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Interview Tips – Mastering Competency-Based Questions For Collections Jobs

Do you ever get stuck when trying to answer competency-based questions? If you’re preparing for a job interview, chances are you’ve come across these types of questions. Competency-based questions are designed to assess your skills, knowledge, and abilities in a particular area, and they can be tricky to answer if you’re not prepared.

However, with the right approach and some practice, you can ace your interview and impress your potential employer. In this blog, we will go through some tips and strategies to help you answer common competency-based questions that are normally asked when interviewing for Collections roles. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting out in your career, this guide will help you showcase your strengths and stand out from the competition.

Why are competency-based questions important for Collections roles?

Competency-based questions are likely to be asked during an interview for a Collections role as this type of job requires a specific set of skills and abilities. A successful Collections professional must be able to (but not limited to) communicate effectively with debtors, negotiate payment plans, and maintain accurate records of collection efforts. By asking questions that focus on specific competencies, such as communication skills, problem-solving abilities, and attention to detail, interviewers can determine if a candidate is a good fit for the role.

What is the best way to tackle these questions?

When answering competency-based questions, the STAR technique is an effective approach that can help you provide detailed and well-structured responses. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result, and it involves breaking down your answer into these four components – Please see our blog article on the STAR technique which breaks down STAR to give you a better understanding of what each component includes.

Example Collection roles competency-based interview questions with breakdown example answers:

– Describe a time you have handled a distressed customer.


Situation: While working as a Collections Specialist; one day, I received a call from a customer who was extremely upset and distressed about a past-due payment.

Task: My task was to assist the customer in resolving the past-due payment and ensure that the customer was satisfied with the solution provided.

Action: I began by empathising with the customer and actively listening to their concerns. I let the customer tell me about their frustrations and acknowledged their feelings. I then explained the situation to the customer, letting them know that I understood their predicament and was there to help.

I reviewed the customer’s account to determine the best course of action. After reviewing their payment history, I noticed that the customer had a good payment record and that the missed payment was an isolated incident. Based on this information, I offered the customer a payment plan that would allow them to catch up on the past-due payment over time without incurring additional fees or penalties.

Result: The customer was pleased with the solution provided and thanked me for my help. They expressed appreciation for the empathy and understanding I showed during the call. As a result of my efforts, the customer was able to catch up on their past due payment and avoid any further penalties or fees.

– Provide an example of where you have used the TEXAS Model.

Situation: As a Collections Specialist at a financial services company, I was responsible for managing overdue accounts and ensuring timely payments from customers.

Task: One of my primary responsibilities was to effectively communicate with customers who were behind on their payments and work out a mutually beneficial way to get the customer back on track.

Action: In order to achieve this, I used the TEXAS Model in my communication with customers. For example, I had a customer who was several months behind on their payments and was reluctant to provide any information regarding their financial situation.

Thank: I began the conversation by thanking the customer for taking the time to speak with me and expressing my willingness to assist them in resolving their delinquent account.

Explain: I then explained the reason for my call and the importance of making timely payments to avoid any negative impact on their credit score.

eXplicit Consent: I sought the customer’s explicit consent to discuss their financial situation and assured them that all information provided would be kept confidential.

Ask: I asked the customer to provide me with a clear understanding of their current financial situation and any obstacles preventing them from making payments on time.

Signpost: Finally, I signposted the customer to available payment options and offered to work with them to come up with a mutually beneficial payment plan.

Result: By using the TEXAS Model in my communication with customers, I was able to build trust and rapport, which helped me to successfully negotiate payment plans with many customers. This resulted in an increase in overall collections and a reduction in the number of overdue accounts.

– Explain a time you have gone above and beyond to support a customer.

Situation: In my previous job as a Collections Specialist for a credit card company, I had a customer who had fallen behind on their payments for several months and their account had been sent to my department – where I was lead. When I contacted the customer, they explained that they had lost their job and were struggling to make ends meet.

Task: I worked with the customer to develop a plan for them to catch up on their payments and bring their account out of arrears.

Action: I went above and beyond by taking a proactive approach and researching resources that could help the customer get back on their feet. I found information online for a new job and shared it with the customer, as well as directing them to financial counselling services. I also worked with my supervisor to waive some of the fees on the customer’s account to make it easier for them to catch up.

Result: Thanks to my efforts and the resources I provided, the customer was able to start searching for a new job and make regular payments on their account. They were grateful for the extra support I provided and even wrote an amazing review. As a result, my manager recognised me for my excellent customer service and dedication to helping customers in difficult situations.

In conclusion, competency-based questions are an essential part of job interviews and require a well-structured and detailed response. This article provides examples of how to answer common competency-based questions for Collections roles using the STAR technique. By following these steps you can showcase your skills, knowledge, and abilities to potential employers and stand out from the competition.

Contact us to know more about how we can help you – You can upload your CV here and have us contact you.

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