Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Basic technical questions asked in a call center interview 1

What is an operating system?
A software program that provides the interface between a human and a computer.

Which are the different operating systems that you have worked on?

I have worked on Win 98 and Win XP.

What is a browser?

A web browser is a software application which enables a user to display and interact with text, images, videos, music, games and other information typically located on a Web page at a website on the World Wide Web or a local area network. Ex Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari.

What is a Mac address?

In computer networking, a Media Access Control address (MAC address) or Ethernet Hardware Address (EHA), is an address assigned to most network adapters or network interface cards (NICs) by the manufacturer for identification.

What is an IP address?

Short for Internet Protocol, IP is an address of a computer or other network device on a network using IP or TCP/IP . Ex :"" is an example of such an address.

What is a modem?

Short for MODulator / DEModulator, which describes the method used to convert digital data used by computers into analog signals used by the phones and then back into digital data once received by the other computer.

Difference b/w dial up and DSL broadband.

The main difference the interviewer expects from you is that when using broadband a telephone call can be attended or made without loosing the internet connection(as both services voice and data are available on the same telephone line), however when using a dial up connection you can only use one service at a time, that is you can use the telephone or the internet but not both.

The other differences are the speed, dial up - 56 kbps, DSL broadband - from 128kbps to 8Mbps.

In dial up you need a dialer(software) and a number to dial to get connected to the internet. In broadband you configure the connection only once using your username and password and you would stay connected always.

What is a firewall?

A firewall is a hardware, or software running on your computer, which prevents intruders on the network would likely be able to destroy, tamper with or gain access to the files on your computer.

Difference between LAN and WAN?

A Local Area Network (LAN) are home or office networks.

A Wide Area Network (WAN) is a network that spans a large geographical area, the most common example being the Internet.

What is Wi-Fi?

WiFi stands for wireless fidelity, is wireless networking technology.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Job Openings in Mumbai

Accenture Job Opening in Mumbai
E-Connexions : Qualification - HSC, Graduates and Undergraduates, Diploma and BE graduates. For Customer Service and Technical Support. Call for telephonic interview - 022 65150060, 9867111546
Bridge Man Power : Oppenings for UK,US and AUS process offering day shift and night shift . contact Kruti 9930454267, Asif 9833261282 and Aparna 9930907328.
Net Employment Services : Customer Service and Technical Support openings for HSC+6 months experience and any graduate. Call Mercy - 67143159.

Sample Resume for a Call Center Interview

This is a very simple resume, however as I wrote in How to write your own resume for a call center, you can write your own resume that best suits you and the company you are applying for.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Call Center Consultancies in Mumbai

e-Connexions :
001, Bldg A-58, Sector 1, Shanti Nagar, Mira Road (East), Thane 401 107 Ph: 022-65150060
Bridge Man Power Consultant :
Link Road Malad (West), 508, Palm springs, Next to D Mart, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400064
Job Avenue :
Shop no.42, Shivaji Market, Dr.C.G road, Chembur Colony, Chembur(East), Mumbai- 400074 09870743311
Intelenet Global Services :
Location 1: Intelenet Tower-1 Near Inobit Mall, Malad(W), Mumbai-400090 Tel: 022-66776000 Location 2: Grnd and First Flr.,Bldg.01, Sector-02, Millenium Business Park, Nr.Waterfall Plaza, Navi Mumbai- 400 701 Tel: 022-27781778
Intellect Global Center :
8, Linkway Estate, Next To Hotel Greens, Malad West, Link Road, Mumbai, 400064
Gratitude India (TM) :
8, Palm Spring, Link Road, Next to Dmart Malad (W), Mumbai-64 9833804042/9833377228/9930257632
FuturZ House :
Ruia Corporate, 18/2 Sainath Road, OFF SV Road Opp MTNL, Next to Hi-Tech Blood Bank, Malad West, Mumbai 400064 (India) Tel : 022 67192300
Net Employment Services :
1st floor, Brijwasi Building, Opp to Udhyog Bhavan, Sonawala Road, Gurgaon East, Mumbai 400063 Tel No.- 022 67143174 / 9920684267.
Job Ladder :
Off No.1, Madhusudhan Terrace, Kastur Park, Shimpoli Road, Opp Veg Treat Hotel, Borivali W, Mumbai - 400092.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Call Center Consultancies in Chennai/Madras

