Having been on the “hot seat” a few times over the lat 20-years of my career, I’m now in the position to interview candidates. One of the key areas when running a call center is ensuring that you hire the right candidate otherwise they can become a toxic component in your team.
Here are several questions that I use to weed out who I bring in for a 2nd interview:
- What is important for you in a job? What are you expecting from us?
- How do you handle a difficult colleague?
- Ideally if you’ve interviewed correctly, you should not have difficult employees – but some people are exceptional interviewees and you can only spot the toxic ones after you’ve hired them.
- How will you add value to the team?
- Talk to be about a time where…
- I like this question because if does prompt the candidate to think about what they’ve done in the scenario you present to them. You can always tell who is honest in their response as well by using these types of questions.
- Tell me about a mistake you made, and what you did to fix it
Though many companies use hiring agencies to fill certain posts, it is still important to meet with a potential candidate that may well be in your employee for 2, 3 or more years. The interview is part of the process, and hopefully the agency you use also vets the good from the bad.
If you’ve got interview questions that work for you, please do share them.
As an Operations Director with primary responsibility over Customer Operations, I get asked a lot of questions from friends, family and colleagues I worked with when I was in IT. I was asked to speak at my sons school to his class about what I do, but it’s always difficult to explain exactly what I do. Lets face it, it’s not very exciting to say that I spend time planning, analyzing and executing. When I say that line, the usual response is “Oh, ok… well, anyway…” not much of a response, is it?
The other thing I may say is that I manage a call center. Well that’s even worse. People imagine that I’m a slave driver and tied to my phone. I wish it were that simple!
As a Senior Manager, while I can be hands-on when needed I’ve got a Manager and Supervisor that run the show. I just get to sit back and watch. And plan. And review, analayze and execute plans that help us meet operational objectives.
Planning is central to the smooth operations of a call center, as is executing those plans at the right time.
There is a great post over at Goals & Achievements website brief, but to the point that does a great job on explaining the transition from a manager to a senior manager.
Whether you are considering a continuous program or a one-shot course, the questions should stimulate your thinking. Many of them involve alternatives that you need to resolve in setting up the program.
Use this checklist as a guide. The experience of other companies in training can provide additional guides. However, in thinking about a training program for your company, consider each question and answer with a “yes” or “no” in light of the training needs of your particular situation.
This is Part 1 of a multi-part series of posts on Developing a Training Program.
What Is the Goal of Training?
The questions in this section are designed to help the owner-manager define the objective or goal to be achieved by a training program. Whether the objective is to conduct initial training, to provide for upgrading employees, or to retrain for changing job assignments, the goal should be spelled out before developing the plan for the training program.
- Do you want to improve the performance of your employees?
- Will you improve your employees by training them to perform their present tasks better?
- Do you need to prepare employees for newly developed or modified jobs?
- Is training needed to prepare employees for promotion?
- Is the goal to reduce accidents and increase safety practices?
- Should the goal be to improve employee attitudes especially about waste and spoilage practices?
- Do you need to improve the handling of materials in order to break production bottlenecks?
- Is the goal to orient new employees to their jobs?
- Will you need to teach new employees about overall operations?
- Do you need to train employees so they can help teach new workers in an expansion program?
What Does the Employee Need to Learn?
Once the objective or goal of the program is set, you will need to determine the subject matter. The following questions are designed to help you decide what the employee needs in terms of duties, responsibilities, and attitudes.
- Can the job be broken down into steps for training purposes?
- Are there standards of quality which trainees can be taught?
- Are there certain skills and techniques which trainees must learn?
- Are there hazards and safety practices which must be taught?
- Have you established the methods that employees must use to avoid or minimize waste and spoilage?
- Are there material handling techniques that must be taught?
- Have you determined the best way for the trainees to operate the equipment?
- Are there performance standards that employees must meet?
- Are there attitudes that need improvement or modifications?
- Will information on your products help employees to do a better job?
- Should the training include information about the location and use of tool cribs and so on?
- Will the employee need instruction about departments other than his or her own?
Additional topics which will be covered in subsequent posts will be:
What Type of Training?
What Method of Instruction?
What Audio Visual Aids Will You Use?
What Physical Facilities Will You Need?
What About Timing?
Who Will Be Selected as Instructor?
Who Should Be Selected?
What Will the Program Cost?
What Checks or Controls Will You Use?
How Should the Program Be Publicized?
In addition to providing a simple checklist that you can follow, we will drill into each of the topics to provide more valuable information.
Over time, each of these topics will be linked and we will feature the primary post on the right sidebar menu for easy access to this valuable information.
You are welcome to share your experiences on this topic by leaving a comment or if you wish, we would happily accept you as a guest poster to the blog – either way, just leave us a comment and we will be in touch!