Customer Support Interview Process
We take a lot of pride in our support team here at GoCardless. 😛
If we see a ticket that's close to breaching our service level agreement (SLA), we'll jump straight on it. Or if we notice a product update that's caused an unexpected issue, we'll quickly follow up to resolve it.
We're constantly working to improve processes, increase efficiency, and share more knowledge. Whenever our users get in touch, we have the right tools to provide a quick resolution that will minimise any disruption to their day. If we can put a smile on their face while doing so, well that’s just the icing on the cake.
We're also a team that knows how to have fun. Our Slack channel is widely revered across the company. If there were a prize for inexplicable overuse of giphys and non-stop banter, we’d win hands down. We all love getting stuck in at our company events…and the weekly Friday evening pub drinks.
Together we’ve sampled our fair share of bars and restaurants near the office, and we’ve competed in laser tag, bubble football, beer pong, and more – all in the name of creating a great team spirit.
Anyway, before we get too carried away, let’s get back to what you came here for – insights into our interview process.
It all starts with your CV
We know that great ‘supportees’ can come from many different backgrounds (our team is no exception!) so don’t be put off from applying just because you don’t think yours is relevant.
Your CV and cover letter give us an initial impression of you, along with your experiences, skillset, motivations, and perhaps one or two oddities that make you unique. Remember, we receive quite a few applications. Think about how you can best present the information in your CV and cover letter to ensure we won’t miss the best bits.
If we like what we see, we'll arrange a phone interview with you.
This is our first chance to get a sense of you as a person; what you’ve been doing up until now, and why you want to work for us.
We want to know what excites you about GoCardless and the world of fintech, and how you see your potential future with us.
Depending on who calls, you might also be asked about your baking prowess. (We have a bit of a sweet tooth here in support - contributions are always welcome 😋).
But this isn’t just our chance to find out more about you. It’s also your chance to ask us questions, whether about the role, our product, company culture, or how many giant marshmallows Jess can fit in her mouth at once. (She’s said it’s important to reiterate that they were ‘giant’ ones).
Don’t forget, this is your chance to make a great first impression. Try to relax and let the real you shine through.
Having nailed the phone interview, you’ll then be invited into our office to meet some of the team. We’ll show you around so you can get an idea of the environment you’ll be working in. You'll also experience how we work with a few example tasks to complete while sitting among our friendly support team.
Once you’ve been shown around our office you’ll begin the first of two face-to-face interviews.
Lasting approximately half an hour, this first face-to-face interview is where we aim to find out if you’re a good fit for a support role. We’ll ask questions that identify your strengths, expose areas you can improve on, and assess whether you possess the key competencies we’re looking for.
We’ll also delve more into your motivations for joining a support role at GoCardless, your own experiences of customer support – good and bad, and how you see support fitting into the wider company vision.
The second interview is where we find out more about you and the values you hold dear. It our chance to see if we think you’d be a great fit within our support team and the GoCardless community as a whole.
We’re a varied mix of personalities so there’s nothing specific we’re looking for; we just want to know if we’d enjoy spending 9 hours a day with you. (This is similarly your opportunity to decide this about us as well!) We want to know what gets you up in the morning, what makes you tick, and most importantly what it is about supporting customers that you find irresistible.
Once the face-to-face interviews are completed, you’ll move on to the support task. This is a short exercise where you get to sit with our support team and experience what it would be like to work with us. You’ll be given a few short tasks, example emails, and a couple of role play phone calls. They’re all very straightforward and not designed to trip you up, so don’t worry. We’re more interested in seeing how you interact with the people sitting next to you, how you approach the tasks, and how you formulate your responses.
Supporting our customers over the phone is an important aspect of our work. The role plays allow us to test your phone manner, your ability to explain information, and how you deal with situations when you don't know the answer.
Once you’ve completed these tasks you finally get to head off home, hopefully with an air of renewed confidence having just knocked this stage of the interview process out of the park.