e-Earth Consultancy :
11/1,2nd Main Road, Nehru Nagar, Adyar, Opp Nalli Silks,
Chennai -20. Ph : 044 -39185883
6/1, Arumugam Road, Kilpauk Garden Colony, Chennai - 10.
Landmark: Water-tank, Basketball Stadium.
BrainSquare Consultancy :
New # 8, Old # 17, Eagappan Street, 1st Floor,Chennai -600 002. Ph : 044 2855 4567
Hipro Solutions :
127, 1st Floor Bypass Road, Velachery (Pizza corner Bldg) Chennai - 600042
Muesoft Technologies :
No 1/1, 2nd Floor, Sri Balaji Complex, S.V.S Nagar Main Road, Valasarawakkam, Chennai - 600 087
Winning Edge Consultants :
"Taas Mahal" II-A, 2nd Floor, No. 10 Montieth Road, Egmore Chennai - 600008. Ph: 044-45580003.
PlanetHR :
B1, 'A' Block, 3rd Floor Parsn Paradise Apartments 109, G N Chetty Road, T Nagar, Chennai - 600017.
Hitech Recruits :
#35/23, 1st Floor, 15th Main Road, Ranganathan Gardens, Anna Nagar, Chennai-600040 Landmark: Opposite Central Revenue Quarters Ph: 044-42611155
Ma Foi Consulting Solutions :
Ma Foi Towers, 4th Floor, 244, Anna Salai,Chennai – 600006 Tel: 044 28420251/53
Team Lease :
81 (Old #36), VukanTowers, 2nd Floor, Thirumalai Pillai Road, T Nagar

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Call Center Vocabulary - Part 2

Call Center Vocabulary
TL - Team Leader - Is a manager who handles a team of 6-14 agents or even more.
SME - Subject Matter Expert - Is one level higher than the front line agent and lower to TL.
Sup Call - Is the short form for 'supervisor call'. When a customer wants to speak to a supervisor the call is escalated to the supervisor, such calls are called 'Sup call'. "Where's your TL? - He's on a sup call".
Floor - Is the production floor where agents attend calls. "Please go to the floor".
QA - Quality Analyst - Is an agent who monitors/listens to calls and gives scores to the agent based on various parameters.
Skip Level Meeting - Is a meeting of agents and a manager(above your TL or even above your TL's manager). Usually agents are asked to give feedbacks about their TLs and Managers and discuss the issues they are facing in the company.
Attrition - attrition is a rate which is used to show the no.of people who quit the company each month.
Nesting period - After the evaluation(after training) the agents are allowed to take calls for about 3 hours a day, for 2 weeks to get used to calls. This 2 weeks period is called Nesting period.
Induction - Induction will be held on your first day at work, before training. During induction HRs, Operation Manager, Admin, People from finance will give presentations about the company and their respective department.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Call Center Consultancies in Hyderabad

2COMS Consulting :
302-Lovely Mansion, Somajiguda(Near Yashodha Hospital), Rajbhavan Road, Hyderabad-82. Contact No: 040-39897979/ 39879003/ 39879004
JOB ADDA Consultancy :
No.302 Model House Lane, Opp Abhiruchi tiffin center, Mount Raghava Complex, Punjagutta, Hyderabad.
FAIRLINKS Placements :
315, Amrutha Estates, Beside Minerva Coffee Shop, Himayathnagar, Hyderabad.
Manpower Consultants :
6th floor, 601 vintage boulevard, Opp. Honda Showroom, Hyderabad Board No. : 040 39400300
No.6-3-1090/1/1, Rajbhavan Road, Somajiguda, Hyderabad - 500 482 Board No : 040 39400300
Shristi Consultants :
#7,1st FloorShiva Rama Krishna Colony, Next to Indira Gandhi College, West Marredpally, Secunderabad 500026
TalentGurus :
#401 & 402, Golden Edifice Khairatabad, Hyderabad 500 004
#404, 4th flr, Patel Avenue, Opp Ness Technologies, The lane beside Sierra atlantic, Near city center, Road no 10, B.Hills Hyderabad.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Vocabulary used in Call Centers - Part 1

