” interview question for customer service job applicants
- I would characterize myself as a hard-worker with excellent communication skills. As you can see on my resume, I’ve never worked in customer service before. But in every job you have to communicate with someone, you try to help people or convince them, you face praise or criticism. And I did fairly well in such situations in my last job, which gives me confidence in my ability to become an excellent customer service worker and deliver exceptional results. In my free time I enjoy playing piano and read a good book, or just relax with some nice food and drink.
- I’m Karina, 20 years old, applying for my first ever job, and looking forward to finally start my professional career. I generally enjoy talking to people, and have an ability to recognize their feelings, and react appropriately–at least experience from my personal life suggests so. It is one of the reasons why I picked customer service for my field. And I picked your company because you have excellent training program in place, which will help me to learn the basics and quickly get into my role. Would you like me to elaborate on my education, or on anything else from my short resume?
- Well, you can call me a veteran of customer service almost. I’ve worked in a call center for two years, while still studying. Then I worked in a cosmetics store, helping customers on the sales floor with their choice. Later I did desktop support, answering phone calls from clients who had problems with their software. I tried different forms of customer service and I must say that I’ve learned a lot in each one of my jobs. Now I would like to finally work as a customer service manager, because I believe my experience has prepared me for the role. And that’s how I came to your offer and this interview. If you want, I can tell you more about each of my jobs, or we can talk about it later on.
- I would characterize myself with three words: motivated, responsible, courteous. In both my personal life and work I always try to deliver my best, and I treat people with respect. In my opinion, world is quite cruel to many humans, and I see no point why we shouldn’t be nice to each other, or at least respectful to each other. Outside of work I am an avid athlete, enjoying long runs and bike rides, as well as playing baseball with friends occasionally. And as you can see on my resume, I am still studying, that’s why I am presently looking for a part time job only. Your customer service department seems like an ideal place to me, considering everything.
- My name is Marion, I’m 37, and I have just quit my job in a fast food restaurant. While I enjoyed working in a fast-paced environment and my interactions with customer, seeing the kitchen of the place and the ingredients of the food, I just didn’t feel it was ethically correct for me to work in such a place. So I am looking for an alternative now, again in customer service, and your jewelry store seems like a perfect option. Outside of work I am just a normal woman who enjoys walks with her partner and her dog, cooking good food together, having a nice evening. Is there anything else you’d like to ask about my working experience right now?
- I can tell you a lot of things about myself, and my career, but the most important thing is last 12 months really. I’ve quit my job in IT after seven hard years, because I experienced a complete burnout and could not imagine going on. Then I took nine months off, to recover physically and mentally, which explains the employment gap on my resume. And I also thought about new field of work, ideally something with more human interaction, because I knew I could not return to IT and programming anymore. I eventually picked customer service and here I am…
- Let me start with a few facts. 39, married, two kids, bachelor degree in management. Of course such things do not tell the entire story of who the person is, and whether they would fit a certain workplace. So who am I? I am naturally curious, always interested to learn something new, and I have experience with different areas of customer service: phone support, mail support, face to face, live chat. I believe your team can benefit from my experience, and I decided to apply with you.
Focus on your strengths related to customer service
As a rule of a thumb, you should focus on your strengths while introducing yourself to the interviewers. This changes with your level of experience, of course. If you’ve had some customer service jobs before, you should focus mostly on that in your introduction, briefly explaining what you did, learned, achieved, and how it makes from you a good candidate for the position.
If this is your first job application, or you’ve worked in a different, unrelated field, you should focus more on your personality traits and abilities that will help you excel in customer service. Think listening skills, conflict resolution, resilience, empathy, responsibility, and so on, and so forth.
Show them that you have life outside of work
You should try to add one or two things from your personal life. Not that it plays a big role in the selection process (in an ideal world it shouldn’t play any role), but it makes you more human in the eyes of the hiring managers, and demonstrates that you are willing to speak openly about anything in the interviews.
Now, it doesn’t mean that you have to reveal something personal, or refer to some struggles you face right now in your marriage–if that’s the case. You can simply say that you have kids (or a dog), and enjoy doing this or that in your free time. No need to force it. Share one or two hobbies with them and that’s it. Combining your strengths related to customer service and one or two details from your personal life, is an ideal answer to this question, and will put you in a strong position for the rest of your customer service job interview…
Ready to answer this one? I hope so! Do not forget to check the following questions though:
- Customer service interview questions and answers – 10 most common questions you may face.
- Customer service interview – What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Why should we hire you? Customer service interview
- Tell me about the time when you have exceeded customer’s expectations.
- Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer.