Don’t take job interviews lightly

It’s not uncommon to find youngsters applying for customer service and BPO jobs for quick pocket money, as the field ensures a lot of monetary benefits without having to go in for specialisation. However, not all of them who apply get the job. “I had a lot of friends who were working at BPOs after college. I thought this was an easy way to make money. But none of them bothered to tell me that there would be at least half a dozen rounds of interviews and interactions before I got the job. All that they said was, ‘It’s very easy. You needn’t prepare.’ I followed their advice and didn’t qualify. I messed up the HR round and also didn’t do too well at the essay writing part,” says Advait Bhanu, an 18year-old degree first year student from New Science College.

Advait wouldn’t have done so badly had he given a little thought to preparation.

One of the main reasons why students don’t land these jobs is because of lack of preparation. Says Pradeep Manohar, chief recruiting officer, Ace Computing services and Solutions, a customer service firm, “The minute they read customer service, all that applicants think of is donning the headset, sitting in front of the computer and taking calls. But that’s not true. There’s more to a BPO job than customer service. We need people who are good at public relations, smooth talkers and most importantly, polite with a good command over the language. In fact we prefer to hire people who have a working knowledge of the subject or product they help customers with.” Job seekers on the other hand assume that since they would be leaving the job within a short time, it’s not required to undertake any special training. “Why would anybody want to add to the burden with additional preparation. I have backed out from two jobs because they wanted me to get trained in handling calls and pronunciation. It requires too much time,” reasons Chitra Adinidhi, a student of St Ann’s Junior College.

This is definitely not a healthy attitude. What then should applicants concentrate on before they rush to apply for a call centre job? The interview is your chance to demonstrate why you are the best person for the job. So put in some homework beforehand so you can make the most of the time you have. Here are a few tips you could follow: ? Read the job profile and prepare a list of questions to ask about the role. Note the key skills and abilities the company is looking for. ? Interviewers use behavioural interviewing techniques so be prepared to discuss your ability to take on the job. ? Carry your résume, skill test results and certificates in a clean professional folder. Wear formal or semi-formal clothes, be confident and smile your way through.

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