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33 customer service interview questions and answers to identify outstanding talent

Our list of the best customer service interview questions and answers can help you build your dream team.

By Sarah Olson, Staff Writer

Last updated May 1, 2023

Customers expect good customer service—but exceeding expectations with consistent, personalized, conversational experiences can create a loyal customer for life. In fact, the Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report 2023 shows that 70 percent of consumers buy more from companies that offer seamless conversational experiences. With customer service reps often the first interaction customers have with your brand when they have an issue, it’s important to have the right team on the front lines.

The right candidate should have the perfect combination of people skills and critical thinking to meet customer needs while being resilient in the face of customer complaints. Our list of the top customer service interview questions and sample answers can provide you with a good mix of information to help you identify the best customer service talent as you build your dream team.

Icebreaker interview questions to help you get to know the candidate

Icebreaker interview questions

Icebreaker questions ease the tension and help the candidate relax before diving into the interview. It also allows you to get to know the candidate and see their personality. With the right icebreaker questions in hand, you can gather important context about the candidate simply by observing how they navigate this part of the interview.

1. Tell me about yourself.

Why you might ask this: “Tell me about yourself” is a standard question for any job interview, and the candidate should be expecting it. How they answer it can say a lot about their attitude and aptitude for a customer support role. You can see their conversational skills while also identifying interest areas and strengths.

What to listen for:

  • Responds using personable language

  • Follows a clear train of thought

  • Lists relevant skills, interests, or passions

Example answer:

“Professionally, I’m a recent college graduate from The Ohio State University with a degree in communications. I’m curious about a career in customer support because I can apply what I learned while earning my degree with my passion for helping people.

Personally, I’m an animal lover, and when I’m not volunteering at the Humane Society of Summit County, I’m spending time at the dog park with my three pugs.

I’m really grateful you took the time to talk to me today, and I’m excited to learn more about the role and see if it would be a good fit.”

2. What do you like about working in customer service (and what do you not like)?

Why you might ask this: Opinion-based interview questions for a customer service position allows agents to get creative with the answer. This question can help you identify what the candidate is looking for in a new position, workplace environment, and career trajectory. Asking what they don’t like about customer service can help you identify any red flags early on. Consider how their priorities align with the open position, your company’s goals, and your customer service objectives.

What to listen for:

  • Uses phrasing that doesn’t disparage past employers or roles

  • Recognizes skills gained and lessons learned

  • Shows interests aligned with the open position

Example answer:

“In my current role, I support customers on every channel, which for us is email, phone, chat, and social media messaging. I especially like talking to customers on social media because I get to be more conversational and use emojis.

“I love providing customer-centric solutions. One thing I like the least about customer service is that we can’t always offer the solution that the customer wants. We can offer alternatives that satisfy the customer but I always want to “wow” them.

“This position has taught me to be adaptable, and I like that I’ve gotten the opportunity to learn helpful skills for each channel, but what I’m really looking for in my next position is an opportunity to specialize and become an expert on one or two channels that I’m passionate about.

“When I saw that you were looking for a chat and messaging agent, I was excited about the opportunity because that’s exactly the type of role I’m looking for.”

3. What things on your resume are you really an expert in?

Why you might ask this: This interview question can gauge their prior customer service training and tests whether the candidate can validate claims made on their resume with specific anecdotes to demonstrate their skills. Strong candidates will explain how they used those skills to solve a challenging or urgent problem.

What to listen for:

  • Provides specific examples demonstrating those skills

  • Matches strengths with the needs for which you are hiring

  • Ties the skills into how they can be an asset to your business

Example answer:

“I’m a people person, and talking to customers is where I shine. My philosophy is that talking to support should feel less like a chore and more like a conversation.

One example was when I was helping a customer troubleshoot a technical issue. The customer had an older device, so we waited a while between each step. That’s when I started chatting with the customer, asking them where they were from and what they liked to do. She said she liked baking, and after a while, we were swapping recipes, and she gave me bakery recommendations in case I ever get a chance to visit the Northeast.

After the call, they left this comment in the customer satisfaction survey: ‘I didn’t even mind that it took nearly an hour to get my computer working again—I was having such a great time talking! Best customer service call ever.’”

