The future progression or decline of most organizations largely depends on the ability to manage the inherent resources judiciously. One major resource input that is universal to most businesses and organizations is finance. The astute prevention/ reduction of financial loss is key to stabilizing the growth of the organization. One of such ways through which financial depletion is minimized is through the recovery of overdue payments. The professionals saddled with this responsibility are bill and account collectors. The above-mentioned facts clearly indicate the centrality of employing the services of worthy collection agents in sustaining the progress of the business/ organization.
Some interview questions and answers designed to help in determining the most suitable candidates for the debt collection job are stated below.
- In your own opinion, what are the major responsibilities of a bill and account collector?
A bill and account collector is essentially charged with the responsibility of recovering overdue payments from defaulting customers. In the process of achieving this, a number of tasks are embarked upon. Such tasks include monitoring, locating and communicating the overdue status of payment to the customer, as well as embarking on follow-up procedures in a bid to recoup payment.
- How would you deal with the situation of an un-cooperating defaulting customer?
In the case of an un-cooperating customer, it is essential to avoid conflicts that can blow the whole process out of proportion. The bill and account collector should act professionally, and if upon employing standard payment recovery techniques, all still prove abortive, legal actions may then be implemented.
- To be an accomplished bill and account collector, what skills and requirements do you think are crucial?
An accomplished bill and account collector ought to have prolific communication skills as well as adroit organizational skills. Also, an appreciable knowledge of mathematics and statistics is essential in assisting the analytical processes involved the profession. In addition, a very patient mindset coupled with effective interpersonal communication attributes are of massive benefit.
- What motivational factors encourage you to pursue this career?
The prospect of liaising and negotiating with stakeholders in order to arrive at a mutually-beneficial and successful consensus is a massive source of inspiration to me in my capacity as a bill and account collector.
- What major attributes do you possess that improve your chances at being an accomplished bill and account collector?
I am endowed with lots of qualities that are advantageous to the pursuit of being an accomplished bill and account collector. Some of these attributes include outstanding analytical/ mathematical skills; good organizational skills; impressive mediation and negotiation skills, as well as an optimistic and tolerant demeanor.
- What are the greatest challenges that you can envisage in the debt collection profession?
There are a number of challenges associated with a lot of professions in general, and debt collection is not an exception. The major challenge burdening the career of a bill and account collector is most probably dealing with un-cooperative debtors. This can prove to be a very trying and unappealing situation.
- How would you go about addressing the challenges identified above?
If after following benign channels of debt recovery and the defaulting customer still refrains from making overdue payments as agreed, the final step would be to implement legal actions as the last resort. This only becomes necessary when other more charitable means of reaching a consensual agreement have failed.
- What procedures would you follow in the process of recovering overdue payments from debtors?
Depending on the uniqueness of the situation, an array of debt-recovery procedures can be exploited. However, the most common and general approaches include initial communication with the defaulting customer in order to prompt him/her about the overdue status of payment. A second reminder is also sent as duly deserved. If thereafter, the customer still refuses to oblige, a third and final notice is sent. Should this fail also, the customer is directly contacted and reminded of the situation. Failure of all of the above measures will then result in the issuance of an official letter of demand to the debtor.
- What mistake(s) have you ever made in discharging your duty as a bill and account collector?
In as much as I rarely make mistakes, there has been a situation in the past whereby I overly empathized with the debtor and subsequently jeopardized the debt-recovery process. It was an obvious situation of my patience and humaneness being abused by the defaulting customer.
- How would you address/ manage future situations in order to avoid a repeat of the mistake(s) you identified above?
In future, I am going to be more professional in the discharge of my duties as I have been doing since after the unfortunate incident. Personal emotions will not be allowed to becloud my judgment and subject the debt-recovery process to vulnerability.