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Customer Representative Interview
Questions

26 Questions and Answers by
| Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.

Question 1 of 26

Being in customer service is not the most exciting career, how would you make it fun?

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Customer Representative Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    Being in customer service is not the most exciting career, how would you make it fun?

      This can be a trick question, as the interviewer may be testing you, whether you respond in agreement or disagreement. You don't see your role as boring, you've got the right mindset! Show the recruiter that your job's not a chore for you and that you actually enjoy what you're doing.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I can see why some might find a job in customer service boring but I think that getting to talk to different people and handling a variety of concerns is interesting. I've always been a social butterfly so listening to people's problems and finding a way to solve them would be a great job for me."

  2. 2.

    After three months on the job, where do you see your performance being?

      Usually, a lot of time, effort, and resources are put into training new hires. Most likely, the recruiter is trying to determine if you're worth all the fuss. Your answer should show that you'd be an asset to the team, not a liability.
      "I've always been a quick learner, so one month is good enough for me to learn the ropes. I believe in giving my all in whatever I do so I can assure that you that I'll be at my best at my third month."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I've always been a quick learner, so one month is good enough for me to learn the ropes. I believe in giving my all in whatever I do so I can assure that you that I'll be at my best at my third month."

      Anonymous Answer

      "After three months on the job, I see myself having created rapport with my customers, know their needs, and wants in advance and effectively execute queries in the least time possible."

      Rachelle's Answer

      This is a great start! I have revised for flow/formatting and included product knowledge as a consideration.

      "After three months on the job, I see myself confident in product knowledge and the ability to build excellent rapport with my customers through anticipating needs, and efficient execution of queries."

      Was this answer helpful? Yes (1) or No (0)
  3. 3.

    Give me an example, outside of a call center, where you have pleased a customer?

      If you're good at your job even outside of your normal work environment, that's a big deal. It shows that you're consistently a great worker and lets the recruiter know that you're sincere about providing service to customers. Your example could be from your internship, a part time job, or simply you helping out.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "One of my summer jobs was at a department store. My job as a personal shopper was to assist a customer from the moment she arrives to the checkout at the counter. Given the high volume of shoppers, messed up clothing piles, and packed fitting rooms, it was a bit of a struggle. Nevertheless, I did my job diligently and was rewarded by my customer asking for me every time she shopped at the store."

  4. 4.

    How do you respond when you do not know the answer to a question?

      Nobody's perfect and nobody knows the answer to every question. Of course, tell the recruiter that you'd do your best to master info relevant to your role, but for the instances that you're not ready with an answer, you'd take responsibility. Also, you will seek out the correct information for the customer but you may have to consult with management or a technical specialist.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I believe that honesty would be the best answer. I'd sincerely apologize and then reassure the customer that I'll be transferring them to someone who can provide an answer to their query. Or if company policy dictates, I will personally call a specialist and talk with them myself to get the answer for the customer."

  5. 5.

    What did you like most about your previous customer service position?

      If an interviewer asks this question, this is a great opportunity to discuss how impactful your previous work with customer service was. I would recommend avoiding an answer that highlights company perks and focus your answer on why the position was great because of the interactions you had.

      Here is an interview answer example: "Customers called in with a technical issue, and within my department, we were typically able to fix the customers problem right then and there! It was a pleasure making a customer's day just by doing my job."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Customers called in with a technical issue, and within my department, we were typically able to fix the customers problem right then and there! It was a pleasure making a customer's day just by doing my job."

  6. 6.

    Did you miss any days at work last year?

      If you truly haven't, tell the recruiter so and add that you believe in an excellent work ethic which is why you avoid absences as much as possible. If you have, then let the interviewer know that it was only because of a legitimate reason.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "At my previous job, I only had a total of 3 absences for 2 years. I don't get sick often; and unless there is truly an emergency, I come to work on time."

  7. 7.

    How would you define really great customer support?

      The interviewer wants to know you understand basic customer service. This is a great time to exceed any interviewers expectations by giving a great definition of customer service. Display how you understand customer service and what it means to go above and beyond for the customer. You can also give a specific example of a time you gave excellent customer service!

      Here is an interview answer example: "Identifying the customer's needs is the first step to great customer service. Once I understand their needs and wants, I can assist them much better. Once I know I can assist a customer, I do so with a positive attitude. I always want to exceed a customers expectation when I can!"

