In the first part of this article we identified the five most valuable skills you need to look for when hiring your customer service representatives. Once you’ve identified these skills, the question remains: “How can you find all these skills in ONE person?”.

Invest in relevant, valid skills testing

Enhance your candidate screening process by creating an effective system. The most important drivers of validity and predictiviness is the relevance of a test to a job requirement. Not everyone is going to be a good fit, and some candidates may be over-qualified. This is why focusing on the skills, hard and soft, needed for the job is especially important when it comes to recruiting for customer service positions. Administering skills and behavioral skills tests is the starting point for finding your next star customer service employee.

With eSkill, which offers a customizable test platform, you can combine and customize questions from multiple subject areas into a single job-based test, or deploy your own tests and questions relevant to the role. Here’s how to assess some key skills:

1. Handling pressure and surprises.

The Multitasking Simulation Test allows candidates to show how they work in a real life environment where they have to chat, send orders, make change in a database and send emails to customers–all at the same time. Different windows pop-up on the screen and a timer lets the candidates know that they are under pressure and have to solve a variety of problems correctly and in a timely manner.

2. Clear verbal and written communication

These skills can be tested by combining questions from the Verbal Reasoning Test, Business Communication Test, English Test, the Chat Simulation Test and the e-mail Etiquette Test.

Different scenarios are presented and candidates are challenged to prove their reasoning. Here is an example of a business communication question:

Q: “After Mrs. Johnson’s presentation, Sam asks for additional information about the soon-to-be-implemented sales campaign. In which phase of the listening process is Sam engaged? ”

A: a. perception, b. interpretation, c. evaluation, d.action, e.involvement

3. Selling in a natural manner.

Selling has been called the art of persuading people into thinking and believing that the company they’re buying from is the right choice and fit for them. A good first impression and an easy rapport are the best way to build new relationships. Make friends first, pitch later. To make sure candidates know these concepts, the eSkill Sales Concepts Test includes questions like:

Q: “The only thing that a salesperson should focus on during the initial sales call is building the relationship with the prospect.”

A: True or False?

Test questions about closing, how to create business rapport, communication, and handling objections will help you gain an accurate view of the candidate’s ability to sell naturally.

4. Manage time wisely.

Working in customer service involves making many decisions, “Should I make a full refund or a partial refund?”, “Should I take out the transportation costs or not?” But sometimes, no matter how many alternatives and options a customer service rep gives, clients are simply not satisfied. That’s why concepts that involve the ability to focus, make decisions, say No/Yes, set goals and prioritize tasks are needed in a successful customer service rep. The eSkill Time Management Test has a variety of questions on these subjects that, in the end, reveal if candidates can manage their time wisely.

5. Working with data and details.

It is said that the “devil is in the details.” This is particularly true if you work in customer service and you have several systems with client data. The eSkill Data Checking Test and the Attention to Details Test can show you candidate’s attention to details in an unbiased manner.


From performing a job analysis  to building the relevant assessment, identifying a candidate’s capabilities, needs an integrated approach combining both skills and behavioral assessments. With eSkill you can combine and customize questions from multiple subject areas into a single job-based test or deploy your own tests and questions relevant to the customer service role. In addition, you can also test the customer service behavior of candidates: the natural instinct of following-up, the honesty to admit mistakes with humility, the willingness to make relationships more important than revenue and the ability to be fast and accurate.

eSkill has partnered with selected behavioral test providers and is now offering a range of behavioral and cognitive assessment tests in addition to our skills tests.

I hope you found these two articles useful and are ready to take your customer service department to your next level.


To data-driven skills testing,

Lisa Perrin

Andreea Hrab

International HR Director for OSF Global Services, Andreea is a veteran recruiter who has seen them all. She developed HR recruiting strategies and retention programs that guarantees the success of the company. She is a people person and she handles very easy new relationships with new employees, but her most interesting challenge is to find the middle way between company’s best interests and employee’s needs. To learn more about Andreea contact her on LinkedIn.

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