1.Describe a project you worked on that required very close attention to detail.
Look for hard evidence of the candidate's ability to keep track of details. A good response will detail the different information that the candidate was required to stay on top of and will show how he or she managed to keep track of it all.
2.How do you stay organized?
Someone who pays attention to details generally has an established way of keeping track of things. A good response will show that the candidate has a system for staying on top of things and makes staying organized a major part of his or her work.
3.Can you provide some examples of instances when you've discovered errors in your work or someone else's?
Look for concrete examples of the candidate noticing things that slipped by others. A good response will show that the candidate has a tendency to check and double-check things.
4.How do you know if a project you are working on is going well?
A good response will show that the candidate does not rely just on his or her own gut feeling of how things are going. Rather, the applicant will have specific, measurable milestones that allow him or her to track his or her own progress and that of the entire project.
5.Tell me about the last time you received really great customer service.
This question will help you learn what the candidate deems to be great customer service. A good response will show that the good customer experience left the candidate with a very good feeling about the company he or she was dealing with. Press the candidate to identify specific details about what made the experience so great. Follow up by asking how that experience influenced his or her own approach to customer service.
6.What was the most difficult customer service situation you ever had to deal with? How did you handle the situation?
This question will help you assess the candidate's ability to handle stressful customer-service situations. A good response will show the candidate was considerate and willing to try different approaches. Find out how the situation the candidate describes was resolved. Did he or she bring in a supervisor to deal with the customer? If so, at what point? Follow up by asking what the candidate learned from the experience.
7.Why did you choose to go into customer service?
This question will help you assess the candidate's enthusiasm for working in customer service. Is the candidate naturally a good fit with customer service, or is he or she just looking for a steady job? A good response will show that the candidate enjoys dealing with customers and helping solve their problems.
8.Describe a time when the customer was wrong. How did you handle it?
This type of customer is perhaps the most difficult to deal with. Assess how the candidate went about explaining the situation to the customer. A good response will show that the candidate never lost his or her cool and remained courteous throughout the experience. Ask the candidate what he or she learned from the experience, and if he or she would do anything differently today.
9.How would you describe the amount of structure and feedback that you need to be successful?
Most candidates will respond to this question by saying they would like an equal mix of direction and independence. Force the issue by describing two opposing working situations—one in which the candidate is left alone to fulfill his or her responsibilities, and another in which he or she is closely managed. Ask the candidate which one he or she prefers. A candidate's preference should be in line with your company's culture.
10.Do you prefer stability and continuity or frequent change in your daily work environment?
Use this question to learn what the candidate is used to in terms of a daily routine, and to find out if he or she likes to have projects clearly laid out or likes to be challenged to define projects himself or herself. Follow up by asking what the candidate would do if given incomplete instructions
for a project.