Call Center Job Application Tips

March 28, 2018 • written by

How to get hired in a call center

When you stand on one leg you can fall to the front, back, left and right. When you stand on two legs you fall only to the front and back which means your chances of falling have been reduced by fifty percent. Imagine what it would be like to stand on three legs? – Jurgen

When people ask me what is the best method of applying in a call center, I always tell them to go through a walk-in application.

1. Walk-in applications

You can shave away a few steps from the recruitment process. You don’t have to send your resume online. The recruiter does not have to paper screen your resume, call you, do a phone interview or phone screen you and schedule you for an interview. They don’t have to think about will this applicant show up or not. You’re there so they’ll prioritize you. Most call centers have a one day processes and sometimes half day processes. So you’ll get your answer if you passed or failed within the day. That is a good thing. You don’t spend a few days waiting for the answer. You can grab an opportunity immediately or move on to the next one if you need to.

2. Online applications

This is my second source of interviews. I don’t do this a lot for call centers but when I was applying for a corporate sales position, I did see a lot of openings on Jobstreet and JobsDB. I’m sure you’ll land one immediately the advantage of an online application is you don’t have to leave your house to find an interview. The downside is that it sometimes takes a while to get a call. My solution is to send out as many online applications as I can and you should too. It’s a bit like a raffle. The more entries, the more chances of winning. Every time I am look for a job I usually send out about 200 to 300 online job applications.

3.Referrals

Several call center companies are ramping up on a regular basis. That means they are hiring a lot of people. In those cases they ask agents to refer their friends. Sometimes for free and sometimes for a fee. If you have a friend who works for a call center you can ask for openings and they’ll be happy to refer you. You can ask for some inside information but I don’t normally rely on that. I’d rather be in control of the situation than wait for my friend’s referral. This doesn’t mean I don’t accept referrals, what I mean is that referrals are acceptable when applying for work but my main activity is me applying.

Update. Some call centers pay a referral fee to the person and will pay you a referral fee if you pass training and get regularized. That’s a win win situation for you right there. Where I work it’s Php 7,000 for the applicant and the referrer. If you would like to apply where I work send me a message and tell me that you want to apply where I work. I’ll do my best to assist you.

These are the ones that have worked for me and for other people that I’ve observed that got hired in a call center.

Do you have a preferred job application method?

How to enter the call center

There are many things that you can do to get hired in a call center. These are the top two that worked for me.

Walk in applications.

Just go to a call center recruitment area and apply. Tell them you’re applying for the post or you’d like to inquire about open positions then hand in your résumé.

Online applications.

It’s doing the same thing online. Create a Jobstreet and jobsDB account then send your application to every company hiring for your position. Prepare to get phone interviewed then just show up as scheduled. What I like about the top two approaches is I don’t have to wait for my friend to refer me or something external to move me forward. The more cards you have in your hand the better negotiating power I have when it comes to salary negotiations so I make sure I have a good number of companies to visit. The more options I have the more relaxed I feel about every interview because I know that if I make a mistake I’m just going to go to the next company on my list and take what I learned from the previous company interview and use it on the next one.

Walk in applications are the fastest way to get hired in a call center

They say that more than fifty percent of success comes from just showing up.

In my experience, the fastest way to find work in a call center is through walk in applications.

The experience is quite different compared to applying for work at traditional companies.

In traditional companies, you send out your application through email or (old school) snail mail and wait for a call or a letter inviting you to an interview and the application process may last you a few weeks or months. If we’re talking about a small company, the boss (usually the owner or the hiring manager) who does the screening and the hiring. That’s the reason why it takes so much time. A call center is different. Most reputable ones have a full time recruitment team who have requirements to fill up a certain number of call center seats (in other words job positions to fill).

They will be checking emails, posting, jobs online, talking to recruitment partners, doing phone interviews etc. Their job is to fill these call center seats with qualified candidates and the faster, the better. For some reason HR and recruitment people at call center companies prefer candidates who walk in.