Vocabulary and sentences used in Call Centers, not in any order.
Rapport - a good understanding of someone and an ability to communicate well with them
"We'd worked together for years and developed a close/good rapport". "She has an excellent rapport with her staff".
Empathy - the ability to share someone else's feelings or experiences by imagining what it would be like to be in their situation. Understanding and entering into another's feelings.
"Empathize with the customer".
Briefing - It is a meeting held before the shift begins, usually the agents are given information about the process to implement on calls. "Why are you late for the briefing".
Debriefing - It is meeting held after the shift, things like team stats are discussed here.
Dead Air - an unintentional period of silence on a call. "There was dead air for 30 seconds on that call".
Phonetics - Phonetics are used when when telling an unusual word or password to avoid mistakes ex: Adam is read out to the customer like this - " A as in Alpha, D as in Delta, M as in Mike".
Pitch - Used in telemarketing calls, to pitch is to present/explain the product to customers. "Start pitching after the greeting".
Role Play - Word used during training. During role plays two trainees are chosen to act as a customer and as an agent to show how a live call is handled.
Hit the floor - To hit the floor means to make it to the operations after evaluation and evaluation is done after training. "So when are you hitting the floor".
Bangalored - Means that a particular process is outsourced to Bangalore.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

How to reduce attrition in call centers

The points that I've mentioned here are the issues that my colleagues and I were facing, it may be different for different call centers depending on their geographic location, process etc.
Transportation - The most important of all. I live in Bangalore, known for its IT firms and for its traffic. It would take two hours for me to travel from one end of the city to the other end during peak hours. This is how my day is spent= 8 hours of login+an average of 3 hours of travelling+1 hour of briefing at the beginning of the shift and debriefing after the shift. Sometimes you are forced to extend an hour if the call flow is high. Totally I used to spend more than 12 hours on this, sometimes 14 hours, trust me I am not exaggerating.
Solution - People working in the transport team(admin), sorry if I'm being rude, are the most incompetent people you'll find in the industry. The HR team should look into this, they must appoint people who are dynamic. They should devise a system that makes the time spent travelling not exceed more than 1 hour. There shouldn't be too many people in a cab which is coming from a very long distance. I think the spider web overlapped on the city map would give them an idea to plan the routes properly. People should discuss the routes and road condition with the drivers as the person who plans these routes would have hardly travelled around the city.
High call flow - I know people in the management may not agree with this point, but this again is a very important factor which leads to attrition. As you all know call center job is one of the most stressful jobs, you are working in the graveyard shift. We cannot change the shift but we can definitely reduce the call flow. I used to work for a technical process, working for a technical process is very difficult and if you have no time to relax after a call it becomes very stressful.
Solution - Reduce the call flow. I strongly feel a minimum of 1 minutes time should be given between calls.
Where an agent is placed - The process for which you're recruiting should be told, a complete analysis should be done by the HR before placing the agent in a particular process. I've seen people who are not technically sound working in a technical process, they work for sometime, dont cope and quit the company.
Solution - Things to consider while placing the agent in a particular process - distance between the agent's residence and the company(if there are more than one office in the city), ladies prefer a day shift or the first shift(specially the married women), their education(major/branch), men can be placed in technical process, women in finance etc.
Other reasons : Agents immediate manager are also one of the reasons why people leave an organization. Managers/Team leaders in call centers should really understand their agents well and make them feel that they are not working for a company, but its their company, their process.
HR's should speak to the agents or do a small survey to find out what are the issues the agents are facing. Well they do take the feedback but only once and that happens in the 'exit interview', by then the agent would have made up his mind to leave the company, probably would have got a job elsewhere. It is very difficult to retain an agent at that time. HRs of a particular process should really be close and friendly with the agents to know what exactly is the problem.
Please share with us the reason why you quit your company in the comments section.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Call Center Consultancies in Delhi

