Having an open dialogue between interviewer and interviewee is a great way to learn more about the candidate. Even though there is such a huge focus on the interviewer’s questions, sometimes you can learn more about the candidate through the questions they ask.
If they ask about how much customer or client interaction is involved in the position, it usually either means they especially like or dislike that responsibility and want to know how much it will be incorporated. This question opens the door to discuss the interviewee’s communication skills.
Points to Emphasize
The way you answer this question will affect their enthusiasm for the position. Because there are multiple things this question could mean, you should choose your words carefully.
- Be honest. No matter what they are trying to learn, you need to give them the facts straight. Exaggerating in either direction will not benefit you or the candidate.
- Follow up on the question. Find out if they are looking forward to client interaction or if they are trying to minimize it.
- Discuss communication. Ask about their communication skills and how big a role it plays in the job.
- Be positive. No matter what the answer is, you should have a good attitude about it.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
There are many mistakes interviewers can make which will scare the candidate away from the position. You should avoid these common pitfalls.
- Do not read too much into the question. It is better to ask about their intentions than to assume and potentially make a poor hiring decision.
- Do not rush your answer. Give their concerns the proper attention to show that the company cares about its employees.
- Avoid giving an opinion. They are asking about the frequency of customer interaction, not whether it is an easy or difficult part of the job. Only answer the question you are asked.
- Do not be the only one talking. Your answer does not have to be especially long, but opening the door to discussion can be very beneficial for both parties.
Your answer will be specific to the position’s specific aspects, but the following may serve as an example of a generic strong response.
This position does not focus on helping customers, but that will definitely be necessary at least a few times each day. We try to emphasize excellent customer service when it comes up specifically because it is not necessary. We try to go above and beyond when a client seeks out our help. Do you believe you have the communication skills necessary to fill that need