I don’t have the full reason from a call center HR but I’m thinking here are a few good reasons why they like walk-in applicants:

The best part is they can process you in one day. It would greatly help you in your application to know if you passed or failed so you can move on with the next one. I’ll write about some strategies on how I walk in soon so I’ll keep you posted.

15 Tips for walk in applications

I’m a fan of walk in applications.

Early on, when I started working, my first few jobs were from walk-in applications.

It took me a bit over a month till I landed my first job and at the moment, it takes me about a month before I find work in a company I like that pays what I am asking for.

I’ve prepared some tips that I learned from experience and use when I’m applying for work.

Most of them are pretty self explanatory.

I recommend you go back to this list and check if there are any areas I suggested that you need to work on. Feel free to ask me at the comments or email me if you need help. I plan to elaborate on each item on the list but you better start applying for work already so you could treat me to lunch or dinner when you get hired. I’m not really OC about these tips but when you apply for work you got to keep things professional. While it’s tempting to learn all these new things all at the same time I recommend that you practice one at a time and improve as you go.

Here are some things to keep in mind when applying for work in a Call Center:

First Impressions are really important.

You need to be at your best self when you face your interview. You only get one shot per company so you better make it count. You have to look good, feel good, sound good and smell good. While most recruiters will want to hire you for your English speaking skills and confidence they also look at factors like how you can fit in or contribute to their company and they don’t mean Bad breath or BO. They also try to check for hints at leadership potential by peeking at personal areas of responsibility, which in other words could mean how you care for or carry yourself.

Begin Speaking in English In your Head.

In a call center, your communication skills are more important than your, race, creed, color, religion, sexual preference, educational attainment and is pretty much one of the most equal opportunity employers in the Philippines. The only requirement is to speak in English well. In my previous posts, We talked about some tricks on how to speak better using “sossy mode” and with confidence using “celebrity mode”. This by far has been the most important tip. Most of the people I taught who did this were able to find work and their English has improved ever since. Doing this lets you naturally speak in English fluently over time and the earlier you start and keep doing this the better things turn out for you.

Before an Interview:

Sleep Early The Night Before.

We need you 100% on the Call Center Facility. We also need you to be at your peak so you better get enough rest the night before.

Start Early.

If you start early, you can apply at an average of 2-4 Call Center Companies which isn’t a bad way to maximize your day.

Have Breakfast.

Like in sleeping early, we can’t have you thinking of food or worse, hunger while taking an exam, having an interview or doing a call simulation assessment. Gas up or run the risk of running out of gas when you’re near the finish line.

Look Good.

Comb your hair, Shower, Press your clothes, be neat. Every effort you put in to looking good contributes into your confidence

Feel Good.

Start your day with a smile, pray, do something that contributes to your well being. Do your best to generate good vibes for yourself that day. It’s definitely going to help.

Smell Good.

Take a shower, take an extra shower if you have BO, brush your teeth and use mouth wash if you have persistent bad breath and finish with a spray of cologne or perfume before your interview. Stay away from smoking areas before your interview. Bring some mints or if you can, brush your teeth before an interview.

Be Presentable.

Wear semi formal or smart casual depending on what’s comfortable with you. Get to the Call Center recruitment office early and freshen up as soon as you arrive.

Maximize Your Walk-In Application by bringing multiple copies of your resume.

We don’t always make it on our first try. Luckily, the more attempts we make, the higher our chances of finding work. I recently talked about how Call Center Companies mostly practice One Day Process when it comes to their screening process, so with that in mind, you can find out immediately if you passed or not. Move on to the next one immediately after.

Bring your list.

In the home work, I asked you to make a list of things you’re proud of and a list of weaknesses you want to overcome. Read your list as you arrive at the Call Center Interview Site. Your list will help you answer the usual interview questions in a way that you’re uniquely you and at the same time, not boring your interviewer by copying somebody’s answer.

