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Call centres often hire hundreds of people at a time during recruitment drives but this doesn’t mean securing a position is easy. If you’re interested in working in one of these centres, it’s important to consider what sort of attributes employers are looking for during your application and interview process.

The best way to do this is through experiencing the environment for yourself. A recent focus on call centres lead to the broadcast of hit BBC documentary The Call Centre. For a fly-on-the-wall look at the workplace you’re thinking of entering, take a look at the series on the BBC Three website or catch-up with online video clips.

Call centres need quick thinkers

Although many centres still have their employees working from a set script, within every call centre there will be opportunities to show creative flare and go beyond regular expectations. During your interview and application it’s important to discuss experiences when you’ve discovered opportunities within existing processes to excel and resolve problems on the spot. Call centre jobs rely on ingenuity and that means you must think fast and act with precision.

But quick thinking isn’t just about fixing certain technical challenges. Often call centres will involve you dealing with problems and issues raised by the people on the phone. For these to be successfully handled, you’ll need to stay responsive to the caller’s needs and particular personality, enabling you to demonstrate social tact and attention to detail throughout the call and your shift.

A range of skills are useful

While call centres involve using familiar office equipment and software packages your performance can be improved through drawing on previous experience. For example, any previous job which involved customer service will be helpful, as will a position which involved marketing or advertising.

Being able to show that you have a wide appreciation for how you present yourself to customers is extremely important. Experience within customer-facing environments is a real plus.

Creativity is key

There’s no job which isn’t helped by a little creativity and call centre jobs are certainly no different. Creativity will ensure that you find new ways to keep your conversations fresh and engaging, ensuring you’re able to build a genuine rapport quickly and maintain it throughout the entire conversation.

Social skills are vital

During your interview, you should remember that employers are always looking for individuals who can successfully empathise with the people they’re speaking to and see things from their point of view.

This helps people recognise that they’re being listened to and, even if their particular issue can’t be resolved, they’ll usually be grateful that you showed genuine care by trying to accommodate their needs. All aspects of working in a call centre rely on strong communication and customer service, so it’s important you show your aptitude in these areas.

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