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When interviewing for a position as a credit or collections representative, you only get one chance to make a first impression. Coming to the interview prepared to answer some of the tough interview questions can mean the difference between getting the job or continuing your career search. Knowing what hiring managers look for in credit and collections professionals and knowing how to express your knowledge in the field is the key to landing the job.
Stress Management Skills
One of the most important qualities that an employer looks for is an employee that can work well under pressure. Many times, hiring managers will ask about one of the most stressful work experiences that an applicant has had in the past and how they handled the situation. Credit and collections can be one of the most stressful of all financial jobs and it is important for the interviewer to know that you are able to keep your cool in stressful situations. This will ensure them that you are level headed and are able to maintain yourself professionally at all times. Being able to give an example of a time that you handled a stressful situation and turned the problem around will boost your chances for successful interview.
Many times in the credit and collections industry, representatives are required to deal directly with angry and sometimes challenging customers. The hiring manager or personnel member who is conducting the interview may ask the applicant about a time in the applicant's work history that they were required to deal with an angry customer and how they resolved the situation. One of the key aspects of this question is to be able to show that you have the ability to be firm with challenging customers, while using enough empathy to retain their business. Being prepared to give a specific example of a time that you dealt with a challenging customer in the past and resolved the situation successfully will show that you are professional and have positive people skills.
In the credit and collections industry, there are often times specific goals that agents are required to meet. This may lead the interviewer to ask you about goals that you have set for yourself in the past and how you went about accomplishing them. This shows that you have the ability to maintain enthusiasm and determination in order to accomplish what is necessary. The interviewer may also ask you about a time that you failed to meet your goals in the past and what, if anything, you learned from the experience. This is the perfect opportunity to describe a time that you experienced the need to improve your time management or communication skills and how you benefited from the experience.