RETAIL STORE MANAGER Interview Questions

RETAIL STORE MANAGER Interview Questions and Answers :-


1. Tell us how would you handle ABC?
It’s important to ask a prospect how they would handle a difficult situation that you’ve seen take place on your sales floor. You shouldn’t expect them to come fully trained in your procedures, of course, but at the end of the day the judgement required to navigate through a tricky situation is very important, and tough to train for.

Additionally, creating a situation for them allows you to see how their problem-solving skills work on the fly. Retail selling is all about improvisation. If your prospect can’t come up with a good solution in the moment, they likely never will be able to.

2. Tell us what are your greatest weaknesses?
I am workaholic and I involve myself so much into the work so much that I forget what time of the day it is.

Earlier I used to hesitate a lot while dealing with customers or speaking with large group of people but gradually I worked on these issues and have started to overcome these limitations

3. Explain me your working hours in your previous position?
Most retail positions require flexibility with regard to working hours. It is important to assure the interviewer that you are able to accommodate different schedules. Give examples of how you have been able to meet the demands of a typical retail schedule in the past. If this is your first job in retail sales make sure your answer emphasizes that you do not have schedule restrictions.

4. Tell me what do you feel is the key role of a retail manager?
This question is asked to determine whether you have an understanding of what a retail manager’s position is. Use this opportunity to speak about the retail management business and what you think would be your responsibilities would be. Read up about the position! Once the interviewer is convinced that you understand the role of a retail manager, your chances of being hired are good.

Some duties and qualities required of the retail manager are:
► Team leadership and team development abilities.
► Managing the hiring process: HR activities and employee training.
► Workplace scheduling – Day to day operations.
► Problem solving skills – Communications skills.
► Sales management.
► Product and project management – Professional qualities and prioritization.

5. Explain me where do you see yourself three years from now?
I am keen to grow within this industry as I like Retail Industry. Therefore, in 3 years from now, I envisage myself playing a bigger and more responsible role for my employers.

For example, I want to use my customer service and team building skills so that I can handle a larger team (or more than one team) and manage multiple stores. In terms of position, I have a goal to be Area Operations Manager where I am also and giving my team product knowledge and guiding Store Mangers on day to day basis to perform better.

RETAIL STORE MANAGER Interview Questions and Answers

RETAIL STORE MANAGER Interview Questions and Answers

6. Tell me have you personally shopped here before? Why or why not?
You might think it is best to answer this interview question with a “yes.” After all, the best types of retail store employees are those who take pride in their company and actual shop with them. However, don’t outright lie to suck up. Once again, this is your chance to shine. Provide honest feedback if you don’t shop there (why not and what would change your shopping habits). If you are an avid shopper, state why (whether it be the friendly staff, the quality products, or the good prices).

7. Explain me what are your Greatest Strengths?
I have good communication skills and can work with different types of people of varying personality and skills.

I have a solid background in store operations with great problem solving abilities and team handling

My work experience as the Asst. Retail Store Manager has taught me skills like Time Management and Team Management which are required for this position.

Besides, I have good Selling Skills and Leadership Ability.

8. Explain me a time when you had to handle a difficult customer?
The interviewer wants you to provide an example of how you dealt with a demanding customer in the past.

You need to give a clear description of a specific situation when you did this. Describe the circumstances, the actions you took and the outcome. Similar behavioral questions that often come up in a retail job interview include:

Give me an example of when you went the extra mile for a customer.

Tell me about an improvement that you made to the customer service process.

Describe a situation in which you had to remain calm under great provocation from a customer.

9. Tell me how would you handle a problem employee, such as someone who consistently arrives late to work?
The answer to this question might seem a little bit tricky. After all, a good company does not want an employee who wastes company time and money on their payroll. However, an answer such as “terminate them immediately” might be jumping the gun too fast. One of the best answers for retail management interview questions along this line is an answer that involves checking their work history, providing a clear and simple reminder, and then possibly termination if an improvement was not made in a timely matter.

