Obviously the main reasons you are attending this interview is your penchant for travel and exploring different countries and cultures coupled with the fact that you are good with customer liaison and you like the thought of arranging their best holiday or trip ever! Before the interview do some homework and find out all the other cool things that being in the tourism industry can offer, i.e travel consultant, sales and marketing, tour guide, events organizer? Thanks to the progress in technology, the travel industry is fast becoming one of the most competitive industries in the world so services are constantly being developed to keep up with tourist’s needs in order to stay ahead of the competition and if you can prove that you have innovative ideas and are happy with change this will impress the interviewer as you are looking ahead to the future.
Travel Agent Interview Questions
Why did you choose to pursue a career as a Travel Agent?
"Answer example, "I have always been an adventurous person who loves to travel. That, mixed with my innate love for sales and networking, make me great at a career I love. It is a win-win!"
Tell me how you organize, plan, and prioritize your work.
The interviewer is wanting to hear how you are going to cope with different tasks and deadlines and whether they can be performed without major supervision. The best way to start to plan and prioritize your work is to write down your thought processes, outlining the most urgent tasks and when they should be done in the time-scales provided. Show to the interviewer that you can multi-task, be aware of the urgency levels and meet performance exacting standards and be prepared to talk about all your coping mechanisms.
"Answer example, "I plan, organize and prioritize based on the work load and deadlines. I often have multiple projects happening at once so my expertise in doing these things well determines my success."
What are your favorite traveling destinations?
Another personal choice. The interviewer wants to see how well traveled you are as working in a travel agency you need to be a happy traveler! Spread out your choices so it can show you have a broad knowledge of different countries and cultures.
"Answer example, "Some of my favorite traveling destinations include Hawaii, Spain, Italy, France and New York City."
How do you handle difficult customers?
There is the popular adage "The customer always is right" and if you are placed in a customer service role unfortunately you have to abide by that under most circumstances. The harsh truth is that the customer is not always right they can at times be very wrong but as they pay your wages it is down to you to overcome the personality clash that lead to the friction. The sooner the issue is resolved the better 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 per cent attention to the customer makes them feel important and hopefully your empathy will rub off on them and they will start calming down and the issue will hopefully be diffused and brought to a satisfactory conclusion.
"The customer always is right"
"Answer example, "I do a lot of listening. I listen, empathize and find a solution to their issues. Difficult customers are my favorite because I enjoy turning their experiences around into positive ones."
What are your 3 greatest weaknesses?
This could be an uncomfortable question to answer and that is exactly why the interviewer has asked it, they want to put you on the spot and see how you handle it! Weaknesses are negatives and you never want to show a potential employer the chinks in your armor but there they are asking you to tell them your failings. Approach this head on. Answer this question honestly because everyone have flaws but turn it to your advantage by relating something a little on a level ground and not necessarily relating to the job. This shows that you can highlight a weakness but impress on the interviewer that you are taking great pains to overcome this. rather than saying you have a fear of flying, which of course would be detrimental to working in a travel agency; you could say that you have also wanted to play the violin but you are annoying the neighbors so you are actively looking to take some lessons! That shows a weakness but it also shows a strength as you are prepared to rectify the problem.
"Answer example, "I care a great deal about my clients so I overwork myself at times to make sure they are happy. I could also rely more on my customer care teams to handle tasks related to package deals which I typically do because I like to ensure everything goes right."
In this business we work on commission, are you okay with this?
The only answer to this is yes or no which if you give a negative response might go against you so try to back it up by saying that if you were only taking the job on a commission basis then it would be an incentive to work extra hard to get the best sales as your salary would reflect this. Turn a negative into a positive!
"Answer example, "Absolutely! I am motivated and driven by my own performance. Commission compensation lets me control my own income, which is something I enjoy very much."
Share an experience you had in dealing with a difficult person and how you handled the situation.
This is quite a common question for an interviewer to ask as they want to hear if you can describe a work colleague conflict and how you handled it. They are also looking to see how you handle working with changing personalities in a team environment. Talk about how you reached your ultimate solution and any lessons you learned from that. Describe a situation where you were in a leadership role and you asked a colleague to perform a task and you were taken aback by their response. They thought you were being too over dramatic about the deadline until you pointed out that there was a holiday break at the end of the week so the time-line had just got squeezed. They backed down and the confrontation was resolved. You do not want to be too dramatic in your answer because you do not want to put yourself in the wrong light as being trouble so this will show the interviewer an example of only a mild contretemps rather than a full-on conflict but it will still highlight that you have vision to think ahead and diffuse a situation before it escalates.
"Answer example, "I have this wonderful client who is particularly specific about the type of traveling she does. I love a good challenge so it is a pleasure to meet her specific needs - for her and her small Pomeranians that she travels with."
What are your personal top three travel destinations?
The interviewer wants to employ a person who is very knowledgeable about world travel because if you have experienced the places you are recommending yourself then you are in a better position to sell those places to other people. New York, Statue of Liberty and Las Vegas won't cut it. The interviewer is looking for somewhere more adventurous and wide-spread. Back-packing in the Himalayas, Crete, Hadrian's Wall in the North East of England. That shows a broader outlook and not just sun-bathing on a beach which isn't ideal for some holiday makers. The interviewer hasn't asked if you have visited them, just your favorites, so do some research beforehand and come up with some intriguing places which will show you are adventurous and adaptable to any request.
"Answer example, "My personal top three travel destinations are Fuji, Australia and Amsterdam."