If you’ve made it this far you’ve done extremely well. You definitely have some of the characteristics we’re looking for.
This is the final stage of the interview process. You’ll be invited back to our office to meet two senior members of our team, most likely our Head of Support alongside another head of department.
This might seem daunting - I remember the nerves I felt as I walked into the interview room for the final time - but it needn’t be. Even our most senior team members here are really cool and easygoing. This is an opportunity for you to meet the people responsible for managing you and your progress within GoCardless.
They'll want to find out more about your motivations for working with us over any other potential employer. Also, they'll want to know how your experiences will help us in achieving our company vision. They'll ask about your expectations in working for GoCardless, what you want to learn during your time with us, and where you see your career heading in the future.
The key difference between this and the previous interview is that your responses are being considered through the lens of our most experienced team members, the ones who can pick up on things that others may have missed.
The best advice I can give you is to think about what you’re really looking for in your next job role before you come in.
How have your past experiences led you to where you are now?
Why do you want a career in Support?
Can you see yourself working with us for the next couple of years or more?
If you’re confident you’re in the right place, going in the right direction, and with the right motivations, then just relax and remember, above all else – be yourself!
Notes about the process
At any stage in the process you're more than welcome to ask questions. We may prompt you at certain times to ask us questions, but our aim is to make the whole process as open as possible. As such, there’s never an inappropriate time to ask us something.
How we decide:
For each interview stage you undergo, each member of the team involved in that stage will meet afterwards and discuss how we think you got on. We'll keep discussing until we agree on whether to progress you to the next stage.
With each stage of the interview process we'll do our best to let you know our decision within 48 hours. If there have been a lot of applicants though this may take us up to a week. If a week has passed and you still haven’t heard from us please feel free to get in touch.
We've launched a brand new Support Centre
We know how important it is to be able to source information quickly when needed so you can focus on what matters most, your business. That’s why we’ve been working hard to bring you a brand new Support Centre.
Our aim was simple - to speed up the time it takes to get answers to many of the questions that we’ve found come up fairly frequently.
Of course, you can still contact our support team if you can’t find what you’re looking for or if you would like further clarification on something in particular. However, we hope this will help to save you time when all you need is a quick answer to move forward with the task at hand.
How it works
We wanted to make our new Support Centre as simple and easy to navigate as possible. You can access it at any time by going to support.gocardless.com in your web browser.
The first thing you’ll notice when you open the homepage is a big search bar at the top. Simply type your query in and you’ll be shown matching articles relating to your query. As you type, you’ll also see relevant suggestions popping up below!
If you can’t find what you’re looking for or if you would simply prefer to browse articles for a particular type of query, you can do so via one of the eight category icons found below the search bar.
In making our Support Centre as easy to navigate as possible, we’ve included a few noteworthy features to our article pages.
On the left hand side of each article page you’ll find a column titled Articles in this section. This enables you to navigate between articles within the same category without having to return to the category articles page each time.
If you need to navigate to a different category entirely, the top menu bar will help you do so with minimal fuss. There is a search bar in the top right for if you’d like to type your query straight in. If you want to go back to the Support Centre homepage you can do so by simply clicking the "GoCardless Support" logo in the top left or the Support Centre breadcrumb.
You will also notice that the breadcrumbs include Documentation. If you click this link you will be directed to a page that provides a full overview of all the questions in each of the categories for you to browse. This is perfect for when you’re unsure of which category your query falls into.
Contacting our support team
If you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, you can contact our support team directly from within the Support Centre. On the Support Centre homepage, you'll find a button below the icons that will direct you to our contact form.
You can also find a link to this contact form underneath the content of each article, right below where you can let us know whether or not you found that article useful.
All you need to do to submit a query to us is to enter your email address, a subject to briefly outline your query, and a description of your issue. You can also add attachments such as screenshots if it will help.
If, when typing your subject, your query relates to an article in our Support Centre, you will see this pop-up below for you to view if you haven’t done so already, before sending your request.
