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

Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond for customer service.

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Customer Service Interview Questions & Answers

  1. 1.

    Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond for customer service.

      How to Answer

      The interviewer is looking for a specific answer that showcases your ability to deliver excellent customer service. You need to go beyond 'service with a smile' when answering this question. Make your reply memorable! This question offers you an excellent opportunity to be a stand-out candidate.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I often look for opportunities to go over and above when it comes to customer service. One memorable time was when a senior woman was struggling to get her groceries into her car. I was on break but saw her through the window. I ran out and greeted her, asking if I could assist. She was so thankful that she ended up calling my manager that day to compliment my kindness."

      Rachelle's Answer for an Admin Interview

      "I used to work the front desk in a hotel where we were given a budget specifically to use for making a customers' experience better. I recall one couple in specific who left their phone and laptop chargers in the room after they checked out. I same-day couriered the items to them with a friendly note. It felt great to deliver that added touch."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Manager Interview

      "Everyone likes options, and after receiving consistent feedback from my customers that they felt limited when they had to choose our service packages, I decided to take the concern up with our corporate head office. Before doing so, I polled my clients to find out exactly what they wanted to see from our service menu. I made a compelling presentation to my senior leadership, and our company ended up agreeing to add these service options. We will be rolling out the first round of changes next month. It is important to listen to your customers and deliver what they ask."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Marketing Interview

      "Many of our customers do not understand social media fully, which is why they come to us. I recently launched a private YouTube channel with video tutorials and how-tos. I sent the login information to all of our clients so that they could access the information on-demand. This effort saves them a phone call and email and also ensures that the information they need is at their fingertips, no matter the time of day or night. The response has been incredibly positive."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Retail Interview

      "Customer inquiries come through my desk at a rapid rate whether it be through email, voicemail, or social media. I make it my aim to never leave for the day until every inquiry has a response. This commitment may mean staying late an extra hour sometimes, but my valued customers are worth the added effort."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Sales Interview

      "When I worked in drillbit sales, I had a client with a drilling rig about one hour out of town from us. They were drilling incredibly challenging ground when they pushed the bit too far and destroyed the bit. My cell phone rang at 3 AM, and it was the driller, in a panic. I hopped out of bed and drove them the extra bit that they needed to keep operating smoothly. That particular account ended up being my biggest account to date, because of my willingness to go over and above."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Home Health Aide Interview

      "I had a patient last year who had an accidental fall when she was home alone. She ended up being hospitalized for a few weeks because of a broken hip. I took time after work to visit her a couple of times per week. She really appreciated the gesture, as did her family."

      Sue's Answer for a Landscape Architect Interview

      "I am particularly proud of the time I was leading the initial conceptual designs for a handful of small neighborhood parks for our local Parks and Recreation department. The overall funding and design budget were on the lower end, so I spent time, on my own, to speak with adjacent neighborhood leaders, school leaders, and parks maintenance workers to learn about the issues that they were facing and get their input. The parks department was so satisfied by the high level of commitment and quality of my work that they hired our company for all of their upcoming park projects."

      Elisabeth's Answer for a Landscaping Interview

      "When I worked at a cafe, I made sure that I had a great attitude at all times. I was friendly with every customer. I had a customer come in feeling very stressed and rushed. I moved as quickly as I could to fill his order and asked questions to make sure I was giving him exactly what he wanted. He was so impressed with my attitude that he smiled and relaxed when I gave him his sandwich. I told him I could tell he was stressed and if there was anything else I could do to please let me know. He asked for a coffee, and I responded right away. He gave me a big tip and continued to come back and see me every week!"

      Rachelle's Answer for an Animal Shelter Worker Interview

      "I love to impress my employer. I currently work at a pet store and will often stay late to help out a customer who arrives just as the doors are closing. I get to know our regular customers, and even remember the names of their pets! It keeps customers coming back when they feel like they are part of a community."

      Ryan's Answer for a Veterinarian School Interview

      "While at my previous company we had redundancies in the middle of an already understaffed project. The 5-person team I was in was demoralized and also needed to absorb the additional work from the departed staff. I took everyone on the team out for coffee individually. These one-on-one meetings were an opportunity to vent, but also created space for employees to share pain points. I shared all the potential roadblocks in a follow-up team meeting, and we brainstormed solutions together, including adjusting the timeline slightly.
      Because the team felt that their frustrations were acknowledged, there was no simmering resentment holding people back. Instead, the team felt enthusiastic and unified in a common goal. "

      Rachelle's Answer for a Baker Interview

      "I had a customer come to me with 1 days' notice that she needed a wedding cake. Her original baker did not provide her with the cake that she wanted and she was very panicked about it. We worked overtime and went far beyond the call of duty to ensure that her cake was perfect, and ready for her big day."

      Darby's Answer for a Blood Bank Laboratory Technician Interview

      "GLP is a formal regulation that was formulated in 19781 by the US Food and Drug Administration with the aim of producing a framework for how laboratories are run. It is a guide that states how work should be accomplished within a laboratory"

      Rachelle's Answer for a Bank Compliance Officer Interview

      "I am particularly proud of the time I (X project you are the most proud of). I went above and beyond because the client's satisfaction mattered to me and my employer, and (X other reasons why you went above and beyond). The client was so satisfied by the high level of commitment and quality of my work that he hired our company for all of his upcoming projects."

      3 Community Answers

      Anonymous Answer

      "A student required assistant in submitting her thesis onto Turnitin as it would not upload into the system. As I was very busy, I asked her to see me after 4.30 pm, when I finish work, to help her upload the thesis. I am fully committed to providing first-class customer service to all internal and external stakeholders regardless of when the assistant is required."

      Rachelle's Answer

      This is a wonderful example of going above and beyond to help someone out. Be sure to include the result in your answer as well :) I have provided an example below, using the STAR framework (Situation, Task, Action, Result).

      "(Situation) When I was working at ___, a student required assistance in submitting her thesis onto Turnitin, as it would not upload into the system. (Task) Her thesis was due (give a timeframe), so I knew there was some urgency. (Action) As I was very busy, I asked her to come and see me after 4:30 pm, when I finished work. This way, I could help her after hours to upload the thesis. (Result) As a result, we were able to troubleshoot her issue with Turnitin, and she was able to submit her thesis on time. I am fully committed to providing first-class customer service to all internal and external stakeholders regardless of when the assistance is required."

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      Anonymous Answer

      "When I was working at ______, every week, a group of teachers, guardians or parents used to bring kids with special needs to teach them cash transactions. Though sometimes the lines were long or I was at the end of the shift, I always took time to ensure the kids had a pleasant experience. I used to try to strike a conversation with the kids to make them feel comfortable and give them ample time to finish the transaction without feeling rushed. After a couple of times, the kids felt more comfortable coming through my lines, and the parents were appreciative of my patience. Having said that, if the next customer has been waiting a long time, I do apologize for the delay."

      Rachelle's Answer

      This example shows a lot of engagement in the workplace as well as care for others. Your story is memorable and well delivered!

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