Address of Call Center Consultancies in Delhi were found on the internet.
Aura Consultancy : 13, Above Cafe Coffee Day, Opp. to Venkateshwar College, South Campus New Delhi. Ph : 9871966996, 9958110095
Intelenet Global Services : 219, Okhla Industrial Estate, Phase III, New Delhi - 110020 Tel: 011-41811400
People tree :1st Floor, C-2, Sector-2, Noida 201301 Land Line: 0120 4222774/6
Ma foi : 14 & 15 2nd Floor Community Centre, PVR Complex, South Delhi, Delhi - 011 41664202
Man Power : UGF 66-69, World Trade Centre, Barakhamba Road, New Delhi – 110 001 Board No. : 011 39400300; Fax No. : 011 30940042
Mancer Consulting Services : 27h/1-2, 2nd Floor, Jia Sarai, New Delhi, Delhi 110016 Ph : 011 26854003
Signature Staff India : FF-1,2 Parsavnath Mall Sector 27 Noida,UP,INDIA 201301

Call Center Consultancies in Bangalore

Call Center Consultancies in Bangalore. Please do call these consultancies before you go there looking for a job as I've collected these addresses on the internet.
Personal Network :
S - 522, 5th Floor, South Block, Manipal Centre, Dickenson Road, Off M G Road, Bangalore - 42 Ph: 9739973419
Building No. 54, Commercial Street, Shivajinagar, Bangalore - 560001 Ph: 080 41151850
37/38, 2nd floor, Rama Residency, Bowring Hospital road, Shivajinagar, Bangalore
No: - 24, 2nd Floor, 5th Cross, Above Bata Showroom, Kalyana Mantapa Road,5th Block, Koramangala Bangalore - 560034 Ph: 40570800
No.93,12th Cross, 8th Main, BTM 2nd stage, Bangalore-76
AM Plaza, F1, 1st Floor, Airport Road, Bangalore - 560017 Ph : 41150973 / 41263793
51 Springdale, 1st Floor, I Cross, Residency Road, Bangalore - 560025 .
eMpower Recruitment Services, Mathikere, Bangalore-13
#644, Annapurneshwari Complex, 2nd Floor, 62nd Cross, 5th Block Rajajinagar, Bhashyam Circle, Bangalore- 560 010 Ph: 23146166, 23146167
#13 & 14, 8th Cross, 2nd Main, Indiranagar 1st Stage, Bangalore – 560038 Ph: 30481170
#29, 1st Floor,Rajiv Nagar, 1st A Main Road, 1st Cross, Kasturinagar, Bangalore - 560043 Phone: 98453 66889 /9945111637
#3347/B, 13th Main, Indira Nagar, Bangalore - 560008 Ph:9972098621
# 224 1st Floor 1st Main Domlur 2nd stage, Off 100 FT Road, Indranagar Bangalore - 560071 Mobile: 91 9880638265
# 41/75, 2nd Floor, 20th Main, 20th Cross, W.O.C Road, Rajajinagar 2nd Block,Bangalore-560010 Ph.No: 23122288 / 23123281/ 82/ 83 Mob: 9739070360

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Words to build your vocabulary

The words that I have chosen here are the words that helped me build my vocabulary. The meaning and the usage of these words are mainly from two online dictionaries cambridge and thefreedictionary.
Eavesdrop (evz-drop) - eaves·dropped, eaves·drop·ping.
To listen secretly to the private conversation of others:
"the jealous man was eavesdropping on his wife's private conversations".
Hindrance - The act of hindering.
Something which makes it more difficult for you to do something or for something to develop:
"I've never considered my disability a hindrance, but other people have".
Downside - the disadvantage of a situation:
"The downside of living here, of course, is that it is expensive".
Paramount - more important than anything else:
"There are many priorities, but reducing the budget deficit is paramount/is of paramount importance". "The welfare of the child must always remain paramount".
Brag - bragged, brag·ging. - To talk boastfully.
to speak too proudly about what you have done or what you own:
"She's always bragging about how much money she earns".
Please make it a point to use these words in your daily conversation, the best way to improve your vocabulary.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Learn Grammer - Parts of Speech

Noun - A noun is chasing a noun in the picture.
A noun is a naming word, which names a person, place, things, animals, action etc.
A dog is chasing a cat in the picture.
In the example above the nouns are dog and cat.
Adjective - Oh she is an adjective noun.
An adjective is a word that describes a noun. Oh she is a beautiful woman.
Examples: big, yellow, amazing, beautiful.
Verb - She is verbing - She is talking. A verb is a word which describes an action.
Ex: walk, talk, thinking, like, want.
Adverb - John is verbing adverbly - He is walking slowly. An adverb describes a verb. The word slowly describes how John is walking.
Pronoun - John came to the library, John sat down and John read a book. Why use John so many times, instead use a Pronoun. John came to the library, he sat down and he read a book.
Ex: I, you, he, she, it, we, they.
Conjunction - Mary came into the house. She took her books. There are two sentences, now by using a conjunction you can make it one sentence - Mary came into the house and took her books. Ex: but, so, and, because, or.
Preposition - A preposition usually comes before a noun, pronoun or noun phrase. It joins the noun to some other part of the sentence. Ex: on, in, by, with, under, through, at.
Interjection - Alas! he's alive. Ah aha, sorry its - Alas! he's dead. Interjections are words which express emotion or surprise, and they are followed by exclamation marks.
Ex: Ouch! Hello! Oh no! Ha!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

How to build your vocabulary

This is a great video which explains the importance of a good vocabulary. Please listen to the video carefully as it explains how you can build your vocabulary and also make a note of the unfamiliar words used in it.

This video is from youtube, which has many such videos.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Most common questions asked in a call center interview

These are the most common questions asked in a call center interview. The reason why the interviewer asks these questions is to check - how well you answer these questions, your accent, fluency(articulation), thought-stream/flow, energy in your voice, intonation etc. You can expect these questions at any point of time during the interview.
  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. Speak about the last movie you watched.
  3. Speak about the last book you read.
  4. Your favourite holiday destination.
  5. About your city.
  6. Your previous job.
  7. Why this company?
  8. Why a call center?
  9. Where do you see yourself in three years time?
  10. What are your career goals?
  11. Are you ready to work in shifts?
  12. Your strengths and weakness.
  13. Your salary expectation.
  14. Why did you quit your previous job?
  15. Will you sign a bond to work here for a year?

I haven't written these questions in any order. Though these questions are the most common and known to everyone, the interviewers still ask these questions, the reason as I told you earlier is to check the parameters mentioned above. Do not immediately answer these questions, take sometime when asked, think about it and then answer, make sure your answer is in favour of the company. I'll try to write a post on how to answer these questions. Meanwhile please write the questions that you were asked in the comments section.

Prepare for a call center interview

Interview rounds in a call center

How to write your own resume for a call center

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Job openings in Bangalore/Hyderabad

Bangalore : Job openings in IBM, Accenture, Dell, Convergys bangalore for UK, US, Aus shifts, Graduates and for undergraduates. Contact : 9986509188
Bangalore : A job-fair in IZEE Manpower, Bangalore for UK/US/AUS Shifts. Voice/KPO jobs, with a package upto 3.75 lacs. If interested please send your resumes to sunil.jcc@gmail.com.
Bangalore : A Call Center in Bangalore is looking for experienced agents for its pilot batch program. Its a hardcore technical support ISP process, Australian shift and a voice process. Undergraduates also can apply for this job. Remember as its a technical job they are looking for people with basic troubleshooting knowledge, preferably from an ISP process. If you are interested please send your resumes to sunil.jcc@gmail.com.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

How to write your own resumes for a call center

Like they say "First impression is the best impression", your first impression on the interviewer is your resume(re-syu-may). It not only tells you about your education, work experience etc., but also tells you what kind of a person you are, your attitude. So make your resume look warm, professional and should give the interviewer the feeling that you are very serious about this job. Tailor-make it to meet the company's requirement, it should show you as the best person for the job. Here is a format which you may want to follow -
Personal Information:
  • Your Name
  • Home address
  • Telephone no.
  • Email address

  • Please keep it brief, describe what exactly you want to do and how it suits the job that you are applying for.
Educational qualification
  • Write the degree that you last completed. Also write the name of the institution or university where you completed your degree (or your 12th grade).

