A job in the customer service industry is one of the most in-demand careers today. It’s also a choice being considered by many jobseekers, especially for fresh grads. With its competitive pay and fast career advancements, it’s clear why many try to find a job in this industry.
But before getting in, you need to get past the interview (and a few assessment tests after that). While companies have different approaches to an interview, one of the most common questions that a lot of jobseekers — CSR candidates included — fail to answer well the question: “Tell me about yourself.”
Let me tell you now: no, they don’t want to know every detail of your personal background—who your parents are, or your vital statistics. What they’re really saying is they want to know more about your professional background and how that experience can contribute to their company.
Another thing to keep in mind is to answer this question comprehensively. You’re about to enter a customer service job that asks you to talk to different clients on a daily basis, some of which are very challenging, and they’re testing you on how well your communication skills are, and on how well you arrange your thoughts with the level of stress at hand.
The “Tell me about yourself” is the first part of the interview that would lay out those skills.
Here’s what to include when asked this question according to a former BPO HR:
- Your educational/professional background is
- Achievements during the course of your education/previous work
- How your experience has taught you to handle client concerns well
- What skills you can offer as a customer service representative
- What your intentions are working in the customer service industry, or working for them
An example would be:
“Hi, my name is Poyen, and I’ve had more than 2 years experience as a customer service representative at Kalibrr Technology Ventures, Incorporated. During my time there, I was able to meet all of the quality scores for daily, weekly, and monthly reports, and was awarded best sales agent after just four months being with the company. I learned to hone my multi-tasking and time-management skills, value patience, and above all, being a team player. I’m a person who thrives in a fast-paced environment so right now I’m looking for a bigger challenge, and an opportunity to apply my technical experience and problem solving skills at a renowned BPO company like this one.”
Notice how concise and straight to the point the sentences were structured? I started strong, and finished strong mentioning my previous experience, my achievements, and my intentions. You only have a minute or two to win the interviewer’s impression, so it’s best to write down your answers and practice it over and over until you’ve memorized it, but making it sound conversational. And once you get past this, the follow-up questions will then be easy to answer.
Always remember that you’ve got to research the company you’re applying for to really be prepared, to help you lose the interview jitters.
Last words of advice: relax, be honest, be yourself, and smile!