When getting in touch with us via our contact form, please enter the email address registered to your GoCardless account when possible. You can also add your merchant account name within the description box if applicable.
We will continue to improve our Support Centre moving forward so please do let us know if there’s something else you'd like to see included.
A day in the life of GoCardless support
Kicking off the day
It’s 7am and I’m already up bright and early this morning as today is our pre-work morning football match. Luckily I live closer to work than most so I get a little extra of a lie-in than the others. I’d like to think this will translate into a performance comparable to Ronaldinho vs Peter Kay in those John Smith’s ads. Unfortunately my two left feet are likely to say otherwise.
A much sweatier version of myself makes it into the office at around 8.40am. Fortunately the GoCardless office has showers so there’s time to freshen up before work officially begins. A few of our team have been in for a while; with the recent rapid growth of the GoCardless customer base it’s fair to say that the support team are a hard-working bunch!
By 8.55am I have my computer on and my coffee in hand - now it’s time to officially start the day. As always there are several things that I need follow up on before getting down to today’s workload. Whoever invented post-it notes was a genius… my desk is nothing short of a shrine to them!
As a team we split our days into segments, rotating between them depending on priorities, volume, any specific cases or projects we’re working on, and simply to avoid the monotony that may otherwise ensue. For the next few hours I’m on calls. Perfect, as I’ve just finished my second coffee and probably couldn’t keep quiet if I tried.
By around 12.45pm I’ve finished my last call of the morning. A lovely retiree needed some help navigating the dashboard to manage payments for her rambling club members – I love taking these calls!
Anyway, now it’s time to put a dent in that seemingly endless cycle of emails.
It’s a busy day for the team - our Slack channel notifies us that we are on high alert due to the amount of calls and emails coming in. Today is office lunch day so we grab something delicious from the huge buffet laid out on the long wooden table by the kitchen. The food is supplied by Cookoo, one of the startups working out of the GoCardless offices. It’s great to sit down and eat with my colleagues but as support is having a busy period I pick up a kebab wrap and salad and decide to eat it at my desk.
At around 2.30pm the phone calls begin to slow for a little while and so I take this opportunity to fit a proper break in. A colleague and I decide it’s time for a quick FIFA rematch on the huge work projector in the office. I still have yet to beat him (despite a shamefully large number of attempts), but I’m feeling confident that my luck is about to change.
15 minutes later… no change. With my tail between my legs, back to emails it is.
Time for a change of pace
I’ve got an accounting partner training session scheduled in with our three newest recruits - two new sales joiners and another in support. With GoCardless being integrated with a number of popular accounting platforms it’s good to know the fundamentals of how these packages operate, especially when in a customer facing role. Having taken on the responsibility of learning these when I joined, I now get to pass on my ‘wisdom’ as and when required.
The further I go through it, the more I’m reminded that the presentation needs a bit of updating. Wunderlist is great for keeping notes on little tasks like this.
It’s 5pm and there’s an hour left of the working day, our email feed is still looking a little on the larger side than we’d like. Our team manager has decided to rally the troops in the best way possible – a competition! Who can respond to the most emails in the next hour; rules being that we must take the next oldest email each time, (and not sacrifice quality for speed, obviously) - Game on!
At 6pm time for our “all-hands” team meeting. This is where the whole team gets together on the office bleachers and our CEO and company VP’s ensure we’re up to speed with what’s going on across the company. Of course, there’s office beers to help our focus.
Once the team meeting is over it’s time to finish off the last couple of emails I’d rather get sent this evening while the issues are fresh in my mind… Ah, one more beer won’t hurt to help see me through.
The emails are finished and I’ve made my notes for tasks first thing tomorrow morning. Now, time to go home and catch up on some Homeland!
Enterprise Nation StartUp 2016
We had the privilege of being a part of Enterprise Nation StartUp 2016 in London on Saturday 9th January... and it was an absolute blast!