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Identifying the customer's needs is the first step to great customer service. Once I understand their needs and wants, I can assist them much better. Once I know I can assist a customer, I do so with a positive attitude. I always want to exceed a customers expectation when I can!"

      Anonymous Answer

      "It's about meeting customer needs. Pay attention to them. Be gentle yet firm when handling difficult customers. Act positively."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Great response! I have reworded this slightly, to add impact.

      "Great customer support is all about meeting the customers' needs. First, it's important to pay attention to the customer, always being proactive and positive."

      Was this answer helpful? Yes (1) or No (0)
  8. 8.

    If a customer demands to speak to a manager, what do you do?

      This could happen to anyone, and it doesn't necessarily mean that you've done something wrong. However, your manager's time shouldn't be wasted with petty concerns, so make sure you've done everything on your level before escalation. A good answer would go like this, "Before forwarding any concerns to management, I'd make sure first that I did my best to solve the issue on my level. I'd apologize to the customer if he/she was not satisfied before escalating the situation to my boss."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Before forwarding any concerns to management, I'd make sure first that I did my best to solve the issue on my level. I'd apologize to the customer if he/she was not satisfied before escalating the situation to my boss."

  9. 9.

    Why do you want a job in customer service?

      The interviewer wants to know why you've chosen this career as that could be an indicator of your dedication to the job. Your answer should be a display of your passion in helping customers.

      Here is an interview answer example: "I really enjoy the interaction with people and find no problem answering even the most trivial questions. I get a deep sense of satisfaction when solving problems or helping customers out in one way or another. I've always been a social and outgoing person so a job that lets me talk to and help people is perfect for me."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I really enjoy the interaction with people and find no problem answering even the most trivial questions. I get a deep sense of satisfaction when solving problems or helping customers out in one way or another. I've always been a social and outgoing person so a job that lets me talk to and help people is perfect for me."

  10. 10.

    Give me an example of when you made a customer really unhappy?

      Relay the story to the recruiter without putting the blame on the customer. Acknowledge whatever mistakes you made but highlight the steps you took to fix the situation. The recruiter wants to know that you're capable of owning up to your mistakes and patching up a bad situation.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "One of our loyal customers was asking for a replacement of an item that had a defect. Unfortunately, the particular item was already out of stock due to a delay in the update of the database on my part. I relayed the situation to my boss and apologized, then proposed a solution. In order to appease one of our most loyal customers, I gave him a discount on the upgrade of the item he originally bought."

      Anonymous Answer

      "It’s unfortunate, but it does happen. I was unable to accommodate backdating coverages on an insurance policy for a customer, and she was very displeased and made it clear she was not happy. I stated I understand her frustration. Unfortunately, we can’t backdate the coverages; however, we can apply them now, so she has them going forward. She wasn’t as frustrated when we ended the call but, not happy."

      Rachelle's Answer

      You cannot make everyone happy, but the important thing is that you did what you could, remained helpful and cordial.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  11. 11.

    If a customer says you are taking too long to solve the issue, what do you do?

      Sometimes, the delay in providing service isn't even your fault. It could be the fault of the system, the IT guys, phone issues, etc. It's how you respond to the customer that's a point of issue for the recruiter. Your answer could go like this, "First of all, I'd ensure the customer that their concern had been addressed promptly. Aside from issuing a sincere apology, I'd also do my best to explain the reason for delay. To make the customer feel that they are a priority, I'd give them updates every now and then regarding their request."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "First of all, I'd ensure the customer that their concern had been addressed promptly. Aside from issuing a sincere apology, I'd also do my best to explain the reason for delay. To make the customer feel that they are a priority, I'd give them updates every now and then regarding their request."

  12. 12.

    Give me an example of when you pleased a customer very much?

      You should be prepared to give an answer to this question in any job interview that has customer interactions. Your answer should be able to highlight your skills and personality. Think of an instance or experience you've had with a customer that would make you stand out from the crowd.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "A customer had called, asking about one of our products. After I described the product to her, I then proceeded to locate a store nearest to her location. I checked if there was stock available and let her know who to look for at the store. The customer thanked me gladly for going the extra mile for her convenience."

      Anonymous Answer

      "Working on a retention team at my previous employment. People mostly wanted to cancel due to rate increases. This particular customer had a triple increase in the overall rate. I reviewed the account to find out why. Explained the increase was due to multiple traffic violations in the last year. Then did an overall review of the policy and coverages. They suggested several discounts available and did get the rate down. Overall the customer understood the increase and was pleased with the discounts and did send my manager a compliment on my service."

