Interviews are a very important part of our professional lives – just like resumes and cover letters are. The best way to deal with a Collections Specialist interview is to prepare well in advance and appear confidently.
To help you along, here is a set of interview questions and answers for a collections specialist position:
6 Common Interview Questions and Answers for Collections Specialist
1. Do you believe that you can effectively handle stubborn delinquent account holders?
As someone who has seen the world where delinquent accounts are concerned, I am positive that managing them is something that I can do with my eyes closed.
2. How do you strategize collections activities?
My strategies are straightforward and simple. I contact delinquent account holders to provide them with information on their account statuses and politely ask them to pay up. If they say that they cannot, I provide them with an installment plan so that they can pay back easily. And then follow up with them on a regular basis by providing them with reminders and encouraging them to pay.
3. By far, what has been the most successful collections strategy that you have implemented?
I have seen that if you ask clients to make payments once a month, there are usually lapses. However, if you give them a bi-monthly payment plan, they make sure that they payback. For one, this plays a psychological game, making them believe that they can get rid of the backlog of payments in half the time. Secondly, it is easier for them to split the payment in two, making it easy on the pocket as well. This by far, has been the most successful strategy that I have devised and implemented.
4. Tell us of a time when you failed to obtain payment from a client. What happened?
One of the company’s biggest clients owed $12000, accumulated over a period of 5 years. We did all that we could to contact him and ask him to pay. Mostly, he wouldn’t be at home or at his workplace. When he was, he would evade the question and try to shrug off the collections officer. Once, he even assaulted one of the collections officers who went for a follow-up. He never paid the outstanding amount and we had no choice but to bring in the authorities.
5. Clients may become aggressive and rude to collections personnel. How do you handle this?
It is true that collections work is not always pleasant. But if a client is rude, we still have to keep our cool and exhibit exemplary behavior, even if we are seething from the inside. When faced with such a situation, I count from 1 to 20 in my head to calm myself down and never get baited into being rude.
6. What skills are required to work as a collections specialist?
Apart from being calm, patient, and well-organized, one has to possess exceptional follow-up skills. Additionally, it is imperative for collections specialists to be able to strategize payback plans and possess the ability to bring down the company’s outstanding amounts quotient down.