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Tips to crack call centre interviews
Nasha Fitter
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April 28, 2005

D ou have a call centre interview coming up.

What skills and qualities will the interview panel scout for?

leftGet Ahead BPO training expert Nasha Fitter answers your queries.

  • Do you have a question for Nasha? Write to us!

    Here is my question -- what kind of questions do they ask in call centre interviews?

    - Ketan

    They will ask you questions relating to your personality, communication ability, understanding of customer service, teamwork capabilities and how well you deal with pressure. 

    I am currently working for the BPO sector in Bangalore as a Data Processing Executive (e-mail).

    My job here is completely non-voice and completely based on the Internet. I am here in this company from the passed one and a half years. Now I am trying to shift to another company. I have attended few interviews. I made it to the last rounds but I don't know what they are expecting. I thought I have communication skills to an extent, but I am not able to get a job in the BPO sector.

    I am looking for a non-voice job as I have experience in the same field like in back office and data processing. So, I would like to take some advice from you. I want to correct my mistakes through you.

    - Joseph

    It is very important when you go to interviews to ask where they think you can improve, as only then will you know what areas to work on. 

    How is your rate of speech? Do you pronounce sounds correctly when you speak? Watch English television shows and see if you can speak in a similar manner. 

    Your e-mail to me has lots of grammatical errors, so you need to also work on your written communication skills. 

    I know that call centres for banks, like ICICI [Get Quote], Citibank, etc, have back-office and data processing positions, so perhaps those would be good places for you to look at.

    I have done my BSc in Biology and, after completing my MA in English, I am re-appearing for it. I have also done DCA (MS Office and Internet), Vb 6.0 and Oracle8.

    My previous experiences are that I have been teaching in the BCA department of a university since a year. As far as speaking English is concerned, I think I am fluent, especially after being to Sweden for two months for a youth exchange programme.

    Now, I want to go for a call centre job. The reason is very simple -- I want to earn more. But I was told by my friends that people start facing physical problems just after a couple of months into the job.

    As I belong to Madhya Pradesh, I have to relocate to Delhi or Mumbai so I was also told that I have buy a vehicle, but petrol allowance will not be paid by the company. 

    Can you please clarify these two issues with regards to call centres?

    - Anurag Samuel

    Some call centres pay for transportation or provide it for you. If you move to Mumbai, you do not even need to purchase a car as the city has very good public transportation. 

    As for physical problems, there are people who encounter them and people who don't. You have to sit on a chair for a long period of time (during night hours if it is an international call centre). For many, this causes back problems and sleep disorders. 

    But there are lots of jobs you have to sit for long periods of time so it just depends how your body handles it. 

    If you relocate to Mumbai, there are lots of jobs available in this sector and you should not have trouble finding one.
    I am Nilesh. I have one year of experience in the field of marketing and one year of experience in Support IT for an IT company. I am looking to move to BPO. Please advice me.

    - Nilesh

    Brush up on your communication skills and then start interviewing at BPO companies! 

    You have decent experience and if your communication skills are good and you interview well, I don't see an issue with you getting a job.
    Most of the jobs being done in BPO centres are from foreign countries.

    Are there any opportunities for BPO job work from Indian companies?

    - Ashok

    Yes, there are lots of call centres that do work for domestic Indian companies. 

    For instance, ICICI, BPL Mobile and Airtel all have large call centres that do work only for domestic Indian customers. 


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    Do you have a question for Nasha? Write to us!

    Nasha Fitter operates Fitter Solutions, a communication and training organisation with expertise in public and interpersonal communication.

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