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How to assess call center skills


Have you ever wondered what makes a call center team exceptional? 

Call centers play a pivotal role in delivering top-notch customer experiences. The agents behind the scenes are the stars who make it all happen. But assessing their skills can sometimes be a challenging undertaking.

Call center agents require a range of skills, from empathetic listening to quick-thinking problem solving. The agents must move easily between different customer personas, industries, and languages. This makes it all the more important to provide a comprehensive framework for evaluating call center skills.

If you want to assess and elevate your call center talent, you’ve come to the right place.

In this post, we’ll share some insider tips and strategies to help you identify, measure, and improve those important call center skills. We’ll also discuss some essential skills tests, like our Call Center Representative test, and others.

What is a call center skills assessment?

A call center skills assessment evaluates and measures the abilities and competencies of candidates applying to be call center agents. The tests help you find those who can perform their tasks efficiently and effectively to deliver top-notch customer service.

An assessment typically tests a range of skills related to the job, such as:

  • Communication skills

  • Active listening 

  • Typing 

  • Computer knowledge 

  • Transcription 

what is a call center skills assessment explanation graphic

It helps identify strengths and areas for improvement, leading to better talent selection and employee development.

The true cost of bad hires for a business can be up to $240,000, depending on the role. This shows the importance of practical approaches to assess call center skills within the hiring process.

Bad hires can also cause increased employee turnover, decreased productivity, and negatively affect team morale. 

If you are recruiting for call center roles, you can  use various assessment tools to help prevent bad hires, conduct thorough interviews, and evaluate candidates’ culture add potential.

What skills and traits are important for call center agents?

essential hard skills for call center agents graphic

Essential abilities for call center agents  include hard and soft skills. Some necessary hard skills are:

  • Technical skills

  • Attention to detail

  • Language skills

  • Data processing

  • Software skills

  • Organizational skills

  • Phone support experience

Other crucial skills for customer service staff include:

  • Patience

  • Empathy

  • Problem solving

  • Communication

  • Time management

  • Ability to prioritize

Let’s look at some skills and traits all call center agents need:

Active listening

Active listening is a call center agent’s superpower. They must be able to understand customer concerns and provide accurate solutions.

Active listening means fully grasping the customers’ anxieties and/or needs. This ensures that agents address the issue correctly the first time.

When callers feel genuinely heard, they feel appreciated and this builds trust. Call centers can make or break a brand, so it’s important that your agents create a bond, which leads to satisfied customers. These happy callers will likely remain loyal to the brand and often refer others.

Call center agents need empathy, patience, and the ability to read between the lines to be great listeners. A good call center skills assessment can help find agents who  listen and adapt their approaches to a specific customer’s needs..

Clear communication

Call center agents must be able to explain complex processes quickly.  HubSpot data shows that 90% of customers expect clear, speedy communication. Clear communication can lead to a reduction in average handling time.

pie chart showing customer expect clear communication and concise explanations of complex processes

When a call center agent provides clear, timely information, callers get the answers they need without confusion. This improves the customer experience and leaves them feeling pleased with your brand.

With good communication, agents resolve issues faster, reducing average handling time and boosting efficiency. This translates into business cost savings and a more streamlined customer experience.


When agents display genuine empathy, they form an emotional bond with customers. This connection goes a long way in fostering trust, satisfaction, and commitment, turning one-time customers into lifelong fans.

Gartner’s Customer Experience report shows that two-thirds of companiescompete on customer experience. A customer service team that excels in empathy could be your golden ticket to massive growth and profitability.

When agents empathize with customers, they become advocates for their needs. And in many ways, empathy can transform a negative interaction into a positive one. At the end of the exchange, customers feel heard and valued.

The proper call center skills assessment should help you narrow down empathetic agents. These should be people who can truly understand the customer’s perspective. They should also be able to tailor solutions that address customer concerns effectively.

Technical proficiency

Knowing how to navigate multiple software systems effectively is critical. 86% of customers calling support expect their interactions to transition seamlessly between channels. A unique ability to prioritize tasks and multitask between channels can help agents assist more customers without compromising service quality.

Beyond the ability to multitask, looking at product knowledge when assessing call center skills is critical.

