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Cracking the non-voice based BPO interview
Nasha Fitter
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October 27, 2006

Interviews can be tricky at times, so preparation in advance is always helpful. To answer to the best of your ability, make a good impression, and secure that suitable job, is an art. BPO training and communication expert Nasha Fitter helps Get Ahead reader Benita understand the dynamics of the interview platform by answering some of her questions that often concern most interviewees.

"I am supposed to attend an interview for a non-voice BPO profile on Monday. Please tell me about the kind of questions asked for such a profile. Also, the answer to a question given by you earlier was very useful to me. Could you please tell me how to answer the following questions, with examples?

  1. What steps have you taken to be more successful in your career? 
  2. How do you work under pressure?
  3. Describe your ideal job. 
  4. What can you offer us? 
  5. What are your most redeeming qualities? 
  6. Can you tell us about your biggest failures and how you dealt with them?

-- Benita

A non-voice BPO interview is quite similar to a voice one. The only difference, of course, is that they will not be testing your voice. So, you won't have to worry about accent and your spoken English. What you do have to worry about is your written English, as many non-voice BPO jobs entail writing emails to customers around the world.

I am glad my earlier answer was useful to you. I have, listed below, potential answers to the questions you asked. Some of them have been answered in previous articles, so I have provided you with relevant links instead.

1. What steps have you taken to be more successful in your career?

First, you will have to speak about your "career goal." Do some thinking and come up with something that makes sense given your background, and given the company you are interviewing with. Then, think of what you have done in the past to help you achieve your goal. Let us say you are interviewing for an agent position at a BPO and your career goal is to, one day, become an operations manager. Speak about this goal.

Then, speak about the steps you have taken so far to help you achieve this. They could include:
� Doing a B.Com. to learn about commerce and business.
� Reading regularly to improve your English.
� Reading Rediff's GetAhead section to learn more about the BPO industry.
� If you have done an internship or helped in a family business, mention those experiences.

2. How do you work under pressure?

Always say you work well under pressure. No one wants to hire someone who can't handle stress. Tell the interviewer you like deadlines and are good when things get hectic. Then, give an example of a time you handled a high-pressure situation and succeeded. If you are interviewing for your first job out of university, you could give examples like:

� During your exams at college, a family member could have been sick. You had the responsibility of taking care of the person while studying, but you managed both duties well.
� During exams, you could have been working, either for a company or for a family business. You can talk about how you managed this situation.

If you have already been working, talk only about work situations. It is very important to show that you do not lose your cool when things get stressful. Some examples are:

� You were on a major assignment for one boss, when another boss handed you an assignment that had to be completed immediately. You handled the situation by working for two days without sleeping and completed both assignments without either of your bosses knowing the stress you were under.
� You were expecting a large contract to come in when your client suddenly informed you they had changed their mind and had decided to work with another vendor. You tactfully handled your client, let your team down easy, and performed under extreme pressure from your superiors to find another client. You did all of this without losing your cool.

The above mentioned are only examples. Do not pick one of them. Think about your own experiences and figure out a real situation where you performed well under pressure. When talking about the situation, speak about the pressure you felt, the expectations placed on you, and how you maintained your cool. Your interviewer may ask you follow-up questions and, if you lie, it will become obvious.

3. Describe your ideal job.

Here, you don't have to know exactly WHAT your ideal job is going to be. You just need to know what you want to get out of your ideal job. It is important to highlight how you plan on growing, both intellectually and personally. For example, some potential answers could be:
 My ideal job would be one where I am constantly learning new things and being forced to test my limits.
 My ideal job would be one where I am meeting new people and working in teams to get work done.
 My ideal job would be in management where I get to inspire my team and make decisions that create change.

4. What can you offer us?

Once you answer question number one � why you have applied for this position -- this answer should be easy. Think of your accomplishments and strengths and how they may be useful for the company and the particular position you are applying for. For example, potential answers could be:

 This job seems to require a lot of customer interaction. I am very good with people and believe my previous experience as a customer service representative will be valuable for this position.
 This position seems to require a lot of quantitative financial work. I enjoy working on my own and building financial models. I am also very detail-oriented. I believe my personality and previous background will be a great asset for your company.

5. What are your most redeeming qualities?

I have already answered this question in my earlier story related to strengths and weaknesses.

6. Can you tell us about your biggest failures and how you dealt with them?

This is a great question. Here, your interviewer is trying to gauge how you deal with failure and stress. Pick a situation where you failed but did not let the failure get you down. It is important to remember that everyone fails at one time or another, but truly successful people learn from their failures and keep moving forward. For example:

 In my last position, I failed to get an existing client to extend their contract with my company. I thought that because of the relationship I had built with this client, they would surely extend their contract. Thus, I did not put additional work into the deal. Meanwhile, another competitor was talking to the client, and ended up convincing them to change vendors. I learned from this experience that you must never think you have won something until you do, and you must never stop working hard. I also learned that there is a lot of competition in the marketplace and, once you have a client, you must work hard to make sure you don't lose him.

It is very important to talk about what you have learned from the failure and how it helped you grow as a professional.


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Number of User Comments: 2

Sub: Non-voice based BPO interviews

Hello, The topic was extreamly helpful to my friends who were not that good in spoken english and were trying to get into non voice ...

Posted by SS

Sub: more tips about bpo interviews

Dear Natasha iam very happy to see this article about bpo and i would like to know more. 1) Explain about yourself in 1 minute,2)speak ...

Posted by sohail shareef


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