32 Questions and Answers Written by Professional Interviewers
Question 1 of 32
Do you ever become upset or angry on the job?
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Becoming upset is OK, becoming angry is not. Be able to explain how you keep composed, understanding that in a TSS role that you are responsible for helping to solve customer's problems, you didn't create them. Being able to provide examples where a customer really got you upset, and how you dealt with it can be used here. Specific examples of how you diffused the tension, have any games you use in the team, tools that are used to 'lighten things up' would be good.
"At the end of every shift, we play a recording of the most outrageous call. We then give a rating on how the agent handled the call. It is a good way for all us to laugh, joke around a bit and many times learn new skills from that agent."
Are you happy with your career as a technical support specialist?
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It is never a good idea to say that you are not happy. Employers want to hire happy people into their roles, not unhappy ones.
If there are business reasons for you to be actively looking, then provided those reasons are not secret, it is OK to mention that you see softness in your current company's future, that there are structural changes that may affect your job, etc. This shows you have a higher understanding of the business, above your own role or department.
It is okay if you have! In a perfect world, you may not have had difficulty with a supervisor. If this is the case, go ahead and share that you have not had any difficulty with your supervisors. Be sure to mention that if you ever encounter this during your career you will likely just talk to the person about your concerns. Interviewers love hearing that you will try to tackle the problem! If you have had difficulty, pick an example of a time when you took the lead on trying to improve the situation in a positive way. Did you sit down with your supervisor offering your perceptions of their performance? Did you ask for the supervisor to provide clearer communication? Did you ask for your supervisor to be present more often? Taking the initiative to start up a conversation like this can be daunting, and it shows the interviewer that you are open to working through conflict in a positive way.
Everyone handles stress and pressure differently. Tell the interviewer how you react to highly stressful situations.
"As a Technical Support Specialist, I fully expect to be put into stressful situations and am able to professionally handle a broad scope of pressure. My current supervisor, if you call for a reference, will also be able to attest to my coping strategies when under stress and pressure."
What did you like and dislike about your previous job?
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Most of us have something that we dislike about our job, and that's fine as long as we're willing to get the job done with a positive attitude. Pick something that you disliked about your past job that is not relevant to the role you're applying for. For example, if you worked at an internet cafe before, you might state that you were continually frustrated by the inconsistency in income especially when there were slow days in the shop. Despite that, share how you still kept a positive attitude at work and at the end of the day, you knew it was only a matter of time until you could move on to a better role. Reassuring the interviewer that you never let dislike get the best of you is key to landing the job! Interviewers enjoy hearing that you maintain a positive outlook despite difficult situations and that you'll get the job done despite there being areas that you do not enjoy.
6. What are your short term career goals as a Tech Support Specialist? The first response may be to ask if there is a formal ramp or new hire process. If not, then this is a great opportunity for you to respond with questions like:
What are the 30, 60 and 90-day expectations for the role?
What training is provided?
What training is available online?
Can I sit next to or be mentored by your best rep? Here is an answer example: 7. Do you use our product? If yes, how? What do you think of it? If possible, be sure to be able to answer this one with a Yes; Explain in detail; It is good/great, and I also think it could improve with ... (remember, luck favors the brave!) Here is an answer example: 8. What are your long term career goals as a Tech Support Specialist? This is an opportunity for you to show that you understand the company's support organization and how it relates to the rest of the company. Support is a good way to join an organization, learn the product and over time move your career to other customer or product related functions.
It is OK to say that you want to grow your skills in support, and then move to another area of the company where you can add the most value. Don't seem overly eager to leave, rather that you would want to move up/out once you can provide greater value to the company in another role Here is an answer example: 9. If you had a specialty as a Tech Support Specialist what would it be? Technical Support generally is based on levels (I, II, III, etc.) and as the levels go up, the complexity of the calls increase and the volume decreases. Higher complexity requires a deeper knowledge of the product and an ability to work in-depth and 1:1 with the customer.
The ability to dive deeper also requires stronger abilities to document customer issues, work from your own knowledge (VS scripts for front-line support people), and potentially interface with the company design, product and development organization.
