General Question

OpryLeigh's avatar

If you were on the interview panel, in the search for someone to lead a small group of people in a customer care environment, what questions would you ask?

Asked by OpryLeigh (25280points) May 25th, 2010

Here’s some background info: For 2 years I worked as a receptionist in a busy sports centre. I was then offered the job that I am in now, which is an administration role (for the same company). I have been in my current position for over two years and I am now planning on applying for the job of Head Receptionist with the reception team I used to work with (give or take a few staff members who have left/joined since I left the role 2 years ago).

The thing is, I KNOW I can do this job well. No ifs, buts or maybes. However, I need to convince the panel that, despite my small frame, I am more than capable of managing this team of people who, I feel, I have already got the respect and trust of.

If you were on this panel, bearing in mind that it is for a management role in a team of people that deal with customers every day, what would be some important questions that you would ask?

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18 Answers

janbb's avatar

How would you deal with an ongoing conflict between two fo the people you supervise?

OpryLeigh's avatar

I forgot to mention above that I plan on coming up with answers for all the questions you ask me, just in case it pops up in my interview. If you would like me to let me know what my answer would be, let me know and I will answer it for you all to judge!

liminal's avatar

I think answering here would be a good idea, it will probably lead to more questions.

How will having pre-existing relationships with some of the staff impact your supervision and relationship with the team?

BoBo1946's avatar

When you are in a group situation are you the leader, technical expert, creative, responsible one? Provide examples. *

Have you had any work experience related to this position?

What was most rewarding about your previous job? Most frustrating? *

What was your most significant accomplishment in your last position? *

Tell me about a time you made your mind up too quickly. *

Tell me about an experience you had in customer service that went badly and how did you handle it? *

Describe a situation in which you and a co-worker have disagreed. How did you work it out? *

Tell me about a time when you took charge as a leader in a work situation without being formally assigned to that role by your boss. *

Tell me about a time when you felt you went beyond the call of duty in helping a client. *

Describe what you liked and disliked about how you were managed in previous positions. *

CaptainHarley's avatar

If you felt someone was not pulling their weight in your organization, how would you handle it?

If one of your people was absent, or came in late on a recurring basis, what action would you take?

How do you handle conflict in a work enviornment?

What if someone came to you with a really good idea? What would you do? What if the idea enabled you to lay off a third of those who work for you?

What would you do if your manager instructed you to do something that you knew would be detrimental to your organization?

How would you train a new employee?

What would be your managerial style, and why?

( There are many, MANY more, but those will give you some idea of the sort managers ask during an interview. GOOD LUCK! )

Cruiser's avatar

When is the customer not always right??

Coloma's avatar

I’m a big people person and IMO it is all about ease of relating, sincerity and having authenticity and empathy.

The ability to put yourself on an equal level with others, a shining and preferably humorous personality, the ability to ‘read’ what people need, want, expect of their experience.

In other words a highly developed sense of intuition.

I parrot @CaptainHarley in the questions I’d pose, but..I would be looking beneath the basic answers and more at the feeling I got when relating to that person in particular.

The best managers, while strong in leadership skill also possess the ability to comport themselves from a place of equanamity and have an approachable vibe.

I would also utilize enneagram or other personality profiling to maximize the areas that each would excel in from a natural viewpoint and conduct a meeting where everyone was privy to others styles and therefore pave the way for the best possible interactions based on everyones understanding of how the different tempraments show up.

I truly beleive that these ‘tools’ are invaluable and more companies should implement them into their workplaces for optimum comraderie and understanding.

philosopher's avatar

I worked in Public Relations, Provider Relations and Customer Service.
What they should be looking for is (1) Someone who speaks well.
(2) Someone who can deal with problems and not become agitated easily. (3) The list of qualities need is long.

Coloma's avatar

I worked in customer service for an import/export company for some years and I still miss my customers! We had customers from all over the world, from Britan to Asia to the entirety of the U.S.

I developed sincere relationships with most of them and often part of our biz. interactions would end with personal sharings of our lives and relationships.

The owner of the company hired a new customer service rep. at one point as our customer base had grown tremendously and I was spread extra thin…thing is, nobody wanted to deal with the new person, they all still wanted me. lol

It took awhile for our dealers and others to trust the new persons abilities.

When it was time for me to move on I was genuinely sad to leave my global ‘family.’ :-)

philosopher's avatar

@Coloma
I relate to your feelings.
I recently found an old letter from a Provider to our Vice President. Complementing me.
It made me tear up. I miss that guy.
I don’t mind working hard. If I am appreciated.
@BoBo1946 hello.

BoBo1946's avatar

@philosopher back at you old friend!

Jeruba's avatar

It seems to me that the trickiest part of your prospective situation is being in a supervisory role with your former peers. If you have given good thought to this aspect of the position, you are probably ready.

I’m not sure it will actually do you any good to practice glib answers to standard interview questions. You don’t want to sound rehearsed rather than spontaneous, sincere, and able to think on your feet.

In many years of working on teams of various kinds, large and small, I have found that the most troublesome question is what to do about a team member who is not pulling his or her weight. How far do people go in sustaining “team trust” when there is a slacker? How much do you let others bear the burdens of one who isn’t up to the mark? How much do you let all suffer for the action or inaction of one? What will it do to the team if you reprimand one person or let the person go? A person who can handle this kind of problem can probably do the rest.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@Jeruba Thank you for such a helpful answer. I have given the fact that I will be manager to my peers a lot of thought and I know I am ready. I just have to convince the panel of that as I know at least one of them is worried about that fact.

Ron_C's avatar

As an eingineer in the customer service department I need to know if the applicant is basically familiar with our industry, had a technical background, and how they feel about meeting and working with people with from a wide range of cultures, varying amount of knowedge about our business, and if the applicant really enjoys solving problems and helping people.

I see myself as sort of a technical missionarry and really get a rush out of solving difficult problems.

philosopher's avatar

@Ron_C
I always enjoyed solving problems too. Especially for people that are pleasant to work with.
LOL dumb people never comprehend that when they are nasty. You will not work as hard on their behalf.

Coloma's avatar

Well…I have dropped out of the rat race this past 5 yrs. or so….too many unconscious types that reduce everyone to just another cog in the wheel, not able or willing to see the unique individuals that comprise the whole.

Sort of like old married folks that sit across the table from each other every morning but havn’t really SEEN each other in 25 years.

Relating to an image, a role and not the real person.

Nope…I may have my talents but now I do my own thing and it’s been fucking great!

Ron_C's avatar

@Coloma I’m 63 and intend to work for at least another 5–10 years. I love my job, there’s always a new challenge. There are even opportunities to vent when things get frustrating. All I need now is a little better pay.

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