10. Tell me how would you handle an employee struggling to meet sales goals?
As a manager you are responsible for the overall success of your store, so being able to motivate and assist other employees is a critical function. In answering this question, you will want to share a step-by-step process that you would follow when evaluating then assisting an employee to bring them up to par. This is also a great time to highlight your knowledge of effective sales techniques and your ability to teach them to others. Support your answer with a strong example of how you have assisted employees in the past with meeting company goals, even if you were not in a management position.

11. Explain me how Did You Overcome Objections when Selling That Product?
Consumers will object to sales initiatives for many reasons, but the two most popular reasons for objections have to do with price or lack of need. You will need to demonstrate that you are capable of overcoming them. “Customers often objected to purchasing ABC jeans because they cost $10 more per pair than XYZ jeans. However, I simply told them that ABC jeans were more comfortable and lasted many years longer than XYZ jeans, and this was often all it took to close the sale.” With this answer, you are demonstrating your ability to sell a product and overcome common objections.

12. Tell me do you believe the customer is always right?
This is a more important question than most people would think when it comes to determining who’s going to make a strong employee. Answers to this question will reveal how much someone understands about what happens on the floor. Anyone who answers just yes or just no hasn’t really thought about the question and doesn’t understand what it means to work on the retail floor.

Customers are wrong all of the time, quite frankly. I firmly believe it’s not that the customer is always right, but rather the customer must think they’re always right. A sales person’s job is to always steer a customer in the right direction, while making the customer think it was their idea the whole time.

Let me give you a true example. I worked with a customer who insisted that she was two sizes smaller than she truly was. My job was to make sure she left the store in clothes that fit her, happy about her purchases and her body image. I had to use a combination of tricks, including bringing her looser-silhouette items and telling her our sizes just ran smaller than usual, but I managed to sell her five items of clothing that just about fit her. She turned into a repeat customer.

Had I believed that the customer is always right, I would have let her walk out of the store with clothes that didn’t fit her (or without making a purchase), which she would have hated because they made her feel bad about her body. That would have translated into hatred of the brand.

13. Tell me how do you overcome objections when selling a product?
There are a few common objections that individuals face when trying to sell products to consumers. Some of the main objections include:

► Price: the consumers think it is too high or low
► Need: the consumer does not foresee a need for the product
► Value: the consumer does not recognize the quality in the item

To sell the customer on the product you must be able to successfully address these concerns and any others. Most importantly, you must be able to effectively communicate with customers to determine and address their particular objections.

In answering this question, express the strongest objections that you have faced when selling products to customers and detail how you have overcome them. Drive your answer home by sharing a brief, related instance where you closed the sale.

14. Explain How Would You Help an Employee Who is Struggling to Meet Sales Goals?
Since the performance of the store’s employees will reflect upon you directly and impact the business significantly, it is very important for you to help anyone who seems to be struggling with meeting goals. “I would first observe the employee in an effort to determine why he or she is having difficulty. Once I have discovered the problem, I would take the time to role play with the employee so that he or she can practice overcoming objections, portraying confidence or any other issue that may be hindering him or her.” You may also discuss any fresh sales techniques you can bring to the table.

15. Tell me how Have You Sold ‘Product ABC’ in the Past?
Store managers are responsible for much more than paperwork, scheduling and supervision. They are the backbone of the store and the individuals responsible for helping other employees meet their sales goals. Your interviewer will want to know the methods you have used to sell similar products in the past. “When I was in college, I worked in a clothing store. I was able to sell ABC jeans more often than XYZ jeans because they are one of my favorite brands and I have experience with it. Since I have familiarized myself with your product and even used it personally, I believe that I can build the value and need for this product that is necessary to sell it” is a phenomenal answer.

16. Explain how do you go about familiarizing yourself with the products you sell?
Product knowledge is key to providing good customer service. There are a number of ways that product knowledge can be learned such as informational material, on-line information, other employees and training. Focus on your proactive attempts to learn about the products including asking questions and reading up about the products.

