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Customer Service Interview Questions

25 Questions and Answers by

Rachelle Enns is an interview coach and job search expert. She works with candidates to perform their best in employment, medical, and post-secondary admission interviews.

Customer Service was updated on August 17th, 2018. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 25

How would you help a customer who you found difficult to understand, due to a language barrier?

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Customer Service Interview Questions & Answers

  1. 1.

    How would you help a customer who you found difficult to understand, due to a language barrier?

      How to Answer

      Language barriers can be a challenge, primarily if you work in the customer service industry where delivery of expectations is everything.

      Here are a few ways that you can overcome a language barrier:

      - Use simple-to-understand language
      - Use visuals when communicating
      - Repeat the essential parts of the conversation
      - Remain patient and respectful

      Show the interviewer that you can remain professional, even when a situation may not be as simple or easy to get through, as you would like.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "If I had a customer who was challenging to understand I would make sure to repeat the most important parts of the conversation; whether that be one sentence or a single word. It's important to me that my customers clearly understand what I am offering, and that I clearly understand how I can meet their needs."

      Rachelle's Answer for an Admin Interview

      "I have taken many phone calls in my administration career and have spoken to many people whose native language is not my own. I like to slow the conversation down and then I will follow up with an email to ensure clarity and that we are on the same page. Sometimes reading an email is easier than a verbal conversation when a language barrier is present."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Manager Interview

      "When I have customers who do not speak the same language as I do or are culturally very different from me, I ask them questions and then carefully dig deep until I know that we are on the same page."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Marketing Interview

      "If I have a customer who is challenging to understand I will send them our intake questionnaire for them to fill out at their own pace. By allowing someone room to think, I am giving them the space they need to be better communicators. This added time and less pressure can create a much clearer working relationship."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Retail Interview

      "I feel that visuals often help when the language barrier is strong. If a customer is looking for a specific garment, for instance, I will ask to see pictures, or I will bring pictures up on the store's directory or website. It's amazing what a simple nod of the head, yes or no, can do."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Sales Interview

      "Repeat, repeat, repeat! This rule is one that I live by when it comes to communicating with customers of all types. I will take the parts of our conversation and repeat them until I am 100% confident that we are communicating as well as possible."

      1 Community Answer

      Anonymous Answer

      "While working at the bank we have a very diverse customer base. I have worked with customers who do not speak any English and customers who can not hear and talk. I will simplify anything that needs to be communicated. In the case of the customer who can not hear or speak, we are able to communicate with a piece of paper. She starts by telling me what she wants. I will then make sure I have the correct understanding and then make a list so she knows what I have completed and done for her. For the customers who do not speak English, I will try to use gestures or see if I know a Spanish word to translate."

      Cindy's Answer

      Good use of an example. For clarity, you may want to start by making a statement about how you solve this problem and then launch into examples. Combining explanations and examples will help make your answer complete and clear.

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