4. What do you know about our company or product?

Why you might ask this: Asking this question is an easy way to find out if the candidate has done their homework. They should be able to provide a few key talking points that prove they know the basics about your business, your products or services, your company mantra, or any notable current events. They don’t need to know everything—just enough to show they came prepared.

What to listen for:

  • Demonstrates that they reviewed your website, social media, and product

  • Touches on company values and mission statements

  • Shows interest and desire to work for your organization

Example answer:

“I learned from visiting your website that you have a mantra of “always be helpful,” which you clearly demonstrate with features like the chat widget on your website and how easy it was to find your FAQ page.

“I also saw on your company’s Facebook page that you are committed to social impact and encourage your employees to volunteer in the community. Your website shows that you support organizations such as Black Girls Code, and I can really tell that your organization lives by its values.

5. Why do you want to work here?

Why you might ask this: This question gives the candidate an opportunity to discuss their interest in the customer service position. They should have a passion for customer service and explain how this role ties into their larger career path. In addition to their career goals, the candidate should touch on what they can bring to your team and what appeals to them most about your business.

What to listen for:

  • Demonstrates interest in growth with your company

  • Details what appeals to them about working for your company

  • Explains what they can bring to the table

Example answer:

“Your company has great reviews on Glassdoor, with current and former employees both raving about the positive work environment, great company culture, investment in employee growth, and prioritization of mental health.

I’m excited about this opportunity because we share similar values, and I think my ability to make meaningful connections with customers aligns with your mission.”

Behavioral interview questions for customer service

Behavioral interview questions for customer service

Behavioral, communication, and people skills can be just as important as expertise in the product or industry. These customer support interview questions can help you learn how the candidate could mesh with (and improve) your current team.

The candidate should answer behavioral questions using the STAR method, which stands for situation, task, action, and result. This means they provide the context of a situation, the task they needed to complete, the actions they took to complete the task, and the outcome.

6. What skills do you possess that will help you excel in this role?

Why you might ask this: This question allows you to learn what customer service skills the candidate values and might bring to this particular role. Their response provides insight into any unique skills that could add expertise to your team.

What to listen for:

  • Defines both hard and soft skills

  • Tailors their response to the skills listed in the job description

  • Offers unique skills that could be valuable to your team

Example answer:

“I excel at helping customers resolve issues and taking ownership of a situation to ensure fast and proper resolution. I prioritize proactive and transparent communication during the entire process to help build trust and provide a great customer experience. I am also very tech savvy, so I can learn and navigate new systems quickly and even teach others tips and tricks to make the team more efficient.”

7. How well do you work under pressure?

Why you might ask this: Dealing with high-pressure or stressful situations in a customer service role comes with the job. The potential stress level depends on the issue, situation, or customer, and the rep should be able to bring each scenario to a successful and timely resolution.

What to listen for:

  • Details methods and thought processes when handling a range of pressure situations

  • Provides an example of how they successfully navigated the situation

  • Describes how they stayed calm, professional, and maintained composure during the situation

Example answer:

“Working under pressure is just part of being a customer service rep. When a situation pops up, I take a deep breath and think before reacting to make sure I’m following the best course of action to reach a fast and satisfactory resolution.

In my prior call center role, management gave me an overdue issue because the owning CSR left the company unexpectedly. The customer needed a resolution by the end of the week, and the previous CSR made very little progress.

I created a detailed plan and broke up the task into easily achievable daily tasks that helped me meet the deadline. I communicated with my manager each time I completed a portion of the issue and if I fell behind or needed additional resources. We resolved the issue by the promised time.”

8. How do you handle getting negative feedback from a customer?

Why you might ask this: This behavioral question demonstrates how the candidate handles internal and external interactions after receiving negative customer feedback. You can learn how the candidate reacts, how they communicate, and what they might do in response.

“We all need to know what we could do better,” says Alaina Franklin, Director of Customer Success at Zendesk. She adds, “or someone else will do it better.”

