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How to get a Technical support job with limited experience?

how to get a call centre job picture
To get a call centre job with/without is probably not the only worry on your mind right now! But being unemployed is one of things that can keep you awake at night.
My boss once told me: Some money is better than 'no money.'
Disclaimer:This interview Tips are gathered through my personal experience.I started my call centre journey with zero call centre experience!

I always research an industry before looking for employment. To avoid entering a business sector that may be retrenching anytime soon.

Coronavirus outbreak or COVID 19 pandemic. Compels us to change behaviours, avoid large crowds and queues. Which increases the need for telephone communication centers, help desk services and hotlines.
Why Should You Target The Cummunication Idustry in 2020?
  • Global restrictions and laws are imposed to break the transmission chain of the outbreak.
  • Citizens are strongly encouraged to use contact centre services instead of visiting branches, outlets or local doctors.
  • Almost every industry has a communication focal point services, resource centre or after sales helpdesk.

Is Working In A Call Center Hard?

Yes and No! It ultimately depends on the individual. In general communication centers made out of two main functions: Inbound (receives calls) and Outbound (make calls to clients).

How Agents Are Measured?

1st Inbound Calls: 3 Minutes per call, product knowledge and first call resolution. Since in inbound call center is more a liability to the company (a value added service).

They generally expect consultants to be effective and efficient during calls. Meaning you should be good at multitasking, call handling, system navigation and customer serive.

2nd Outbound Calls depends on the nature of your job.For instance; Telesales agents are measured sales that they close, Technical consultants on problems they solve and so on.

Some people learn faster and cope better than others. Every job no matter how skilled you are has it's ups and downs.

Customer service is challenging in a sense that you deal with many people. And have to be strong and learn not to take everything personal.

Especially when it comes to irate customers, high pressured moments and dealing with rude people.

Which Brings Us To...

What Is The Salary Of A Call Centre Consultant?

As I alread explained the many positions in several business sectors. It all depend on the market related renumeration in your Country, experience and responsibilities.

Another factor is the company you work for, their incentive offers and so on. There is no fixed salary allocated to the industry.

What Should I Say In A Call Center Interview?

Remember You’re selling yourself to someone! Who has the power to decide the fate of your employment in their organization.
I embarked on a journey to improve my job searching skills Since 2006.
It Generously Rewarded My Efforts: By helping me work for five of The Best Brands in the Telecommunications industry.
Although I've been fortunate to enjoy a lot of success. I've gotten obsessed with change.
  • Which looked like job-hopping on my CV and somewhat unreliable.
  • It became increasingly difficult to explain my reasons for leaving, to new recruiters.
Don't Let It Be You!
Therefore use this resource wisely! Long-term experience with one company is more valuable, than several short-term gigs.

How To Benefit From This Call Centre Employment Guide:

Get Equipped with the best interview tips and relationship building skills:
Meaning you can easily land High Earning jobs faster and make a powerful first impression.
Learn: How to find and use the best job portals:
Meaning you don't have to search, find, test and try different platforms, to find what works.
On the other hand: I made many mistakes along the way.
You can learn to avoid them and only use what works.

How Do I Get Hired In A Call Center?

  1. Research The Industry
  2. Create A Profession CV
  3. Create An irresistible Cover Letter
  4. Only Apply On Trustworthy Websites
  5. Keep track of Your Job Applications
  6. Register and Apply in High Volumes
  7. Answer All Phone Calls Professionally
  8. Prepare For The Interview
  9. Always Be On Time For Interviews
  10. Answer Interview Questions Accurately

1. Why Market Research Completes up to 80% Of Your Job Hunting Goal:

When I first started my call centre journey, many odds stacked up against me.
The oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” ― H.P. Lovecraft
No call centre experience; was one my major drawbacks:
  • I only had 5 years experience as a waiter in a Casino.
  • Bear in mind; many recruiters looks for specific experience depending on the industry (insurance, retail, technical, etc.).
Count Your Strengths As Opposed Weaknesses...
There are three steps in every Victory: Planning it; Pursuing it and Finally Living it! source-unknown-
I acknowledged my shortcoming but instead focused on reasons why I would make a good consultant.
Therefore I diligently inquired and examined the call centre industry.
My goal was to gather as much information as possible, about the overall requirements.
I needed facts, principles, theories, industry jargons, market predictions and so on.
Why is market research so important?
1st: You don't want to enter an industry that may be downsizing soon.
2nd: You want to know what employers are looking for, and use it to your advantage.
3rd: Most importantly you want to learn about: working hours, shifts and avoid any unexpected surprises.
Don't Get Me Wrong I Made Good Money As A Waiter: But I got too old for it and most of my earnings came from tips.
The problem with tips is that it doesn't reflect on your payslip.
And you can't apply for loans, finance a car or home without a solid-proof.
Plus I needed Growth, stability and security.
Such as Medical aid, Pension, Provident funds and other benefits.
I Needed The Change: It's easy get obsessed with more money, while overlooking more serious details.
Only to find it slaps you in the face later down the road.
As soon as you see a light at the end of the tunnel. It might be a train heading your way.
Besides, some jobs requires staff to work on holidays, , over weekends and unusual hours.
Instead Of Shooting Arrows In The Dark: You can pretty much soften the blow by doing your homework first.
The industry you pursue may turnout to be not as rosy as you think.
The same applies to any new undertaking. Be it business, finance, products and even romantic relationships.
For instance: Would you travel to a new Country without researching it ? Of course you want to learn more; about the diverse cultures, languages, currency exchange rates, economy, political climate, crime and so on.
Before you can even think of sitting foot on land.
So if you take your interest seriously enough, it should be worth investigation.
So I diligently scrutinized the following pointers:
  • Industry growth statistics
  • Business Forecast Research
  • Challenges, criterion, types of call centers, trainings
  • Dress codes, telephone etiquette, skills, etc.