Why November is the best month to apply in a call center

Welcome November! This is what I believe to be the best time to get hired in a call center. If you’ve been on the fence not sure when to make the jump and apply this is the month for it. November and December are the best days to look for work in general.

A lot of people who are employed wouldn’t want to switch because they are waiting for their thirteenth month pay and so on.

First reason is nobody wants to leave their company because they’re waiting for the 13th month pay. Second reason is nobody wants to work on applying because they are on vacation mode already.

Because, everyone else is on vacation mode. Nobody wants to apply and look for work in these months. Everyone who’s unemployed wouldn’t miss this opportunity for the world. Maybe that’s a bit exaggerated.

But what’s in this for you?

Less competition. Not a lot of people are looking for work. Recruiters are working their butts of to hit their quota. You showing up to an interview will appear more like a blessing for them and if you did your homework well then it will surely be a blessing for them and for you.

How will you take advantage of this opportunity?

Additional Tips to Make Your Call Center Application Experience Fun:

Start Furthest from your house and move closer to your house bit by bit.

Make friends in the waiting area and/or smoking area. Preferably with the cutest one you’ll find.

Never eat alone – See previous tip.

Ask for Help. – After every interview, I ask my interviewer for some tips on what to improve with how I did during my interview.

Know Other Nearby Call Centers and Attack Within The Area.

More attempts lead to better chances. If you failed your interview the first three times, chances are you already figured out how to do things right the fourth time. You’re not perfect and it’s okay.

There are a few hundred call center companies in Metro Manila alone. Each big center offers a few thousand jobs and every small one offers a minimum of 10 jobs. You’ll never run out of opportunities.

Finally.. Whatever the result is remember to say it’s just practice and can do better next time. What can you apply now that will help you start?

Ten tips on how to get hired in a call center this week

I wrote tips in this site to help a few friends look for work in a call center. Later on more people asked me for tips. Instead of explaining things to them one by one I decided it would be better if I put the advice in writing and answered questions on this site. I don’t claim to have all the answers but I believe I have a few that could help. I believe in your ability that’s why I don’t spoon feed you all the time and I’m asking you to take action and tell me as soon as you get hired. If you were to ask me how to get hired in a call center here are the ten usual tips I give my friends:

1. Print thirty copies of your resume.

The application process is a process. You will win some and lose some. That’s part of it. Have several copies of your resume to remind yourself that it takes several attempts to land a job. An interview is like a first date. That said you don’t want to marry your first date. You have to go look for a match. You also have to get to several ones before you find your regular date and the one you’ll eventually partner up with. On a lighter note, you have no right to complain until after you have used up all thirty copies of your resume.

2. Identify ten call centers that you would like to work for.

People don’t plan to fail. They fail because they fail to plan. The biggest time waster is not knowing what to do and trying to decide as you’re about to do it. Decide now where you want to go and then act. So when you’re applying if they say no you can go to the next quickly. In my experience the more companies I have as prospects the more at ease I am at interviews because I know that if this interview does not go well I have many companies lined up and waiting for me.

3. Apply via walk in application.

Feel free to apply online. I like this step because I like being in control of my schedule. If things don’t go well with my interview I walk in to the nearest one I know of. Walking in is more convenient. I just go there and submit my resume and get processed there and then at my convenient time. I am never late because they are not expecting me anyway. There are more. Just give it a shot. Who knows? By your walk in application your interviewer might be pleasantly surprised.

4. Know yourself.

I’m me and you’re you so there’s no point in trying to be me just to get a job. I believe you have something great to offer. Make a list of your accomplishments, things you’re proud of, recent compliments etc. Knowing these in advance before they ask you can give you a better answer when needing to answer the question “Why should I hire you?”