More senior support role duties may also include training of new specialists. The desire to be a trainer (formal in classroom or informal 1:1) should interest you if you say a "I want to be a level IV rep." Here is an answer example: "I want to be a level IV rep."10. How confident are you in your ability to explain complicated IT issues in a simple way that anyone can understand? If you are new to a TSS role, good examples outside of work might be how you teach your own friends and relatives how to use new devices and or applications on their computers and smart phones. Here is an answer example: 11. Tell me about your post-secondary education. What was your best course? Which coursework did you struggle with the most? This is an opportunity to show some breath of knowledge. If you took communications, sociology, and or psychology, these would be great examples to bring up in this dialog.
If you struggled in any classes, explain how you overcame the challenges. This will show your ability to work in adverse conditions, your ability to get help, etc. Here is an answer example: 12. What has been your favorite role in your career so far? A key part of this answer will be how it relates to the TSS role, and how it was service-based. If your favorite role was outside, fairly autonomous and free from other people, it might not be a good idea to use that as an example.
Almost any service job that had a strong customer focus will be a good example to use. Here is an answer example: 13. What type of work environment are you the most productive in? This is somewhat open-ended, so you may need to ask if this question is asking about open-office environments VS cubes or offices. The question might also be asking about self-directed roles VS one that is highly structured.
As a TSS, you can expect a more open work environment without cube walls (or low ones at best) and a fairly structured, fast-paced environment. Here is an answer example: 14. As a Tech Support Specialist you may be asked to work overtime or evenings in an emergency situation. Are you flexible with your time and availability? The 'right' answer on this question is going to depend on your own situation. If you 100% can not put in overtime, extra shifts or weekend work, say so; and if possible explain your situation while not disclosing any information that can be used to discriminate against you.
An example might be that you are taking additional classes and need that time for schoolwork and projects. If you take care of another person then that is also a valid reason.
If you do have other commitments but can work extra hours with a reasonable notice, now would be a good time to establish that notice period. For most companies, providing a week or possibly two should be able to be accommodated. Here is an answer example: 15. Would you consider yourself a patient person? Even if your analytical and problem-solving skills are top of the line, you're useless as a Tech Support Specialist if you lack the patience to deal with customers. Thus, your answer to this question should be a solid YES. Not only do your interpersonal skills and excellent communication skills recommend you to your customers, it's also the way you patiently handle their concerns and questions that makes you stand out. Here is an answer example: 16. What metrics do you measure your success as a Technical Support Specialist? Support centers measure calls per agent per period of time, # of closed tickets per 1st contact, and similar metrics. Your ability to provide your own metrics shows your understanding of the overall contact center business. Here is an answer example: 17. What are the tools you use daily and which ones do you like/dislike? This is an opportunity for you to show your understanding of the applications and how they are used in your company.
Provide the tools that you are most comfortable discussing (phone, ticketing, communications, etc.) If you have used more than one for each area, then being able to provide your opinion on why one is better (solves a business need better) would be highly valued in most interviews. Here is an answer example: 18. If we were to make an offer, when would you be able to start? Be honest and professional in your answer. If you have an upcoming bonus and have to be at your current company at that time to get it, let your interviewer know. Otherwise, if you have no other commitments, then providing a standard two-week notice is appropriate.
