The most dreaded stage when applying for any job position is the final interview. In a call center, it is the so-called Client Call, or other descriptive monikers, depending on the company. It is done by someone actually in the head office in the United States – a real McCoy. He judges the prospective applicant’s voice quality, manner of speech, perceptible intonation, and of course the rudimentary requirements of correct grammar, good sentence structure, and perfect syntax, in acceptable, extemporaneous, common conversational English. The interview is usually done in a room with the necessary communication facilities, and the applicant is alone.
My experience as a successful first time interviewee went on like this:
HE: Hi! How are you doing?
ME: Hi! I feel very good.
HE: Really? And why is that?
ME: Well, I’ve gotten this far, and it makes me feel good.
HE: That’s nice to hear. Can you give me your full name and the application number that was given to you by the Human Resources people, just to confirm what I have on my end?
ME: (I gave him the information he asked for.)
HE: Tell me, do you live far from where you are applying now?
ME: Not really, maybe just about 5 to 7 miles.
HE: And how long does it normally take you to get there?
ME: Only half an hour in a private car, under normal conditions. Otherwise, about twice as much time on a public transport, which is actually quite abundant in these parts.
HE: Nice to hear. Now, supposing you have had a rather stressful day, can you tell me how you handle it, and how you unwind.
At this point, I realized the guy was just trying to make a conversation, and, believe it or not, I became so relaxed I almost fell off my chair! (It was one of those comfortable swivel chairs which can turn around in all directions, quite common in call centers, and apparently one of the most frequently used in that room I was in. Only my quick reflexes holding on to the table’s edge saved me from ending up on the floor.)
ME: If there is anything I can do about the condition at the instant, I would immediately correct it. If not, I will proceed as best I could, but keeping it in mind so I could find a solution that would prevent it from happening again. Finding a viable solution unwinds me.
HE: Very well said. Now, I am required to ask you a serious question. Are you ready?
ME: Always ready as I can be.
HE: If there is anything you could change in the present world, what would it be, and why.
ME: Wow, that’s a big one.
ME: I mean that is a very serious question. Let me think a moment, please.
HE: Take your time.
ME: Alright, if there is anything I would change in the present world, it would be to do away with terrorism and terrorists. They, for all their avowed religiosity, are avowed agents of destruction and fear, and they are not averse to killing the innocents and the civilians. The world would really be better off without them.
HE: Very well put, indeed. So, let me thank you for applying for the position, and good luck. Just ask the Human Resources lady for further instructions. Bye.
ME: I should actually be the one to thank you for giving me the opportunity. Have a nice day.
HE: You too.
As can be observed, far from the usual mindset the applicants are subjected to, the client call is quite easy to pass, as long as one is calm, cool, and collected. Being prepared, with quick reflexes, helps too.