Are you going to hire a dispatcher and figuring out the key questions to ask the hiree? If so, read on to find the key questions to ask!
Who is a dispatcher – the key answer to find!
Who is a dispatcher? A dispatcher is a person who plays a crucial role in handling phone calls and maintains steady communication between the different departments in a company. He or she needs to be patient in answering calls and providing the required support.
The companies hiring dispatchers hence are focused on professionals who are steady, calm, and able to coordinate tough situations. The dispatcher interview questions are steered in the direction to obtain answers on a person’s behavioral characteristics mostly coupled with educational background and experience.
In this article, we will extensively focus on the top 25 questions to ask in a dispatcher interview. It will serve as a guide for both the companies and the candidates aspiring to be a dispatcher.
Also Read: https://unremot.com/blog/remote-legal-jobs/
Top 10 dispatcher interview questions to ask
A dispatcher may be required for government services, freight companies, or other private and public organizations, but the interview questions to be asked and answered are more or less. Here is the list of the top 10 dispatcher interview questions to ask,
1. Why are you opting to work as a dispatcher?
Rationale: Apparently, this question looks easy to answer, but remember there is a twist. A dispatcher earns a maximum of USD 35000 yearly in the US, which is quite less compared to jobs with an equal amount of stress. They may have to attend long shifts that may affect them both physically and mentally. Their answer should be focused on the ethical aspects.
Sample Answer: If one is answering one of the 911 dispatcher interview questions, then one must talk about one’s social mind. The eagerness to serve society and the people should be explained. The person may also talk about the rapid pace of work involved in dispatcher jobs that fascinates him or her.
2. Summarize your experience as a dispatcher
Rationale: This is one of the common dispatcher interview questions. While speaking about your experience, the critical points that you must touch base on are,
- Working extended duration or long shifts
- Ability to handle constant pressure from the department workers
- Capability to handle a substantial amount of requests in a very short span of time
- Details on your duties and responsibilities
- Specific accolades or awards received for your work
Sample Answer: If you are answering one of the police dispatcher interview questions, you can mention how you have skillfully handled both emergency and non-emergency calls in a time-bound situation. You must detail the end to end coordination done between the law officers and the emergency personal at the crime or accident scene.
3. Highlight an example where you had to handle an unintelligible caller?
Rationale: Many times, dispatchers receive calls from people who may be physically and mentally distressed. They may not use the appropriate language or execute the right mental temperament. Dealing with such callers is a real challenge and should be one of the priority dispatcher interview questions.
The answer to this question will assist the hiring manager to gain clarity on the candidate’s mental assertiveness and stability.
The candidate must focus on the following key aspects while answering the question,
- How the caller was calmed down?
- How did you assure all possible help and support?
- How did you collect the details from the caller sequentially to route the information to the respective teams?
4. What are the types of software systems or applications you have used in your prior dispatcher jobs?
Rationale: The purpose behind this question is to check whether the candidate’s experience in using the software systems match with those used in the company. That will reduce the training effort and cost and easy deployment of the candidate into the job.
The answer essentially must be highlighting the following points,
- Name of the software, one or two specifically prominent in the market
- Experience in leveraging them in the work
- Familiarity with both cloud and on-premises tools and applications (mentioning the latest ones are preferable)
Sample Answer: If you are answering public safety dispatcher interview questions, then you must try to focus on ServiceTitan. The reason being it is one of the best tools available in the market, widely used, and with world-class features.
5. Describe a day in work as a dispatcher?
Rationale: This is one of the vital dispatcher interview questions. The life of a dispatcher in a logistics company, public safety, or 911 is different. The expectations of the employer are also distinct. Companies must try to understand if the candidate is capable of handling multiple tasks within a short span of time with accuracy. The question will help to assess whether the candidate can handle stress and workload.
While answering the question, you need to focus on,
- Segregating a day into the time slabs
- Mention the activities done in sequence
- Specify how meticulously you handled all the activities comfortably with spot planning and leveraging the software systems
- You must be present your confidence and enthusiastic nature
Sample Answer: If you are answering emergency dispatcher interview questions, you must speak about how you handled a critical schedule following all protocols and arranging all the requisite help and assistance.
6. What mechanism do you adopt to record your phone calls and the actions taken on them?
Rationale: The question inevitably is to check how well planned and organized the candidate is when it comes to performing the job at hand. A company can take note of the productivity, efficiency, and expertise of the candidate from the response to the question.