17. Tell me as a new store manager, how would you delegate tasks to your coworkers?
This type of interview question for a retail management position is designed to get an idea of your method of management. Are you a manager who just goes with the flow? By the way, these aren’t the type of store managers that most retailers look for. If you were, your response would include letting each employee perform the tasks they normally do. If you were a take-charge kind of manager who is interested in producing the best results, your answer would involve assessing and communicating with each coworker first. The goal is to determine who is the most productive at what and go from there.

18. Tell me something bit about yourself?
This is a very general and vague question. At the same time it is the often asked question during the initial part of the interview.

Many candidates give very short answer such as “My name is Muhammad Hussain, I belong to this city and I have come for the interview”. Yet there are candidates who would very long answers and most of it would be irrelevant which fails to impress the interview board.

The best course of action would be to tell the interviewer that you are briefly going to talk about your A. educational background, B. previous & current jobs or Career and C. family. Next, you should pick each one of these topics listed as A, B, C and begin describing about yourself to the interviewer with whatever information you feel is appropriate on those lines.

19. Suppose you have worked as a retail manager before, what did you like the most in your job and what did you not like?
It is always good to start and end on a positive note. Make a list of the pros and cons of your previous job(s). Pick a few facets and add some specific examples. Speak about the most important first, and end with an upbeat anecdote. In the middle, speak briefly about a negative aspect. Speak with others in this field to get a better idea of what to emphasize.

20. Tell me what interests you about selling to customers?
Try to be specific in your interview answer to these type of retail job interview questions. Avoid generalizations such as “I enjoy people”, rather say something along the lines of:

I enjoy talking to the customer and finding out exactly what they are looking for. I like the challenge of meeting the customer’s needs, making useful suggestions and making sure the customer leaves satisfied.

21. Tell me what do you feel are the basic qualities that a retail manager should have?
A general yet brief answer would be vision, planning and follow through. An idea is just that until it is actualized. A manager needs to do just that – manage others, according to a planned and thought out strategy.
A retail manager is similar to the proprietor of a store and has many responsibilities as compared to the other employees. If a retail manager is good at planning and has a vision for the future, he or she can take the company to the next level.

22. Explain me you walked through the store on the way in and have possibly shopped here before, what would you recommend doing to improve this store?
The answer to this question is another tricky one. Your first impulse is to assume “this company doesn’t want to hear I think the store looks like crap.” Of course, you don’t want to use those exact words, but provide an honest answer. The best answers for retail management interview questions are honest ones. Ideal suggestions include have an employee greet me when I walk through the door, remove bulky displays in the aisles that hinder cart movement, and so forth.

23. Why do you want to work in retail?
Why do you want to work for us?
Why do you want to be a buyer/merchandiser/store manager etc?
What do you think this role involves? Why do you think it would suit you?
This role requires relocating several times. Are you able/happy to do this?
Interview questions that involve asking ‘why’ are often referred to as motivational questions. Recruiters want to know what is motivating you to apply for a particular job with them, rather than for any other job with any other company. The key to answering this type of question well is to be specific and avoid giving generic answers about the retailer’s size or success, for instance. This will require you to do some research into the job and the company that you’re applying for so you can give a tailored answer.

To research the retailer, read its website thoroughly and identify specific things that interest you so you can discuss them in the interview. For example, familiarise yourself with the retailer’s values and identify any that you share, learn about projects or initiatives that it runs and research its role in society. You can also make notes on any recent news stories about the retailer that may have inspired you to work for it, such as information on its financial performance or any innovative sales tactics.

24. Basic Retail Store Manager Job Interview Questions:
► Tell me a little about yourself
► How are you customer orientated?
► Tell me about yourself academically and socially, any hobbies, other awards or skills you may have.
► What have you got to offer the company?
► What skills can you offer the company?
► Why should we pick you?
► What are your strengths?
► What are your weaknesses?
► How would you deal will employees who are older than you and don’t like you because of your age?

