Since business process outsourcing (BPO) call center jobs are quite in-demand these days, applicants must prepare themselves for whatever challenges companies might throw at them. Of all these challenges, however, interviews seem to be the most intimidating. Unless you got the questions right and satisfied the one interviewing you, then you will not have a spot in the BPO call center you were hoping to get into. So the appropriate direction to take before sending your application to the BPO call center/s of your choice is to research and anticipate likely questions the human resource personnel might be asking during the interview. If you are able to do so, you may be able to pass both initial and final interview with flying colors. Here are just a few of possible questions:
What made you decide to work for the BPO/call center industry?
- One of the things you absolutely should not do is confide to your interviewer that what attracted you in the first place is the fact that BPO call centers have bigger payouts compared to companies in other industries. Never ever raise any concern related to finances. For instance, the posh lifestyle BPO can provide which you would like to experience. The interviewer might think that you are only after the money and do not really have genuine passion when it comes to the job. Rather you should focus on marketing your capabilities, selling yourself as a possible employee and what skills you have that might be of use to the company or make you suitable to the job.
- It would also be an advantage to know more about the BPO call center industry, cite some pertinent statistics on its growth and size, or quote what a famous intellectual said to reinforce your advantage. This will give the interviewer the impression that you are sincerely interested in working for the industry and not for whatever financial benefits you might reap.
- Your response could be:
The continuous growth of BPO/call centers over the years made me decide to have a career in the industry. Mr. XX, CEO of XX, said that the BPO/call center industry is going to grow five times its current size in the next ten years. The nature of BPO work enables individuals like me to maximize my potentials. Personality-wise, I am outgoing, adaptable and disciplined. I enjoy interacting with different people and communicating through the English language has since been one of my strengths. Working for the industry will be a good education for me. I want to learn more and enhance my present skills so that I can use it for the betterment of my career.
So you have no problems working in shifting schedules?
- Always reply that you have no problem doing so, and that you are amenable to working graveyard shifts too. If you did your homework and researched about the BPO/call center industry, then you would have already understood that there is no fixed schedule for call center agents and other BPO employees for that matter. This question is a given since BPO basically serves various foreign clients situated in different time zones and if you intend to be part of the BPO/call center workforce, you are expected to adjust to this setting.
- If you happen to have no previous call center experience or any other experience where you had to work in varying shifts, then the interviewer may question your ability to adapt to swing shifts. You should honestly tell him/her that although you may have difficulties at first, in time your body will be able to get the hang of it. Cite some examples if you have some, but the important thing is that you show your earnestness and that it is important for you to work in a BPO call center, regardless of the schedule. Praise your ability to adapt without overdoing it and provide enough conviction into the words you utter so as to convince the interviewer.
How confident are you in your communication skills and in your ability to convince people?
- Always say positive things whenever you are asked this question and never relay any information that might lead to your own dishonor before the person who interviewed you. Always say that you can, and again, affect that conviction. Convince the interviewer that you can convince. If you can answer this segment without so much as inflicting doubt, then the interviewer will already take the initiative to endorse you either to the next level or immediately to the production floor (this depends on the established hiring system). Interviewers will gauge you based on your answer and once you convince them, fully aware of the impact of your words, a lot of them will see to it that you will have a career in the BPO call center industry.
- Of course, just make sure that prior to the application you already have a good command of the English language, be it written or oral. Although if you have had chosen a BPO call center, the emphasis is more on your ability to speak English than to write it. So it would be appalling to say “I’m very confident with my communication skills,” yet everyone who hears the way you speak can beg to disagree. Make sure your claims are well-founded and that you are not just bluffing. There is no way to convince the interviewer if there is sufficient evidence in your grammar and in your diction that you are not as good as you claim to be.
Interviewers also ask the usual “How do you see yourself in xx years from now?” or say “Tell me about yourself that is not in your resume.” Remember to always stay focused and never lose track of the industry you are applying for. You should therefore say something relevant and mean it, such as you can see yourself still working in the BPO/call center industry until that time. Never show indecision. If you are indeed undecided, be tactful about it. Perhaps you could say you “want to concentrate on the present and do well to remain in the industry until xx years from now.” As for the more personal question, just briefly mention your personal and educational backgrounds. Zoom in on to traits and capabilities that are connected and useful to the job. If you have relevant experiences, mentioning them would be an added bonus. From time to time, interviewers may also ask which account or campaign in the BPO call center you are most interested in.
Years of experience have taught these interviewers to never buy appeals to pity, appeals to emotions and other fallacious tactics applicants usually employ just to get hired. When you go to a job interview, it is good to be yourself without having to cross the boundaries of professionalism. Sincerity combined with subtle but clear enthusiasm is one of the things most interviewers are partial to. A word of further advice before taking what I enumerated earlier into consideration: if you want to work for the BPO/call center industry, make sure you pass all the necessary qualifications first. Tests are a different matter altogether, but study if you must. Moreover, at least polish your grammar and diction whenever you speak English so the interviewer will not regard you as a bluff.
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