The doors opened at 9am, and it took very little time for the rooms and corridors of the Canary Wharf venue to fill up with ticket holders. More than 3,000 entrepreneurs attended the show, each looking to learn as much as they can in the pursuit of getting their startup businesses off the ground.
Set across multiple floors, the event offered a wide variety of talks, panel discussions, workshops, and more. The aim was ensuring that the budding entrepreneurs attending the show would receive a plethora of advice to help them succeed in their journeys.
Our own hub of activity was positioned nicely amongst the other sponsors of the event. Our stand, which was run by a number of volunteers from across the GoCardless team, was glittered with limited edition GoCardless merchandise that would become increasingly famous as the day wore on.
Inspiring keynotes from the main stage
The day kicked off with a warm introduction from Enterprise Nation’s very own Emma Jones. Shortly after, Oliver Sewell took centre stage to begin the day’s masterclasses with an insightful talk on boosting your business through Facebook.
This led onto one of our highlights of the day, “Make or break: How I’ve built my start-up”. This was chaired by Gary Turner from Xero, one of our accounting software partners. The consensus amongst the three panelists was that managing your company finances digitally is key for keeping on top of your business as it grows. Cloud-based accountancy platforms will become vital as your company grows and their key advice in this regard was to start using one from day one. Not only will all your financial records be in one place (making it far easier when the taxman comes knocking), you’ll also be in a good position to scale to the next level.
By noon time, the event was in full swing and each and every floor was buzzing with activity. A large crowd had gathered in preparation for Nicola, our VP of Marketing, and her panel discussion with Andy Stephenson and Oliver Bridge, the founders of Weekend Box Club and Cornerstone. Their panel discussion was on “how to build a subscription business” with both entrepreneurs sharing their advice on launching and growing a subscription business on a small budget. They also discussed some of their key challenges along the way.
This discussion paved the way for our highlight of the day, where our founder Hiroki Takeuchi took to the main stage alongside Mark Preason, founder of MyVoucherCodes and Amber Atherton, founder of My Flash Trash. The three of them had an open discussion on what they had learnt building a million dollar startup.
Speaking to entrepreneurs at the GoCardless stand
Spending a day speaking to entrepreneurs and business owners at the GoCardless stand was an absolute joy. At StartUp 2016, we were demoing the new GoCardless dashboard and showing visitors how they could transform the normally painstaking task of collecting payments into a simple, automated process. After answering all the questions fired at us like there was no tomorrow, I could have sworn we transformed into Jedis... well, Direct Debit Jedis anyway.
Not wanting to miss any opportunities, we made the most of the brief periods we were free by convincing the other sponsors across the floor to model our merchandise for a quick photo (a few of which may have been casually leaked to Twitter). ¯\(ツ)/¯
The occasional [read frequent] fluttering of eyelids in the direction of the Direct Line stand opposite may have also occurred – we couldn’t resist… they had a popcorn machine!
Keeping an eye on your finances
As the day drew to a close, some of us made our way back down to the ground floor for the final keynote panel discussion of the day – “How to keep financially fit and protected throughout the year”.
What shone through in this final discussion is that staying on top of your finances from the start is absolutely crucial if you want to see your startup to reach long-term success. Too many startups founded only on great ideas have fallen by the wayside as a result of poor finances or not keeping an eye on their cash flow.
Turning great ideas into successful long-term businesses
One of the goals of Enterprise Nation and StartUp 2016 is making sure budding entrepreneurs have the knowledge and tools they require to ensure a great idea comes to fruition in the market.
GoCardless has always been proud to support start-up businesses and we can all agree unequivocally that we felt proud to support StartUp 2016 (it definitely more than made up for the 7am alarm on Saturday morning). We finished the day feeling incredibly inspired by the people we met, the talks we attended and the general spirit of innovation and creativity.
Thank you to everyone who attended and best of luck to each and every one of you taking the plunge into startup life in 2016. From the whole team at GoCardless, we wish you every success in your new venture!