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Changing jobs? Interview tips

March 03, 2006

You are changing your job and industry, from software to a BPO.

At an interview you need to explain why you want to switch. What do you say?

BPO training expert Nasha Fitter says: There is nothing wrong with wanting to change your career. What is important is how confident you are about your choice during an interview. Begin by explaining what you have learned in your current job, how you have grown (stick to the positives) and then move on to stating your future goals. 

I would also suggest saying you want to learn how to communicate with customers and interact with an international audience (something you may not be able to do in your current job).

Nasha Fitter is the CEO of Fitter Solutions, a communication and training company. She is an expert in vocational and communication skills management for BPO and service-based organisations and conducts private classes for individuals. She is deeply involved with the upliftment and development of rural youth through basic education, vocational training and entrepreneurship, and writes for a variety of publications. She has a degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California.

I have a background in design. Since I was looking at some 'work-from-home' job options I came across a few good call centre job advertisements. As I do not have much experience in this area, can you shed some light on the following requirements they are demanding?

'A candidate must pass the following requirements: evaluating a reading comprehension passage, logic quiz, disposition profile, a voice sample, a phone interview and agent certification modules.'

-- Ashwini

The requirements you listed above sound fancy, but don't worry -- what is being tested is actually quite simple. For instance, reading comprehension is something you have been doing your whole life. 

Every time we read an article in a newspaper or an e-mail from a friend, our brains are working to comprehend stated and unstated messages. If you believe it takes you a long time to read and then understand the written word, I would suggest going through a few reading comprehension quizzes online.

The rest of the interview is simply testing your ability to speak and write in English clearly. 

The phone interview is very important as they need to check how well you are able to hold a listener's attention over the phone. Practise speaking out loud, record yourself and evaluate your weaknesses.

I can speak English fluently without fear, but I not yet completed my graduation, because of my family circumstances. Whether I can get the job in BPOs (without graduation) or not? Please guide me, what i have to do?

-- Kumar

Many BPOs hire people without under-graduate degrees. What I would suggest is find a set of 50 (big and small) BPOs near you and apply to all of them. Since you say your English skills are strong, stick to looking for call centres versus back-office BPOs. Some may not accept those without degrees, but some will. 

My sincere advice is that, once you do find a job and start earning, save as much money as possible per month and complete your graduation as soon as possible.  You will be able to find a call centre job today, but years from now when you want to progress in your career you will need to have your degree in place.

I worked as a software professional for the last one year. But now I couldn't cope up with the java technology and codings. So I would like to change my career to BPO (technical support). Is it possible for me to shift my technology?

If yes, is it possible to attend technical support interviews in companies. During this time I have read your article in rediff about the s/w professional changing to BPO. So I would like to know if a interviewer asks me why you change from software to BPO, what I can answer him? Could you please suggest me some points. It would be great helpful if you can help me out. 

-- Praveen S

There is nothing wrong with wanting to change your career. What is important is to be confident in your choice during an interview. Begin by explaining what you have learned in your current job, how you have grown (stick to the positives) and then move on to stating your future goals. 

Be honest and say you are just not interested in coding, but still want to utilise your accrued technical knowledge. A technical support position would allow you to do just that. 

Let them know you find the BPO industry growing fast and are interested in staking a career in it. 

I would also suggest saying that you want to learn how to communicate with customers and interact with an international audience (something you may not be able to do in your current job).

Do you have a question for Nasha? Write to us

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