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12 customer service job interview questions and answers

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Estimated reading time: 4 minutes 

Customer service representatives are excellent communicators, strong problem solvers and great relationship builders. Once you have the right skills for the job, your next step to land a customer service role is to ace your interview!

Give yourself an edge by being prepared with my top 12 customer service job interview questions, along with expert tips on how to effectively answer each one. 

Behavioral-based interview questions and answers for customer service roles 

1. How do you organize and prioritize your workload? 

Customer service representatives juggle a lot of responsibilities, such as responding to emails, answering phone calls and resolving customer issues. By asking this question, interviewers can gauge your ability to handle several tasks at once and stay on track. 

How to answer:

  • Describe a situation where you had various tasks to do at one time.
  • Explain how you prioritized each task.
  • Highlight your organizational skills and ability to work under pressure.

2. Walk me through a problem you recently solved at work: What steps did you take to address it? 

Customer service environments are dynamic and ever-changing. The interviewer wants to test your thought process, problem-solving techniques and approach to finding solutions to see how you handle challenging situations.  

How to answer:

  • Talk about a specific problem or challenge you’ve encountered at work.
  • Detail the approach you took to resolve the issue.
  • Prove how your analytical thinking and problem-solving abilities led to a positive outcome.

3. Describe a difficult decision you had to make at work: Why was it challenging? 

In a customer service role, difficult decisions can come up when dealing with complex customer inquiries. The interviewer wants to know how you approach difficult decision-making scenarios and the reasoning behind your choices. 

How to answer:

  • Give an example of a difficult decision you made at work.
  • Explain the factors that made the decision challenging and how you navigated through the decision-making process.
  • Show your willingness to take responsibility for tough choices.

4. Tell me about a time when you felt overwhelmed at work: How did you get through it? 

Customer service can be a demanding field. This question tests how well you bounce back from stressful situations and continue delivering quality work. 

How to answer:

  • Share a time when you faced a full workload or challenging circumstance that caused you to feel overwhelmed.
  • Discuss your approach to prioritizing tasks and how you asked for help when needed.
  • Emphasize your ability to stay calm, organized and focused under pressure.

5. What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses? 

This question is your chance to showcase your best attributes and show your willingness to improve in certain areas. Highlight your top skills and show how you can contribute to a customer service team.  

How to answer:

  • Emphasize your strengths, such as relationship building and effective communication.
  • Detail how your skills can benefit the customer service team.
  • Avoid mentioning communication or customer service as areas for improvement.

Job-specific interview questions and answers for customer service roles 

6. How do you build relationships with customers? 

Employers want to hire candidates who will establish rapport with customers and create positive experiences for their clients. By asking this question, the interviewer can gauge your strategies for nurturing customer relationships. 

How to answer:

  • Explain your approach to building trust and rapport with customers.
  • Provide an example of how you developed and maintained a strong working relationship with a specific customer.
  • Emphasize your interpersonal skills and dedication to providing personalized solutions.

7. Describe a time when you displayed exceptional customer service: What was the end result?

This question helps the interviewer gauge what ‘exceptional customer service’ means to you. It provides insight into your problem-solving abilities and your dedication to customer satisfaction. 

How to answer:

  • Give a specific example where you went above and beyond to provide outstanding customer service. 
  • Discuss the steps you took to address the customer’s needs or concerns.
  • Highlight how your exceptional customer service and proactive approach resulted in a positive outcome.

8. How do you adapt your communication style to meet the needs of different customers? 

Effective communication is a critical skill in customer service. Customer service representatives need to be able to explain processes in a way that’s easy to understand, regardless of the customer's level of expertise

How to answer:

  • Share an example of a time you needed to clarify a message to a customer.
  • Detail how you tailored your communication style to meet the customer’s needs.
  • Showcase your active listening skills and flexibility in adapting to different communication preferences.

9. Tell me about a time when you worked with a customer who was not satisfied with the service provided: What did you do? 

The interviewer will ask this question to assess how you handle difficult situations with customers. They want to know if you can find effective solutions and turn a negative situation into a positive one.  

How to answer:

  • Provide an example of a time you assisted an unhappy customer.
  • Explain the actions you took to address the customer’s concerns and resolve the issue.
  • Mention what follow-up actions you took to ensure the customer's satisfaction and prevent similar issues from happening in the future.

10. What do you do if a customer requests a service that isn’t offered? 

In customer service, it’s common for customers to have unique or specific requests that may fall outside the scope of the standard services offered. The recruiter wants to know if you’re able to think on your feet and provide alternative solutions that your customer is happy with. 

How to answer:

  • Talk about how you communicated to the customer that the requested service is not available.
  • Describe how you suggested similar services that could meet the customer’s needs.
  • Highlight your ability to collaborate with other teams to find suitable solutions.

11. How do you adapt to new technology or software? 

Customer service roles often require working with various tools and software systems. This question tests your ability to adapt to new technology and your eagerness to gain new skills. 

How to answer:

  • Share an experience where you successfully learned a new software or application.
  • Describe the steps you took to become proficient in the new technology.
  • Talk about how you use/used the technology in your work.

12. How was your performance measured in your previous role? 

This question gives the hiring manager insight into how your performance was assessed in your previous role. Understanding how your performance was measured provides valuable information about your work ethic, accountability and ability to meet expectations. 

How to answer:

  • Describe the key performance indicators (KPIs) used to measure your performance.
  • Outline how you consistently met or exceeded those metrics.
  • Discuss the steps you took to improve your performance and achieve success if you missed your goals.

Grow your customer service career at Schneider.

Become a customer service representative at a company that supports your career growth and advancement. Make your move today and join the Schneider team on first, second or third shift. 
About the author
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Lance Kaster is a Corporate Recruiter whose journey with Schneider started back in 2016. He started as a member of the driver recruiting team, where he was responsible for building and managing a candidate pool of prospective company drivers.

He moved to the company's corporate recruiting team in 2021. In his current role, Lance specializes in recruiting candidates for office positions.

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