2. Prepare A Professional CV

For every call centre position, there are over 100 applicants.
Well at least that's how I thought of it. Considering the unemployment rate at the time. Meaning my resume should standout from the rest.
Think of it as a "best selling novel."
  • It should have all the characteristics that appeals to a specific reader.
  • Use “Power” Words To Describe Your Achievements.
Be A Verb...Take Charge!
  • Instead of trying too hard to claim relevance:
  • By describing yourself as friendly, hard working or a good team payer.
<Instead I used power words to paint pictures, like:
Customers had to rate our service after every interaction. I received 90% five stars on a regular basis.
I learned that customers invest in speed, simplicity and convenience:
By knowing my menu, order systems and suggestively selling suitable alternatives. I contributed positively to our daily target.
Customers love waiters who know their way around and give them memorable experiences.
Happy customers became regular customers, which ultimately contributed to our long-term revenue:
Stay focused and point out specific issues that you solve.
Use your CV to actively assure them with factual evidence.
Compare it to a magazine or book that instantly appeals peoples desires.
The cover, title and image that makes it appealing and stands out from the crowd.
Although your Resume can't be as colorful or flowery.
It should communicate to your future employers in a very intimate way.
It should transmit a clear message to your potential employer of who you are.
You can't claim to be professional with a poor looking CV.
There are specific sets of rules should follow. How Did I Create A CV?
I preferred to outsource it to the professionals, not that I'm lazy or anything. It's just that some people are good at it. All you do is pay for the service, choose your design, send your details and the rest is history.
Even good writers outsource their "book covers" to professional graphic designers.
If I'm not willing to invest in my dreams. How can I expect others to invest in it?
However there are several resources online to help you do it yourself.
As long as you can create an attractive cv that other find interesting.
Confidence is everything in this game, and every detail adds to it or diminish it.
3. Create A Cover Letter
Boost your application with a cover letter. Most of your competitors are lazy and don't have one.
The more work you put in, the more appealing it will look to the recruiters.
Give them a clearer description of who you are and create a desire to meet you.
Again, You can easily accomplish this by writing it yourself or order a copy from a well-versed virtual assistant.
4. Apply On Trustworthy Websites Only
Identity theft, phishing, malware attacks and human trafficking is an unfortunate reality.
Several people has been reported missing after attending an interview.
Many others have been victims to all kinds of online attacks.
I won't go too much in detail about dangers of the web, but it is something you should be aware of.
Trustworthy Websites Authenticates Their Advertisers:
Professional job portals follows certain formalities to make sure their customers are real businesses.
They require Advertisers to provide proof of their operation and it's very unlike to find fake profiles; on them.
Some of them have actual sales executives and account managers. An example of one is PNet.
Here are the small list I used:
I know it's a small list but the response rate from PNet was amazing. Plus they don't keep outdated ads on their websites.
Another benefit from PNet is that you can see the time ads were posted.
You also get feedback within two weeks (depending on the company), and the portal notifies you if you already applied for an ad.

5. Keep Track Of Your Applications

Avoid applying for the same job several times.
Some portals like PNet may remind you, but you also have to keep a record for several other reasons.
Such as situation where you applied for several jobs and one calls you after two weeks.
It will help you to easier to identify what they posted in their ad, their website address, and help to research them further.
For Example:
I got called for a job I applied for after several weeks, maybe not all the candidates were successful in their short list.
Then they went back to the extra applications and discovered my CV.
Long story short: They call me for an interview, I was of course very excited.
Although I could easily find there web address, it was difficult to detect the original ad on PNet.
I wanted to double check the original ad to see what their requirements were.
To of course align myself according their initial requirements.

