I was interviewed by the general manager himself, Al Karow. Most experts say that the guy who actually makes the hiring decisions is the guy to whom to pitch your services.
I don’t know how much Al liked me, but I certainly liked this particular interview. I did far more of the right things this time around. I started out by asking him if, any of the calls, the customers expressed dissatisfaction with their service. Al gave me an example of how a customer can complain that his yard still has crabgrass in his yard. In most cases, the customer doesn’t know what crabgrass really is; it may be a fescue or a quackgrass. That being said, I mentioned to him it’s always counterproductive to argue with the customer. No piddlin’ little debate is worth that customer’s continued business.
I characterized my job at the call center as something I liked, giving me mentally stimulating, think on my feet kind of work. I said I was given a lot of latitude to decide what was right for the customer.
I remembered my eye contact with the interviewer. I looked at Al a lot more than I looked at Kelly from AeroTek last week.
Then came the dreaded How I Handled a Tough Call question. I opened by saying that call center work doesn’t lend itself well to tales of heroism, but there was a time I helped a guy who needed his computer reinstalled with new antivirus software in time to converse with his loved ones during a death in the family.
At the end of the interview, I remembered to do something that was missing in nearly all of my previous interviews. I “asked for the sale”. I told Al that straight out that I would really like to work this job. As a result of that, perhaps, Al told me that I reminded him strongly of one of his best salespeople. We might even be relatives, he said.
I went back home smiling. I knew I made a big dent in this guy. I really like my chances with this job.