A call center job is more than just a job.
A call center job can prepare you for life.
As a call center employee, you have to improvise all the time. In most cases you’ll have no idea about the person on the other side of the phone. You won’t have an audience whose body language you can respond to.
You have to make do with a stranger’s voice—and get your point across, even if the person is uninterested, upset with the company or unable to communicate adequately.
It requires skill, patience and creativity.
If you’re a huge success at a call center job, then you’re pretty much trained to deal with all types of people and all types of situations.
Not to mention the incredible English communication skills you’ll develop.
So if you’re planning to apply for a call center job and looking to improve your business English and grammar, you’ve come to the right post. I’ll cover some important grammar tests—including some designed specifically for call center applicants—that’ll help you ace any call center exam and application process.
Tips to Get That Call Center Job
Following these tips and advice will go a long way in helping you secure that job.
- Research the company. This is useful in two ways. First, as a company representative, you’ll be expected to know their terms, contracts and policies by heart, and this knowledge will definitely impress your interviewers.
Second, you’ll be able to ensure the company you’re applying to isn’t shady (dishonest or ignoring rules/regulations) or doesn’t have a history of mistreating its employees.
- Write a strong cover letter and apply to many places. Remember that the competition is very tough, so you want to put out the best version of yourself. So write a great cover letter highlighting why you’re the perfect fit for the job and apply to more than one place to maximize your employment chances.
- Listen to authentic English on FluentU.
Unlike traditional language learning sites, FluentU uses a natural approach that helps you ease into the English language and culture over time. You’ll learn English as it’s spoken in real life.
FluentU has a variety of engaging content from popular talk shows, nature documentaries and funny commercials, as you can see here:
FluentU makes it really easy to watch English videos. There are captions that are interactive. That means you can tap on any word to see an image, definition and useful examples.
For example, when you tap on the word "searching," you'll see this:
Learn all the vocabulary in any video with quizzes. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning.
The best part is that FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary that you’re learning and recommends examples and videos to you based on the words you’ve already learned. Every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they’re learning the same video.
You can start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, by downloading the app from the iTunes or Google Play stores.
- Have a mock interview with a friend. Prepare to answer questions about yourself and your work experience in English with a mock (practice) interview. If you don’t have an English-speaking friend who can help you, book a quick lesson with a tutor on italki.
- Practice multi-tasking. At a call center job, you’ll also have to do a fair amount of typing and data entry—even as you’re answering phone calls. You aren’t allowed to make mistakes or get distracted. Being able to successfully do different things at the same time is thus a powerful skill for any call center candidate to have.
Applying to Call Center Jobs? Get Phone-ready Grammar with These 7 English Tests
Yes, communication is much more than just perfect grammar, but knowing and applying grammatical rules correctly will go a long way in making a good impression and securing the call center job of your choice.
The tests below are particularly useful. Some of them are designed for all English learners but will highlight the areas of grammar that call center applicants need to focus on. Others are designed specifically for call center applicants to prepare you for the language and personality tests you’ll most likely be expected to complete as part of the application process.
LearnEnglishFeelGood English Grammar Tests
As a prospective call center employee, you’ll be expected to be extremely proficient in the basics of English grammar. Every word and idea must be made especially clear to the listener, so that there aren’t any misunderstandings over the phone.
The best way to get this part right is to repeatedly practice the basics, until they become second nature. The numerous grammar tests and quizzes on LearnEnglishFeelGood are perfect because they break down the basics of English grammar into small, specific topics.
It’ll help you keep track of the areas you’re good at and those that need attention, so you can practice more efficiently before your call center interview.
Guide to Grammar and Writing Interactive Quizzes
This resource is similar to the one described above and covers over 170 carefully sorted and categorized English grammar tests. You’ll find everything from basic sentence parts to pronoun usage to commonly confused words and rules.
Once you’re finished going through them, you can try solving the general grammar quizzes at the bottom of the page to further assess your overall skills.
This site is particularly great for beginners who are considering applying for a call center job, as you can start with the basics and gradually work your way up until you’re absolutely proficient.
CareerRide BPO Online Test
This online test will give you an indication of whether you’re ready for all aspects of a BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) job, where a company gets a third party to do some of its work—IT, customer service and other call center jobs often fall into this category.
This test covers English grammar for call centers as well as vocabulary and even some math.
Your English comprehension skills will be sorely tested, and this online quiz will help you realize how well you can understand the language and can do simple tasks. There are just 22 questions so if you’re short on time and want a quick and brief overview, try this quiz right now.
WizIQ Test of English Grammar
I recommend this comprehensive grammar and English language test as it’ll give you a good indication of your current communication skills. You’ll get an idea of how to use language in a simple and polite way to reach the customer.
Just note that to take the quiz, you need to install the latest version of Flash Player.
English4CallCenters Grammar Links
This is a must-bookmark website that lists grammar quizzes that are specifically useful for call center employees.
The business English used in a call center isn’t always the same that’s used in other workplaces. You’ll have to begin calls with a specific introduction, always be gracious and prepared to deal with different kinds of client situations or complaints. These tests will give you an insight into the type and structure of language that you must use.
Topics include the active and passive voice (helpful for clear and formal English), confusing English verb tenses, how to use negation correctly (essential for avoiding miscommunications!) and even a listening test so you can make sure that you’ll understand customers over the phone.
JobTestPrep Call Center Assessment Test
This is a comprehensive call center test prep resource. You’ll practice relevant English grammar as well as many other skills such as reasoning, typing, math, etc.
Ultimately, it’s designed to make sure you have both the skills and the personality for a call center job. Many companies may even require you to take a very similar test before offering you a job.
The paid assessment covers 70 tests. To improve your language skills there are 15 reading comprehension study tests, six vocabulary tests and six separate study guides to help you prepare and develop the right skills for the job.
Queendom Call Center Customer Service Rep Test
Similar to JobTestPrep, this is another personality test resource for call center applicants—with a particular focus on customer service representatives.
A call center job can vary greatly depending on what role you get. A customer service representative is one of the most popular but difficult jobs because you have to be prepared to answer questions on literally anything.
While some of the questions can be easily anticipated and solved, there’ll be some that make no sense, aren’t relevant or are just plain weird. Your command of English comes into play as you have to do your best to uphold the company image as well as placate and convince customers or even redirect them to other people or departments.
This test covers some common call center scenarios, self-assessment questions and cognitive exercises. You’ll get a very good idea of the kind of things you’ll face on the job and what language to use while dealing with them.
You’ll get a snapshot report of your performance once you complete it, and can purchase a detailed analysis of it, if you so wish.
To get that call center job, you must be tenacious and keep practicing. These grammar tests will definitely help you do that. At the same time, you must not neglect your “people skills”—diplomacy, persuasiveness and the like. Try to apply what you learn as much as possible, don’t be afraid of mistakes and you’re sure to succeed.
Archita Mittra is a freelance writer, journalist, editor and educator. Feel free to check out her blog or contact her for freelancing/educational inquiries.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn English with real-world videos.