Retail is one of the major fields of employment in the United States. However, it does not imply that it is easy to get a job in a retail store… When we look at the current unemployment rate and take into consideration other economic problems we face, there is no wonder that in average, more than twenty people applied for every single job opening in retail (statistics from October, 2012). The math is simple… Twenty applicants, one job! We will try to teach you how to be the one of twenty. Welcome to RetailInterviewQuestions.com!
What happens in this interview?
Giant companies, such as Kmart or Target, have their own, specific selection procedures. For example at Target, every job candidate has to pass the personality test. This is not a typical practice elsewhere. Interviews at big stores typically consist of more selection rounds and one can be interviewed over the phone, in a group, or even online. However, right principles and attitudes can be successfully applied in every single retail interview, doesn’t matter if the store is big or small, if you apply in the US or overseas. Let’s have a look at it right now.
Questions they typically use
- Why do you want to work in retail? (Why this job field? Have you worked in other field before? Why such a career change?, etc.)
- Why do you want to work for us and not for one of our competitors? (Why did you apply for a job here?)
- This job is very repetitive. What would motivate you to do it well every day?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Why do you think you can be a good cashier (stocker, laborer, sales floor representative, team member) in our company?
- Where do you see yourself in five years time? (How long do you want to work here? What is your career plan?, etc.)
- How would you deal with an angry customer? (Have you had such an experience before? What did you do?)
- What would you do if you saw someone was stealing?
- Drunk customer comes to the shop. What would be your reaction?
- Would you mind working overtime? Would you mind working at night?
- Do you like the working environment in our company? (What do you know about it? How do you imagine a day in work here?)
- What would you improve about our company?
- Why should we hire you and not one of the other applicants?
- Is there anything extra you would do for your customer, to make him as satisfied as possible?
- If a customer buys two items, each for $7.73, and gives you $20 bill, what would be the change?
- What plays the key role on the success of any retail business? Price, product value, or communication?
- Is there any group of customers you may struggle to deal with? (What would you do if you have to serve such a customer?)
- Have you ever helped someone else to achieve their goal or helped to better themselves and if so, how?
- There is a colleague you have a difficult time with. How would you handle it?
- If another co-worker were gossiping about someone else something which is untrue, how would you react?
- Describe a time when you have effectively resolved another person’s request. What was the situation and what kinds of information did you gather to help assist in resolving this request?
- Do you have any questions?
Impression matters a lot
As you can see, they will ask you mostly personal and behavioral questions. You need to demonstrate your communication skills, listening skills and most importantly, your motivation to do the job, while answering these questions.
For many job seekers, retail is just the last choice, or even the only option. Maybe it is also your case. But even if it is so, recruiters should not spot it, they should not feel it from your answers. Try to look motivated, smile, speak with enthusiasm and pay attention during the interview process. Show some respect to your interviewers and be humble. Doing it, you present yourself as someone with good personality for retail and someone who really wants the job, not only needs one at the moment.
Taking it lightly
Many people take their job interview preparation lightly. They believe that retail interviews are easy and then find themselves surprised to see someone else getting a job. Actually, to succeed in this interview is even more difficult than to succeed in an interview for a specialized IT position (an example). Why it is so? In a retail interview, there won’t be two, but twenty applicants competing with you. All of you have similar background and experience… Who should get hired? It is not an easy question for the interviewers…
Who will get a job at the end?
In most of the cases, people who know the answers to all tough interview questions, and especially job seekers who know how to sell their skills and strengths in an interview, will get a job. If you want to learn how to do it, check out this excellent e-book, that will show you much more than 177 brilliant interview answers (as if that was not enough :)). It’s your chance to outclass the other applicants and get a job. But will you take it? Check the book here.