What should I expect during a customer service job interview?

If you’re preparing for a customer service interview, you need to be ready for anything. The interviewer may ask about your customer service experience, your ability to deal with difficult customers, or how you would handle a specific customer service situation.

While the specific questions vary depending on the company, there are some common themes. To help you prepare, here are the top 10 customer service interview questions that you may be asked.

1. Why do you want to work in customer service?

customer service interview

This question is designed to gauge your motivation for wanting to work in customer service.

Most people who enjoy customer service do so because they like working with people. This is a great answer, but make sure to elaborate on why you enjoy interacting with customers or clients.

Do you like problem-solving? Do you get satisfaction from helping others? Do you enjoy the challenge of diffusing difficult situations? Whatever the reason, be honest and genuine in your response.

However, you should avoid mentioning any negative aspects of the job, such as long hours or difficult customers.

2. What experience do you have in customer service?

This question assesses your previous experience in customer service. If you have relevant experience, be sure to highlight it and discuss what you learned from it.

If don’t have any customer service experience, don’t worry. There are still ways to answer this question in a way that will impress the interviewer.

First, focus on any transferable skills you have that would be relevant to customer service. This could include things like strong communication skills, the ability to stay calm under pressure, or previous experience dealing with the public.

Next, highlight any other experiences you have that could be relevant to the customer service role you’re applying for. This could include retail experience, volunteer work, or even just dealing with difficult customers in your personal life.

Finally, emphasize your willingness to learn and your dedication to providing excellent customer service.

3. What are some techniques you use to diffuse difficult situations?

When interviewers ask this question, they want to know if you have the people skills necessary to deal with difficult customer service situations. Difficult situations can include angry or upset customers, tight deadlines, and challenging requests.

Some techniques you can use to diffuse difficult situations include:

  • Remaining calm and professional
  • Actively listening to the customer to understand their needs
  • Clearly communicating what you can do to help resolve the issue
  • Staying positive and polite throughout the interaction
  • Following up with the customer after the situation has been resolved

By being prepared with some examples of how you’ve handled difficult situations in the past, you’ll be able to show the interviewer that you have the skill set necessary to excel in a customer service role.

4. Can you provide an example of a time when you went above and beyond for a customer?

Going above and beyond for customers is one of the most important aspects of working in customer service. By providing examples of times when you have done this, you will show the interviewer that you have what it takes to excel in the role.

It could be something as simple as going out of your way to help a customer find what they were looking for, or staying on the phone with them until their issue was resolved.

Once you’ve thought of an example, describe what happened in detail. Explain what the customer needed and why you went above and beyond to help them. Highlight the steps you took to ensure the customer was happy with the outcome.

5. What do you do when you’re feeling stressed at work?

In any customer service job interview, it is highly likely that the interviewer will ask about how you deal with stress.

This question is designed to assess your ability to cope with difficult situations and customers, as well as gauge your general attitude towards the job. There are a few key points that you should touch on in your answer.

Mention that you have various coping mechanisms for when you’re feeling stressed at work. These might include taking breaks, or talking to a manager or co-worker. It is important to show that you have a strategy for dealing with stress, as this indicates that you won’t crumble under pressure.

You should also provide an example of a time when you were feeling particularly stressed at work and how you coped with that situation.

Try to demonstrate that you’re aware of how your attitude can affect the people around you, and that you do your best to remain positive when dealing with challenging situations.

6. What are some things you do to build relationships with customers?

As one of the primary goals of customer service is to build relationships with customers, you need to show that you are capable of doing so. Here are a few tips:

Emphasize your people skills: customer service is all about interacting with people, so it is important that you have strong interpersonal skills. Talk about how you’re able to build rapport with customers and put them at ease.

Highlight your ability to listen: active listening is a key skill in customer service, as it allows you to really understand the customer’s needs and concerns. If you can show that you’re a good listener, it will go a long way in building trust with the customer.

Focus on your ability to provide solutions: in customer service, it’s important to be able to solve problems as they arise. You should mention how you’re able to come up with creative ways to solve customer problems. Make sure to back up your claims with relevant examples.

7. How do you handle failure?

customer service interview questions

There’s no single answer to this question, but there are a few things you can keep in mind to give the best possible response.

Remember that customer service is all about problem-solving. So, when you’re asked how you handle failure, frame your answer in terms of how you can turn a difficult situation into a positive one.

Be honest about your shortcomings and what you’ve learned from them. We all make mistakes, but it is important to show that you’re able to learn from them and use that knowledge to improve your work.

Don’t forget that the customer always comes first. No matter how challenging the situation, your goal should always be to provide the best possible experience for the customer.

8. How would you define poor customer service?

You should have a well-thought-out answer to this question, as it will show the interviewer that you understand how inadequate customer service can be damaging to business.

To answer this question, you should first think about what poor customer service looks like. Some examples of poor customer service include being indifferent to the customer’s problem, or not being polite and professional when dealing with the customer.

Once you have given some examples of poor customer service, you should then explain how you would deal with a situation if you were faced with it. For example, if a customer was not satisfied with the solution you provided, you would follow up with them to ensure that you find a solution that works for them.

If you have experienced poor customer service in the past, use this as an opportunity to share what you would have done differently in the situation.

9. What kinds of customers do you like working with the most?

The purpose of this question is to see if you have the ability to deal with different types of people.

In general, it is best to avoid saying that you have a preference for certain types of customers over others. Instead, focus on describing the qualities of good customers that make them enjoyable to work with.

However, you can mention that you are capable of working with all types of customers and that you are able to adapt your approach depending on their needs.

10. Have you ever received negative feedback? How did you act on it?

Chances are the interviewer will ask you about how you’ve handled negative feedback. Be honest and share a time when you received constructive criticism and how you used it to improve your work.

For example, maybe you were once told that you weren’t being empathetic enough with a customer. You can explain how you took that feedback to heart and worked on actively listening and showing more concern.

Alternatively, perhaps you were told that you were taking too long to resolve customer issues. In that case, share what steps you took to speed up your work without sacrificing quality.

No matter what example you choose, make sure to end on a positive note by emphasizing how the negative feedback made you a better customer service representative.