How to interview prospective bilingual call center agents

Building a multilingual workforce will allow you to connect with the international market. If your goal is to embrace multiple consumer sectors at once, the way forward would be through your bilingual employees. This is why, across industries, these professionals are among the most sought after. They bridge communication gaps between brands and their target consumers, as they are familiar not only with the language the customers speak but also with their cultural practices.

However, looking for the right bilingual call center agents can be challenging. Managers must re-design their recruitment process in order to come up with job interview strategies that would properly assess a bilingual person’s skills and talents. Take note of these interview tips so you can evaluate your prospective agents without missing the most important steps.


1.     Have a bilingual interviewer.


You may think this is obvious enough, but most recruiters tend to forgo this step. For instance, if you’re looking for Chinese-speaking agents who are also fluent in English, make sure that your screener or interviewer is knowledgeable on both languages. That way, they can properly evaluate the candidate’s writing and verbal communication skills.


2.     Ask the applicant to translate text.


During the job interview itself, you should ask applicants to translate statements from one language to another. This will allow you to see how well they’re able to comprehend and translate a piece of written text. If they can relay the message in a conversational manner, that’s usually a good indicator of excellent bilingual skills. You can make the exercise more challenging by presenting them with statements that involve technical or complex information.


3.     Talk about their exposure to another culture.


The ideal bilingual call center must also be bicultural, which means that they must understand the unique practices of a particular culture. Unfortunately, not all bilingual professionals display this aptitude, because some of them are too focused on developing their language skills. In the customer service field, however, the ability to relate to multicultural sectors is a must. This allows agents and customers to find a common ground and interact smoothly with one another. So make sure your interview questions would target this particular subject.


4.     Assess their customer service experience.


The customer service industry requires a very specific skill set from its members. Agents must be able to multitask and thrive in a very fast-paced setting. Aside from this, they must also be capable of handling multiple platforms so they can effectively interact with customers using them. It’s therefore best to hire bilingual call center agents with broad experience in this field. Newbies are also welcome, as long as they’re willing to learn, open to new experiences, and are looking for career advancement.


5.     Ask challenging interview questions.


The core purpose of a job interview is to put applicants under pressure so managers can see how they perform in challenging situations. Aside from questions that assess one’s personality, try asking creative questions that would force applicants to think outside the box and veer away from possibly rehearsed answers. Having a tough recruitment process will allow you to handpick the best agents.



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