Technical skills (if any)
  • Write the technical courses(certifications) you have done .
Work experience
  • Write the latest one first, go backwards and end with your first job. Write the name of the company, the duration(month/year-month/year), your position.
Accomplishments (if any)
  • Write your accomplishments in your previous job. You can also write about your personal accomplishment, provided this helps the company that you are applying for.

Personal details
  • Fathers Name:
  • Date of Birth:
  • Languages known:

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Ways to improve your fluency (Communication Skills)

  • Make sure your grammar is perfect.
  • Read a minimum of 2 novels a month.
  • Read a range of books, magazines(automobiles, fashion, gardening etc.) and please do not read local newspapers.
  • Speak to your family and friends in English, ask them to correct you when you speak.
  • Learn to pronounce words the right way. Visit Cambridge dictionary it gives an option to pronounce the word.
  • Experts say that a child adds 5000 words a year to its vocabulary whereas adults add not more than 100 words. Make it a practice to add a minimum of 5 words a day. When you hear a new word, jot it down and look up the dictionary later or ask your friend, remember a person telling you the meaning of a word is more effective than referring a dictionary.
  • Watch English channels - BBC, CNN, Star World etc. See how the native speakers speak.
  • Please do not stop this practice after you get a job. Continue this practice it will eventually build your confidence.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tips to improve your thought flow

  1. Keep yourself updated with the current affairs, most of the time a topic will be given on current affairs, specially in a group discussion. And this practise of updating yourself with current affairs will help you in building your vocabulary.
  2. When given a topic, ask these questions to yourself - Why, When, Who, What, Where, Which, How....

Ex: Topic - Speak about India's first gold medal.

  • Who - Abhinav Bindra won the first individual gold medal for India.
  • For What - For Air Rifle event.
  • When - After 28 years.
  • Where - In 2008 Beijing Olympics, China.
  • How - Through hard work and determination.

Thought flow

In a call center you may be asked to speak on a topic at anytime, during the operations round in the interview, in the training period or during your final evaluation. In the beginning when I joined a call center I found it very difficult to speak on a topic during training, as I had stage freight, and also during attending interviews I did not know what to speak on a topic. I approached my trainer and she asked to practise at home, to choose a topic on my own and try speaking to myself. To be honest it helped.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Inbound CallCenters in India

Inbound means incoming(calls). It is usually called Customer-service. In this type of call centers the customers call the company, it could be to know some information about the product, to raise a complaint as the product is not working properly, to do the payments etc. Inbound can be of different types - customer service, technical support, finance, billing, cancellation(saves) etc. In a customer service process the customer calls(usually facing a problem), the advisor helps the customer and leaves notes on the customers account. I worked for customer service for a year. The process that I belonged to was a U.K process. The same process was based in Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and Capetown in South Africa.
Outbound CallCenters in India.
Prepare for a Call Center Interview.

Outbound CallCenters in India

Outbound means outgoing(calls). In this type of callcenters the agents make calls to the customer. It could be to sell a product(telemarketing), for a survey, for a customer feedback on their product etc. On a telemarketing call the agent calls the customer and presents the product they represent. Once he/she convinces the customer and if the customer agrees to buy the product, the agent asks for a few sensitive details about the customer to fill a form. The information of the customers could be his full name, residential address, credit card details etc. Once the form is filled by the agent and submitted, the product would be sent to the customers residential address (given by the customer) in 7 working days at the maximum. The agents would be given targets(no.of sales) for a month to be achieved. And their incentive is based on the number of sales. This also accounts for the promotion of an agent.
Inbound Call Centers in India.
Prepare for a Call Center Interview.