Finding agents with in-depth knowledge of your product or the ability to master this knowledge quickly can be a big win for your teams. Expertise leads to faster resolutions and increased customer satisfaction.

The need to test a candidate’s computer and call center software proficiency goes without saying. Call centers should prioritize testing candidates’ ability to navigate multiple systems, CRM tools, and other software applications.

Agents with a unique mastery of these tools can streamline workflow and quickly resolve customer issues.

Meticulous data entry is also essential in maintaining accurate customer records, which in turn helps provide personalized and efficient support.


Call centers are the beating heart of customer service, and problem-solving skills are the lifeblood that keeps it pumping.

You want to hire agents with strong problem-solving skills and an ability to tackle unexpected challenges for smoother customer interactions.

Customers often come to call centers with myriad issues, some of which can be pretty complex. Quick, creative problem-solving is essential for satisfying customers. A call center agent with top-notch problem-solving abiliites can navigate issues and find the best solution.

Testing for this skill makes a lot of practical sense. Time is money, and when call center agents can promptly address customer concerns with a solution-oriented mindset, it leads to increased efficiency and happier customers.


Agents must have the ability to adapt to new technologies and policies. Highly adaptable teams experience a significant improvement in customer satisfaction. Adaptability is the ability to navigate change and uncertainty with ease and resilience.

Adaptability helps agents tailor their approach to provide personalized solutions for every individual. Agents with adaptability skills can also quickly learn and adapt to changes, ensuring a seamless customer experience.

A crucial part of the call center skills assessment should be identifying which candidates can embrace change and remain calm in the face of challenges. Agile call center agents will likely excel and grow within their organizations.


Inevitably, call center agents will encounter unhappy customers. Patience ensures that agents can address these situations calmly and professionally, ultimately leading to positive outcomes.

Keep in mind that call centers are fast-paced, high-stress environments. Patience is a soft skill that agents need to maintain their composure when under pressure. It can lead to better performance and overall job satisfaction.

The proper tests for patience in call center candidate screening should focus on how they:

  • Practice active listening and engage in mindful communication

  • Utilize stress management techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation

  • Reflect on past experiences to gain perspective and learn from challenges

  • Develop emotional intelligence to understand customer emotions better

Positive attitude

An optimistic approach is contagious and boosts productivity. In fact, the University of Warwick says happy employees are 12% more productive.

A positive attitude maintains an optimistic outlook, even when faced with challenges. Agents who always have a friendly, can-do attitude can turn an unhappy customer into a loyal one.

Agents with a positive attitude are more likely to create memorable and delightful customer experiences. They are more likely to approach challenges with a solution-oriented mindset, resulting in more efficient and effective resolutions for customers.

The ability to see the glass as half-full is good for customers and an excellent motivator for team members. Such agents can easily fit in and create a more enjoyable collaborative work environment, boosting team morale.

Teamwork skills

Customer satisfaction is a relay race, not a marathon. Teamwork skills are essential for call center agents to succeed. These professionals must be able to work with their colleagues and customers to provide the best service possible.

Teamwork skills are also necessary because call center operators operate as teams, each member having a specific role in providing customer care services.

Teamwork fosters a positive work environment, which leads to higher job satisfaction and better performance.

Suitable agents should be able to embrace the power of collective knowledge. This includes sharing tips, tricks, and best practices with fellow agents to keep everyone’s skill set sharp.

Teamwork skills include:

  • Listening carefully

  • Being respectful of others’ opinions and ideas

  • Sharing information with other team members when needed

Organizational skills

Organizational skills are essential for any job but are especially crucial for call center agents. Call centers are often understaffed, so agents must be able to multitask and prioritize tasks quickly.

Only people with top-notch organizational skills can succeed in an environment that juggles multiple customer queries, calls, and CRM updates.

Keeping everything organized means fewer surprises. Highly organized agents can significantly contribute to a team’s productivity soar.

Organizational skills include:

  • Organizing your workspace

  • Keeping track of your schedule

  • Prioritizing tasks based on their importance or urgency

7 Call center skills and traits tests

Hiring managers often use skills and traits tests to assess whether a candidate has the right qualities for the job. This section discusses some common call center skills and traits tests.

1. Culture Add test

This test is best for assessing how a candidate will fit in with the company culture.

Organizations increasingly recognize the importance of creating a robust and cohesive company culture in a rapidly evolving business environment.

