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Tips to crack non-voice BPO interviews

September 07, 2011 11:58 IST

In an online chat with Get Ahead readers on September 2, Sunder Ramachandran, Senior Manager -- Learning & Development with 24/7 Customer, discussed tips on how to crack non-voice BPO interviews.

Here is the unedited excerpt.

Kunal asked, My written English is average... and my english speaking is below average.. I have tried in many BPO's for back-office.. but they reject me saying for comm skills are not good... What should I do... and also why would a back-office require good englisk speaking ability...
Sunder Ramachandran answers,  at 2011-09-02 16:04:17Hi Kunal. 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 and also handling live web based chats.

MAHATMA asked, Hi Sunder , what kind of jobs are we talking abt when we say NON VOICE jobs ? In that case, how are they different from the conventional offshore (back office) IT jobs like Production Support ?
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Mahatma.We are talking about jobs that involve customer interface through 'Chat & email support'. While off-shoring is still the theme, they are different as the focus is not on voice based skills.

asdasda asked, Sumer, what is the starting salary for such a bpo job?
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi. The salary range for an entry level non-voice position varies between INR 12,000 - 15,000 per month.

mk asked, What are the jobs that come under non-voice BPO?
Sunder Ramachandran answers, The jobs could involve, customer support, sales, post sales follow up etc.

harish asked, First can you tell me is there any age limit to enter non-voice bpo
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Harish. As long as you have the skills required for the job, age is not a constraint for most companies hiring for these profiles.

mk asked, Is technical support come under non-voice BPO?
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi MK. Technical support can also be handled through the non-voice platform. It depends on the complexity of the support and also the product that you are dealing with.

Sams asked, Suman, what's the career growth opportunity for a non voice bpo. Is that just monotonous job or more to it?
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Sams. The career growth opportunities are ample in the non voice segment. Once you gain experience and expertise, you can look at management and support roles.

Raja asked, How is the assessmentprocess for non voice job.
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Raja -Typically the following pattern is followed by most companies: 1.A grammar assessment 2.A detailed e-mail writing assessment (To assess the candidate's ability to use emails for business communication). 3. Mock chat or a mock email (A recruiter typically engages the candidate in a mock chat / email writing session and assesses their ability to comprehend issues, offer solutions and build rapport) 4.personal interview to check for fitment.

bhhp asked, In current global recessionary environment, do you see any slowdown in BPO jobs ?
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi. Not really. We mst understand that there are tremendous cost benefits that companies derive when they outsource. So, outsourcing is actually a part of their strategy to cut costs. Therfore there is little to worry for the industry.

harish asked, But i am aged around 38 and was working as medical transcriptionist, went to the interview for 24/7 and was rejected in the oops round, only because operation manager was not keen on taking me because of my age
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Harish. 24/7 Customer is recruiting close to 1000 by end of this quarter (Bangalore alone. I would encourage you to try again.

Harsh asked, Hi Sunder, I am presently working with Firstsource Domestic BPO for an email process since 6 months.Can I try out for opportunities in International BPOs? Will this experience be considered? If yes, please let me know the names of some BPOs where I can try out for
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Harsh. The transition is easier in non-voice from domestic to international as the fundamentals of writing good english remain the same. You can certainly explore career options in the international domain.

Raja asked, Do you really think that any customer will use chat? as most people call when they want service
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Sure Raja. It is fast, cost-effective. Think of it, we are using chat as a medium now to share knowledge and infornation. This is a validation of the utility of this medium.

pankaj_110479 asked, Which are the best non-voice call centres in Mumbai ?
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Pankaj - There are several. Keep an eye on your daily newspaper as most companies advertise for these jobs in the job supplements.

Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Harishaa. If you feel that the job will interest you and have the skills required, you can certainly apply. There is no bias based on your educational background.

arun asked, Sir, With troubled times ahead for US and uncertainity about the economy, can i look at this career as an aspiring one.
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Arun. As I said before,outsourcing is actually a part of most companies strategy to cut costs. Therfore there is little to worry for the industry.

pankaj_110479 asked, Is 24/7 thinking of opening a call centtre in Mumbai too in the near future ?
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Pankaj. We are expanding however there are no defenitive plans for Mumbai at this point in time.

Sams asked, Does companies in non-voice support have work life balance related activities, especially for people working in off regular shift hrs.
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Sams. Absolutely. Most companies in the outsourcing business apy a lot of importance to work life balanceand there are several initiatives targeted at helping employees achieve the same. This is a people's business so their well being is of utmost importance.

visu asked, Hi Sunder. Iam working as ICICI customer support officer which is like bpo job(email and chat). I have 3+ years of exp. Now, if I shift to bpo career, what will be my designation, exp salary and future prospects?
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Visu. That's a broad question. It depends on the kind of responsibilities that you had in your last job, education and also your ability to position yourself for the next role. Typically if you have been a good performer in a customer service role for 3 years, the next logical step is to target a Team Leader position.

