What to Look for When Hiring a Call Center Employee

Automotive BDC
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When you’re looking to hire a new call center employee, there are key factors to look for during the interview process that can make a good call center employee.

During the interview, keep a close eye on their mannerisms, responses, and how they handle themselves. Watch out for these key characteristics. 

They are Quick to the Draw

When you ask the prospect some off the wall questions, do they respond quickly and with an intelligent answer? It’s important to get a feel for how they may react to one-off questions from customers. 

There is great skill in being able to react quickly and efficiently in high-stress, time-sensitive situations. The interview is a prime time to test out their ability to respond intelligently to varying questions and situations. 

They are Committed to Growth

A good employee is one that is inclined to learn and grow. They know that being a good employee doesn’t just mean knowing one skill. It requires constant growth and a desire to learn more and get better. 

During the interview, notice if they light up when given the opportunity to commit to ongoing education and training as a part of their role. Those employees who show an interest in future roles like management are going to be dedicated to their role and committed to furthering their careers within your company and beyond. 

They Listen Well and Easily Absorb Information

Part of being a good call center employee is being able to actively listen in order to respond with the right course of action to help a customer. Customers lose confidence in the customer service agent if they have to repeat themselves more than once. 

A great quality to look for is if they reiterate back what was asked as they answer the question. This is a great technique people can use to remember what was asked of them. If they ask ‘what?’ or ask you to repeat a question more than once, it might be a red flag they aren’t listening. But, it may just be nerves, so give them a little cushion. 

They Show Good Emotional Intelligence

Daniel Goleman, who wrote the book on Emotional Intelligence, calls out five factors that an emotionally intelligent person will possess. The five characteristics of emotional intelligence include self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. 

Outside of emotional intelligence, those all seem like critical characteristics that any call center employee must have in order to be successful. By bundling them up under the guise of emotional intelligence, it can help you to find the perfect candidate that possesses all five. They will not only be a good employee but a well-rounded person that would make an incredible addition to any team. 

Use your best judgment to read them during the interview to determine if they possess any or all of these traits, which can be hard in a small time frame. But, if you chose right, the pay off will be significant as they reveal how emotionally intelligent they are. These are the right people to have in leadership down the road. 

They’re Efficient in Conversation

Does the interview flow well? Do you and the prospective employee engage in a pleasant conversation outside of the interview Q and A? If so, you may have found someone who can have conversations with ease. They can get to the point quickly, and throw in some anecdotes easily without derailing the conversation. Good conversation flow is major in customer service to avoid any awkward silences or talking over one another. 

They are Patient and Don’t Interrupt

This goes hand in hand with being a good listener, but patience is a virtue, as they say. Being patient goes beyond just allowing the customer to speak without interruption. It involves holding composure in a stressful setting, especially with an angry customer. 

Being patient and not interrupting during the interview can be a key indicator that they won’t have any issue dealing with impatient, upset customers over the phone. This is very important to uphold high customer satisfaction rates. 

They Have Related Experience

Being a good call center employee does not necessarily require years of experience working in the field. Relevant or related experience can be just as valuable. Anyone who has worked in an office setting—with varying degrees of people of different backgrounds and working styles—can easily say they’ve encountered situations where they had to communicate in tough situations. 

Those who have worked in retail or reception often possess the ability to handle customers of all calibers and communication styles. This relevant experience can actually bring a refreshing perspective to their role as a call center employee. Keep those related experiences in mind when reviewing their resume. 

They Possess the Power of Persuasion

Have you ever heard of the age-old sales trick of “sell me this pen”? Maybe you saw it in the infamous Wolf of Wall Street movie scene based on Jordan Belfort’s rise to Wall Street fame, or perhaps you’ve heard it in Sales 101. Either way, even if you don’t use that exact tactic, you can play off of it and see how your interviewee does or does not display persuasive language. 

Even though a call center employee is not a salesperson, they should still be able to speak persuasively when helping a customer reach an answer to their problem, and it can come in handy for getting reviews. If you get to the point in the interview process where they are talking about future goals, salary, or benefits, keep a watchful eye on how confident they are and how they sound. If they persuade you, you may have a winner. 

When you’re building your customer service department, hiring a business development center, or looking for customer-facing roles in your company, these are all great characteristics to watch for. At Customer Traac we take great pride in our employees, and we also support them in building off of the traits they have and growing as individuals and employees. Check out our other tips on essential skills every customer service representative should have to succeed.