So I got a promotion (if you didn't, read on) (1 Viewer)


Frontier Psychiatrist
Aug 1, 2002
Reaction score
Pflugerville, TX
I was recently promoted to a team lead for one of my companies major escalation departments. What this means is I am in charge of a team that takes upset customer calls/emails. If one of my guys can not handle the upset customer, then I have to handle it. It never gets above me. This means every customer I talk to is one of the most upset customers we will have. I have a good personality for this kind of people (no matter what you would think from my posts). I like this work much more than my previous monotonous job.

The advice I would give for anyone at a large corp that is looking to move up is to make sure you meet your potential future boss before you interview. You should also meet team mebers and get a good idea of what they do, and try to get some time to watch what they do. You want the hiring manager to see you with his team and see taht you are serious about getting the job you are applying for. The last thing is to be fully prepared for your interview. Where I work they do "behavioral interviews". You can search google and get a good idea on how to prepare for these. In these type of interviews, they will not ask you questions like, "Do you work well with others?". They will always want specific examples, like, "Describe a situation where you worked with a team member who was hard to get along with."

Make sure that you have examples to describe the situations where you performed well in the situations that they are likely to question you about to amke sure you have the competencies that they are looking for. You need to know what skills they are looking for to know what you need to prepare for.

Here are some competencies that I was asked questions about.

Dealing with abiguity - How have you dealt with a situation where you did not have all of the facts. What did you do? What was the result??

Command - Describe a situation where you had to take command. What are the curcumstances? Where you supposed to be in command? What do you do? What was the outcome?

Team bulding - Describe a situation where you ahd to deal with a team that was uncooperative, or was unmotivated. What was the circumstance? What did you do? What was the outcome?

Technical information - Desribe a time where you over-estimated your technical ability. What was the situation? Why were you in that situation? What did you do? What was the outcome? What did you learn? What actions did you take for future events?

If you are not prepared for questions like this, you will get killed. You need to know what skills they are looking for, and have situations prepared in your head where you were ready for these kinds of events.

I was lucky that I had some help to know what I was going to be asked (not specific, but the type of questions, and I had a good idea of what skills they were looking for).

I just wanted to help you guys with interviews etc. so you can excel.

The best way to be promoted is to be the best at what you are doing now. Get your current boss's nod that you are the best. The bad part is that if you are the best and your boss wants to keep you, he may give a bad word to you future employer. This is where your references can really come into play. Have your references be people that you worked under who you know will be in your corner. If your current boss is one of those, then list them first. Then list your advocates next and so on. Its ok to list people who worked under you if you are applying for a people manager position, but its better to list a higher up if they can vouch for your people skills. (Yeah he was the best manager I ever worked for, he was really cool vs. He was a qualified manager, he had his team maximize productivity, while keeping his team morale high).
If you want to make your job easier, just put up a sign at the end that says, "Watch your step." That way you won't have to be picking people up all day when they trip.

The good part is that nobody really wants my job except the super ambitious. This is the job that you take so if any future interviewer asks you if you can handle tough situations, you say that you were in charge of the escalations dept, and they know you can handle any situation that will occur. I will handle the toughest, most bizzare, underanticipated situations that will come up. There is nobody above me to hand these off to. Its my job to fix it, and make it right. The good thing for me is that this is the kind of job that I have been looking for. I love doing process improvement. I also love doing career development for my people.
Isn't it fun handling escalation tomwaits.:D I do the same thing at my job, more so since my promotion to team manager back in March of 2005. You definitely get your legitimate escalation, but some or just plain strange sometimes.

Anyway, good tips though.

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