6. Register and Apply for High Volumes Of Vacancies:

In your job searching journey there are two key factors which increase your chances:
  • Your CV, cover letter and attitude should be of a high quality.
  • At the same time you should apply to high volumes of available jobs per week.
Use The Same Strategies Used In Sales:
The more customers you pitch, the more it increases your chances of a sale.
However pitching High Volumes of potential customers won't get you far, if your proposal sucks.
Another benefit is the more you stay active with your applications.

The better you will understand each platform and the current market:
Most recruiters tend to short list application to 10, 30, or according their need.
By applying earlier your chances of being included in the short list.
Think of it as a sales gig the more customers you pitch, the more prospects you accumulate. In this case interviews you secure.
The More Interviews You Lined Up:
The softer the blow will be if you fail one interview.
It will help you to bounce back faster and improve on your previous mistakes.
Plus it will increase your confidence and decrease your anxieties.
See every job application is a step towards your new job.
In the contrary the lesser you apply the more obsessed, desperate and needy you will become.
Bear in mind:Not every company will be good for you and likewise you will not be good for every company.
Shooting high volumes of C.Vs in the right direction, increase the chances of more than one responding.

7. Answer Interview Calls Professionally

Compare your interview with a Hollywood audition.
You have to make a lasting impression and take charge; to fit the script.
Interview phone calls are treated as your first interaction with the respective company.
The interviewer will pay careful attention to how you answer calls and handle the conversation.
You should therefore be proactive, sound friendly and use your active listening skills.
  • Use all your listening skills, take notes and make a powerful impression.
  • The person you're talking to are very interested in the way you handle calls, since you'll be soon talking to customers.
  • If you sound flat, boring or confused it may ruin your chances.
8. Prepare For The Interview
Chances Favors The Prepared Mind: source -unknown-
I seen many friends that takes it lightly if they called for an interview, only to be surprised later.
Interviews is an opportunity, a foot in the door and you should take full advantage.
You Will Be Tested:
HR department are getting smarter and aside from interviewing the candidate they might test you.
For example:You may claim to have Microsoft Word, Excel or CRM experience on your CV.
They may practically test all the applicants after the verbal interviewing process.
So if you lied or didn't prepare for it, you may be humiliated.
Doing your research beforehand can save you from failing.
Don't turn up unprepared leave the outcome up to fate.
Learn more about the company, job requirements, and research interview questions.
Go a bit further by doing additional training on: Word, Excel, Powerpoint, mathematics and typing speed.
The more prepared you are, the more confident you will be.
  • I also found that research improves your choice of words.
  • Confidence is everything and your body language is very important.
  • Scenario based questions are very common, because only people with real experience can answer them.
  • They like role play questions and how you deal with irate customers.
  • Don't over or under answer question. Simply focus on solving the problems they present in the form of questions.
9. Be On Time For Interview
In the business world time is more valuable than money.
They pay large amounts of money to perform duties faster and easier.
They compete with rivals in their industry, to help customers faster, more efficiently and effectively.
Customers votes with their money for businesses who values their time.
Most Call centers market their business and measures their agents with 3 minutes per call.
Impress Them By Showing You Understand Their Daily Challenges:
Show it by being in time for your interview.
If you late, recruiters may expect the same problems during employment.

10. Answer Interview Questions Accurately.

Be specific in the way you answer questions.
No 'ands or buts' rather be quiet when you think don't make Hmmm sounds.
  • Keep eye contact but don't stare intensely! It's scary and intimidating!
  • Make sure you answer the question properly.
  • Keep your body straight up don't slouch on the chair.
  • Even if you're nervous project your voice and speak in clear and confident tone.
  • After the interview if they ask if have any questions. Ask two questions not too many, like for instance: How did the position become available? Is the training for the post? How long before you get feedback?
Take Aways:
Create an attractive C.V. to enhance your professional image and reputation.
Only apply or upload your C.V. on reputable sources.
Apply in high volumes for several positions and keep records.
It helps to easily track the original ad if the company contact you and avoids duplicate applications.
  • Answer every phone call professionally to increase your chances of getting the job.
  • Read through your C.V. research the company and possible interview questions.
  • Google search the address and arrive 15 minutes before the interview appointment time.
  • Dress smart and professionally. Be confident, project you voice answer questions and don't drift from the question.
  • Keep eye contact and don't lie or make guessing sounds like hmmm or ramble.
  • It's very important how you say thing for instance: Instead of saying your weakness are getting bored easily.
Say I tend to get bored, but have dealt with it by helping colleagues on their tasks.
Or I dealt with it by making follow up calls on all my queries, to keep customers updated.
Don't simply name the weakness without turning it into a strength.
If you follow the above blue on how to get a call centre job in South Africa.

You will make yourself more employable and land many jobs in any industry.