Customer Service eLearning & Onsite Training

These Are the Interview Questions You Need to be Asking Customer Service Representatives

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There was a time when customer service departments/jobs were solely reactive. The job was to answer questions and resolve problems. But increased competition and higher expectations from customers have led companies to require customer service professionals to take on a more proactive role.

Customer service representatives are spokespeople and even sales people in addition to problem solvers. Customer service professionals have significant influence on customer loyalty and purchasing habits. Therefore, the hiring, selection and performance of customer service professionals are of extreme importance to the overall success of organizations. We have prepared a selection of interview questions to equip you to hire capable, right-fit employees for the critical customer service role.

The following questions are designed to elicit specific examples of the core competencies of successful consumer affairs professionals. All questions are open-ended and call for the candidate to offer an illustration of their performance in each of the core areas. You should take detailed notes on the responses during the interview so you can go back and review in greater detail.

I’m going to share with you 7 categories of great interview questions. Consider setting the meeting up like this: “I’m going to ask you some questions and what I’m looking for is specific examples that illustrate how you have responded to specific situations in the past. I’ll be taking notes as you talk, but you keep going. Feel free to take your time and think about responses before answering the questions.”

1. Customer Service 

Clearly, any candidate for a consumer affairs position must have a customer service mindset. This includes anticipating customers’ needs, thoroughly answering questions, having a positive attitude and understanding that the client is the reason you are in business.


2. Tolerance for stress

Candidates must demonstrate a healthy response to stressful situations and an ability to maintain control in the midst of chaos.


3. Decision-making skills

Consumer affairs professionals must be able to work independently and make decisions that balance the interest of the customer and the company and make decisions that are cost effective.

4. Creative problem-solving skills

Tough challenges for customers’ demands quick and creative solutions. Your people need to be able to think out-of-the box, think on their feet and find innovative ways to delight unhappy customers.

5. Ability to effectively deal with difficult people

Customers can be demanding, and your employees need to be able to respond to challenging behavior with diplomacy and tact. Ideally, you’ll want professionals who are skilled at defusing anger, creating rapport and influencing behavior.

6. Little need for control

People who have a great need for control or rigid structure might find consumer affairs work challenging. Consumer affairs work is unpredictable, chaotic and in a constant state of flux.

7. Motivational fit

In addition to the core competencies, you’ll want candidates who are a “motivational fit” for the job. Candidates should have a customer-centered mindset, be comfortable with high call volumes and high customer contact. Essentially, they must be intrinsically motivated to work hard and succeed in this extremely valuable position.

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