Call Center 101



What is a call center?

A call centre or call center is a centralised office used for receiving or transmitting a large volume of requests by telephone. An inbound call centre is operated by a company to administer incoming product support or information inquiries from consumers. Outbound call centers are operated for telemarketing, solicitation of charitable or political donations, debt collection and market research. A contact centre is a location for centralised handling of individual communications, including letters, faxes, live support software, social media, instant message, and e-mail.[1]

A call centre has an open workspace for call centre agents, with work stations that include a computer for each agent, a telephoneset/headset connected to a telecom switch, and one or more supervisor stations. It can be independently operated or networked with additional centres, often linked to a corporate computer network, including mainframes, microcomputers and LANs. Increasingly, the voice and data pathways into the centre are linked through a set of new technologies called computer telephony integration. The contact centre is a central point from which all customer contacts are managed. Through contact centres, valuable information about company are routed to appropriate people, contacts to be tracked and data to be gathered. It is generally a part of company’scustomer relationship management. A contact centre can be defined as a coordinated system of people, processes, technologies and strategies that provides access to information, resources, and expertise, through appropriate channels of communication, enabling interactions that create value for the customer and organization.[2] Contact centres, along with call centres and communication centres all fall under a larger umbrella labelled as the contact centre management industry. This is becoming a rapidly growing recruitment sector in itself, as the capabilities of contact centres expand and thus require ever more complex systems and highly skilled operational and management staff.[3] The majority of large companies use contact centres as a means of managing their customer interaction. These centres can be operated by either an in house department responsible or outsourcing customer interaction to a third party agency (known as Outsourcing Call Centres).


Common Job Interview Questions and Answers

Tell Me About Yourself

This is the dreaded, classic, open-ended interview question and likely to be among the first. It's your chance to introduce your qualifications, good work habits, etc. Keep it mostly work and career related.

Why do you want to leave your current job? (Why did you leave your last job?)

Be careful with this. Avoid trashing other employers and making statements like, "I need more money." Instead, make generic statements such as, "It's a career move."

What are your strengths?

Point out your positive attributes related to the job.

What are your weaknesses?

Everybody has weaknesses, but don't spend too much time on this one and keep it work related. Along with a minor weakness or two, try to point out a couple of weaknesses that the interviewer might see as strengths, such as sometimes being a little too meticulous about the quality of your work. (Avoid saying "I work too hard." It's a predictable, common answer.) For every weakness, offer a strength that compensates for it.

Which adjectives would you use to describe yourself?

Answer with positive, work-oriented adjectives, such as conscientious, hard-working, honest and courteous, plus a brief description or example of why each fits you well.

What do you know about our company?

To answer this one, research the company before you interview.

Why do you want to work for us?

Same as above. Research the company before you interview. Avoid the predictable, such as, "Because it's a great company." Say why you think it's a great company.

Why should I hire you?

Point out your positive attributes related to the job, and the good job you've done in the past. Include any compliments you've received from management.

What past accomplishments gave you satisfaction?

Briefly describe one to three work projects that made you proud or earned you pats on the back, promotions, raises, etc. Focus more on achievement than reward.

What makes you want to work hard?

Naturally, material rewards such as perks, salary and benefits come into play. But again, focus more on achievement and the satisfaction you derive from it.

5 interview mistakes you can easily avoid

1. Not preparing
This is probably the No. 1 mistake most job candidates make: They show up for the interview without thoroughly preparing in the days before. Preparation doesn't mean a quick skim of the job description and a glance at the employer's website; it means at least several hours spent thinking through likely questions and practicing your answers to them, as well as thinking back on specific examples you can pull from your past to illustrate how you've excelled in previous jobs.

2. Not researching your interviewer
A quick glance on LinkedIn might give you advance warning that your interviewer used to work with that old boss who hated you, meaning you won't be caught off guard if asked about it in the interview. Or simply reading your interviewer's bio on the company website might tip you off that she has a background in the software you used to work with and you might get a lot of questions on that.

3. Being late
You might think that you're playing it safe by leaving for your interview a few minutes earlier than you need to. But hit a traffic accident and that buffer will fly out the window, which means you could end up arriving late. When you're heading out to an interview, it's smart to give yourself a huge buffer--meaning an hour or so--because it's nearly impossible to recover from being late for an interview. You can always kill the extra time in your car or a nearby coffee shop if you arrive early.

