Questions, questions, questions...
4th April 2018

What kind of interview questions are hot topics at the moment? We’ve put together a list based on our specialist experience and information from our successful candidates to help you prepare for yours.

Tell me about a time you worked well in a team…

Hint: there’s no ‘I’ in team…

The most important thing to remember here is that the interviewer doesn’t just want you to tell them that you can work well in team, they want you to be able to show it.

To give a memorable answer, refer to a specific event that happened in a previous role. Focus on giving credit to your colleagues, whilst illustrating the individual actions that made your contribution about being a good team player. If you don’t have much employment experience, using examples from school, University, or even your hobbies and interests can also work fine.

Example answer: ‘Last Christmas was especially busy for the company I’m currently working for. We had a lot of sale stock to put out on the shop floor and double the amount of customers to serve – so all the colleagues really had their hands full. To make sure all the stock got put out on time, we all agreed to stay an hour after the shop closed. Not only did we get all the work done, I actually feel like the experience helped us get closer as a team ‘


Tell me about a time you were faced with a difficult customer issue and describe how you solved it

Hint: Do you have the ability to resolve a tough situation, or will you crack under pressure?

Focus on exemplifying the skills and attributes you used to address and understand the issue, keep the customer calm, and ultimately solve the problem.

It’s important to make sure your answer isn’t too generic, but don’t go overboard with the embellishments. Over-exaggeration is never a good look.

Example: ‘I recently had to deal with an angry customer that called the helpdesk to complain about a faulty product. First, I made sure I understood the whole story and apologised and empathised with their situation. Then, I offered two solutions (a refund or a replacement) and made sure the customer was happy with these options. Whilst still on the phone to the customer, I was able to put their refund through there and then. I also asked if they needed help with anything else and gave them my name, so they’d be able to get back in touch directly with any other issues.’

 

Describe a time when you provided excellent customer service

Hint: This one is all about showing you can go ‘above and beyond’ in the call of duty.

The interviewer wants to know if you’re passionate enough about helping people to do more than is expected. To represent your skills accurately, prepare an answer that describes a genuine example of your exceptional customer service.

Reference a time where you really impressed a customer and describe the exact lengths you went to, to make them happy.  Even refer to a situation where the customer didn’t need to ask for help to receive it.

Example: ‘I recently met with a client to sell an event package. Prior to their visit, I explored previous activities that similar groups had found helpful in the past. This meant I could tailor the meeting accordingly and could ensure they’d get everything they wanted out of the experience. Afterwards, I sent an information pack to all the attendees, with a brief recap of the visit. The company appreciated the personal touch and went on to book six events with us.


How do you normally respond if you don’t know the answer to a customer’s question?

Hint: Not only will this question determine whether you can handle a difficult situation professionally, it’ll also test whether you’ll admit to a potential weakness – and overcome it.

Explain that even if you’re unsure of how to answer a customer’s query, you always ensure they get the help and advice they need.

Make it clear to the interviewer that you’d find the answer using a reliable source (e.g. a colleague, manager, or official company documentation), and if you’re not qualified to handle their request, you’d politely direct them to another member of the team.

Example: If I absolutely can’t answer their question, I’ll usually respond with ‘I’m not 100% sure on that but let me check with one of my colleagues and get back to you straight away.’

 

Think of a company that has delivered excellent customer service, and explain why it was so good?

Hint: the interviewer wants to know if you can clearly identify what excellent customer service is and explain how you can apply these principles to their role.

Your answer should refer to a positive experience you’ve had using a different product or service. Explain the lengths a company went to for you, how they did it, and what was good about the specific interaction.

Try and make sure you think of the company before your interview. Because this is a favourite question for interviews in our experience.

Example: ‘I was recently shopping at *company name*, and a member of staff noticed me looking confused around the ‘product’ section. He was very helpful, and talked me through the different materials, durability, and even suggested different uses of ‘the product’. Not only was he polite and accommodating, he also showed a genuine interest in my individual situation and offered tailored advice.’

Let us know if you've got any other ideas or tips for answering interview questions.

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