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How To Apply For A Call Center Job and Ace an Interview

Working in a call center or a BPO center has already proved to be an exciting and rewarding career to many fresh graduates and to those that think they have what it takes to succeed in the industry. In case you were wondering what you need to be good at and other areas of improvement, rest assured that even a person who has never heard of a call center or a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) facility can still be guided and coached properly until he lands a job in a call center. Here is a walk-through of some of the things you can begin to do in your quest towards working in a call center.

Start out by identifying and noting down a list of skills that you possess. This helps you identify some which can make it more possible to have a fruitful experience while working in a BPO center. A call center job is exciting if you know you are capable of communicating with people in a courteous, informative and yet persuasive manner. While starting off your call center job, it is easy to get discouraged when you come across problem clients, but with time, you learn to be more persuasive, supportive and good at calming people down. You’ll be dealing with a lot of angry clients, especially when representing a retail business or a collection agency.

Some of the competencies that are also crucial to survival in that industry include patience, the ability to tactfully suggest proper alternatives and solutions to a previous issue. Are you capable of staying polite and assuring even when a strange and difficult problem is presented to you? These are some of the strengths that you should be willing to “sell” to whoever interviews you before the job. You should be able to describe situations in which you were able to change your approach really quickly just so that you can persuade a customer to remain hopeful and satisfied with something.

The ability to communicate properly should be more than just talking. A truly competent person must be able to listen just as much as speaking. You need to know what the callers and customers really need before you start giving solutions. In most instances you can get a feel of the person just by listening for a few moments. This is the art of a good communicator. Many people mess up on that aspect because they may talk a lot, joke unnecessarily and think that they can read their clients just as well as they know the palm of their hands, but in reality, such people can be a turn off to the reserved characters. You should be able to display in your interview that you are capable of finding out about a client’s needs, wants and desires instead of making many assumptions about the client.

The application process and letter writing

Even if you are completely competent for the job, you still need to do a proper job search and sweat it out versus the rest. No jobs are guaranteed. Look for ads relating to call center jobs and read through the requirements. Note carefully some of the unique requirements such as the age of a preferable candidate and the education level. What is some of the software that you will need to use while working there? However, you should insist on explaining why you are competent for the job and why you should be hired in your application letter in a manner that looks as if you already possess the qualities required and can prove it.

Your cover letter is just as important as your resumé itself. You should have the letter well composed so that the points are clearly flowing. Always keep it brief and to the point. Don’t send a letter with clichéd phrases nor include job qualities or personal interests not related to what you’re applying for. It may be really interesting to some that you can juggle chainsaws and can make a mean omelette, but to an employer that stuff is meaningless and they’ll think you’re a complete nutter! If however you can speak multiple languages this may be a bonus in your favor, While the call center you are applying at may be strictly English only, the fact that you can speak fluent Spanish may very well be a feather in your cap. You don’t have to indicate your religion and other life philosophies that you have unless you have expressly been asked to do so. Use professional-looking fonts and make sure that you leave a number (and cell phone number) and an email that will be used to contact you when shortlisted for an interview. Stress the fact that you are reliable and give permission to the prospective employer to call you any time of the day or night on your cell phone.

Sending in your application could very well be the easiest part of the whole process. You need to attach your resumé alongside the cover letter. This of course depends on whether the company that is advertising the job wants a physical letter or an email copy. Regardless of which format they want it, you should think of English fluency and always emphasize your greatest relevant quality. Sending multiple applications to several companies always boosts your chances of getting work. Never be too certain that sending an application to only one company will mean that you will be called for an interview.

Practice proper speaking in preparation for the interview

It is a good idea to list questions which are ‘almost obviously’ going to be asked and rehearse answering them. You have a greater shot at winning at interviews if you have an idea of the product that the company will be selling. For example, a customer care or call center person who is representing a company that deals in financial products will need to know a lot about banking and finance whereas an IT company will need representatives who can answer technical questions about software and various hardware. Practice the common lingo in that industry so that you can demonstrate to the interviewer that you can fit in and excel.

Never be too shy to pay for extra lessons to learn some of the software applications that are commonly used in call centers. In most of the call centers, you will be dealing with a phone answering application and also another one for taking down comments and requests. The records usually help the company to keep track of the service requests, phone orders and any complaints. This is more effective than writing down such crucial information on a piece of paper. If someone loses that paper and forgets crucial details about the calls, there will be a bad reputation for the company.

Familiarize yourself with public relations and general organizational operations so that you will be ready when you finally get the go ahead to work for a company. The waiting period while still searching for jobs is a good time to attend workshops and seminars that are to do with call centers, customer care and public relations.

If you do score a job interview dress nicely, address the prospective employer or job interviewer by their formal name (“yes, Mr. Johnson” or “of course, Miss Smith”) unless otherwise requested, get plenty of sleep the night before so you look well rested, shower and shave, brush your teeth and comb your hair, wear deodorant, turn off your cell phone, smile, be courteous, show professionalism, appear eager to please and eager to learn, express how you like working with a team, don’t discuss personal matters, religion, sports, politics or idle chit-chat, be open with the hours you can work, show you are willing to go the extra mile…and if you do get the job don’t high-five the interviewer. You may be excited but it’s just bad manners!

Good luck, break a leg (figuratively of course) and go after that call center job today!