A side note on this question is to be sure to present the idea that if you accept an offer and your current organization immediately terminates you upon your two-week notice, you may be able to start sooner. This is a way to decrease the possibility of your being unemployed betwee the two jobs. Here is an answer example: 19. Why should we hire you? Talking about ourselves in this way can be challenging. We recommend reaching out to a few colleagues, family members, and friends. Ask them for their opinion. You'll probably be surprised at the consistency in their responses! Their answers will give you insight into how to answer this question. Tell the interviewer what sets you apart, and explain how your co-workers, family members, and friends have encouraged you with your talent in this area. Here is an answer example: 20. Where do you see yourself in five years? By asking this question, the interviewer is trying to establish how committed you are to staying with the company. Given that they're prepared to put in the effort and expense into training you, they won't look very favorably on someone who is using them until something better comes along. Perhaps, you can say that you're interested in starting out in this position and within 5 years, you're hoping to specialize in a certain area and are willing to undergo training and certifications to further enhance your career. This kind of answer shows commitment and will impress the interviewer. Here is an answer example: 21. Tell me about your prior experience as a Technical Support Specialist Answer with your level, the type of product or services you support and the level of detail your role contributes. How and when you hand off to more senior reps, and any special projects you have been involved with. Here is an answer example: 22. Name a time where you provided excellent customer service. Before you give an example, think about what excellent customer service means to you. Does it mean making the customers happy? What skills are required? Here is an answer example: "I was working at a large company and one of the employees called our hotline, complaining about a problem with a computer application. Said employee was from the finance department and was having difficulty relaying the specifics of the problem. Since we were getting nowhere, I opted to visit his station instead to expedite the resolution of the problem. He thanked me profusely and since then, we've become buddies."23. How would you define your method of troubleshooting? This is a good opportunity to show that you have a detailed, systematic process in place. It is OK to say that this process is set by the organization. If you have contributed to the design or fine-tuning of the process, be sure to mention it. Here is an answer example: 24. How do you handle upset customers? There is the popular adage "The customer is always right" and if you're placed in a customer service role unfortunately you have to abide by that under most circumstances. The harsh truth is that even if the customer is not always right, the responsibility to adjust and accommodate falls on your shoulders. It's best to resolve issues quickly so start with listening to their grievance, sympathize, and try to come up with a compromise and if necessary, negotiate. Giving your one hundred and ten percent attention to the customer makes them feel important and will go a long way in getting them to calm down. Hopefully, this will be enough to soothe their frustration and bring the matter to a satisfactory conclusion for all. Here is an answer example: "The customer is always right"25. What is your communication style? This question is best by showing your flexibility based on the customer's communications. Your communications style needs to be complimentary to the customer yet adaptable (quickly) to different situations. As an example, an Irate customer will need some soothing, assuring that you are listening, care for their satisfaction, etc.. Another customer, indicating more positive communications may not need the same type of communications. Here is an answer example: 26. Why are you the best candidate for us? We recommend talking to your coworkers and family to ask them what your one unique thing is. You may be surprised at the consistency in their responses, and it will give you great insight into how to answer this question. Perhaps you can mention that your prior experience in working with a large and growing company has allowed you the breadth of experience necessary to be an effective Technical Support Specialist. You may mention that you are frequently praised for your ability to be an articulate and effective communicator, or you may discuss how you have a knack for analyzing tech-related problems. Here is an answer example: 27. What do you know about our company? With any job interview, it is crucial to understand the organization you are applying to. We recommend visiting the company website to learn key information relevant to your job. Watch the videos on their website, and take note of the information on their Careers page if one is available. Come prepared to list off 5-6 things you learned from the company's website such as the nature of their business, their high profile clients, when the company started, who started the company, mission statement, vision statement, core values, etc... Here is an answer example: 28. What makes you passionate about being a Technical Support Specialist? The key to this question is your passion around customers, helping resolve problems, and exceeding their expectations with each interaction with you.
This is more to just being a people person - you will need to demonstrate how being a TSS will satisfy your job and career goals. Here is an answer example: 29. As a Technical Support Specialist, what do you believe is your best asset? This is an opportunity to show your interests in problem-solving, customer support, and the ability to work with technology and people. Here is an answer example: 30. What excites you the most about a career as a technical support specialist? This is an opportunity to show you understand the company and product "I'm interested in working with your organization because of (insert company's position in the industry, a particular product that is of interest, etc.,) and see a support role as a great way to serve customers." Here is an answer example: "I'm interested in working with your organization because of (insert company's position in the industry, a particular product that is of interest, etc.,) and see a support role as a great way to serve customers."31. What do you feel is an acceptable work attendance record? Assure the hiring manager that you take attendance very seriously. It is one thing to tell the interviewer that you are reliable but it is even better if you can support your statement with feedback from a previous manager or supervisor. Here is an answer example: "I feel that the only acceptable thing to do is to show up to work when you are expected. My previous supervisor really appreciated this about me and he will comment highly on my level of reliability when you contact him for a reference."32. What do you do when your time schedule or project plan is upset by unforeseen circumstances? Assure the hiring manager that you are able to successfully cope with schedule changes and other unforeseen circumstances. How do you react and what do you do to integrate these changes in your plans? Here is an answer example: "When my day unravels a bit due to unforeseen circumstances, I will take a minute to reassess my priorities. Asking for assistance where needed is also important, at times, to ensure that I am not taken off schedule too much. All in all, I handle unforeseen projects and schedule changes quite well. it's always one step at a time for me."
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