Give me your top 5 favorite island destinations for a newly married couple.
It is getting more and more popular these days for young couples to both get married and honeymoon in beautiful settings, normally on a remote desert, tropical island. This conjures up an air of romance and opulence and the perfect setting of palm trees, glistening blue/green seas, and sun beaten golden sands epitomizes a magical fairy tale; a fitting start to married life. The islands that spring to mind are Bali, Thailand, Fiji, Tahiti, and Mauritius, the Seychelles and the Maldives. The perfect paradise!
"Answer example, "There are so many to choose from but the top five are: Turks and Caicos, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Hawaii and the Virgin Islands."
Do you consider yourself a people person?
Let's face it to be a travel agent you couldn't have a personality of a shrinking violet! You would have to have personal skills where you were outgoing, vivacious with a happy disposition. Hopefully, selling travel is a pleasurable occupation because you are dealing with people who have probably been saving for many months to be able to spend their hard earned money on a wonderful relaxing holiday or a business person has to go on a business trip and wants to arrive at their destination as fresh and ready for a six hour lecture as possible. If you convey a personable and sunny outlook with an assertive manner then you will immediately put the traveler at ease with the knowledge they are in good hands so they can relax and leave you to get on with your job whilst they can get on with theirs. That is how a successful interaction happens and everyone leaves happy.
"Answer example, "Definitely! People are what make my work so rewarding! I love interacting with all different types of people from all walks of life."
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Interviewers are always looking out for the candidate who has the best potential to mold and grow within their Company. With this is in mind this question is asked to throw you. Approach this with specific objectives, career goals and a clear mind set and show you are keen to stay and learn and progress within their employ. Tell them you can see yourself learning new skills and experiences which would enhance your interests in basic travel agent duties, eager to further your career by studying for professional qualifications and become an all round expert and progress to a team leadership or management position. This kind of answer will show the interviewer you mean business and you are there for the long haul and are prepared to build and grow with the Company.
"Answer example, "In the next five years, I hope to have traveled to new corners of the world and grown professionally/personally in the travel industry. The role of a Director interests me and I am currently taking steps in that direction."
Tell me about the last itinerary tour package which you planned, described, arranged, and/or sold.
If you do not have any previous travel agency experience try and find out or think of a personal trip you might have assisted in planning, i.e. A weekend break to New York with internal flights to LA and a stop off visiting relatives etc. At least this shows to the interviewer that you have some sense of how gathering together an itinerary works. For the more experienced, add the more specific tasks i.e. selling the tour packages by choosing the right destination with lots of excursions and day tours, planning appropriate transportation and accommodation, firm up travel dates, make detailed itineraries and sell these tour packages. Resolving any clients' travel issues.
"Answer example, "The last itinerary tour package I planned, described, arranged and sold was a beautiful all inclusive vacation to Punta Cana Dominican Republic for a couple planning their destination wedding for their entire family and friends. It was a pleasure to be apart of their big day and ensure everything went seamless!"
What do you like least about being a Travel Agent?
Be careful how you answer this question. Being negative about a job and an employer that you are trying to give all the best impressions is a tricky one as you don't want your answer to be personally set against you if you are hoping to be offered the position! Try and come up with an aspect beyond your control like the red tape and all the paperwork and jurisdiction you have to go through when obtaining visas and permission grants to volatile foreign places. That way it is not something personal (like not enough coffee breaks!) so the interviewer will not be able to think you might have a lazy attitude if they employed you.
"Answer example, "If and when a client's vacation plans go wrong, it is never a pleasant experience for anyone. I am never happy when something happens that potentially upsets my client's vacation plans. Lucky for me, this rarely occurs and when it does, we have a great customer care team that helps resolve the matter promptly."
What is the most rewarding part of being a Travel Agent?
When someone books a holiday it is probably something they have have planned and saved up for a long time. From the time the customer walks through the door with their initial plans till the time they come back through that same door smiling and eagerly sharing their holiday snaps with you, you then know that all your efforts paid off and the immense feeling of satisfaction that you made all that happen is immeasurable.
"Answer example, "When clients return from their vacations and sing your praises with the experiences they had! Referrals are the highest form of compliments!"
What is the most difficult part of being a Travel Agent?
Another difficult question if you have no prior knowledge of working in a travel agency but if you think back to when you used one for your own travel booking then maybe there was some part of the arrangement that did not go as smoothly as you would have liked. The one main thing that springs to mind in this heady world of technology and comparable websites etc. is competition. Before the internet it was more straight forward for the travel agency on the high street to have the monopoly over the best flights and hotels etc. but now there is so much competition and access for even the traveler themselves to hunt for the best deals and order everything themselves that travel agents have to be on top of their game and know the best prices and offers available all the time so they can compete successfully along with everyone else.
"Answer example, "Deciding where to send clients when there are so many great options! (Smile!) It is a pleasure to be a travel agent!"
What are your career goals as a Travel Agent?
How important is it for you to build a relationship with your customers?
Why should we consider you for this position?
How do you make a sale? Describe your sales techniques.
What do you like most about being a Travel Agent?
Provide an example when your ethics were tested.
Are you a detail oriented person? Give an example that demonstrates your attention to details.
Do you have any previous experience as a Travel Agent?
If you only had one place you could visit for the rest of your life, where would it be?
What advertising and promotions do you use to promote your name?
What sales experience do you have?
What place do you love to recommend to clients?
What are your 3 greatest strengths?
How would others describe you?
How are your communication skills?