The Complete BPO Job Interview Guide: Questions, Answers, Tips and Suggestions
BPO Interview Guide: Tips, Suggestions, and Questions
So you are looking for a job in the BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) industry and you have an interview scheduled. Are you looking for questions that you might encounter in your interview? Or did you interview before, without getting hired?
Then surely this article will help you tremendously. Below I list all the possible questions that you should have in mind in order to be successful in your interview. Your answers to the questions below should be in your own words, of course, but I can give you some indication as to how you should answer. Nobody can give you perfect answers, but you can create your own best answers because you know yourself better than anyone else.
Some questions that require typical definition-type answers are explained below.
The Interview Only Tests Your English Skills
Interviews for BPO jobs are, to my perception, quite easy. The reason I say this is that they 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 2nd law of Newton. They only test one aspect of your knowledge: the way you speak English and your command over the language.
BPO Interview Guide: Speak With Confidence and Fluency
Having said that, they don't just blindly test your language skills; they also judge your energy level and the confidence with which you speak.
Let me support this with a bold statement here. Interviewing is like saying a white lie with the highest confidence. You know that you are not quite speaking the truth, but still you must not for a minute let know the employer that you are lying.
Don't get me wrong: To clear a call center or BPO interview, you don't have to lie! You don't have to lie about your education or provide fake certificates, not a bit, never (that might land you in jail). Nevertheless, some of the questions that the interviewer might ask will be such that you'll have to be fluent enough in order to stand out from the crowd, which is very necessary considering the sheer number of applicants that appear for the interview.
Sample Questions for Testing Your Fluency
These are some possible questions that 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. (Of course, he/she is asking about the route which you had taken—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 if 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 only 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.
When Is Your Interview?
How BPO Interviews Work: Rounds of Selection
The company for which you are applying can have different rounds of interviews. This may range from a phone interview to a timed aptitude test, group discussion or an extempore (though rarely), computer proficiency test, and finally a personal interview.
There are companies for which you'll have to appear for all the above rounds, and then there are companies which have only one selection round known as a personal interview (PI). For example, one may have a PI and aptitude test, and the other one may have a telephonic interview and aptitude test with a PI, and yet another one may have only a personal interview. It depends and varies from company to company.
BPO Job Interviews: on the Phone
After you apply for jobs via websites or by sending emails to recruiters, there may be a phone interview that you may have to clear.
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 such as "Tell me something about yourself", or "What are your salary expectations?"
In the BPO industry they specifically do this to check your accent on the phone.
So be prepared with all the basic questions as you might have one to crack.
If you are not in a position to attend the interview at that moment, then ask them to schedule according to your convenience. It's totally all right if you say this.
Phone Interview Tips
BPO Job Interviews: the Aptitude Test
An aptitude test is where you would be given multiple choice questions to test your language, thinking, and the ability to solve questions quickly. This is a timed test wherein you will be given a time limit to complete your test. This is generally a 30-minute test.
An aptitude test requires speed and accuracy, there may be questions of mathematics, English vocabulary, and logical reasoning type questions. Some questions are really very easy and some very tough. You are not required to score out of marks but more than 60% will be enough for you to proceed to the next level.
The best possible way to crack this one is practice sample aptitude test so that you get the feel of it and are confident when you actually appear for one. Search the web for some sample test. Practice it and mind you it will do wonders and is fun at the same time.
The BPO Computer Proficiency Test
This will be a simple computer test wherein you'll be tested for your typing speed and basic office applications skills. Most organization take this test only for people who appear for back-office job profiles rather than voice process.
If you are applying for a technical process then you'll definitely be tested for your computer skills. For technical processes having basic computer hardware knowledge is necessary.
Group Discussion or Extempore
Group discussion are rare in BPO interviews but still some take it. Here your knowledge about current affairs and knowledge about the various happenings around you come into play. Normally topics for GD's are sourced from current affairs or from age-old topics such as "What came first Egg or Hen", or "Tomato a Vegetable or Fruit".
Current affairs topics can be such as "Demonetisation: Good or Bad".
You have to take either the side that is for or against the argument. Whatever your decision is "for" or "against" one must justify with adequate facts and personal insights.
Getting a BPO Job Position: The Personal Interview
The below list of questions is only an indicative list and not a comprehensive list. The interviewer can ask you any type of question to check or cross-check you.
List of Probable Questions and Sample Answers for a BPO Interview
1. Tell me something about yourself.
This generally is the first question that you will encounter typically in any interview. This to the interviewer is sort of an ice-breaking question which allows him/her to start the interview.
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 do you have that should be good for this job. From your past experiences what qualities you bring.
Don't say anything about your family as this question is to tell something about yourself. A 1-minute introduction of yours will do the job.
2. Tell me something about your family background.
Explain 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 a company in a different country so as to save cost.
Businesses do this to save cost. Cost is saved in labour and a company can concentrate on its core job which may be to generate new business. Other operations such as after sales support or customer care are normally outsourced.
4. What is a Call Center?
A call center is a place where large number of calls are handled. Broadly speaking there are inbound call centers and outbound call centers. An inbound call center is where a client or prospect calls, basically where incoming calls are handled. Whereas outbound call centers is a place where agents/associates call, basically where outgoing calls are done. These calls can be of product inquiries, customer care (via web, email, fax), or it can for telemarketing or business promotion.
5. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Tell them your strengths and weaknesses. There may be follow-up questions to this question so answer carefully.
For example, if you say hardworking and honesty are your strengths then they may say that "It means you are not a smart worker" and for honesty they might provide you with a situation such as this "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 forget your license for your two-wheeler and a traffic constable has caught you. Then what will you do: bribe the constable or pay your fine? And paying fine would take too much time. Your friend needs to see you urgently." In this situation you can either be honest or save your friend.
Prepare for follow-up questions to avoid embarrassment.
6. Why should I hire you?
Justify why should they hire you. Tell the qualities that make you the best suited for the job.
7. Why do companies outsource?
Explained in the second question.
8. Where do you see yourself in the next five or ten years?
Your future career goals and how this job will help you get there.
9. What is your salary expectations?
If you are a fresher then it's best to say that you are looking for a salary as per company norms or as per industry standards. Still, if you are required to quote a number, then tell them your expectation.
If you have experience then a 20-30% raise from your previous salary will be good, in my opinion.
10. Are you comfortable working night shifts?
I guess this should be self-explanatory.
On a side note, learn about phonetics.
Hope you get your dream job.
Appearing Confident in an Interview
"Don't Ever Say This" Answers
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 Aarav