When your call center interviewer asks, "What can you contribute to this company?", she's not just asking about any positive traits and skills. She's asking about the best skills and traits you can ever contribute to the company if you were to sign the job offer.
How to answer: What can you contribute to this company?
The best way to answer this interview question is to highlight the skills and working traits you learned from your past jobs, and then relate them to the traits necessary in a call center workplace.
This begs the question: What are those traits? Well, an effective agent has a long list of skills and expertise but the following traits top the list:
- patient and polite
- able to adjust to different customer personalities
Step 1: Choose a working trait that's related to a call center workplace.
Let's use number 6 as an example:
The best thing that I can contribute to your company is my expertise in dealing with different types of customers. This means I can easily adjust to fit different types of customers' personality.
Step 2: Support your answer
In my 3 years of experience working as a service crew in a busy food chain, I learned that customers' personalities come in different flavors.
Some customers were warm and friendly and wouldn't mind chatting. Some were distant and uncomfortable with small talks. And some were sour and natural complainers. I know exactly how to deal with each of these types.
In this example, the applicant supported her answer ( which was the ability to deal with different customer personalities) by citing the different types of customers she's encountered in her previous job. What's more, it's based on a real experience. When you can, draw your answers from actual experiences because it sounds authentic and your interviewer will likely believe it.
Step 3. State the benefit
If I'm lucky to be accepted as your employee, team leaders will not have problems with unnecessary sup (supervisor) calls and customers will hang up the phone knowing that their problems were solved by an agent who not only addressed their problems but also their feelings.
When thinking about the benefit, think about the top problems that contact centers usually have. And then tailor your answer in a way that addresses those problems.
This sample answer, for example, brought up two of the common problems team leaders have in call center floor:
- unnecessary sup calls
- and agents who don't empathize with customers.
After that, the answer painted a picture of the benefit the company will get as a result of hiring the applicant. And that's it. It perfectly answers the interview question, "What can you contribute to this company?"
Let's use "thick-skinned" this time.
Having worked in customer service for 3 long years, I would say that the best contribution I could bring to the company is my ability to ignore rude comments from customers and remain 100% professional with my interactions no matter how vulgar customers could get.
There was one time a customer asked me if my mom and dad are cousins because I didn't give her a promo code. And one old lady, who, upon knowing that I was based in the Philippines, had no problem switching my name from "Ms. Candace" to "Ms. Mail Order Bride". And I've heard all the curse words you could possibly hear in a lifetime.
But I'm still here, having no problem being firm with my customers when the company policy requires me to. If you were to hire me, my TL (team leader) will surely love me for giving her the least sup calls.
This one's a little bit informal but if you want to elicit a reaction from your interviewer and if you think you can pull this off, then go for this tone.
But what if you don't have any work experience?
Let's say you're fresh out of college/ high school and you haven't worked for any company before. That doesn't mean you don't have quality traits that you can't be proud of. Here's an example:
Your positive working trait
The best contribution I can guarantee your company is my ability to still work efficiently under pressure and stick to the rules no matter what.
Support your answer
Although I'm still a fresh graduate and haven't experienced working for a company before, I certainly had my fair share of stress as a former student. And while that won't equal the stress that a call center agent experiences, I'm confident that I can manage the bigger challenge without quitting or complaining.
If you give me a chance to prove my worth, you will never hear me whining about the workload. And never will you have to worry about me being absent for questionable reasons. I understand what I'm getting into and ready to face the challenge that comes with it.
Unable to tell a story about her non-existent work experience, the applicant highlighted her experience as a student instead. Everybody knows how hard being a student is. It's something even interviewers can relate to.
Also, remember that in a call center, you don't have to have prior work experience. As long as you speak excellent English with at least a neutral accent and you can express yourself in it, you're good.
You just have to understand what the interviewer wants to hear from you—in this case, the confidence of a fresh graduate to face the stress and challenges that come with the job.
If you want to know how to feel confident during call center interviews, this article will help you "How to be Confident During Call Center Job Interviews."
Remember when answering "What can you contribute to this company?"
- Always back up your claim. When you say something, paint a scenario or tell a story supporting that statement. It makes your answer sound authentic and credible.
- If possible, provide data. For example, you wanna talk about how you increased the sales of the previous company you were working for. Then include the percentage in your explanation and explain how you did it.
- Avoid cliches or overused traits like "hardworking". It sounds unoriginal. Look for a rare trait that not all applicants could possibly have and relate that to call center skills. Your interviewer will remember you for that.
- The answers I wrote here are only examples. It would sound better and more authentic if you were to prepare an answer that personally applies to you. Besides, interviewers tend to ask follow-up questions during the final interview and if your answer truly applies to you, you will not have difficulties supporting it.