The call center industry is no exception. You need a dependable test to help assess and foster the right cultural fit among call center agents.

The Culture Add test evaluates the cultural fit of potential call center agents. It seeks to identify candidates with the necessary technical skills and who show the right mindset, attitudes, and behaviors that align with a company’s core values and culture.

This test is a valuable tool for recruiters and HR professionals in screening and selection, helping them make more informed decisions and reducing employee turnover.

Assessment method

The Culture Add test uses a variety of question formats, including multiple-choice, true or false, and situational judgment scenarios.

These questions assess a candidate’s understanding of the company’s cultural principles, communication style, and problem-solving approach.

The test helps determine how a candidate would integrate into the organization’s environment. It also shows how well they would collaborate with colleagues and contribute to its overall success.


  • Comprehensive: The Culture Add test offers a holistic evaluation, measuring multiple aspects such as values, communication, and problem-solving skills. You get a complete picture of a candidate’s potential for success within the organization.

  • Customization: You can tailor the test to your unique company culture, values, and requirements. This ensures the assessment is relevant and applicable to the organization, resulting in a more accurate cultural fit estimate.

  • Reduces bias: The Culture Add test helps minimize unconscious bias in hiring by focusing on objective measures and using a standardized format. This promotes a more diverse and inclusive workforce, improving company performance.

2. Enneagram Personality test

This test is best for assessing a candidate’s personality type.

Working effectively within a team is crucial for delivering exceptional customer service and maintaining a positive work atmosphere. The Enneagram Personality test is a widely recognized personality assessment tool that call centers can adapt to evaluate the overall team fit of their agents.

The primary goal of the Enneagram Personality test is to assess a candidate’s personality traits and how these traits may affect their ability to work cohesively within a team.

By understanding a candidate’s personality type, employers can gain insights into their motivations, communication styles, and potential strengths and weaknesses.

Assessment method

The Enneagram Personality test consists of multiple-choice questions to identify a candidate’s dominant personality type among the nine types. These types are as follows:

  1. The Perfectionist

  2. The Helper

  3. The Achiever

  4. The Individualist

  5. The Investigator

  6. The Loyalist

  7. The Enthusiast

  8. The Challenger

  9. The Peacemaker

With this call center skills assessment, you can analyze candidates’ responses to determine their most likely personality type. The results provide insights into candidates’ motivations, fears, and desires. You also get a perspective of their preferred communication and problem-solving styles.


  • Detailed call center skills test:  The Enneagram Personality test provides a detailed analysis of a candidate’s personality traits, offering valuable insights into their potential fit within a call center team.

  • Enhanced team building: By understanding different personality traits, employers can create a diverse and balanced team. This test presents an opportunity to build teams that leverage each member’s unique strengths for a more collaborative work environment.

  • Self-awareness and growth: The test benefits employers and helps call center agents become more self-aware and identify areas for personal growth and development.

3. Customer Service test

This test is best for assessing a candidate’s customer service skills.

Call center agents need to be able to adapt to changes quickly to excel in their roles. To streamline the hiring process and identify the best candidates, you can use the Customer Service test to assess your agents’ unique soft and hard call center skills.

The online assessment evaluates a candidate’s practical knowledge in the customer service domain. The test areas include communication, problem-solving, empathy, and adaptability.

The test is made up of multiple-choice questions covering real-life scenarios and theoretical knowledge, ensuring a thorough candidate evaluation.

Assessment method

This test enables you to test applicants on various topics, from understanding customer needs to handling difficult situations. At the end of the screening, you’ll be sure which candidates have the right skills for a customer service role.

The test allows companies to assess multiple candidates quickly and efficiently. You’ll get an accurate and detailed report for each candidate, highlighting their strengths and areas that need improvement. This data-driven approach helps companies make informed hiring decisions.


  • Streamlines hiring process: The Customer Service test simplifies the hiring process, allowing companies to quickly identify qualified candidates and reduce the time spent on interviews and manual assessments.

  • Improves employee retention: By hiring candidates with the necessary skills and aptitude for customer service, companies can reduce employee turnover and improve overall job satisfaction.

  • Enhanced customer experience: A skilled and knowledgeable customer service team can significantly improve a company’s customer experience, increasing brand loyalty and positive word-of-mouth.