25. Operational and Situational Retail Store Manager Job Interview Questions:
► Who are our main competitors?
► What tasks, when executed incorrectly, directly impact sales?
► A product is selling well at our competitors’ stores but not at our store. Why do you think this is?
► Describe the inventory process at your previous store. What are the necessary steps?
► How would you address shrink in your store?
► What’s the most important decision you make every day as a store manager?
► How would you teach a colleague how to close the register?
► What is your opinion on being friends with your coworkers?
► Describe a time you resolved a conflict between your colleagues.
► How do you think your colleagues would describe you as a manager?
► How many people have you fired at your last job? Why did you fire them?
► What would you do if you had an employee who was frequently late?
► What would you do if you had an employee who refused to follow a new policy?
► What strategies do you prefer for motivating employees?

26. Sample Math Related Retail Store Manager Job Interview Questions:
► The customer’s purchase totals $13.93. She gives you a ten dollar bill and a five dollar bill. How much change do you give her?
► If one bottle of soda costs .99, how much do three bottles cost? How much do they cost with 5% tax added on?
► Each pot of coffee holds 6 cups. We usually sell 10 cups of coffee every fifteen minutes. How many pots of coffee will you need to make during our two-hour rush?How many pots of coffee will you need to make?
► Potato chips are on sale at half price. They sell for $1.19. How much is 50% off?
► A customer buys $27 worth of gas. He gives you a $50 bill. How much change do you give him?
► 55 x 20 =
► 24 – 48 =
► 62 + 28 + 14 + 36 =
► 82.20 – 53.66 =
► 15 x 7% =
► 8.50 x 4% =
► 19 x 15%

27. Commercial awareness Based Retail Store Manager Job Interview Questions:
Why do you want to work for us?
Why do you want to work in retail management?
Who are our main competitors?
What differences do you see between us and our competitors?
What differences do you see between our stores and our competitors’ stores?
Who are our customers?
What do you know about our company
If you were CEO of our company , what would you do
Why Supply Chain?
Why you want to be a retail buyer?
How many hours per week do you think you will be working? 50+
What do you already know about the company? (Expanding about 80 stores per year currently 380 stores in the UK, no baskets just trolleys, customers pay for the carrier bags as it would add to the costs of the food if they didn’t.)
How do you meet the changing demands of customers?
What changes would you make to LIDL?
How do Lidl manage to break into other markets?
What would you take into consideration when deciding what product to supply?

28. Customer Service Based Retail Store Manager Job Interview Questions:
► What is customer service?
► What is good customer service?
► Why do customers shop at this store?
► A customer leaves without paying for gas, what would you do?
► A co-worker is rude to customers, what would you do?
► The credit card machine is broken. What do you say to the customers?
► A customer wants to pay for $15 worth of merchandise in quarters, do you accept it?
► A customer wants to return a package of food that is open and half gone. What will you do?
► What is most important – a good product or friendly, fast service?
► You are scheduled to leave at 6 pm. Your replacement worker doesn’t show up. What would you do?
► A customer becomes irate with you, and demands to speak to your supervisor, how do you handle the situation?
► You discover one of your co-workers giving free merchandise to his friends. What would you do?

29. Hypothetical Retail Store Manager Job Interview Questions:
► An employee has been arriving 30 mins late to work everyday. Why do you think this is? What would you do?
► A certain product is being sold at the same price, same quantity, etc. (i.e. same product) as the competitors, but the product at our stores is not selling well as compared to the competitors. Why do you think this is? What would you do about it?
► You had to give a presentation with other colleagues. The others got “good” as their grade, but you got “acceptable”. Why do you think this is? What would you do about it?
► The interviewer pretended he was a customer and I had to sell him a few things

