Customer Service Jobs & Graduate Schemes

Working in Customer Service

Customer Service can be an extremely attractive field for graduates to pursue due to previous experiences. Many jobs that graduates had while at university would have provided them with skills in the field. Jobs such as Bar Work, Retail Work or Hospitality will have equipped graduates with the basic skills that can be employed in a graduate job in Customer Service. Customer Service can provide excellent progression and a challenging career path. The Customer Service sector crosses over well with other sectors such as Sales, Retail and Management.

There are many positions in a variety of fields for graduates to explore and Management schemes are popular and available for graduates from an array of degree backgrounds. The important thing to remember about the Customer Service sector is that although candidates might have specialist knowledge from a certain degree that they have studied, employers look at them as a mark of intelligence and commitment, rather than being able to ply their skills they have picked up from university. This is good to remember for those who want a career change away from what their degree might dictate.

Serving the Customer

An important way to engage employers with a candidate's suitability for the job is to have past experiences to draw upon. Many candidates have previously worked in bars, pubs, cafes, restaurants, call centres and many more. These experiences should be made very clear in applications and can be quite versatile across different fields. For example, a candidate could highlight how working in a busy city centre pub could have provided them with skills to manage busy and stressful times, whilst also maintain elements of politeness and customer care.

A candidate would be advised to really think about skills they achieved whilst in these kind of employments when applying for Customer Service roles. They should bear in mind that issues like staff management, if they were a supervisor, or confrontations they might have experienced and how they rectified them. Past experiences can be a trove of skills that can be really applicable across different fields within Customer Service.

One skill that candidates would be advised to emphasise when applying for jobs in Customer Service is communication. Dealing with customers can require differing levels of communication, however they should always make sure they have a friendly, helpful and knowledgeable demeanour. Being able to communicate confidently about products or services that a company provides is important and can make the difference when they are selling so the customer feels confident in the service they are receiving.

Other elements of communication that candidates can show off are clarity of expression, an appropriate tone and sensitive approach to complaints or problems. These can come across in interviews in person or over the phone. Candidates should also make sure that their written communication is excellent too, as many roles will require successful candidates to interact with customers through written channels.

Something that candidates should try to do is understand the customer. This requires research into the type of business the company runs. A company like Majestic Wine, for example, provides a wholesale wine shop which requires expert insight into a product that not everyone knows about. The typical Majestic Wine customer might be buying wine for an event or occasion, or look to explore wine they don't know much about. If a candidate is able to relate the customer, in applications and interviews, back to the employer it shows research into the business and an understanding of their motivations. Understanding the customer is possibly the most important factor of Customer Service and key to getting that graduate job in the sector.

Following on from understanding the customer, it would be helpful for graduates to offer an understanding of Sales and Retail. These two areas are the most common in the Customer Service sector and if a candidate can understand and demonstrate this understanding of the processes and functions behind them they will have more chance of progression. This is important for candidates to bear in mind as many of the roles are Fast-Track and Trainee Managerial roles. Much of this can be drawn on from previous experiences in the sector.

It is important in the Customer Service sector that candidates are able to build and maintain relationships with customers or clients. If a candidate can demonstrate a long term relationship they have had, and been able to maintain, employers will see that as an attractive attribute for a candidate. This is because some of the roles require long term relationships to be established and maintained. This links back to understanding the customer. If a candidate can demonstrate they tailor the service they offer to particular clients or customers because of their specific needs and interests, it is important to ensure the long term success of a business.

A final thing that should be remembered is that each customer is different and there will be no set routine for dealing with customers or clients. The best Customer Service workers have the experience to understand how to approach different people and serve the needs of a variety of customers.

Customer Service Interview Ratings


    I was asked about my educational background, what I know about the website, and what I can do for the website, with the interviewer quoting my cover letter when she asked…


    The interview involved three stages. I first applied around the end of January time. I applied online, which I found really easy, and the application really excited me and put me…


    The first stage was a telephone interview which consisted of: why this company? your skills? have you done your research on this company? prepare your answers beforehand using STAR approach. at…


    Stage 1) Application process online: Asked some competency questions and had to attach CV. Stage 2) Telephone Interview: At this stage you are asked about your customer service background and sales…


    I was initially asked to fill in a series of tests online. I filled them in. They consisted of a basic input information, an aptitude test and a Microsoft competency test.…


    I got the interview through Reed. Initially, I discussed the role and whether or not I was suitable for the job with my recruitment consultant, then decided to forward my application…

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    Meltwater Group is a global leader in the field of online media monitoring and other Software-as-a-Service tools. As we continue our global expansion we are looking to find our next generation of management!
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