      Rachelle's Answer

      That's very nice of your customer to give positive feedback to your manager! It sounds as though you are often able to offer a healthy balance between customer needs and what is right for your company. Well done!

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  13. 13.

    If a major product was recalled and our call center employees had to stay overtime, how would you react?

      The recruiter is trying to gauge your flexibility and dedication to the job. Be honest about your stance on work-life balance, but keep in mind that you need to prove your worth at this point, as long as conditions are reasonable of course.

      Here is an interview answer example: "I’m reasonably flexible and if business needs are such that it would be necessary for me to worker longer hours then I would certainly be prepared to do so."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I’m reasonably flexible and if business needs are such that it would be necessary for me to worker longer hours then I would certainly be prepared to do so."

  14. 14.

    Why are you the best fit for this job?

      This is a great time to match the qualities that you have with the qualities they have requested in their job posting or internal job description. If you haven't done so already, re-read the job description and requirements with the job posting you applied to. If the job posting has comments like, 'Must be a great communicator'. You will want to talk about your communication skills with the interviewer.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I feel that I am the strongest candidate for the job because I bring everything that you are looking for in your next employee. I believe my communication skills are my best asset, I thoroughly enjoy pleasing customers, and I have experience using the customer service software you have described in your job posting. In addition to possessing these qualities, I have an excellent track record as a customer service representative which gives me a running start at this job."

  15. 15.

    Describe a situation when you had a negative customer reaction?

      Let the recruiter know that despite the negative reaction, you had worked the situation around. Everybody has bad days, what's important is the way you react to the problem.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "There was a time that I had to refuse a customer's unreasonable request due to company policy. In order to appease the customer, I empathized with their situation and communicated a willingness to help them find an alternative."

      Anonymous Answer

      "I was unable to accommodate a customer request for fee refunds, due to system limitations on the account and guidelines. They had already had several refunds. I explained to them that I do understand it’s frustrating throwing money away on fees. I started a check register for them and showed them how to use it — also offered options for overdraft protection to ensure no more fees. Being proactive and offering solutions usually diffuses negativity."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Was the negativity diffused in this specific situation? This is a good example because you showcase your ability to think of a variety of solutions that will help the customer. You also show an ability to think ahead by assisting the customer in avoiding the situation from happening again.

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      Anonymous Answer

      "While working as a guest attendant in the lodges, a lady who I had already checked in walked in angrily claiming that I gave her a room that she had not booked. She claimed that she had booked a room with a full view. After confirming the website where the booking was made, our partners had changed the profile of the room to full view instead of the partial view. After apologizing for the mistake, I informed her that since we are in a heritage park, we were not allowed to cut down trees and hence all the rooms have a partial view of the lake. However, with a consultation with the, I upgrade her to a new place which she likes. I had excellent feedback when she checked out after five days."

      Mary's Answer

      Excellent example- great job typing in the result/outcome. I have reformatted for brevity.

      "While working as a lodge guest attendant, I had a dissatisfied customer who believe I had booked her in an incorrect "partial-view" room instead of a "full-view" room. I apologized for the misunderstanding and showed empathy for her frustration. I explained to her the lodge policy of only having "partial view" rooms because the historic park the lodge was located on prevented tree-cutting. I offered to upgrade her room (which were within the company guidelines). She was very pleased with the outcome and even provided excellent feedback on my service when she checked out."

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  16. 16.

    We expect our employees to answer phone calls throughout the day and log 4 hours of call time, can you handle that?

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  17. 17.

    Would you lie to a customer if it was best for the company?

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  18. 18.

    Tell me about a time when you turned around a situation wherein a customer that was angry became a customer that was very happy with the results.

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  19. 19.

    When have you provided excellent customer support?

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  20. 20.

    In what ways could you improve as a customer service agent?

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  21. 21.

    Describe for me a time when you failed at customer service.

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  22. 22.

    What past experiences do you have turning cancellations back into customers?

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  23. 23.

    Have you ever called off work when you really could have went?

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  24. 24.

    Do you tend to give into customer complaints?

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  25. 25.

    What in the past demonstrates your ability to handle customer complaints?

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  26. 26.

    What experiences do you have in customer service?

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