4. Wearing the wrong outfit In most industries, you should wear a suit to a job interview.

(IT is sometimes, but not always, an exception.) It doesn't matter if your interviewers are more casually dressed themselves; wearing a suit, as the candidate, is still an expected convention typically. But aside from picking out the right clothes, you also need to make sure that you look polished and groomed--that your clothes fit you well, that your hair is neat and in place, that your makeup is professional and not heavy-handed. It's also key that you feel comfortable in whatever you're wearing; you don't want to be constantly adjusting your neckline or fidgeting with your cuffs.

5. Not being ready to talk about salary

Job seekers are often more uncomfortable with conversations about salary than anything else, and as a result, they often don't prepare for how they'll handle questions about it. This is a huge disservice to yourself. If salary does come up and you try to wing it, you're likely to end up with less money in your offer than if you were prepared. So don't leave it to employers to manage salary discussions for you; do your research and thinking ahead of time so that you can field salary questions confidently.

Basic Knowledge about the Computer and Internet/Networking

What is (Computer) Networking?
In the world of computers, networking is the practice of linking two or more computing devices together for the purpose of sharing data. Networks are built with a mix of computer hardware and computer software. 

Area Networks
Networks can be categorized in several different ways. One approach defines the type of network according to the geographic area it spans. Local area networks (LANs) , for example, typically span a single home, school, or small office building, whereas wide area networks (WANs), reach across cities, states, or even across the world. The Internet is the world's largest public WAN.

Common Computer Abbreviations

Following are some of the numerous computer abbreviations in use today.

Operating Systems and Data Storage

BIOS - This is the Basic Input Output System which controls the computer, telling it what operations to perform. These instructions are on a chip that connects to the motherboard.

BYTE - A byte is a storage unit for data.

"K" is a Kilobyte which is 1024 bytes.

"MB" is a Megabyte which is a million bytes.

"GB" is a Gigabyte, which equals 1000 megabytes.

CPU - This stands for the Central Processing Unit of the computer. This is like the computer’s brain.

MAC - This is an abbreviation for Macintosh, which is a type of personal computer made by the Apple Computer company.

OS - This is the Operating System of the computer. It is the main program that runs on a computer and begins automatically when the computer is turned on.  

PC - This is the abbreviation for personal computer. It refers to computers that are IBM compatible.

PDF - This represents the Portable Document Format which displays files in a format that is ready for the web.  

RAM - This stands for Random Access Memory which is the space inside the computer that can be accessed at one time.  If you increase the amount of RAM, then you will increase the computer’s speed. This is because more of a particular program is able to be loaded at one time.  

ROM - This is Read Only Memory which is the instruction for the computer and can not be altered.

VGA - The Video Graphics Array is a system for displaying graphics. It was developed by IBM.

WYSIWYG - This initialism stands for What You See Is What You Get.  It is pronounced "wizziwig" and basically means that the printer will print what you see on your monitor.

Connecting to the Internet

FTP - This is a service called File Transport Protocol which moves a file between computers using the Internet.

HTML - HyperText Markup Language formats information so it can be transported on the Internet.   

HTTP - Hypertext Transfer Protocol is a set of instructions for the software that controls the movement of files on the Internet.

IP - This stands for Internet Protocol which is the set of rules that govern the systems connected to the Internet. IP Address is a digital code specific to each computer that is hooked up to the Internet. 

ISP - The Internet Service Provider is the company which provides Internet service so you can connect your computer to the Internet.

LAN - This stands for Local Area Network which is the servers that your computer connects to in your geographic area.

PPP - Point-to-Point Protocol is the set of rules that allow your computer to use the Internet protocols using a phone line and modem. 

URL - This is the Universal Resource Locator which is a path to a certain file on the World Wide Web.

USB - The Universal Serial Bus is used for communications between certain devices. It can connect keyboards, cameras, printers, mice, flash drives, and other devices. Its use has expanded from personal computers to PDAs, smartphones, and video games, and is used as a power cord to connect devices to a wall outlet to charge them.

VR - Virtual Reality simulates a three-dimensional scene on the computer and has the capability of interaction. This is widely used in gaming.

VRML - Virtual Reality Mark-up Language allows the display of 3D images.

