rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Getahead » 6 common errors to avoid in voice-based BPO interviews

6 common errors to avoid in voice-based BPO interviews

Last updated on: September 21, 2011 14:51 IST

6 common errors to avoid in voice-based BPO interviews

     Next

Next
Expert Sunder Ramachandran lists down seven common errors to avoid during voice-based interviews. Read on

The current selection rate in most BPO's is around 5 to10%. This results in the industry losing 8 out of every 10 people who appear for an interview due to lack of the required level of communication skills.

This can be improved to a large extent if the candidates are made aware of some the common errors that typically lead to rejection during an interview.

You never know when you have become a victim, because, as the name suggests, it is "common" -- everyone around you makes the same errors.

In a recent webchat, I had highlighted the career opportunities in the non-voice BPO segment; now let's look at tips that can help you crack the voice interview in a BPO.

Sunder Ramachandran is a Senior Manager, Learning & Development with 24/7 Customer, a managed services provider of online predictive customer experience solutions.

Click NEXT to continue


Photographs: Illustrations by Uttam Ghosh
     Next

1. Incorrect pronunciation

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Ever heard the doctor say chew your food well?

Now, that requires a lot of jaw movement. The same applies while speaking. Most candidates don't open their jaws while speaking leading to incorrect sounds. You can also try this little practice.

Say this aloud: 'How now can we travel down to the town?' Now, say the same sentence this way: 'Naao haaao kaeen wee travel daaun to the taaauun?'

To check if you are doing it right, record your voice and ask your friend to listen to it.

Don't self-evaluate. You can also go to sites like www.m-w.com or www.dictionary.com, where you can listen to the correct pronunciation of any word.

Click NEXT to continue


Image: Most candidates don't open their jaws while speaking leading to incorrect sounds

Prev     Next

2. Fast rate of speech

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
If people generally ask you to repeat what you said then it's a warning bell.

Don't turn a deaf ear to it. Record and listen to yourself and see if you are speaking fast.

Make a conscious effort to slow down. All you need to do is read aloud, everyday.

Click NEXT to continue



Prev     Next

3. Use of slangs

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
Avoid slangs i.e. words like 'bucks,' 'yup,' 'gotya,' 'gotcha,' etc -- in professional conversations.

If you overhear a phrase and you like it, don't start using it unless you are sure you know the meaning.

Develop a flow in speech, do not use fillers i.e. words like, 'hmm, uhh, I mean, it's like, you know.' They break the flow of speech and sound irritating.

Click NEXT to continue



Prev     Next

4. Incorrect grammar & Influence of regional language

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
Use short sentences as that's the magic formula to construct grammatically correct sentences.

Don't try saying too many things at one go. Break down the information into short, crisp and to-the-point sentences.

Also as non-native speakers, we tend to translate directly from our native language to English. For ex: using sentences like "I am from Hyderabad only".

You don't have to sound complex in your speech to crack a BPO interview; you need to sound simple and comprehendible.

Click NEXT to continue


Image: Don't try saying too many things at one go

Prev     Next

5. Poor listening skills

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
Remember the two-ears-and-one-mouth story? Some pointers to help you:

  • Do not interrupt the speaker
  • Do not jump to premature conclusions
  • Do not assume
  • Ask if you have not understood something -- asking to repeat is okay

Click NEXT to continue



Prev     Next

6. The service attitude

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
I once asked an interviewee to change a sentence into a positive phrase in such a way that it does not lose its overall impact.

"We cannot accept your proposal without the price quote." Try finding the negative words and change them into positive -- cannot to can; without to only with. Now, start thinking like that.

Talk about things you can do rather than what you cannot. Learn to see things from others' perspectives.

Before giving your opinion on things, respect others' viewpoints. Practice these simple role plays to improve your service orientation.

Arrange this with a friend. Ask him/her to be a customer and take an order for a pizza from him/her. Take his/her feedback as a customer.

Be a customer service representative for your telephone service provider and ask your friend to seek help. Take feedback.

You can also be a florist and let your friend place an order for flowers with you. Seek feedback.

Click NEXT to continue


Image: Improve your service orientation

Prev     Next

5 quick improvement ideas

Prev     More
Prev

More
  • Read more. Not just newspapers and magazines, read any English literature that you can grab.
  • Refer to the dictionary and a grammar book (like Wren and Martin), while reading. Make it a habit to read out loud often.
  • Do crosswords. They help to increase one's vocabulary and also urge you to think.
  • Grab every opportunity to speak English -- with friends, colleagues -- even to yourself!
  • Listen to and interact with people who speak well. Watching channels like BBC and CNN is a good bet. Watch English movies with sub titles and try repeating the dialogues. This will help in improving your pronunciation and also build confidence.


Prev     More