What to listen for:

  • Describes apologetic and empathetic communication with the customer

  • Demonstrates thoughts on how to prevent the situation from occurring in the future

  • Details how they collaborated with agents, teams, or departments that may be affected by the feedback

Example answer:

“Any feedback from customers is valuable feedback. It helps me understand what I can improve about my level of customer service or how the business can improve the product or processes. Listening to the customer and implementing their feedback gives the customer a voice and makes them feel valued, which is a positive for the business.”

9. What time management techniques do you use?

Why you might ask this: This question helps you learn how the candidate stays on task, what programs they’re familiar with, and why time management is important to the role. Each technique should detail the candidate’s productivity and efficiency and how they prioritize tasks.

What to listen for:

  • Provides examples of techniques they use to plan their daily tasks

  • Shares techniques of how they prioritize new or urgent tasks

  • Displays their understanding of why time management is important

Example answer:

“I like being proactive when planning my daily and weekly tasks and adjusting them as needed. I use Asana to keep projects in order and Google Tasks to send me reminders for upcoming deadlines. I block out my calendar for the first hour of each day to address any communications or tickets that came in overnight. Before logging off each day, I review daily, weekly, and monthly tasks to make sure I met all deadlines and that I’m on track. If I start falling behind on a certain task, I will communicate with management right away so everyone is in the loop.”

10. How do you prioritize your work?

Why you might ask this: This interview question elaborates on the previous question and analyzes the candidate’s time management skills and how they deal with shifting priorities. This allows you to learn more about how the candidate approaches work, which tasks they address first, and how they stay on track.

What to listen for:

  • Describes task management techniques that demonstrate the ability to pivot and be flexible

  • Shows the ability to identify which tasks are the most important

  • Displays the ability to prioritize tasks in a fast-paced environment

Example answer:

“I review my task list in Asana each morning and address customer communication right after, adding new tasks based on urgency and moving critical tasks to the top of the list. I communicate with the customer immediately, even if I don’t have a resolution, so they know we’re working on the issue.”

11. How do you handle a disagreement with a teammate or manager?

Why you might ask this: The question measures the candidate’s interpersonal skills, ability to communicate with teammates and management, and how they navigate a situation where collaboration between teams or a compromise might be needed.

What to listen for:

  • Possesses professional communication and interpersonal skills

  • Describes their conflict management techniques

  • Demonstrates the ability to resolve an uncomfortable situation

Example answer:

“I was in a situation where I disagreed with my manager’s suggested approach to helping a customer. I suggested an alternate approach, but the manager insisted on moving forward with their process. After a few minutes, I asked to talk to her in a private room where I explained the details and context of the issue that she was not aware of since she was looking at the issue from a high level. After gaining context, she agreed that we could move forward with my approach but offered a few tweaks to make it even more satisfactory for the customer.”

12. How do you respond when you don’t know the answer to a question?

Why you might ask this question: CSR interview questions like these help you get a feel for how a candidate might respond in real situations. This question measures how an agent responds to a customer when they ask a question and the agent doesn’t have an answer.

What to listen for:

  • Defines a clear approach and strategy

  • Describes the rationale supporting their chosen approach

  • Expresses transparent and ongoing communication

Example answer:

“It’s important to be transparent with the customer, but there are ways to phrase the communication to include a positive spin. I like to say something like, ‘That is a great question! I will find the answer for you.’ Including a time that they can expect a follow-up is always a great practice.”

13. How do you handle an angry customer?

Why you should ask this question: This question puts your candidate in the (hypothetical) hot seat. A customer service representative needs to stay calm under pressure, remember their training, and remain focused on the issue at hand to successfully handle an angry customer.

What to listen for:

  • Exhibits professional savvy

  • Presents strong decision-making skills

  • Shows empathetic communication skills

Example answer:

“I think it’s always important to remember that in the customer’s world, their issue is the most important issue. It makes sense that they are angry and have a sense of urgency. I’ve found that in these situations, I’m more successful when I frame my response as helping the customer find the best possible answer.

For example, I might say something like: ‘I know how important it is that you find an answer to this question, so I want to make sure I’m giving you accurate information. I appreciate your patience as we work through this, and I’ll provide an update by the end of the day.’”

Hire the right talent with our customer success interview questions

With the right interview questions, you can identify the top talent that fits perfectly with your team. Build the best team with the help of our customer success interview questions.

Situational interview questions for customer service representatives

Situational interview questions

To identify great candidates, it helps to ask a mix of common customer service interview questions. Situational interview questions help you see how a job seeker would perform in common situations of a customer service job.

14. Tell me about a time when you had to deliver bad news to a customer

Why you might ask this: Delivering bad news is often a common part of customer service. The answer allows you to evaluate a candidate’s communication skills, how proactive and transparent they are with their communication, and the processes they took to try to resolve the issue. They should describe an alternative solution they offered that satisfied the customer.

What to listen for:

  • Shows apologetic and empathetic communication skills

  • Displays proactive and transparent communication

  • Describes the steps they followed and the resources they exhausted to reach a satisfying resolution

Example answer:

“I had a situation where the customer’s delivery was lost in transit, but the order showed it was delivered. The customer reached out and was angry because they were supposed to have gotten their order a few days earlier. It was a personalized item, so replacing it would be a challenge.

I immediately escalated the issue and involved management so we could try to track down the lost item. We worked on the issue over the course of a week and communicated any updates with the customer. The item was never found, and we had to issue a refund. I sincerely apologized to the customer, and management authorized a massive discount on their next order.”

15. Describe a time when you worked on a team project. What was your role and what would you have done differently?

Why you might ask this: Customer service questions and answers like these give you valuable insights into the candidate’s communication skills, leadership ability, and, most importantly, if they’re a team player. You can learn how the candidate managed different personalities and how they handled the role they were assigned to make sure they completed a task.

What to listen for:

  • Displays flexibility and adaptability in a team environment

  • Demonstrates strong communication skills

  • Describes skills used in the scenario that are relevant to the role

Example answer:

“My previous role was with an e-commerce brand. It always got crazy during the holidays, and customer requests poured in. During these times, my team and I often worked together to manage the influx of requests. I communicated often and offered availability to help out when my queue was caught up. When I fell behind, I would reach out, and others would help me. Solid teamwork helped us meet individual and business deadlines as we navigated through the season.”

16. How would you handle a situation where you have to reach out to the customer about an issue without having all the information or answers?

Why you might ask this: Proactive customer service with consistent communication is crucial, and many times, the CSR needs to update the customer without having all the information. Asking this question allows you to assess the candidate’s problem-solving and critical-thinking skills in high-pressure situations. It also demonstrates how they navigate a conversation with missing pieces of the puzzle.

What to listen for:

  • Shows direct, transparent communication

  • Displays an ability to respond to the customer’s follow-up questions with satisfactory answers

  • Offers a timeline for the next updates

Example answer:

“It’s important to begin the interaction with an apology for not having all the information. From there, I would communicate all the information we do have, making sure to be transparent, and let them know when to expect the next update. I would ask the customer if they have any questions, comments, or concerns, and I was sure to listen carefully to their response and answer any questions the best I can.”

17. Can you give me an example of a time when you turned an angry customer into a happy one?

Why you should ask this question: Strong candidates should have more than a few examples to draw from, and they should be proud to share them. Watch for body language, such as smiling or talking more loudly, as this shows that a candidate really loves the work.

What to listen for:

  • Provides examples that come easily

  • Has a sense of pride and accomplishment

  • Demonstrates relevant hard and soft skills

Example answer:

“I once had an angry customer who was venting about a product that arrived broken. He said the product was a gift for his daughter, whose birthday was the next day. He would have to show up to her party empty-handed. I told him I was so sorry for what happened, but I thought of how we could help.

I talked to my team, and we were able to send him a new product with overnight shipping. We also surprised him by throwing in gift wrapping for no charge. With just a little coordination and a small cost, we totally changed that gentleman’s experience.

It was so rewarding to hear from him later that his daughter loved the gift, and he said he was blown away by the service he received. It really affirmed for me the value of customer service and how we can impact our customers.”

18. Describe a time when you couldn’t solve a customer’s problem

Why you might ask this: Some customer issues may not end with a resolution, despite exhausting every resource available. This question helps you understand how the candidate addresses the customer’s concerns and problem-solving skills.

