Common Customer Service Interview Questions

 

To get ready for a job interview, there are a few common customer service questions you should be prepared to answer. 

 


 KEY QUESTIONS 

  • What does customer service mean to you? 
  • Tell me about a time you worked with a difficult customer 
  • What is your preferred method of communication? 
  • How do you stay happy or motivated when customers continue to be mean or difficult? 

 

Customer Service jobs are high in demand these days as businesses realize the importance of bridging the gap between their products or services and their customers and clients. 

If you’ve landed a job interview to become a Customer Service Representative or anything similar, you need to properly prepare. How do you prove to your prospective employer or hiring manager that you’re the right one for their job among many other applicants for that position?   

To get ready for a job interview, there are a few questions you should be prepared to answer. Here are some of the most common customer service interview questions you might encounter, what they really mean, and how you can answer them. 

 

What does Customer service mean to you? 

What they really want to know: 

  • What values, philosophies, and mindset you’re bringing to the job 
  • Why you’re interested in customer service 
  • Why you think customer service is important 

What to consider when answering: 

  • What is your story? Why do you care about this job, or why it’s something you’re interested in? 
  • Are you good at solving problems? Do you enjoy helping people out? 
  • Mention something you’ve learnt from a previous job or even a personal experience that taught you why customer service is important. 
  • Explain why you decided to pursue a career in customer service. 

 

Tell me about a time you worked with a difficult customer 

What they really want to know: 

  • How you handle conflicts and difficult situations 
  • The process of how you solve problems 
  • If you know how to take ownership of issues 

What to consider when answering: 

  • Think back on past experiences so you can give real examples. 
  • Explain what the situation was, the task you were supposed to accomplish (how you were supposed to help the customer), the actions you took, and what the results were 
  • Be sure not to blame the company or the customer when giving your example. Re-frame your answer into how you overcame the difficult situation or what you learned, instead of directing blame at others 

 

What is your preferred method of communication? 

What they really want to know: 

  • If you will work with voice or non-voice clients/projects 

What to consider when answering: 

  • Common methods of communication for customer service jobs are in-person, phone support, email, chat, and social media 
  • Simply be honest and tell them which method you are comfortable with 
  • Explain why you prefer this method. Are you better at expressing yourself through writing or do you prefer dealing with customers in-person?  

 

How do you stay happy or motivated when customers continue to be mean or difficult? 

What they really want to know: 

  • How you perform under pressure or continued stress 
  • If you will be able to handle the demands of the job without snapping at a customer 

What to consider when answering 

  • Share real experiences that you’ve gone through 
  • Explain the strengths you have with regards to how you deal with difficult people. 
  • As a side note, you need to understand that a customer's anger and frustration isn’t directed at you personally but rather the situation. Being able to understand that is important. If this is something you’ve learned, explain the situation that taught you this. 
  • If you have special methods or ways of letting out your frustration (that isn’t directed toward the customer) like taking quick breaks or short meditations, share those as well 

 

Final Thoughts 

Most questions will revolve around how you handle certain situations. Your interviewer might through specific scenarios at you, asking you how you will deal with it. Before your interviews, it’s a good idea to really think back and reflect on your past experiences. Take note of any that stand out – not just the bad experiences, but the good. 

Know that the key skills and traits that interviewers for this position are looking for are communication, problem-solving, and conflict resolution. If you want to work in customer service, these are skills you need to have and develop. When answering, highlight these key skills and how you got them (or how you are developing them). Use specific experiences. 

If you are looking for general interview questions you can practice with, you can also check out 42 of the most common interview questions here, which are the basic/introductory questions most hiring managers ask. 

 

Looking for Customer Service jobs?  

Apply to Customer Service jobs here