Top 10 BPO interview questions and answers
The expansion of the Indian BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) industry, which started in the mid-90s, continues even today, though at a more sluggish pace of 14%. The subcontinent remains the world’s preferred destination for BPO companies to set up shop with 52% of the global workforce in this industry being Indians. As business processes evolve and become more demanding especially in a knowledge- and information-based economy, a career in the BPO industry will continue to be a great option. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a fresher or you have some experience, with the right skills, you can make it big.
Since effective communication is a highly-valued skill in this sector, any interviewer will test how well you express yourself. Luckily, BPO questions are easy enough to pre-empt and prepare for. Here are top 10 BPO interview questions to help you prepare for your next BPO interview.
- Tell us something about yourself.
This is probably the most commonly asked question in any BPO interview. Since this is such an open-ended question, people have a tendency to go overboard and start rambling. The best way to answer this question is by giving details about yourself that are directly or indirectly relevant to the job you have applied for and make you a good fit.
- What is BPO?
BPO stands for business process outsourcing where a company outsources a business process to some other company instead of keeping it in-house to save costs or increase efficiency. While the answer to this question is simple enough, it will help you score brownie points if you can give some information specific to the particular BPO you are interviewing with.
- Why do you want to work at a BPO?
This is another question through which the interviewer wants to gauge your fitment. Do some research about the industry, how it is booming and what the growth prospects are. Again, you will perform better if you mention reasons specific to the company, type of process, and industry that you have applied to.
- What is the difference between inbound and outbound calling?
Inbound calling refers to a call centre process where the calls are incoming whereas outbound calling is when the call centre employees make calls as well. Customer support is a good example of an inbound process whereas most sales calls are outbound.
- Can you work night shifts?
This is especially important in international BPOs as the clients you will have to call will most likely be located in a different time zone. You may well have to do a “graveyard shift” at some point or the other in your career. The best answer to this question is an emphatic yes; in fact, if you just cannot work night shifts the BPO industry may not be right for you.
- Are you willing to relocate?
This question helps the interviewer gauge your flexibility and eagerness for the job as well as helps them to map candidates with openings in different locations. The desirable answer to this question would be a “yes”. However, if you are genuinely not in a position to relocate then don’t lie as it may cause problems for you later. A vague answer to this question may make the interviewer doubt your commitment.
- Why should we hire you?
This question is a chance to display how your talents can fit well in the job role and the organization. Make sure you explain how different attributes of yours match with the job requirements and the company culture.
- What are your major strengths and weaknesses?
The only way to prepare for this question is to genuinely introspect and discover your strengths and weaknesses that have some relevance in the professional context. With weaknesses, you should try and be as genuine as possible as long as you talk about what you have done to overcome them.
- What are your salary expectations?
A standard answer to this question if you’re a fresher is to say that you want to be paid as per industry standards. It would be a good idea to go through the Monster Salary Index to negotiate your salary expectations.
If you’re experienced, then a 20-30% hike on your current salary is the norm. You may choose to mention your expectations based on the market demand for your skills. Again, some research can really help with this.
- Do you have any questions for us?
While this is not a typical interview question, most employers use this question to gauge how aware and interested a candidate is. Asking the right kind of questions, whether about career trajectory or company culture, will give the interviewer the impression that you’re a serious candidate.
Remember, there is more to an interview than simply knowing all the right answers. Also, don’t forget to be well-dressed, confident and polite. All the Best!