30. Tips from Retail Store Manager Job Interviewees:
► Body Shop want someone who is going to deliver sales results and promote their values. Find out as much as possible about the products especially for the shop floor trial.
► Be prepared. Know the company and its competitors. Know the retail industry.
► Don’t go in not knowing why you want to work in retail.
► Prepare answers to common questions in advance.
► Make sure you know exactly where to go for the interview.
► Interviewers were pretty friendly. You could make a joke with them.
► Come prepared to be confronted.
► Be confident!
► Ensure you have many examples to give in the interview – competency questions.
► Make sure you see if they’re right for you!
► Not at all daunting so don’t be at all worried. There are no questions designed to trip you up.
► The assessments were deliberately organised to put pressure on you time-wise. The point of most of the assessments didn’t seem to be getting to the correct answer but seeing how you got there – so bear this in mind. One or two of the candidates tried too hard to impress and were very overbearing when it came to the group exercises – I’m not sure that this is what the assessors were looking for and it certainly didn’t make them popular with the other candidates!
► The assessment centre was incredibly well organised, though at times the assessments ran over time which meant that scheduled breaks didn’t really happen. It is a very very tiring and long day so be prepared! The assessors were not actually from BT but from a recruitment consultancy hired by BT. They did not have access to any of the information given previously to BT by the candidates so each person was essentially equal in their eyes at the start of the day.
► Questions I asked included:
► How do Lidl manage to break into other markets?
► Would we all start off as store managers?
► What’s the staff turnover like?

31. Questions to ask Retail Store Manager Job Interview:
► How many hours per week do you expect that I would work?
► What are the typical shifts covered by this position?
► Are weekend/evening hours required?
► How flexible are the hours and the schedule?
► Do the hours vary weekly, or stay the same?
► What are your busiest times during the day?
► What is the busiest day here?
► Do you schedule people for primarily the same hours every week, or do they vary greatly?
► Are there extra hours available during the holidays?
► How far in advance is the schedule posted?
► How many sales associates are on the floor during a shift?
► Is there a supervisor on during all shifts?
► Who does your displays?
► What is your biggest selling item?
► Do you offer commission?
► Are the performance reviews done by the store manager, or does a regional manager come in?
► Does this company have a policy of promoting from within?
► How many full-time employees does this store employ?
► What kind of atmosphere among the employees is there at this store/shop/boutique?
► What kind of growth do you expect to see from this company over the next five years?
► Will I be a part of a team, or be working primarily independently?
► Will I have the opportunity to interview with the supervisor of this position?
► Can you describe for me a typical day in this position?
► How would you describe your company’s management style?
► Is there opportunity for growth within the company?
► What do you like best about working here?
► What do you like least about working here?
► Would you change anything about this department?
► If I’m offered this position, how soon would you like me to start?
► How many applicants are you interviewing for this position?
► Is there a dress code? What would I need to wear to work?
► Do you have any additional questions for me?
► When should I expect to hear from you?

32. Competency Based Retail Store Manager Job Interview Questions:
► What are your key strengths as a communicator?
► How have you sucessfully managed conflict?
► When was the last time your plans were disrupted due to an unexpected event? How did you react?
► Tell me about a time when there was an unpopular change in an organisation?
► How do you ensure goals are reached?
► How do you set vision and direction for your team?
► Describe a situation where you were:
► under pressure.
► able to influence someone
► creative
► able to plan something?
► for each of these: Why? How? What did you do?
► Describe a situation where you showed motivation
► Have you made any presentations? When? How? Why? Do you enjoy making them?
► Describe a situation where you demonstrated team work
► Tell me about a situation were you have had to stay calm?
► Tell me a situation that you had to take control of?
► Give an example of when you had to make a difficult decision. Explain all aspects of coming to this decision.
► What leadership experience do you have?
► How flexible are you?
► How do you work under pressure?
► Can you adapt easily to different people and environments?”

33. Retail / Customer Store Manager Job Interview Questions:
► Do you work well with people?
► Why are you applying to work here?
► What has been your greatest accomplishment?
► What would you do if your replacement doesn’t show up?
► If hired, how long do you plan on working here?
► Who was your best boss? Why?
► Do you have reliable transportation?
► Where do you see your career in 5 years?
► What hours are you available?
► What do you see as your greatest strength?