4. English (Proficient/C2) test

This test is best for assessing a candidate’s English skills.

One essential skill that call center agencies must assess is the English language proficiency of their potential employees. The English (Proficient/C2) test helps organizations measure the language skills of their candidates.

This comprehensive assessment evaluates a candidate’s English language skills at a C2 (Proficient) level. This test is a must-have for call center agencies that require high levels of language proficiency among their employees.

You can use the test to measure an individual’s ability to understand and communicate complex ideas in English.

Assessment method

The test is divided into sections, each focusing on a specific language skill. These sections include reading comprehension, grammar, vocabulary, idiomatic expressions, and written communication.


  • Saves time and money: This test can save valuable time and resources typically spent on manual screening and interviewing processes. It allows organizations to quickly and easily identify top candidates who meet their language requirements.

  • Productivity: Hiring candidates with strong English language skills are crucial for call center agencies. By using this test, organizations can ensure they’re hiring employees who can communicate effectively and professionally with customers.

  • Customization: You can customize the test according to your needs. Ultimately, you get a tailored assessment that aligns with your unique requirements.

5. Salesforce CRM test

This test is best for assessing a candidate’s Salesforce knowledge.

The Salesforce CRM test evaluates Salesforce CRM skills, helping call center agencies to identify the best candidates for their teams.

The test is explicitly tailored for call center agencies using Salesforce to ensure they accurately measure the skills required for success.

Assessment method

The Salesforce CRM test is divided into multiple domains, each focusing on a specific aspect of the Salesforce platform. These include customization, development, data management, and reporting. The range of questions thoroughly evaluates a candidate’s Salesforce skills.


  • Improved customer experience: Hiring candidates with strong Salesforce knowledge increases the likelihood of efficient customer interactions and problem-solving. By using this test, call center agencies can ensure they are hiring employees who can maximize the benefits of the Salesforce platform for their customers.

  • Test adaptability: The Salesforce CRM test is great for candidates with a certain level of Salesforce expertise.

6. Call Center Representative test

This test is best for assessing a candidate’s call center skills.

Hiring managers in the call center industry must always ensure their employees possess the necessary skills to provide exceptional customer service.

The Call Center Representative test is an in-depth assessment tool designed to evaluate the abilities of potential call center employees. It is an invaluable resource for hiring managers in this field.

Assessment method

This test measures essential skills required for success in a call center environment, including problem-solving, communication, multitasking, and customer service.

With a combination of situational judgment tests, multiple-choice questions, and interactive simulations, the assessment provides a well-rounded evaluation of a candidate’s capabilities.


  • Seamless screening: The Call Center Representative test allows hiring managers to quickly and easily identify top candidates who meet their skill requirements. This streamlined process saves time and resources on manual screening and interviewing processes.

  • Improved job performance: By using this test, organizations can ensure that they hire employees with the necessary skills to excel in a call center environment.

  • Customization: This customizable test allows organizations to tailor the assessment according to their specific needs, ensuring the test aligns with their unique requirements.

7. Zendesk CS test

This test is best for assessing a candidate’s Zendesk proficiency.

If you want to hire agents who can rock Zendesk like a pro, the Zendesk CS test is the tool you need.

Assessment method

This test evaluates candidates’ Zendesk knowledge, problem-solving, and communication skills. It has situational judgment tests, multiple-choice questions, and interactive simulations to give you a clear picture of a candidate’s abilities.


  • Zendesk knowledge: The test evaluates a candidate’s understanding of the Zendesk platform, including its features, functionalities, and best practices for efficient customer service.

  • Problem-solving: Candidates are assessed on their ability to troubleshoot and resolve customer issues using the Zendesk platform.

  • Communication: The test examines a candidate’s ability to communicate professionally and empathetically with customers through Zendesk, ensuring high customer satisfaction.

Let’s help you find the right call center agent

With TestGorilla’s skills assessment tests you can quickly find the best agent for your call center. These tests consider the candidate’s skills, experience, and personality type.

After attracting strong candidates with your call center representative job description, you can use these assessments to hire the right fit to improve productivity and reduce turnover in your call center.

Sign up for your free plan with us today, or book a free 30-minute live demo with a member of our sales team to see our talent assessment software in action.


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