5. Know how to answer questions.

I don’t recommend memorizing answers but I do recommend knowing your answers in advance. Be creative and unforgettable. I wrote some examples on how to answer call center interview questions here. Requiters are human. They are harmless but just as girls don’t fall for cheesy pick up lines as they do in the movies memorized interview answers don’t work and describes you in one word. Phony.

6. Be confident.

When you know yourself and you know why they should hire you then confidence will come out. Confidence affects skill level so make sure it’s high and your performance level will be high as well.

7. Speak in English.

They are hiring you because of your ability to solve problems and speak well in English. I know that you can do it. Just practice. Need additional help? Try celebrity mode or go sossy mode.

8. Learn from your experience.

Sometimes getting hired is like a puzzle you need to learn to solve. If things don’t go well maybe you don’t have all the pieces you need to win and that’s okay. Learn and pick up better tools as you move forward. Eventually you’ll get it and looking for work will be effortless.

9. Smile and give it your best shot.

A smile can be heard over the phone. A smile shows confidence. A smile puts the other person at ease. A smile feels good and puts you at ease. A smile starts bonds. A smile is proof of having a bond. A smile can help you because I can’t teach you how to give your best shot. All I know is I don’t have to convince you to smile. In my experience my best shot starts with a smile.

10. Enjoy it.

Make it a game and you’ll have fun. Want to win but don’t be afraid of losing. Conquer defeat by taking more shots. Make friends. Learn and when you get hired earn. When you do send me a can of beer or wine or whatever. I’m looking forward to congratulating you. Thank you for reading. Let me know about your experience in the comments below. Have questions? I answer comments. Want more? Read the other posts.

Listen to me read this post.

How to guarantee that each interview you go to will move you one step closer to getting hired in a call center

We don’t always expect things to work according to plan. The good news is we can learn something useful from situations we don’t like. Things didn’t go according to plan for me in the past year and as a response I made an effort to remind myself that even though we don’t always agree, life is 90% blessing and 10% lessons that makes us better people.

Lessons are often painful. I know that for a fact but when you’re fighting for something you got to learn to take hits.

When we go to interviews, we don’t always get to the next step. Sometimes it’s just not a match. In any case, I believe that you shouldn’t leave an interview empty handed. Even if they say you didn’t pass or the more subtle “we’ll just call you” or whatever variation of the rejection.

At the end of an interview ask your interviewer for some tips so when you go to another interview you’ll be better prepared. As I write this, I also remember that even if I passed, I still ask for some tips for the next process. I’ll say something along the lines of:

Hey “Interviewer’s First Name”, It’s my first time to apply, maybe you can help me out. What do I need to improve on?

I then pull out my notebook and pen to write down my interviewer’s comments to show them I’m serious (You should be). Memory’s often unreliable so practice taking notes during this part. At the end of your interviewer’s comments ask for additional tips and thank them for their time and the help.

In my experience of doing this, I found out that interviewer’s are generally nice people and are more than willing to help you out.

Just ask. This way you’ll find out what you need to work on faster. Otherwise they’ll just assume that you don’t care enough to improve yourself to get the job.

Pay attention to the tips and improve in that area. Be better and try again.

Bonus tip

I use a three leg strategy when looking for work.

If it were me applying here’s what I’d do. I have done this for different positions in the past and I’m sure it will still work.

Day One and Day Two.

Print 20-30 copies of my resume. Send out 100-200 online applications per day via Jobstreet and Jobsdb.

I also ask around for friends on facebook or my recruiter friends via email if they have openings. Schedule interview appointments and walk-in’s

Day Three Onward.

At my level, it takes me sixteen interviews to find a job at a company that I like that offers me how much I would like to earn.

Every experience between interview one and interview 16 is a mix of heartbreaking no’s and learning experiences. I try to make the most of what I got.

I set myself a rule that I have no right to complain, give up or quit if I attended less than thirty interviews.

I do my best to have 2 or more interviews a day (ideally, one in the morning and one in the afternoon) for a month to get hired as soon as I can.

That’s it.

Happy hunting.

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