[Advice] Worst Call Center Job Interview Mistakes

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I just came across an article online which provides 50 Worst of the worst Job Interview Mistakes. It reminded me of the time when I was persuaded by my friends and colleagues to leave my previous employer. I suddenly became a serial applicant, submitting my resume left and right without any clue what to expect. A few years ago, call centers are very strict when it comes to job interviews. Some still are. Nowadays, you can see applicants in their jeans, flip flops, short skirts, etc.

Last October, I interviewed this young woman who just came back from her career hiatus after she gave birth. The interview went well. However, somewhere in the middle of discussing her previous job I got distracted by how much of her bust that blouse allowed her to show. Then a couple of minutes later, I heard Lady Gaga singing 'Lovegame'.

'Is that your cellphone?' I asked.
'Uhm, no.'

I've encountered applicants who are worse than her. That's why I came up with the list of the worst Call Center Job Interview Mistakes based on my personal experience. Kids, the next time you apply for a job DO NOT do the following:

1. Speak in Filipino - What job are you applying for again? That's right, a call center agent job. Now unless it's a local call center, you are expected to speak in English all the time.

2. Be overconfident - It's good to be very confident just don't overdo it. Some applicants feel like they're too experienced and interviews are like a walk in a park. Some are not.

3. Be Late - Call Centers are very particular with attendance. You wouldn't want to leave a bad impression, right?

4. Lie - It's a small world out there. You wouldn't know if the interviewer knows your previous Team Leader or Manager. They can simply verify your claims and base their decisions on that. (Note: This is something I've done more than once.)

5. Look like a 5-dollar hooker - Like I said, it's the skill that's important and not your appearance. However, you still have to present yourself well!

6. Act like a beggar - Have pride my friend! When asked, 'Why should I hire you?' never say, 'Because I need a job!' Don't come off as a desperado. Focus on your skills and what you can contribute to the company.

7. Yawn and Slouch - Are you bored? There's the door. The next applicant has been waiting for more than an hour he or she would be glad that I'm done with you.

8. Act like a Diva - Do you know how many people Recruitment hires everyday? Depending on the number of applicants, it could go up to 200 or more per day. That 8-10 hours of sitting and listening to all the applicants. They work long hours so don't complain about how long you've been waiting. You need them. It's not the other way around.

9. Feel VERY comfortable - Having taken the same course in the same school does not mean we're the best of friends now. You are still talking to the interviewer. Do not feel too comfortable with the situation. This is still a job interview.

10. Not Showcasing your skills - At the end of the day, it's talent we're looking for. Make sure you only highlight your skills which will be useful when performing the job you're applying for. There is no need to talk about how many dance contests you've joined and won.

There are tons but I can't think of them right now. If you can add more, go ahead and share it with us.

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