I love to interview people from different industries and write pages to help readers.
So you are looking for a job in the BPO (business process outsourcing) industry. Are you looking for questions that you might encounter in your interview? Or did you interview before without getting hired and want to brush up for next time? This article can help.
Below I list some questions that you should have in mind and be ready to answer in order to be successful in your interview. Your answers should be in your own words, of course—you know yourself better than anyone else. But I can give you guidance.
How BPO Interviews Work: Rounds of Selection
The company for which you are applying can have different rounds of interviews and tests. They may include:
- a phone interview,
- a timed aptitude test,
- a group discussion or an extempore,
- a computer proficiency test,
- and finally, a personal interview.
At some companies, you'll have to appear for all the above rounds; at others, you will only have to go to a single selection round, a personal interview (PI). You will always have a phone and/or personal interview, and there will always be questions you can prepare for.
BPO Job Interviews on the Phone
After you apply for jobs via websites or by sending emails to recruiters, the first response you get may be a request for a phone interview.
Somebody from the organization will probably call you and ask for your permission for a telephone interview.
After that, your call will be transferred to the actual interviewer, who might ask you basic questions like the ones below, such as "Tell me something about yourself" or "What are your salary expectations?"
One reason they do this in the BPO industry is to check your accent on the phone. So be prepared to answer basic job interview questions (listed below).
If you are not in a position to attend the interview at that moment, then ask them to schedule an interview according to your convenience. It's totally all right if you say this.
Ten Typical Job Interview Questions
When you interview for a job at a BPO center, you will get some typical interview questions that companies in many industries ask—about you, your plans, and your knowledge of the industry you want to enter. You may get these questions in a phone call or a personal interview. Be ready with a one-minute answer to each of these.
1. Tell me something about yourself.
This generally is the first question that you will encounter in any interview. This is sort of an ice-breaking question which may lead to others.
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To answer this question, just say something about yourself. First, introduce yourself by saying your name and where you reside. Then tell why you should be hired for this post and what qualities you have, from your past experiences, that should be good for this job. A one-minute introduction of yourself will do the job.
2. Tell me something about your family background.
Explain briefly about your family and what they do in life.
3. What is a BPO? What is your understanding of a BPO?
BPO means Business Process Outsourcing. It means that a business is outsourcing some of its processes to other companies or to a company in a different country.
Businesses do this to save costs. If the company saves labor costs, by outsourcing after-sales support or customer care, it can concentrate on its core job, for example, manufacturing or generating new business.
4. What Is a Call Center?
A call center is a place that handles large numbers of calls. There are inbound and outbound call centers. An inbound call center handles incoming calls from clients or prospects. At an outbound center, agents or associates make outgoing calls. These calls can be product inquiries, customer care calls (via the web, email, or fax), or calls for telemarketing or business promotion.
5. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Be ready, with a minute at most, to describe your strengths and weaknesses. There may be follow-up questions to this question, so answer carefully and consider what you might say to a follow-up question.
For example, if you say hard work is your strength, then they may wonder if you work harder than you need to and might ask you if you have ever tried to save your energy by working smart rather than hard. If you say honesty is your strength, they might ask you about an imaginary situation where you have to choose between honesty and another value. T
hey might say, "Suppose your best friend has met with an accident and has called you to take him to the nearby hospital. You were in a hurry, you forgot your license for your two-wheeler, and a traffic constable caught you. Then what will you do: bribe the constable or pay your fine? Paying the fine would take too much time. Your friend needs to get to the hospital." In this situation, you can either be honest or save your friend, but not both, so just say what you would do and why.
6. Why should I hire you?
Be ready with a couple of sentences about why they should hire you. Tell them the qualities that make you the best suited for the job.
7. Why do companies outsource?
Explained in question 3 above.
8. Where do you see yourself in the next five or ten years?
Have ready something to say about your future career goals and how this job will help you get there.
9. What are your salary expectations?
If you are a fresher, then it's best to say that you are looking for a salary that meets company norms or industry standards. If they insist you quote a number, then tell them what you expect.
If you have experience, it is reasonable to ask for a 20-30% raise from your previous salary, in my opinion.
10. Are you comfortable working night shifts?
Just have ready something to say about your preference. It's up to you.
When the Main Purpose of the Interview Is to Test Your English Skills
In the BPO industry, phone or personal interviews, as well as group discussions are likely to include additional questions about yourself, not about your career or experience, but random questions where they don't care what the answer is; they just care about how you speak English. These questions don't test you on any specific knowledge of yours. They won't ask you about your country's history or geography, and certainly not the Second Law of Newton. They test one aspect of your knowledge: your command of the English language. They also judge your energy level and the confidence with which you speak.
When responding to these questions, you'll want to be fluent enough to stand out from the crowd, which is very necessary considering the sheer number of applicants that appear for the interview.
These kinds of interviews are actually quite easy. Let me support this with a bold statement here: In these interviews, you can say a white lie with the highest confidence. You know that you are not quite speaking the truth, but still, you must not let the employer know that you are lying.
Don't get me wrong: You don't need to lie about anything important. You don't have to lie about your education or provide fake certificates (that might land you in jail). But it might be advantageous to lie about what you had for breakfast.
Examples of Questions That Just Test Your Fluency
Here are some questions they might ask to check your fluency in English.
- Tell me what you ate for breakfast.
- What did you do last weekend?
- Describe how you came to the interview. (They are asking about the route you took—bus or any other mode of transport.)
- What's your daily routine in life?