What to listen for:

  • Describes their escalation process

  • Details how they communicated bad news to the customer

  • Describes the alternative solutions they offered to help try to satisfy the customer

Example answer:

“One time, the customer wanted support on an outdated product that we no longer carried. After advising of this, the customer insisted that there must be something we could do since it was our product. After asking the customer if it was okay to find an answer and return their call by the end of the day, I escalated the issue to my supervisor.

IT let us know that we only supported version 10 of the product, and there aren’t any software updates available that can fix their problem. I called the customer and relayed the information, letting them know about the escalation and how all updates aren’t compatible with their product. With permission from management, I offered the customer a 10 percent discount on an upgrade to the latest version of the product.”

19. Describe a time when you have advocated for your customer

Why you might ask this: Businesses need customer service reps that understand they are an advocate for your business and the customer. This question lets the candidate explain a situation where they identified the need to champion the customer and the reasons why.

What to listen for:

  • Illustrates critical thinking skills

  • Demonstrates empathy and compassion for the customer

  • Provides details that satisfied the business and customer

Example answer:

“A customer messaged me to explain that their hand-crafted wine glass order had arrived with damage to several glasses. I explained that because the customer bought the glasses during a promotional period, our policy stated that they must pay for the shipping if returning the product.

The customer became frustrated, and I agreed that they shouldn’t have to pay for shipping costs for a damaged product. I escalated the issue to my lead and advocated that we waive the charge since it was unfair to the customer.”

20. Tell me about a time you took ownership of something for a customer and reduced their effort to reach a resolution. What was the result?

Why you might ask this: This question can show you if the candidate has leadership qualities and goes above and beyond to provide a stellar customer experience. A candidate who takes ownership of an issue and monitors it from end to end demonstrates the reliability of your support team and can build customer trust.

What to listen for:

  • Displays leadership skills and instances of taking the initiative

  • Describes the techniques they used to create an easy and convenient customer experience

  • Demonstrates problem-solving and critical thinking skills

Example answer:

“At my last job in healthcare insurance support, I had a customer who needed to refill her prescription. She had recently switched to a mail-order service and didn’t know how to initiate the refill request or who to contact, and was completely lost. I looked up the mail-order pharmacy she used and looped in their CSR on a three-way call. We got her refill processed and set it up to automatically refill every three months, so she wouldn’t have to worry.”

21. Tell me about a time when you received poor customer service. What would you have done better?

Why you might ask this: Everyone has received bad customer service at some point or another. This question makes the candidate toggle between the customer’s perspective and the CSR’s. The example they provide should be fair for the business and the customer and helps you learn their standards of customer service.

What to listen for:

  • Displays empathy and compassion

  • Shows critical thinking and problem-solving skills

  • Describes what they consider a good customer service experience

Example answer:

“A product I ordered was broken when I opened the box. I called their customer service team, and the rep was unapologetic and acted indifferent to my situation. He rushed through the call and simply offered a refund.

If I were the rep, I would have immediately apologized. Next, I would have provided multiple options, like issuing a credit or expediting a replacement, and asked if one of the methods I suggested was okay or if they had something else in mind.”

22. What was the biggest mistake you’ve made on the job and how did you handle it?

Why you might ask this: Everyone makes mistakes—but some are bigger than others. This question can help you understand the coachability of your candidate and what they learned from the situation. It can also display their attention to detail and the sizes and types of mistakes they’ve made in the past.

What to listen for:

  • Defines if they took full responsibility for the mistake or shifted the blame

  • Details the lessons they learned

  • Describes the process they used to handle the situation and how they communicated with peers and customers

Example answer:

“I pride myself on my close attention to detail and error-free work. However, I made a careless mistake while entering an order for baking soda, typing in 50 pounds instead of 5000 pounds that the customer needed to make lavender bath bombs for the holiday season. The order was delivered, they were well short of what they needed, and their production lines were shut down.

I sincerely apologized to the customer and explained the error. I promised to do anything I could to get them the baking soda by the end of the day and escalated the situation to a supervisor. We were able to deliver the shipment that same day.”

23. Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond for a customer

Why you might ask this: Providing great customer service can sometimes mean giving efforts beyond your standard duties. This question allows the candidate to describe their out-of-the-box thinking to achieve a satisfactory resolution.

What to listen for:

  • Provides a concise description of the problem

  • Describes the innovative solutions they tried

  • Illustrates the resolution that satisfied the customer

Example answer:

“I once worked in customer service at a hotel chain in Columbus, OH. A customer checked in on a business trip and had never been to Ohio before. She asked if there were any vegan and gluten-free restaurants in the area. I wasn’t sure but told her I would find out.

I researched Yelp and Google Reviews and compiled a list of 12 places within a five-mile radius that had both vegan and gluten-free options. I hand-delivered the list to the customer and she was ecstatic and excited to give them a try.”

24. Tell me about a time when you had to say “no” to a customer

Why you might ask this: Sometimes customer service means finding a compromise with the customer when their ideal resolution isn’t something you can offer. This question lets the customer describe how they said “no” to a customer—without actually saying no.

What to listen for:

  • Provides creative or alternative solutions that satisfied the customer

  • Illustrates professional and positive communication

  • Gives reasons why they had to say no and what led to that conclusion

Example answer:

“A customer called and told me they bought an item they didn’t like and wanted to return it. I looked up their account and saw they purchased a Final Sale item. The policy clearly states on the site and throughout the sales funnel that Final Sale items can not be returned or exchanged. I explained the policy to the customer and said I couldn’t offer an exchange or credit since it was a final sale item.”

25. Describe an experience when you had to empathize with a customer’s situation for you to truly understand their issue. How did you solve it?

Why you might ask this: Customer service representatives need empathy to thrive in their role. Your candidate should detail a past scenario that showcases their level of customer empathy and the skills they used to satisfy the customer.

What to listen for:

  • Shows their active listening skills

  • Expresses empathetic communication

  • Details critical thinking skills

Example answer:

“My customer was upset that their picture frame arrived with cracked glass. The frame was an anniversary gift to hold a picture of their extended family. I offered a sincere apology and asked the customer questions about the anniversary, like the date they needed to present the gift. After learning it was two days away, I expedited the new frame free of charge to arrive in time.”

26. Describe your approach and the result of a situation when you needed to make a judgment call

Why you might ask this: The fast-paced customer service environment means making occasional snap decisions when an answer or resource isn’t readily available. This question lets your candidate describe their problem-solving skills—and back up their actions with processes, data, and results.

What to listen for:

  • Shows innovative thinking

  • Describes a solution that stays within the realm of a customer service role

  • Details why they made the decision, the results, and what they learned

Example answer:

“A customer once requested a refund for a pair of shoes because they weren’t satisfied with them. We had a policy that we couldn’t process returns on used items. After reviewing the customer’s file and interaction history in our CRM, I asked them a series of questions about the quality of the product and why they weren’t satisfied.

Their history was positive, and they had been a loyal customer for years. I made a judgment call to grant a refund to create a good experience for the customer, even when the customer was unsatisfied with the product.

Open-ended customer service interview questions

Open-ended customer service interview questions

These customer service questions don’t have a right or wrong answer, and they allow the candidate to make a case to back up their answers. This allows you to learn more about the candidate and how they interpret different elements of customer service.

27. Define good customer service

Why you might ask this: Asking this question lets you see how the candidate defines good customer service and how they prioritize different elements that make for a successful customer experience. Their answer can include a variety of ways to define customer service, but it should align with what your business views as great customer experience.

Teresa Anania, SVP of global customer success, renewals and customer experience at Zendesk says that good customer service is defined by “avoiding the ‘failure’ moments and assuring the service provided is delivered with less effort than the customer expects.”

What to listen for:

  • Asserts their point of view

  • Demonstrates knowledge of the customer service industry

  • Shares similar values with your organization

Example answer:

“I like how certain companies that are known for great service describe themselves as being ‘customer obsessed.’ I think that’s really what customer support is about. It’s doing everything you can to help the customer and constantly thinking about their needs and desires. Customer service exists to help the customer, so we should be customer-obsessed in everything we do.”

