Interview Answer: Why Do You Want to Work at a Call Center?
Why Do You Want to Work Here?
"Why work at a call center?" is a simple question. Yet, many fail to understand the simplicity of the answer, and I was one of them. I remember my first application to a call center company. During my initial interview, I was asked the same question.
With conviction I replied: "To practice and improve my communication skills."
To be honest, I wasn't really expecting that question, so I tried to answer it in a way I thought would give the interviewer the impression that I want to grow in the industry. But I was wrong.
From the moment I finished my answer, I could see the sudden change in expression on the interviewer's face. She told me that the they are not looking for people who are just here for practice and improve their communication skills. She also added that I could have done that at school or in an English training class.
At that point, I knew I flunked my interview and my confidence was shot. When I was told that I would receive a call and to just keep my lines open, my apprehension was validated.
First, you must understand that this is not a trick question. It does not need sugar-coated answers. You should be honest and truthful.
Let's discuss the reasons why people go into this industry, so you don't get blindsided like I did.
Here in the Philippines, the average salary for a starting professional is $220-$250 a month. However, a call center agent with no experience can start from $350-$500 a month.
This is the most honest answer you can give. You can earn more in this industry just starting out compared to the local ones. My mom has been a teacher for more than 15 years, yet my salary in my first call center is much higher than hers.
Here are some typical benefits that come with a call center job:
- 10% to 20% differential for working nights
- 10 to 20 days of sick leave or vacation days
- Health Card(HMO)
- Paid overtime
- Transportation allowance
- Signing bonus
I've even heard that some offer rice and clothing allowances. You won't get that from most local companies or jobs here.
Because this is a new industry in the Philippines, most of the employees are young and fresh graduates. Compared to other available jobs, the environment is fun and the atmosphere is very fresh.
I'm not saying that all centers here in the Philippines offer a nighttime schedule, but because most of the employees are young, they prefer working night shifts. I think this is because many workers arrive from a day shift at school or a different job. Nightshift is something different and a new experience for most of them. For some, it's a cool idea to work at night and sleep during the day. Also, the night differential plays a big role in this, and the 10% to 20% night differential on their salary really adds up.
Now, this answer is a little tricky, it could play well or it can lead you to a disaster of follow-up questions. We all know there is no special course or degree needed to work in call centers. The interviewers will try to see if you are really serious about the job, and they will want to know if you are planning to commit for the long term. They know that most of the employees are there because they can't find a job pertaining to their degree, but they also want to hire an employee who will stay longer.
These are the most honest answers you can give to this question, and you don't have to sugarcoat every answer. All you need to do is answer in the most honest way you can so the interviewer will feel the sincerity of your application.