Friday, August 15, 2008

American Holidays

Federal Holidays
January 1 - New years Day
Third Monday, January - Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Third Monday, February - Washington's Birthday
Last Monday, May - Memorial Day
July 4 - Independence Day
First Monday, September - Labor Day
Second Monday, October - Columbus Day
November 11 - Veterans Day
Fourth Thursday, November - Thanksgiving Day
December 25 - Christmas Day

Holidays in callcenter

A callcenter agent gets two offs every week. It could be the weekend or two days during the week. And these offs can be rotating offs in some processes. Apart from these the employee gets a minimum of 10 offs per annum. These offs are not Indian national holidays, they are either the national holidays of the U.S, U.K or Australian. We do not get to spend time during our national holidays, festivals with our family and friends. This is one of the things that we loose when we get into a callcenter. However when you work on an Indian national holiday, you will get a compensation(comp) off which can be taken on another day or can be cashed.

American Holidays.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Quality Team

A Quality team is the team that monitors calls of agents in a call-center, and give scores to the agent on different parameters. These scores are very important when you apply for a promotion and incentives. The agents are given scores from 0-100 based on parameters like call-opening, hold and transfer procedure, call-closing etc. The parameters differ from one call-center to another. The agents are given feedback so that they can improve their performance. An agent can apply for a promotion to the quality team provided he has achieved the criteria for a promotion.

Education for a call center agent

These days you find people from different field working in call centers. Graduates from engineering, law, dental etc., work in a call center. The most common are the undergraduates, students who would have lost a year in their 12std or 2 PUC. And the next common of all are engineering students who would have quit their engineering or who would have lost a year in engineering would have joined call-centers as a stopgap. In the course of time, engineering students or the undergraduates who would have joined call-centers just as a stopgap would take this as their profession. Please do not loose your focus, a degree is very important. You can work and still get a degree through various universities that provide degree through correspondence. I will try to get some information on this that will help you further your educational qualification. Meanwhile please share your knowledge in this field to help others who read this post.

Handling stress at work

Handling stress at work is very important for a call center employee as you're working in the most stressfull shift, the graveyard shift.
  • Drink a lot of water. This universal solvent is the best lubricant for your brain.
  • Take deep breaths. Take the elevator once a while or if its just two or three floors always take the elevator.
  • Do not work overtime for some little money. Remember a good balance of work life and your personal life is the key to success. Or if thirst for success is what is causing stress, dont just work hard, work hard to collect facts(knowledge), but start thinking how to use those facts.
  • Team outing is good but once in a while. If you ask me I would never want to see the same faces again on an outing, so I try to stay away from most of the team outing.
  • Do not sit for a long time. Stand up, stretch, walk around this would help circulate blood to your brain.
  • Punch a pillow, if you are provided with one. I've seen most of my colleagues punching the walls of the cubicle to let their frustration out.
  • Socialize: Not always do you get to sit with your friends in a call center. And if you dont socialize you will feel bored and the day(night) may feel long.
  • If its a person at work who is causing the stress, talk to him/her if he is approchable, else ignore him/her.
  • Time management: Learn to manage your time. If you are spending too much time in travelling to work, find a way to cut it down.
  • Take up a hobby like singing, reading, anything that interests you.
  • Sleep well: A person working in a call center do not get a lot of time to sleep, sleep well.
  • Find some of your own ways to handle stress at work.
  • Okay i'm not an expert on this but I think the best way to handle stress at work is to give up the idea that you are stressed or just dont think too much about it.