The critical points to note while answering the question,
- The methodology of noting down the calls in sequence and priority
- Progress tracking by noting down the actions taken
- Planning and organizing software adopted for maintaining the tasks and the time of completion
Sample Answer: Whenever I receive a call, I note it down and keep on recording the information to avoid missing out on even a minute detail
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7. How do you handle multiple tasks?
Rationale: It is one of the vital dispatcher interview questions to judge a candidate’s competency and ability. The hiring manager can guess your flexibility and quick thinking capability while switching from one task to another. While doing so, the important point to check is all the tasks are performed accurately and within the expected timeline.
The important aspects to focus on while mentioning your multi-tasking ability are,
- Provide examples wherein you had to answer multiple phone calls, write multiple messages, or deal with difficult callers whilst handling an emergency
- Mention in details how you were able to toggle between the tasks calmly and efficiently
- You may even point out the accolades you had earned on your multi-tasking abilities
Sample Answer: A typical answer to the question can be listening simultaneously to your supervisor for instructions and messaging in parallel to the necessary contacts for an emergency.
8. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
Rationale: This is one of the typical dispatcher interview questions for freshers. All companies are eager to gauge a candidate’s ambitious mind or career objectives. Without a roadmap in professional life, a person will fail to strive hard and be dedicated to service. A fresher with a zeal to perform better and progress faster will always be futuristic in thoughts. These are the exact qualities the question will help to decipher from the candidate.
The crux behind answering the question is enlisted below,
- Provide a step by step approach for your future vision
- Focus on how will you enhance your competency level
- Drive the attention towards self-learning, certifications, hands-on experience, learning from peers and supervisors
Sample Answer: In the next 5 years, I want to play the role of a supervisor. Yes, I know that it cannot be achieved in a day. But I feel I have the right potential, zeal, learning abilities, and extensive focus in rising to my career.
9. What are your salary expectations?
Rationale: This is a bit tricky question as the company matches the expectations of the candidate with that of the company’s role and average salary. The question may turn to be positive or adopt a negative path too. The hiring manager can more or less judge the candidate’s know-how on the market value of a dispatcher.
The essential points to be taken care of while answering the question,
- You can avoid answering the question if you are a fresher, specifying that you are open to any offer.
- For experienced personnel, it is important to judge the company’s performance and market presence before appearing for the interview.
- Connect with friends and acquaintances or google out for the probable salary and how much hike you can ask for
- But always be open to negotiations and never be strict on your salary demands if you are willing to grab the job.
Sample Answer: I earn currently X amount per year, would be glad if I can get a minimum of 10 to 15 % hike on that. But yes I am not rigid in my demands and would be glad to negotiate for the best offer.
Also Read: Remote Legal Jobs – Everything you must know
10. Why do you consider yourself an ideal candidate for the job?
Rationale: The question is again one of the vital dispatcher interview questions. Every company is aware of the fact that the employees need to be focused, dedicated, and skilled to perform the job. Unless there are interest and zeal to work for the dispatcher role, the execution will not be smooth and the results won’t be satisfactory.
The points that are essential to focus on,
- Speak about your skills and talents to coordinate with different departments and people
- Mention your awareness of the duties and responsibilities of a dispatcher, emphasizing your alignment with the same
- It is good to talk about your understanding of the industrial domain of the company
- Mention your qualities and strengths, focusing on your experience
- You can specify any appreciations received in your previous companies
Sample Answer: A typical answer to this question can be hinting upon the interpersonal skills like communication abilities, awards received from previous company leadership on productivity and talent.
Transportation dispatcher interview questions
A transportation dispatcher is responsible to coordinate the inbound and outbound logistics of a company. The top transporter dispatcher interview questions to be noted, while preparing yourself, are enlisted below,
1. What are the best practices for planning time-efficient routes?
Rationale: You need to mention your experience in route planning while considering the most cost-effective and efficient routing mechanism. Talk about the ways and means of combining deliveries into similar routes for cost-effectiveness and faster execution.
Sample answer: It is always good to use route planning software for chalking out the routes for delivering the goods to the customer locations. The deliveries must be sorted out based on their ship to addresses. Once done the zip code or the address must be entered into the software along with the start date and time. The software will provide an optimized route.
2. How to handle the delivery request of a new customer?
Rationale: While answering this question, your focus must be on how efficiently you have collected the information from the customer. The company will be on the lookout to understand your awareness in gathering the relevant data.
