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Cracking Call Centre Interviews

Big bucks, free passes to discs, home pick up and drop, state of the art offices, 0 balance Debit cards and many, many other benefits. Yes! Call centre jobs have them all. But did you know that only 2 out of 20 people actually clear the interview. So how does one get into that ‘elite’ 10% bracket? We at JAM have the answer. Here are the various rounds that are held in a typical call centre interview AND the ways to clear them:

Reading round: Here you are given a paragraph of 5 to 7 lines to read. While reading REMEMBER, don’t sound deadpan but be loud and clear and speak with an authoritative and commanding voice. Don’t read too fast or too slow. Brush up your words and sentences before the interview by reading magazines, newspapers or simply by reading JAM.

Ex-tempore round: You are given a topic on the spot and told to speak on it for 5 minutes. Remember that you don’t have to speak only about the good points but can also point out the negative aspects of a given topic. Be loud and clear and just go on yapping about the topic. When given a topic, don’t look confused or stare at the evaluator like how the local vendors and pedestrians stare at the foreigners at Colaba Causeway. Instead, just say “OK” or “All Right” and start yapping.

Group Discussion round: This round aims at testing the communication abilities of a candidate. Here the topics given are current, controversial topics. So it’s like a debate. Keep in mind that after every two people have finished their views, you should speak. Express the same point in diferrent ways by twisting words and sentences. Repeat the same point someone else has said by adding “According to me” or “My personal opinion is”. Keep saying the words “Absolutely right” or “I totally agree with you” at regular intervals. You can also say “Let’s give our friends a chance to put forth their views” to the candidates who are quiet during the discussion. This will lead them to rate you as good in terrms of ‘team-work’ and ‘co-operation’. Remember to have a commanding voice while expressing your point.

Aptitude test round: This is an online or written test. Generally, you have to complete the given questions in 15-20 minutes. The questions are mainly based on maths, sentence correction and general knowledge. It’s a piece of cake as the questions are really easy and most clear this round.

Personal interview round: Remember to have a smile on your face and not look like a Devdas who has millions of troubles on his head. During the personal interview, just be yourself. Try to have a normal conversation with the interviewer just as you would have with your friends. Try not to be personal. If the interviewer asks, “Do you have any plans to study further ?” Even if you have any such intentions, say “NO”. As soon as you enter, greet him with a “Hello, Good Morning” and not a “Hi”. When asked about your family utter the full words “Mother, Father, Sister, etc.” and not shortcuts like “Mom, Dad, Sis.”

Understanding Conversation Round: Very few call centres have this round. Here you are made to listen to a tape of a sample conversation between two foreigners for 10 to 12 seconds. You have to note down that conversation on a piece of paper. Trust me, it’s very simple. Start watching Friends, The Sipmsons, The Drew Carey show etc. to familiarise yourself with the American accent. That’s the best and most fun way to learn.

Xtra tips: Remember to dress smart yet formal, not as if you’re going for rugby practice or a fashion parade. Also remember not to carry a big huge backpack and look as if you are immigrating to some other land. Carry a small professional looking case instead – the more compact, the better. Avoid looking like a Government employee.

*All the above listed rounds may not be held in the same order as listed and may vary from one call-centre to another.

Robin Almeida

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