34. Tests given to candidates of Retail Store Manager Job:
► Numerical test. 30 minutes to do 36 questions. Statistics-based: interpreting data from tables and graphs. Calculator provided.
► Verbal reasoning. 30 minutes to do 36 questions. Given 9 passages of writing (about 3 paragraphs each) and had to answer four questions on each.
► Numerical similar to SHL tests, 35 mins: need to get 70%
► Given 10 minutes to complete a 15 question maths test without a calculator. This was pretty straightforward and included questions such as: “If you had a piece of rod 200m long how many smaller pieces of 20.6 cm could you get and how much would be left over”. So long as you revise basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and long division then you will be fine.
► Shop floor trial

35. Tell me what is the job role of a retail sales manager or what are the responsibilities of a Retail Sales Manager?
Some of the important duties and qualities required of the Retail Manager are:

► Management of Team, Providing Leadership and development of the team’s abilities to perform and give results.
► HR activities: Recruitment / hiring; employee training and motivation.
► Manage Day to day activities and operations
► Good Communications skills.
► Problem solving skills
► Retail Sales Management and Customer Relations Management

Overall responsibility of managing the store which includes meeting the targets and earning profits. He is responsible for the smooth and effective functioning of the store.

36. Explain me what qualities do you consider most important in this retail job?
Generally good communication skills, flexibility, a strong customer service orientation and a high energy level are key to success in a retail position. Go into more detail by expanding on these qualities.

For example, good communication includes excellent and active listening skills, the ability to ask the right questions to get clarity on what the customer is asking and to be able to respond to the customer in a concise and easily understood manner.

37. Explain me why do you want to leave your present job?
While I do enjoy working at my current job but I am looking for more responsibility with new and fresh challenges. As I have been working with my current employers for almost three and half years and on this position for the last 2 years, I have grown in my role with a lot of learning.

Secondly, I believe that at the moment the growth opportunities are limited with my current organisation. After working for almost 3 and half years I have learned how the company runs the entire business cycle, I think it is time is to move on to a progressive organisation with more opportunities and challenges

38. Who are our main competitors? How do they differ from us? What do you think we do better than them?
Who are our customers?
What changes would you make to our stores?
What challenges/issues do you think the retailer or the retail sector generally is facing?
What are your thoughts on our CSR/fair trade/ethical/sustainability policy?
The only way to tackle questions on the company and its business strategy is to research, research and research again. Read the company’s website, its annual reports and press releases. Search for and read any media reports and analyses on the company and its competitors. Visit one of the retailer’s stores – more than one, if you can – and get a feel for the ethos of the company, how its brand is being put across, its layout, its customer service etc. If you can, talk to employees. It’s also a good idea to ask friends and family if they’ve shopped there and what they think of the organisation.

All of this will give you valuable insights to draw upon in your interview. Aim to visit a competitor’s store too, and compare the similarities and differences that you notice in the same areas. Make notes as you go and think about the opportunities and threats facing the retailer, and what its strengths and weaknesses are.

39. Why did you apply to our store as Retail Store Manager?
This is a great question to jump into the interview with after you’ve exchanged pleasantries. As a hint, you’re not looking to hear in reply that they needed money. That’s the answer to why they started looking for a job. You want to know why they applied to your store in particular.

A future stellar employee’s response should tell you how they are personally invested in the brand. Keep in mind, the answer doesn’t have to be that they LOVE your products and they purchase everything from the store. (In fact – you may want to avoid these responders for a couple of reasons, the first, and most cynical being: you don’t want to lose a good customer.)

A great response can often be something like: “My mother shops here all the time, and I’ve always enjoyed being at this store. The sales people are kind and very helpful; the products are beautiful and high quality; overall, it’s just the type of environment and values that I think are important and would like to be a part of.”

That kind of answer demonstrates personal investment in the brand, an understanding of the brand, and an interest in growing as an employee. It’s probably a more developed response than you will likely get, but shoot for the stars and you’ll at least hit the moon, right?