Sample answer: I need to collect the relevant details before recording the delivery request from the customer. The name, ship to and bill to addresses, contact details, payment method, details of the products, expected time of delivery with preferable dates are the key data to be captured.
3. Describe the steps to communicate special freight handling requests to the drivers?
Rationale: The question will help the hiring manager to understand the candidate’s experience in handling different types of freight requests. The candidate must detail out the steps in sequence, focusing on the communication abilities as well as the expected outcome.
Sample answer: First and foremost, I ensure the driver is efficient in handling special freight requests by checking the past records. Secondly, I provide details of the product to the driver. Thirdly I clearly define the steps of how the products need to be picked up, which container to be used for loading in the trucks, and the way the products must be unloaded while delivering to the customer.
4. Which transportation software have you used?
Rationale: There is an ample amount of good transportation software used in the market. Based on your past experience, speak about the software used and its best features. Elaborate on your hands-on experience in working with it, allowing the hiring manager to trust your skills. Some common software is MercuryGate TMS, Oracle TMS, JDA TMS, SAP TMS, Manhattan, Descartes TMS, etc.
Sample Answer: I’ve used MercuryGate TMS and Oracle TMS while being part of 2 organizations that I worked in the past 10 years.
How did you deal with tough customers, facing issues in delivery?
Rationale: It is important to speak about your interpersonal skills while answering the question.
Sample answer: Customers can face delivery issues due to a company’s internal problem like truck breakdown, delay in the arrival of goods at the port, etc. In such a situation I am always apologetic and accept all the mistakes. Next, I assure the customer that these events won’t repeat in the future, highlighting the date and the time when the product will be delivered with no further delay.
Aircraft dispatcher interview questions
An aircraft dispatcher is entrusted with the responsibilities of coordinating with the pilots, ground personnel in an airport, traffic control centers, and emergency services. Typical aircraft dispatcher interview questions are Illustrated below,
1. Elaborate on the procedures involved in intimating the pilots about approaching planes and hazardous weather conditions
Rationale: One of the important aircraft dispatcher interview questions, where you need to provide accurately and step by step instructions to the pilot to avoid any casualties.
Sample answer: On approaching planes, I ensure I have the appropriate information on the aircraft location like altitude, speed, etc. Inform the pilot of all the details and the route clearance data too for his or her ease of navigation. For hazardous weather conditions for example cloudy weather, I provide the details on approaching storms, rain, temperature, and whether emergency landing is needed.
2. How do you provide take-off and landing instructions?
Rationale: The question helps the hiring manager to understand your experience and sharpness in dealing with the instructions at ease.
Sample answer: First and foremost I coordinate with the ground personnel, air traffic control, and the pilot. Sequentially I mention the traffic clearance, the clearance from the ground staff, the queue number of the aircraft, etc.
3. Mention an emergency situation wherein you had to call the airport emergency services
Handling emergency situations is different than handling normal airport traffic or traffic in the sky. The response to this question will assist the hiring manager to gauge your experience level.
Sample answer: Emergency situations have to be handled very fast. In case of an emergency landing, I inform the ambulance, ground staff, paramedical staff, fire brigade to be immediately positioned at the site of the landing
4. Describe the process of communicating the change of route to pilots during bad weather conditions
Rationale: It is one of the important dispatcher interview questions, to avoid any casualties. The company can understand how efficient you are in providing accurate and essential information during a route change.
Sample answer: I collect the route change details from the air traffic control office. Double-check for clearance of the alternate route. Instruct the pilot the directions and ensure he or she understands before signing off.
5. Detail out the procedures adopted to monitor aircraft movement to avoid delays
Rationale: Aircraft movement control is an important activity at the airport, else it may lead to unnecessary delays and dissatisfaction. Hence companies hiring aircraft dispatchers try to ascertain whether the candidate has experience in dealing with such situations.
Sample answer: Coordination with air traffic control and ground personnel is very important to monitor aircraft movement. I ensure constant communication with them to optimize the delays.
Dispatcher interview situational questions
Dispatcher interview situational questions judge a person’s agility in dealing with instances that do not happen in normal circumstances. Here are some key ones for you to ponder upon and gear yourself before the interview,
1. How do you manage a scenario when you do not have your supervisor around for initiating a crucial action?
Rationale: This question is intended to check one’s capabilities independently handling stressful scenarios.