Common Email Abbreviations Here is a list of email abbreviations that are commonly used to get your point across in less time and fewer keystrokes:

2G4U - Too Good For You

AWHFY - Are We Having Fun Yet?

AYPI - And Your Point Is?

GAL - Get A Life

GMTA - Great Minds Think Alike

J4F - Just For Fun

KISS - Keep it Simple, Stupid

QL - Quit Laughing!

RUOK - Are you Okay?

SITD - Still In The Dark

TIC - Tongue In Cheek

WYSIWYG - What You See Is What You Get

YYSSW - Yeah Yeah Sure Sure Whatever

ZZZ - Sleeping, Bored, Tired

This may be the longest one:

AWGTHTGTTA - Are We Going To Have To Go Through That Again?  


If that is not enough to say what you really mean, an emoticon may help. They are a way to overcome the fact that the person you are communicating with can neither hear your tone of voice nor see your facial expressions. They consist of a few key strokes that form a picture showing an emotion.

Some of the most commen emoticons include:

:) or :-) - smiley face

O:-) - angelic smile

8-) - big-eyed smile

:-X - big kiss

:-{} - blowing a kiss

:.( - crying face

:-> - grinning

:-| - indifferent, bored

:-)) - laughing

=:-) - punk

:-( - sad face

:-D - shock or surprise

:-r - sticking tongue out

B:-) - sunglasses on head

:-|| - very angry 

:->< - puckered up to kiss

8-| - wide-eyed surprise

;-) - winking

:-O  - yelling

common computer exams

* VIRUS - Vital Information Resource UnderSeized. 

* 3G -3rd Generation. 

* GSM - Global System for Mobile Communication.

* CDMA - Code Divison Multiple Access.

* UMTS - Universal MobileTelecommunication System.

* SIM - Subscriber Identity Module . 

* AVI = Audio Video Interleave 

* RTS = Real Time Streaming

* SIS = Symbian OS Installer File 

* AMR = Adaptive Multi-Rate Codec

* JAD = Java Application Descriptor 

* JAR = Java Archive

* JAD = Java Application Descriptor 

* 3GPP = 3rd Generation Partnership Project 

* 3GP = 3rd Generation Project 

* MP3 = MPEG player lll

* MP4 = MPEG-4 video file

*AAC = Advanced Audio Coding 

* GIF= Graphic Interchangeable Format

* JPEG = Joint Photographic Expert Group

* BMP = Bitmap

* SWF = Shock Wave Flash 

* WMV = Windows Media Video 

* WMA = Windows Media Audio 

* WAV = Waveform Audio

* PNG = Portable Network Graphics

* DOC = Document (MicrosoftCorporation) 

* PDF = Portable Document Format 

* M3G = Mobile 3D Graphics

* M4A = MPEG-4 Audio File 

* NTH = Nokia Theme (series 40)

* THM = Themes (Sony Ericsson) 

* MMF = Synthetic Music Mobile Application File

* NRT = Nokia Ringtone

* XMF = Extensible Music File

* WBMP = Wireless Bitmap Image 

* DVX = DivX Video

* HTML = Hyper Text Markup Language

* WML = Wireless Markup Language

* CD -Compact Disk.

* DVD - Digital Versatile Disk.

*CRT - Cathode Ray Tube. 

* DAT - Digital Audio Tape. 

* DOS - Disk Operating System. 

* GUI -Graphical User Interface. 

* HTTP - Hyper Text Transfer Protocol. 

* IP - Internet Protocol. 

* ISP - Internet Service Provider. 

* TCP - Transmission Control Protocol.

* UPS - Uninterruptible Power Supply.

* HSDPA - High Speed Downlink PacketAccess.

* EDGE - Enhanced Data Rate for GSM[GlobalSystem for Mobile Communication] Evolution. 

* VHF - Very High Frequency.

* UHF - Ultra High Frequency. 

* GPRS - General PacketRadio Service.

* WAP - Wireless ApplicationProtocol.

* TCP - Transmission ControlProtocol .

* ARPANET - Advanced ResearchProject Agency Network.

* IBM - International Business Machines.

* HP - Hewlett Packard.

*AM/FM - Amplitude/ Frequency Modulation.

* WLAN - Wireless Local Area Network

I have searched on the internet and I suggest that you also read the following articles:

Call center 101 - BPO related


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I created this page to help call center applicants on the application process.