Call Center Life

How to get that elusive call center job.

What is your edge among other applicants?

Posted by on April 4, 2012


Here is a question from  tsrgame (lifted from www.pinoyexchange.com)

Paano kapag sinabi sa akin ano yung “edge” ko sa mga ibang applicants? Kapag sinasagot ko na flexible ako and I can do multi task ang sabi sa akin what if kung ganon din daw *** ibang applicant. Pag sinabi ko naman na fast learner ako ganun din ang sasabihin nila. Pag sinabi ko naman na dedicated ako, ganun din ang sasabihin nila. Hanggang sa wala na ako maisagot. Paano po yun?

This is one of the hardest questions to answer and truth is, I personally do not like this question, especially if it’s a group interview and you are asked for your edge over your friend – it totally screws up your mind and heart because you are forced to one-up your friend.

One tip I can share with you is never to answer this  question in a generic way: I’m flexible, generous, committed, etc. are all generic responses.  BE SPECIFIC. CITE EXAMPLES, SCENARIOS, and go as far as story-tell (short one).

Here is an example:

“Being a fresh graduate, I would say that my edge over the other applicants outside is my above average GPA. I study everyday so the lessons would remain fresh in my mind, actively participated in classroom discussion, pioneered several student programs, engaged in dialogues with school officials to improve the health and well-being of my fellow students, and I was the editor-in-chief of the college paper. These are just examples of what I have done as a student, and I did it because it was my choice, the same choice I will make when I am employed here in your compan.”

The formula for the response is the same if you already have work experience, that is, flaunt your positive contributions while you were still with your other company, focusing on how you were able to improve yourself, helped the team, the business unit, or the whole company itself. Here is an example:

“Being well-trained call center agent, I believe in stellar customer service. For this reason, I am able to achieve high scores in QA, receive compliments from my customers, and one of the  positive contributions I have from my previous company is that they used my recorded calls for training purposes. I am able to achieve this because of my eye for details and my desire to achieve excellence in performance.”

The response to the question gives the applicant the opportunity to flaunt his previous contributions, therefore, he MUST deliver it with confidence, failing to do so might give the impression that he is lying, especially when the recruiter is trained to tell such. 

Finally, the details your provide in your response gives support to your “edge”, that is, if you are to say that you are flexible, give an example or two of how, when, where, and even who was involved, and what was the outcome of your being flexible. If you are a fresh graduate, think of your school, your organization, or your church; if you have work experience, think about the contributions you have made in you previous company – this will be your edge.

Hope this helps.

Se7en

 

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11 Responses to “What is your edge among other applicants?”

  1. Se7en said

    HI Jed27. I like your response. Lose the joke though. Remember, the goal is to get the job. MOst, if not all recruiters will not appreciate an applicant who responds in this manner (unless you’re friends, in which case, he/she shouldn’t be interviewing you).

    Hope this helps.

    Se7en

  2. Anonymous said

    If an interviewer is going to ask me this question, I would proudly answer it with: “Some applicants are older than me. Some are younger. Some are in their 20s, the others are in their 30s and there are still applicants who are already in their 40s. But my edge is, specifically, 22 years old.”(nyeeh!!) Seriously, one day I would do this. But, of course, I would follow it with my serious answer(specific to nurses applying as a call center agent for the first time):

    “Having worked as a nurse before, I could say that my successful background in dealing with different kinds of people is my edge. I would occasionally find myself in certain situations where a patient would shout at me. For example, there is this one patient who successfully ticked off every derogatory remarks in the dictionary whilst explaining her disappointment with the course of healthcare plan that I have prepared for her. After (miraculously) making her calm down a bit, I have explained to her that I have approached her situation as a case of trial-and-error as that is what is usually done with a case like hers. I presented a different plan for her which she gladly accepted and, fortunately, it resolved her health problem. As for her hurtful remarks, it didn’t hurt not because I am already desensitized by it, it didn’t hurt because I have learned to put myself in my patient’s situation. I have learned to split my personal views to the professional one. With this approach, I have made my empathic understanding better and successively made me a better provider of customer care and support. I believe that this approach works not only to the medical field but also to the BPO industry.”

    There! Pwede na yan? Or alisin ko dapat ung joke sa una? Hehe.

  3. Leo smith said

    Thank’s for giving us your idea

  4. Se7en said

    Your advice is good, but too general. Thank you for leaving a comment and for visiting my blog.

  5. BLUEJAY said

    ANSWER WITH CONFIDENCE TO GET THE JOB!!! AND TRY NOT TO REASON WITH THE INTERVIEWER

  6. Se7en said

    You’re welcome po.

    Se7en

  7. hachi_11 said

    Salamat dito sir :)

  8. Armand said

    well, for me my edge from other candidates is to generate profits on company through giving sufficient service to the customers, giving customer satisfaction and providing customer service with a friendly and helpful attitude.

  9. Reblogged this on Call Center Life and commented:

    Revisiting the most viewed post in my blog (second to Learning English the Hard Way).

  10. Dear Ram,

    Thank you for leaving a comment and visiting my blog.

    Truth is, I’m confused, on the first part of your comment, you wanted me to “get an idea”, but on the last part, you were “hoping that it helps me.” Hahaha. You are right though, it does help me and my blog visitors.

    As a recruiter, I would say that apart from the grammar, diction, and general thought organization problem that I detected, the answer is wanting (read: it failed to effectively answer the question). However, I would assume though that you were in a hurry when you left the comment and you did not proofread, hence, the errors.

    I tried to rehash your response and this is what I came up with:

    “I believe in individual differences, let’s say I am good at English and History, and the next Joe might be good at Math and Science – we are both good, however, we excel in different fields, just that I am better than him in more ways than one.”

    Here is my analysis:

    1. The response is too general. – whenever you are crafting a response, you need to provide specifics which would give the recruiter a mental picture of your “edge”. Here is an example:

    “When I was a student, I excelled in English and History, and for this reason, I was the president of both the English and History Club. Also, I represented the school and the student body whenever there were inter-university contests, conferences, and dialogues with school administrators. Being an achiever, I take great pride in this achievement because it made me learn the values of persistence, dedication, camaraderie, sportsmanship, and self-discipline, values which will help me achieve success here at (name of the company) should I be hired. “

    2. It’s too cocky. – The reason why I said it’s too cocky is because you just said “you are better than the other guy and you can do more” – the statement is ostentatious but baseless. Never give a general description of your ability, instead, be specific, cite examples, tell a story (just like my example above) which will allow you to flaunt your achievement without bragging.

    3. It does not offer any leverage to help you get the job. – Except for the yes or no questions, each response offers you an opportunity to sell yourself, after all, the objective is NOT JUST TO ANSWER the question, but to get the job, therefore, try to infuse a value statement to your response. In the above example, the value statement is: Being an achiever, I take great pride in this achievement because it made me learn the values of persistence, dedication, camaraderie, sportsmanship, and self-discipline, values which will help me achieve success here at (name of the company) should I be hired.”

    Hope this helps.

  11. ramram said

    Hey you can get an idea on this –

    sir/mam each of us is different to each others; yes we may have similar abilities and skills, but were still different to each other. For example; he can be smart at math and science, but poor in English and history. Which I excel in English and history, but poor in math and English and were both entitled for being SMART. Other example is he’s better, but I’m the best or what he can do is I can do more.\

    Balak ko pa lang gamitin yan. for my future interview i hope it will work i BELIEVE YOU JUST NEED TO EXPLAIN IT WITH CONFIDENCE.

    BOOM yun lang. hope that helps you. and thanks for this site so informative.

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