Sample Answer: I normally follow my supervisor when he takes any crucial decisions, the methods he adopts, and the rules he follows. I note down the details for my reference and learning. My strategy is to follow the pattern and double-check all the data before initiating a crucial action when my supervisor is not around.
2. You may be in a situation when you are handling an emergency situation and alongside you are receiving a call from your home which seems to be essential to pick up. What do you do in such a situation?
Sample Answer: I never use my office phone or desk phone to communicate with my family members. My personal phone is separate. In emergencies, we always a set of instructions to execute. As I start narrating them, I parallelly pick up the personal call and quickly try to understand the situation. If it can be handled by messages I immediately switch to that mode.
3. Did you ever been overcome by stress?
Sample Answer: I have but very few. But then I quickly recollected myself by closing my eyes for a minute. In some situation, I just stand up and walk around a bit or stretch myself, and then I am fine the next minute
4. Describe a situation when you went beyond your call of duty to help?
Sample Answer: In my prior company, I have worked in shifts. In one situation, I was steering an aircraft to landing through an alternate route. My shift was getting over and I could have easily handed over the instructions and left. But I extended my work hours and stayed back till the aircraft landed safely at the airport.
5. Have you faced any incident wherein you were not happy with your assigned tasks?
Sample Answer: Once I was assigned to monitor a driver throughout the route as the company was suspecting foul play. I felt I am not supposed to scrutiny someone’s behavior. So at first, I was not happy, but then I understood the company’s reputation depends on it and I agreed to perform the job.
Dispatcher interview role specific questions
Some of the common dispatcher interview role specific questions are enlisted below for your quick reference and guide,
1. What are the key duties you have performed as a supervisor of your team?
Sample Answer: As a supervisor, my duties involve monitoring and instructing my team to ensure that all assigned tasks are being performed smoothly. It is my responsibility to train and guide them for easy and faster execution of their tasks.
2. Can you talk in brief about the logistics delivery and collection process flow? (it is only an example – the question can be any other domain too like aircraft, police, etc.)
Sample Answer: In a typical logistics process flow, the important functions are loading the truck with the correct products, route planning, assigning drivers, and delivering to the appropriate customer locations
3. Have you ever mentored any team member or subordinate?
Sample Answer: I had mentored a few team members in my prior roles. Guiding them in their tasks and most importantly how to handle the workload and stress was an important aspect as the role of a mentor.
4. Did you ever have to play the role of a trainer?
Sample Answer: Once I started the role of a senior dispatcher, I was entrusted with the role of imparting training to the new joiners. My duty was to explain the entire process flow, the important responsibilities, and the best practices.
5. Can you elaborate on any specific achievements you have earned in your role so far?
Sample Answer: I have been recognized as the Dispatcher of the month and Dispatcher of the year for my contribution in handling critical and emergencies efficiently and with accuracy.
Dispatcher interview behavioral questions
Interpersonal and behavioral characteristics are important personal traits that need to be checked while interviewing candidates for dispatcher roles. The prominent dispatcher interview behavioral questions are illustrated below,
1. Describe a situation when you had a difference in opinion with a peer in executing certain actions
Sample Answer: Difference in opinion can happen any time and it happened with me too. I decided to handle the situation by calmly discussing the issue with my peer, listen to the viewpoints, and presented my understanding with facts and logic without arguing unreasonably.
2. Elaborate a circumstance where you resolved a team conflict
Sample Answer: A team comprises different individuals who may be culturally variant and skillfully different. Conflicts can arise and I am not an exception to that process. But I have not allowed the conflict to linger on. I have taken initiatives many times to speak with the team members to bring in synergy in thoughts and understanding.
3. How have you adapted to changes in your organization?
Sample Answer: During my prior working tenure, I had faced situations wherein the company’s policies had changed. In such situations, I pay regular attention to company messages and communications. I read through the policies carefully and ask queries to the HR department for any issues. This helps me to adapt to changes faster.
4. Cite an example when you influenced a customer by your communication skills?
Sample Answer: Once I had to face a customer, who was bent in seeking to deliver to a very remote location. Since I was aware of the route and the cost involved in the company, I successfully influenced the customer to accept the delivery to a different location, in close proximity.
5. What innovative ideas have you instilled in your daily work?
Sample Answer: In my prior experience, I had witnessed that traditional methods were being followed while recording details of calls. Though the software was purchased yet they were not used at their full capacity. I studied in detail all the features and suggested using them to my supervisor which was widely accepted.