Contact Center Management Interview Questions

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Over the years I’ve conducted many contact center interviews to hire front-line agents, supervisors, managers, trainers, workforce managers, and directors. Contact centers are complex, and standard interview questions are not effective at identifying potential candidates. I thought I would share some of my favorite questions to ask.

Do you know our mission statement?
Great question to see if the candidate did any research about your organization. Most mission statements have a customer service element, so see if they took the time to find it. If not, show it to them and ask what they think. A great follow-up question is: How would you support our mission in this role?

What would you say to your manager if they are crazy about an idea but you think it stinks?
Allows insight to see how or if a person is capable of managing up. Are they going to say yes to anything, or will they tell you what they really think?

Tell me about the last time you were unable to satisfy a customer.
If you have worked in customer service for more than a week, you know there are customers that you simply can’t satisfy. It’s not that you aren’t trying, there’s just that small percentage of folks that have unrealistic expectations.

Tell me about a time you had to convince a group to make a change you felt necessary.
With the follow-up questions:
What was the change? How did you convince them?
Great question to see how they seek and obtain “buy-in” from a team… Or do they simply think people should respect their title and do anything they ask?

Tell me about your “To Do List”. What is always at the top, and what is always at the bottom?
See where their priorities are. Do they place a higher priority on their people? Technology? Process? Good to know based on what you’re hiring them for.

Tell me about procrastinating about a decision in the last 6 months. Why did you do it?
Will they tell you? Do they want to hide all the imperfections? None of us are perfect. See how transparent they are willing to be.

Tell me about your job search strategy. What actions have you taken?
How long have they been looking. Do they have a strategy? Are they experiencing some success? Is this an indicator of how they will manage your projects?

How do you use humor at work?
Let’s face it. A sense of humor is a must in any customer facing job. See what they say. Ask for an example. Make them be specific. Will your customers get a kick out of them?

What would you say if I told you this interview wasn’t going very well.
Ok. HR may shoot down this one, but it has always yielded interesting results. I can’t tell you how many times it has validated all the previous answers the candidate gave regarding conflict, active listening, negotiations, etc. I also could share many situations where the mask came off and they showed their true approach to dealing with conflict. Let me know what you think.

Also let me know if you have a great question. I’d love to hear from you!

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