Embracing Reality: My Call Center Job Application Process
“It’s too easy to get hired in a call center company. I don’t want a job that just answers calls”. These are the misconceptions about call center agents. But why not let them try and have a go on a call center job application process. If they get hired, then they got all the bragging rights. The truth is, out of the several applicants, only a few emerge as triumphant.
It was May 2011, a month after my college graduation when I didn’t expect that my entry-level job would be as a customer service representative, aka. call center agent. I was at the mall, buying something for my Mom when a BPO recruitment officer approached me to try for an interview. I said yes even if I don’t have any idea what I’ll undergo, neither a bit of idea why I even said yes. I don’t have a resume with me and I was just in my casual outfit, running errands. Just to try maybe. If I pass, my mother would be surprised.
Call center job application process
- Initial Interview
- Online, Written and Oral Exam
- Final InterviewThis may differ from other companies.
The Call Center Job Application Process
Part 1 : Initial Interview
Initial interview includes common Q & A, such as:
- Telling something about yourself
- Why you want to work in a call center company
- What are your strengths and weaknesses
- What is your idea on quality customer service
- Why should we hire you.
I may not be prepared for the interview, but I got trained from mock interviews in college. I tried to be confident in answering my interviewer’s questions. I refrained from using adlibs and mannerisms such as “uhmmm or ahh, etc., since they say these are signs of low self-confidence and unpreparedness. Interviewers usually give bad points for these. There was also reading and pronunciation test by doing an initial mock phone call.
After the interview, we were given a surprise oral examination to gauge how fast we think and how we are capable of resolving customer issues. They showed us a set of cards facing down. These are pictures with different scenarios. They asked each of us to pick a picture but we should wait for our turn before we take a look. When it was my turn they told me to look at my chosen picture. For 30 seconds, I was asked to narrate a story behind the picture. So, I made up a short but detailed story about the picture. I passed. A lot of my co-applicants failed in this test because they just described what they saw and not what could be the story behind the scenarios in their pictures.
Part 2: Online, Written and Oral Exam
I am on day 2 of my application process and I brought a copy of my resume for submission. The remaining exams were held at the call center office.
The online exams include:
- Grammar test
- Spelling test
- Typing test
- USA States postal abbreviations test
- Computer hardware and network test.
There’s a minimum words per minute requirement in the typing test. To proceed in the next exam type, all of the online examination parts must be passed. Next was the written exam.
The written exam was composed of Reading Comprehension, Math, Logic and situational / practical tests. Papers must be submitted after the set amount of time – finished or not. Oral test was the last part of the exams which was done through Berlitz. Berlitz is a language assessment program, where our listening and speaking skills was assessed.
Part 3: Final Interview
No chance for mistake. The HR personnel asked his crucial final questions. I answered confidently and then it was decided – I passed.
After hearing the final verdict, I signed the probationary contract. After that, there was a brief orientation about the program that I was assigned. I was also scheduled for a free medical examination. They also set the deadline for submission of SSS, Transcript of Records, Pag-ibig, Philhealth, BIR documents and the benefits application forms. After all the challenging call center job application process, I got my training schedule and venue.
Getting hired out of numerous applicants makes me feel proud. It wasn’t easy at all. It was a blessing for me because I could finally help my parents financially. After I received my first salary, it was worth all the sacrifices. After one and a half years working as a customer service representative, I got promoted. Some of my batchmates didn’t last for more than six months and some left just a year after.
It may not be the path that I was trained for four years of college. But this is the reality and I just embraced it. I am an education graduate. Before I could finally work as a public school teacher, I need to earn at least three years of teaching experience in a private school. The teaching salary in private schools is not even at the minimum wage based on what I’ve heard. Will I be able to help my family if my salary would be just enough for me? Did I make the right choice? Well, I think you’ll know if you put yourself in my perspective.