Beware of people who claim never to have been stumped or who can only give examples where another team or colleague provided the final answer. What do you think makes a good teammate? Can you tell me about a time when you were proud of the level of service you gave a customer? Company policy only allowed me to offer the customer store credit since he didn’t have a receipt. That’s no good, because you’re searching for creativity; work isn’t a multiple choice test. Can you describe a time when you had to say no to an important customer’s request? Short of inventing a time machine, there’s no guaranteed method, which makes your interview one of the most important tools you have to vet customer service and support candidates. Providing exceptional customer service is a team effort that requires constant collaboration to build a strong, positive image of the company. Try not to rush to fill the silence; it’s okay to let your candidates sit quietly before they answer a question. Why is that subtext so important? You’ll get honest feedback about a person’s trajectory and their commitment to self-improvement; information that’s hard to glean from anywhere else. How would you define good customer service? What do you think they could have done differently to make it better? 16. Here are some good storytelling questions to get you started: An active listener is a prepared problem solver. 7. What are you better at today than you were this time last year? EAGER CUSTOMER: Hi! Sarah Judd Welch employs this tactic by inquiring about advocacy: “I ask them to give an example of a time they advocated on behalf of someone else. After letting him vent, listening intently to his concerns and apologizing for the inconvenience, I helped him find a gift for his wife for the same price so he wasn’t out any money. Can you tell me about a customer who you found difficult to understand and how you approached that interaction? Observing how someone interacts with the outside world will speak volumes about their self-awareness and personal motivations. I would also give them a timeline for a solution and make sure they felt valued by thanking them for their feedback.”. Are they always looking to learn new skills? Can you give an example of how you handled alerting a customer when your product/service caused a major problem? What did you do with that feedback? Give an Example/Role Play Questions. Were you able to approach it in a way that resulted in an overall positive outcome? I also collaborated cross-functionally by collecting customer feedback and communicating it to the product team.”. Customer service scenario for feature requests. It’s also okay to ask similar questions at different points during the interview. (Note: Leave out “What could you have done better?” to give them a chance to respond unasked or completely miss the opportunity.). Reading between the lines, what do a candidate’s stories say about their penchant for patience, their willingness to help, or their talents as a team player? Describe a situation where you weren’t satisfied with your job. Ask them for examples of how they learned from those situations and applied them to another problem. When responding to a customer, how do you decide what information to include and what to leave out? 22. Tell me about a time when a customer was reporting a technical issue that you didn’t know the answer to. Can you give me an example of a situation where there were major problems with your product/service and you needed to respond without having all the answers yet? Can you tell me about a time when you received poor customer service? Most people will respond warmly (“A 9!”), but her follow-up coaches more candor into the dialogue: “How could they get to a 10?”. Questions 16-18 are designed to measure candidates’ communication skills. 6. What’s the best way to help a customer who has worked with multiple agents and hasn’t received the help they need? The first five questions on our list help you find candidates who share your underlying beliefs about the role customer service plays in an organization. Why? These questions give you an opportunity to understand what a candidate will be like to work with. It can give them time to formulate their thoughts, and it can also result in them revealing more than they initially intended. 14. Tell me about the situation and the outcome. Get people to commit with one question (“What are you a perfectionist about?”) and then dig deeper with a second (“When has this created conflict between you and someone else?”). You won’t be left groping for questions, your interactions will be more memorable, and you’ll be able to standardize the circumstances under which you assess candidates. There’s no greater skill for customer service employees than the ability to communicate clearly and with the appropriate level of detail.