Last week I posted about the best three things to look for in a Service Desk Analyst. Now it’s time to share with you ways in which you can identify these traits on paper, on the phone, and in interview. The first thing I will say about this is to trust your gut. It’s always import to trust your instinct during the interview process and remember that these are guidelines only, and you know your organisation best. Someone could fit the bill perfectly according to what I’ve said below, but still not be right for your company culture.

On Paper

Customer Focused

Obviously the first thing to look at here is their previous work experience, but it’s not just about their previous position. Equally important is the organisation they have honed their skills at. For the best customer service skills look for candidates with a history from places such as:

  •         Apple
  •         John Lewis
  •         First direct
  •         Lush
  •         Lakeland

Equally, if the candidate comes from an organisation with a less than glowing reputation for high levels of customer satisfaction, remember that is rarely going to be the fault of an individual analyst and it may be that the Service Desk Analyst is looking to leave the current employer as s/he is also unhappy with the levels of service they are able to deliver.

  •         Virgin Media
  •         TalkTalk
  •         Sky
  •         EE
  •         Eon

See: Which? Best and Worst Brands for Customer Service

Also take a look at any voluntary work they have done; it takes a special kind of person to volunteer their time, and these usually involve working with the public in some way.

Some companies send their employees on customer service courses, but in our experience many candidates either forget to include them or do not think they are impressive enough to put on a CV. This is something you might have to ask specifically for on an application or on the phone.

On the phone

Apart from being able to hear their smile, what else should you look out for on the phone?

  • Sincerity
  • Clear enunciation – don’t be afraid of accents either; accents can make a Service Desk Analyst memorable and seem more genuine
  • Ability to comprehend and respond to complex questions
  • Coping well under pressure

These things can be accurately tested with an over the phone test of technical knowledge, which many organisations adopt. However, I‘m sure I don’t have to mention that it’s not a favourite of candidates, so it may be wise to avoid this when the market isn’t in your favour.

In Interview

Active Listening

Active listening has non-verbal signs, such as:

  • Smiling and nodding
    Consistent eye-contact
    Mirroring (when an individual unconsciously mirrors your facial expressions and body movements, it shows that they are engaged)
    Lack of distraction (no fidgeting, doodling, looking elsewhere, etc.)

Knowing the company

I would highly recommend that you ask them questions about the company itself. Service Desk Analysts need good attention to detail, a proactive approach, and research skills; this evidences all three. More broadly it shows an interest in the role and company that is essential for morale, performance, and retention.

All of the above show the right attitude for a service desk role. If you’re willing and able to train someone, plucking them from the ground at an early stage of their career (when customer service jobs are their only real experience, albeit with some technical knowledge) will pay off massively in the long run. Evidence suggests that employees who are provided with plenty of career development opportunities will stay with a company much longer and will perform more highly!