Service is a key competitive advantage for companies in nearly every industry. Yet not everyone brings a proactive service mindset to the job. Are you applying for a job that works with customers directly? Or a role that supports customers indirectly? Or even a role where service to internal partners will be a key to success? Here are 5 tips for showcasing your service skills in the job interview – setting you apart from the competition.
1. Visit the organization prior to your interview. Shop there, observe and ask questions. Study the website. Look for what you like about their current customer service and make notes of any improvements you would suggest. During the interview, compliment the company on something they are already doing well, and ask if you might offer a suggestion, too. Then (only if the interviewer agrees…which they usually will) you can say “I was thinking of ways to be sure that service here continues stepping up, and thought this idea might be of interest to you…”. This shows you are proactive and creative, and will help make their service better.
2. During the interview, when asked about your prior work, talk about a time you helped a customer enjoy a great service experience that was ABCD (Above and Beyond the Call of Duty) on your part. Don’t focus too much on what you did…put more emphasis on the value you created for the customer (and how it boosted their loyalty to the company).
3. Also during the interview, highlight a time you helped a colleague be successful by providing them with excellent “internal service”. This could be department to department, or you helping a new employee, or you helping a boss or a subordinate to succeed.
4. Give an example of a company / organization you admire for the quality of their service (not in the same industry as your job application), and point out some of the details of that service experience that have affected your own buying or recommending behavior. Think in advance of how these positive service experiences could be adopted, adapted and applied at the company where you are applying for a job.
5. Ask if there is anything else you can do to make the interviewer’s job or next actions easier. For example, send them links to any of the companies mentioned in your interview, bring along a printed article they may find useful, or offer to follow up on any other questions they have. This shows you are also proactive in “following up”, a key step in delivering uplifting service.
The bottom line: do your homework, be prepared, focus on service, and make the interview an uplifting moment for the interviewer and for you!