Interviews should not be taken lightly as they have the potency to decide the future of our careers. If we can impress the interviewer, we have half the employment battle won! However, this is easier said than done. No one wants to do badly at an interview but everyone does not bother preparing for it.
People appearing for Telephone Operator interviews must make sure that they focus on their related strengths rather than giving a chronological work history. Remember that an interviewer already has your resume in front of him and do not need you to reiterate information in it – an interviewer is looking for information how you can use your skills to perform the job duties that you claim you can do in your resume.
The standard questions “where do you see yourself in five years” and “why did you leave your last job” are almost always asked during any interview. To be perfectly honest, these are questions aimed at finding out what bothered you enough for you to leave a previous job and how ambitious you are. These questions need to be taken into account and prepared for before you appear for an interview.
If you are about to appear for an interview for the position of a telephone operator, read the following set of interview questions and answers:
Tell me about yourself?
I am an energetic and extrovert person who enjoy human interaction. After graduating High school I started my first job as telephone operator at the JD Hospital, New Jersey. I have received several on the job vocational trainings as telephone operator and my total work experience sums up to almost 5 years.
Why should I hire you?
You should hire me because I am upbeat courteous, patient, good listener and a very good communicator. Well-versed in handling multiline telephone exchange systems, I also bring ample data entry and client database management skills. I possess very good auditory, iconic and mnemonic memory and am usually able to remember and reproduce long lists of words for a considerable period of time.
If you were asked for some information, would you prefer to write it down or explain verbally?
If the information is not too much for the other person to digest, I would prefer explaining it to them verbally since my presentation skills and ability to get the message through to the other person verbally are very good. I am however equally comfortable in writing the same if required.
Give us a short account of your experience in operating equipment particular to the position of a telephone operator.
I have ample experience operating PBX machines, telephone exchanges, intercom and public address systems and fax machines.
Do you think it is unethical to provide callers with incorrect information regarding an employee’s availability?
I do not think it is unethical. An employee may not want to take calls due to personal or professional reasons and it is up to us to comply with their orders. Telephone operators are not allowed to pass judgment on these things. There are times when a caller is deemed harmful to a company (for one reason or another) and it is perfectly justifiable not to forward his or her calls.
How do you deal with irate callers?
I am trained not to react. If I get a call from an angry or unreasonable individual, I listen to him or her patiently and offer assistance as much as I am allowed to by staying within company protocols. If a situation gets out of hand, I politely inform the caller that I have no choice but to hang up.
How do you rate your communication skills? What is the importance of communication in the position of a telephone operator?
On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate my communication skills at 8. Communication is all that telephone operators do on any given work day so they hold a lot of importance.
How do you handle strict deadlines?
I handle deadlines through effective time management, task prioritization and multitasking. If the tasks are prioritized and time line chalked out, meeting the strictest deadlines becomes a piece of cake.
Differentiate between interpersonal and intrapersonal communication?
Interpersonal communication refers to clarifying what a person wants to communicate within his or her mind while interpersonal communication refers to communication that occurs between two individuals.
Share a difficult situation you faced? How did you handle it?
During the last year something went wrong with the database system and without the information it was not possible to process caller’s requests and complaints. It took the technical department two days to fix the problem. Those two days were particularly difficult since customers called in all day and I could not cater for their requests. I used an apologetic tone, apologized verbally for the inconvenience and called each and every one back once the system was restored.
What according to you are the duties of a telephone operator?
Determining the caller requirements and providing the relevant information, forwarding calls to concerned department, updating customer database, filing caller complaints and processing them and sometimes, handling appointment scheduling.
What would you do if a client is asking about something you do not have knowledge of?
I would clearly tell them that the information they are seeking is not available with me. Then I will either direct them to the concerned person / source of information or will acquire the required information myself and get back to them later.
What kind of people do you get along with best?
I am an easygoing person and usually get along well with everyone. I however find it easy to interact with people who are good listeners and effective communicators.
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