Hema asked, Will Three years of experirnce in BPO sector fetches good package? How will be the future in BPO field?
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Yes it does Hema. Companies are always willing to pay a premium for experience in supporting global customers and knowledge of the industry. The future is bright and the industry is slated for agressive growth.

vakeel asked, hi.. I want some information regarding BPO, chat process
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Vakeel. Could you be more specific with the question.

Karti asked, what are the requirements for non voice job sir
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Karti, you should be internetsavvy, have a typing speed of at least 35 words per min, have the ability to construct grammatically correct sentences and communicate concisely and clearly.

ace asked, What would be the salary in non voice process if someone wants to move from voice process at Operational management level. Secondly does the industry allow such a swap or does one need to start from the starting level.
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Ace. Typically, there is parity as far as management salaries are concerned. While companies prefer hiring managers with a similar background, asalong as you can validate aspects of your job that can easily be transfered into the new environment and add value, it should not be a roadblock.

arif asked,  HI..i am 32 and i am looking for a change from sales&marketing to non voice bpo and kpo..what kind off skills do u think r required for these kind of jobs?and will my past experience will be considered...?
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Arif. Your experience in sales & marketing may not necessarily come in handy in the non voice segment.However as long as you have good written communication skills, you should be able to get a job in this segment.

elisnagar asked, How about transition form Voice to Non-voice?.I joined Wipro Spectramind in 2002.Last employer was Convergys in 2004.Got a gap of 7 yrs
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Elsi.Things have changed dramatically in the outsourcing sector over the last 7 years so I am not sure if you would be able to leverage on jobs held that long back. You can however start fresh in the non voice sector. But the salaries are typically lower in non voice compared to voice at the entry level.

Dineshwar asked, Are there any opportunities for people who do their MA English as trainers in the BPO industry?
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Dineshwar. The BPO industry is Training intensive and if you are passionate about coaching and training people, a career as a Trainer would be rewarding. Your educational background would certainly help

Devidas asked, Hi, I have am an undergraduate with typing speed of around 35 w.p.m. I am 40 years with no BPO experience at all. My experience is in finance & investment. What are my chances of if I enter into BPO with a chat based process?
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Devidas. Most companies hire undergardautes with decent writing skills and good typing speed. You would certainly be able to get a job in the non voice segment.

phanishrao asked, sir can one have a sustanaible career in the bpo industry with a mere graduation degree or one has to do an MBA or any professional course to have a sustainable career in this indutry??
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Sure Phanish.You need to be a graduate to join the industry. This could shape into a great career. You get to work in global environment and learn advanced communication skills. You are also exposed to superior technology and processes. There are people who start at the entry level and move on to take up management and leadership role

Hinah asked, Sir, cud u plz elaborate d work sphere & work done by BPO non voice process? Whts d career growth option & does d experience really count if someone decides to change into a different sector?
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Sure Hinah. You learn customer service skills, getto interact with global customers, work as per standards set by large companies and gain valuable exposure to people and processes. These are all transferrable skills and can become a catalyst for getting any job.

rohan asked, sir, what is the difference between voice & non voice call center
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Rohan. A typical call centre can be voice or non-voice process based. A voice call centre usually requires direct interaction with clients or customers via phone. A non-voice call centre does not require this interaction via phone; however, you may still be interacting with the client or customer through chat or e-mail.

ace asked, Hi Sunder, Please can you answer my question about the salary levels in mid and senior level positions in non voice processess. I think people who are genuinely interested would like to know the salaries after career progression.
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Ace. Operations Managers typically earn between 6-10 lakhs PA. This varies depending on the company, complexity of the job etc.

rishisinha asked, I have 7 years of experience in Media Industry & wants to join in Corporate Comm/ PR section in a BPO. Kindly advice...
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Rishi. Certainly you can. Why don't you apply for similar roles with BPO's of repute. You can also visit to learn more about opportunities with us.

dipu asked, sir, what is da future of non voice BPO for a technical guy
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Dipu. Technical support positions are also available within the non voice segment. This is usually specialised support; however, in some processes, it can be generic and does not need a special degree or diploma. The following are some of the specialised careers within technical support: ~ Hardware support: You can be a graduate in any discipline with a diploma in computers. Most companies providing hardware support will train you on their hardware; however, you need a basic understanding of computers. ~ Software support: Specialised customer service that requires additional qualifications like MCSE. Some institutes offer courses in C, C++, which will also be good qualifications to start with. The jobs in this domain involve troubleshooting operating systems. ~ Network support: Another specialised field that requires you to complete a certificate course in networking. CCNA is another good course that can fetch you a great career in this domain.

Sunder Ramachandran, Senior Manager – Learning & Development with 24/7 Customer (, managed services provider of online predictive customer experience solutions, specialising in chat based customer support.