- What's your plan for the day after this interview?
- Do you like your father's job? Explain whether you like or don't like it.
- What is your mother's daily schedule?
Interviewers might ask any question that requires you to think on your feet and just speak fluently. It's not about what you actually ate for breakfast or what you drank last weekend. It's about your fluency, the flow at which you can talk, and how clearly you can put your thoughts. So you see, it might be okay to lie about what you ate or drank, for example, because that's not the important thing.
Aptitude Tests for BPO Jobs
In an aptitude test, you answer multiple-choice questions to test your language, thinking, and ability to solve problems quickly. You will be given a time limit, often 30 minutes, to complete your test. There may be questions about mathematics, English vocabulary, and logical reasoning.
An aptitude test requires speed and accuracy. Some questions will be very easy, and some very tough. The idea is not to get everything right but to pace yourself so that you answer every question you can before time is up, without wild guessing. A score of 60% will often be enough for you to proceed to the next level.
The best way to crack this one is to practice sample aptitude tests to get the feel of it and to be confident when you appear for one. Search the web for some sample tests. Practice them, using a time limit. Practice will do wonders and can be fun.
Computer Proficiency Tests for BPO Jobs
This will be a simple computer test wherein you'll be tested for your typing speed and basic office applications skills. Most organizations give this test to people who apply for back-office jobs rather than voice processes. But if you are applying for a technical process, then you'll definitely be tested for your computer skills; basic computer hardware knowledge will be necessary.
Group Discussion or Extempore
Group discussions are rare in BPO interviews, but some companies still do them. Here your knowledge about current affairs and knowledge about the various happenings around you comes into play.
Normally topics for group discussions are sourced from current affairs or from age-old topics such as "What came first, the egg or the hen?" or "Is a tomato a vegetable or a fruit?" Current affairs topics can be things like "Demonetisation: Good or Bad."
You have to take a stand on one side or the other of the question. Whatever your decision is, "for" or "against," you must support it with facts and personal insights. And again, it doesn't matter to anyone whether a tomato is a vegetable or a fruit—what matters is that you speak English confidently.
The Face-to-Face Interview
The last step in the job application process may be a face-to-face interview which may include any of the types of questions above. The videos below may help you feel confident.
I hope you get your dream job. On a side note, learn about phonetics!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2011 Kannan
Ashish on July 04, 2020:
Thanx it is quite helpful
Gitanjali on February 10, 2020:
Thank you so much..for these tips help me a lot
zyrene joy jaingue on September 18, 2018:
This really boosts my self confidence
K K ASLAM on July 19, 2018:
in every bpo job they ask y u choose this company r this job ....havent u go to the core side . y u choose this
nandy on December 08, 2017:
Thank you , these tips will help me a lot.my interview tomorrow,feeling nervous.....
Bharti pashedal on May 19, 2017:
Thank you so much, these tips will help me a lot.
markjoreen on December 01, 2016:
hope this will help me alot.
anjali on November 09, 2016:
Thank you for such a nice article, I hope it will work.
Rajashree Tripathy on October 18, 2016:
nice..tips..my interview tommorw ..feeling nervous...
Manjunath on October 01, 2016:
Monday i'm going for interview, i'm getting full of nervous ...
siri on September 27, 2016:
thnks for your tips
MAHESH KUMAR on July 19, 2016:
Thank you so much, these tips will help me a lot.
I have a question which i encountered in every interview. My qualification is B.TECH in CIVIL ENGINEERING.
In every BPO interviews, i am facing one question taht " you have done B.Tech, then why do you want to work in BPO Company."
Can you please tell the answer which is suitable for me ?
shree shegokar on July 17, 2016:
thnx 4'ur tips...it'll help me a lot.
aghil on April 11, 2016:
It's really helpful for the candidates for attending interviews.....
troy on December 15, 2015:
wow!!!!!! thumbs-up for this blog...
thank you very for this very helpful tips. :))
it will support for my upcoming interviews :))
Godbless. keep it up :))
Reena Dhiman on October 08, 2015:
Thanks for sharing full details & information about BPO jobs. It will be helpful for all job seekers who want to join this industry.
Ramen Biswas on September 01, 2015:
thanks for a good INFORMATION
Kannan (author) from Mumbai on March 25, 2015:
@jyoshna Thank you for the comment and I hope this would have helped you in your interviews.
jyoshna on March 24, 2015:
whenever you going to interview read it once and go ,it vil help u lot
prakash on December 02, 2014:
kamal on May 23, 2014:
nic tips ....for everyone
raj on December 20, 2013:
thnx 4 dis information it will help me a lot
ARCHANA on May 02, 2013:
Thanks a lot for this useful information it will definitely help me a lot
kanchan on April 25, 2013:
i wil look forward....to al dis
shivam on January 22, 2013:
tnks sir..i got my way
Rohan on November 30, 2012:
nice one...it will helps me a lot..thanksssssss
peter on October 08, 2012:
nice tips ......
sanni kumar on July 13, 2012:
thanks for nice tips
asdf on June 28, 2012:
naukri on June 26, 2012:
Communication skills, confidence, persuasion power and the way you handle situations are very important points to be kept in mind before sitting for a BPO job interview.
Same is being discussed in a very descriptive and impressive way in this hub.
marvi raguine on May 16, 2012:
thanks for the very good and very supportive tips ,, i just keep it on my mind ,,, have a wonderful day
jun on March 02, 2012:
tnx for your tips
myra erracho(firxzt_one) on February 07, 2012: