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Hello I had a phone interview the other day and there were a few questions that caught me off guard, if you guys could please tell me how you would answer these questions;

What does customer service mean to you?

What would you do if the two managers you support gave you duties that both conflicted with each other how would you handle that?(I think that is how it went)

If your manager gave you a job that you didnt agree with what would you do?

wendii's picture

Hi Mommy

I'll take the second two first because they are easier:

[quote]What would you do if the two managers you support gave you duties that both conflicted with each other how would you handle that?([/quote]

The interviewer is looking for you to be able to handle a situation where more than one person gives you work. So Fred comes to you at lunchtime with a report to type and it'll take all afternoon, but he needs it by the end of the day. And then Steve comes along as asks you to bind some documents, but he needs it by the end of the day too. So you might say: Steve, I have something I'm working on for Fred which he needs done by the end of the day - can your binding be done first thing in the morning? Or, would you like to talk to Fred about what's more important? Or, I heard Mary in accounts had some spare time this afternoon, perhaps she might be able to help?

As a support person, you might not make the decision about the priorities, but you should show that you are able to clearly say no; why you are saying no; and provide options for a manager to resolve the problem.

[quote]If your manager gave you a job that you didnt agree with what would you do?[/quote]

I think this one needs an it depends answer. The interviewer is looking for you to be able to say no to illegal or immoral activies, but also that if you don't agree with something, but a manager wants/needs it done, then sometimes we have to do it. So:

Obviously, if my manager asked me to do something illegal I would not do it, and I would report him. If the activity was bending the rules rather than breaking them, I might seek advice from others, and make a decision based on my own moral compass. However, if the activity is just something I think is worthless or unnecessary - like changing the colours on a chart when the colours were fine, then the what the manager wants, the manager gets.

The last question is harder. I have a manager who asks a similar question around ethics, and the idea is to see if you've thought of the concept, decided what your idea of CS is, so that you have mental rules that you put into play when you're working. So customer service might be:

The customer is always right
The customer always goes away feeling happy
I do my best to satisfy everyone, even when I have to work late
I always return phone calls and emails the same day, even if I don't have the answer yet.
My manager is my customer, and I always support him, even if it means upseting other departments.

You could probably think of some of your own, and they would be the answer to that question.

Hope that helps.

Wendii

Mommyneedsajob's picture

Thank you so much, you answered them so clearly.

lindavoss's picture

Good ideas Wendii. I ask the question "is the customer always right?" in my interviews.

I find it very informative. It helps me understand the way a person approaches people. Although I ask, I don't think there is a cut and dried right or wrong.

Personally, I think the customer isn't always right. They may think they are right, but that doesn't mean they are right. That being said, I can help them feel better about what is happening and hopefully reach a compromise between what they want and what is best for the company.

ramiska's picture

No, the customer is not always right.

The customer is never wrong. -César Ritz