28. What are your strengths? What’s your greatest weakness?

Why you might ask this: These “dreaded” questions are still a mainstay for customer service interviews. The answers the candidate provides should align with the role and describe steps they are taking to make improvements and eliminate their weakness.

What to listen for:

  • Lists actual strengths and weaknesses that aren’t detrimental to their role or your business

  • Describes methods of self-improvement to turn their weakness into a strength

  • Shows vulnerability and transparency

Example answer:

“I’ve always had issues with public speaking. It’s important to feel comfortable speaking up, especially in meetings. I’ve been working with a speech coach to help me overcome my overwhelming fear. I hope I have the opportunity to jump into conversations with this new role if given the opportunity.”

29. What do you think makes a good teammate?

Why you might ask this: A customer service rep operating as a lone wolf isn’t sustainable. They need to work well with their pack to survive. This question allows your candidate to define the traits they like in a teammate and the characteristics that will help them fit in on your team.

What to listen for:

  • Describes hard and soft skills that match the job description

  • Provides examples of situations that demonstrate how they’re a good teammate

  • Enthusiastic about working with others

Example answer:

““A good teammate is someone who is easy to work with and who collaborates and communicates well. They are flexible and willing to compromise for the betterment of the team or customer. They do their job and offer support when you need it. They are someone you can rely on when you need help and also someone who doesn’t hesitate to ask for help when they need it.”

30. What are your career goals?

Why you might ask this: Most businesses want a permanent team member that can grow and develop within your company. This question tells how they envision their career path and lets you identify any red flags that might suggest they aren’t looking for a long-term role.

What to listen for:

  • Shows excitement about growing with your company

  • Provides well-thought-out, realistic goals and their plan to reach them

  • Mentions details that suggest they might jump ship if other opportunities arise

Example answer:

“My goals include mastering the role of customer service representative with an eye toward management. The next logical step would be to become a lead and oversee a small team to learn how to be a more effective manager.”

31. Why do you think you’d be a great fit?

Why you might ask this: This is the opportunity for the candidate to sell themselves and set themselves apart from other potential hires. Their answer should detail specific reasons tailored to the role and your business.

What to listen for:

  • Shows a passion for customer service

  • Possesses skills that align with the job posting and unique skills that could boost your team

  • Gives answers that show they researched the role and your company

Example answer:

“I am the best fit for this position because of my extensive experience and training in customer service combined with my passion for helping people. I consistently go above and beyond to create a great customer experience and would love to grow and develop with a business like yours that aligns with my values.”

32. If you had a superpower, what would it be, and why?

Why you might ask this: What is a customer service interview question that can end the interview on a light note? This playful (and random) question gauges creativity and lists reasons or skills that tie into customer service. You can interchange this question with endless variations, including, “If you were an animal, what would you be, and why?”

What to listen for:

  • Shows creativity or gives unique answers

  • Demonstrates critical thinking skills

  • Exhibits passion and excitement

Example answer:

“My superpower would be superhuman strength and resiliency. I’d like to be able to bounce back unscathed after a challenging situation with a difficult customer and continue to thrive and adapt.”

33. What questions do you have for us?

Why you might ask this: At the end of the interview, it’s a great practice to turn the tables and let the candidate interview you. These customer service job interview questions and answers may range from inquiring about the next steps to asking what you like about the company, questions about your management style, or asking you to provide examples about how other reps have succeeded in the role. Provide honest, transparent answers that also sell the role back to them.

What to listen for:

  • Shows genuine interest in the role or company

  • Asks questions that suggest drive and willingness to learn

  • Has questions ready, showing preparation


“What do you like about working for this company?
“What is the typical career path for a customer service rep at this company?
“What has been your journey at this company?”
“Does the business set customer support agents up for success?”

Tips to conduct better customer service interviews

Now that you know the best customer service interview questions to ask, understanding more about the interview itself can help you build a more insightful interview experience. These tips can help you get the most from your time with the candidate.

Be prepared with our customer service representative interview questions

Our interview questions for customer service representatives can set your hiring managers up to conduct a successful interview. Asking the right questions can give the candidate a chance to tell their customer service story and help you determine whether they would be a good fit.

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