Please share your ways of relaxation, even if its funny.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Build your vocabulary

I've seen many employees in call centers who do not take vocabulary seriously. Build your vocabulary, it helps build your confidence. You work in a team and you may never know when you may have to address the entire team. Your team-leader may ask you to speak about a your experience on a certain call or any difficulty you are facing on a call. Trust me if your vocabulary is good, your fluency is good, and hence you would have tremendous confidence in speaking in a crowd. And I strongly believe that people with good communication make it to the top. Building your vocabulary would definitely help you in your IJP (internal job posting) interviews as well. Here's what I used to do when I took calls - I used to take down words spoken by the customers on a notepad and then check its meaning on Cambridge dictionary.This way I would know the meaning of the word and under what circumstances it is used. Englishdaily626 is a great site to build your vocabulary. Please share the words that you know that could be used on calls.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Dress Code

Dress Code in a call center is formals from Monday through Thursday and business casuals on Fridays and weekends. However some call centers have business casuals through out the week. I heard someone say on TV that once a company introduced casuals on weekends the productivity dipped.

Call Center Training

Training in a call center happens in the company itself, sometimes it is outsourced to a third party training company. The trainees usually get trained on the following -
  • Grammer
  • Soft skills/Customer service.
  • Accent training.
  • US/UK Culture.
  • Process training.

Call Center Induction

Call Center inductions are usually held in a star hotel or in the company itself. During induction people from different teams come to explain how their team works and how they can help you. For example a person from the HR team will come to explain about the company, your growth in the company etc., Similarly a person from the finance team, Operations, training team etc may come to address you. At the end of the induction they may give you some magazines about the company and training materials or some goodies.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Interview rounds in a call center

These are the common interview rounds in a call center interview. Sometimes there may be additional tests like typing tests, listening test etc.
First round: Self introduction.
Here the interviewer will ask you to introduce yourself (will be looking for MTI - mother tongue influence, sentence contruction etc.,) keep it brief. You may want to follow this order.
  • The place you are from.
  • Your educational qualification.
  • Personal information - your family, your interests and hobbies.

Second round: Written test.

  • Grammer test.
  • Analytical test.
  • Technical test. (If you're attending interview for a technical process)

Third round: Operations(Ops) round.

Operations round is the most critical round, usually conducted by a team-leader from the operations or the operation manager. You can expect questions like -

  • Introduce yourself.
  • Why you want to join a call-center ? (If you are a fresher)
  • Why this company ?
  • May ask you to read a passage.

Here the interviewer will try to know more about you, how well you answer the questions (remember answer the questions in favour of the company). His looks may be intimidating but dont worry he is as nervous as you are (probably thinking of the next question to ask).

Fourth round: HR round.

Once you clear the Ops round, HR round is very easy. The HR may ask you a few questions like - whats your salary expectation, will you sign a bond for a year etc., And then give the offer letter to sign and will explain the salary structure.

Please leave your comments.

Prepare for a call center interview

Most common questions asked in a call center interview.

Prepare for a Call Center interview

This post not only prepares you for a call center(centre) interview but also these points mentioned below help you in training in a call center after the interview as well.
Know more about the company - Do a small research and know the different types of processes they have. For example, one of the company's that I worked for had only inbound UK processes, and these processes were Insurance, Collections, ISP processes.
Know the interview rounds - before you attend the interview, as different companies will have different interview rounds.
Know the basic technical questions if you're attending an interview for a technical process.
  • Prepare a good resume, with not more than two pages.
  • Get dressed well, have a clean shave.
  • Be there before 15 mins, you will feel comfortable. Speak to people around you, do not be an introvert, specially in a call center or any other industry where interpersonal relationship is important.
  • Have a good meal before you attend an interview, it helps you sound energetic. Drink water but dont drink too much, you dont want to visit the restroom quite often and miss out a few things in the interview waiting room.
  • Learn to smile when you meet people, again very very important in a call center. Give a firm hand-shake, dont over do it and hurt the other person.
  • Do not fake an accent, speak in a neutral accent. Speak slowly, as rate of speech is one of the parameters they assess you on.
  • You may be asked to read a passage, so before attending an interview practice reading out aloud. Remember to pause for a second when you see a comma, more than a second when there is a full stop. Stress on the adjectives.

Interview rounds in a call center

Most common questions asked in a call center interview

Inbound Call Centers in India.

Outbound Call Centers in India.

Please leave your comments.