40. Explain me a bit about your professional background and educational qualification?
Speak about your professional background. If you have experience in retail sales, provide dates and other details such as product range, number of customers per day or hour, size of outlet, etc. If you lack experience in this specific field, try to relate any experience you do have, even if volunteer, to the retail manager position. Find commonalities; relate some anecdotes that will show you can perform as a retail manager. Consult with friends involved in retail establishments for assistance if need be.

41. Explain me while you are applying for a store management position, can you still work as part of a successful team?
One of the best answers for retail management interview questions like this one is yes! As a store manager, it is your responsibility to manage the entire store, as well as each employee. On that same note, store managers often help with everyday tasks. This is particularly common in small stores with limited payroll hours. Job interviewers want to know that you can not only handle the management aspects, but the team aspects as well, such as helping your stockers unload a warehouse truck.

42. What would you do if an employee has been arriving 30 minutes late to work every day? (for a store management job)
A certain product is being sold at the same price and same quantity as it is at a competing retailer, but the product at our stores is not selling as well. Why do you think this is? What would you do about it?
What would you do if the employee replacing you on the next shift doesn’t turn up?
Start by taking time to think about the scenario you are given and make sure you ask questions if you don’t understand or if there is something you want to check. Don’t feel pressured to rush your answer. If you are worried about pausing for too long, tell your interviewer that you are taking some time to think. Explain your thought processes clearly and remember that it’s fine to say that, if faced with this scenario, you would ideally check company policies or procedures before acting. Don’t be afraid to go with your gut instinct.

43. Explain me tough situation with a customer that you were able to successfully turn into a sale?
You can alter this one if your prospect has no sales/retail experience. Overall, you want to look for someone who rightly recognizes moments and customers that require extra care, and that then go the extra mile to make these situations come out well. Ideally, your prospect was able to convert this rough situation into a sale, but I think pacifying an angry customer is equally as good.

Anyone who worked in retail and was a decent seller has plenty of these stories lying around, so you can assume anyone who either doesn’t have a story, or has one describing a not-very-tough situation is probably not a good fit for retail.

If you’ve altered this answer for someone with no previous retail experience, the main elements you’re looking for in an answer are: your prospect pacified someone who was upset (with them, with their work, with another situation), and possibly even turned the outcome in their own favor. An example of answer from a teenager you’re interested in hiring who’s only ever babysat before could go as follows:

The child I was watching was very upset because they could not watch television. Instead of letting them cry on the floor, I distracted them by singing a song in a funny voice and then convinced them to go outside.

44. Tell me what would you consider your biggest advantage as a retail manager?
Use your personal experience and speak to people in the field – enter any store and ask the manager this question. You will probably pick up some very relevant points. Consult with a friend if need be to see which of your qualities make you most suited for this position.

45. Explain me how did you sell XYZ Product in the past?
This question is similar to the previous question, however it is more targeted and speaks to a specific product. Even if you have strong sales experience, your interviewer will want to know that you have a plan for successfully selling their main products. As such, when answering this question you will want to detail your method for selling the specific product mentioned. If you have more than one method, mention them; this shows versatility and preparation, which the interviewer will appreciate. You will want to share an example here as well.

46. Tell me what makes you suitable for this retail job?
Focus on specific experience and training in your career history. Identify things you have done that match the job you are interviewing for. Emphasize what qualifies you for this particular job and how you can add value to the job and company.

What transferable skills have you gained in your previous jobs? Look at the job tasks such as buying merchandise, customer care, and highlight your experience in performing these. If there are areas of the job function that you do not yet have experience in then highlight what skills you have that will facilitate learning and succeeding in these tasks. For example your ability to remain calm under pressure and listen carefully will help you in a customer complaints function.

47. Explain me what previous experience have you had?
Totally standard question, but you want to look for people who are comfortable working in an extremely fast paced environment and enjoy helping people. You should also look for people with standard computer skills. (I say this because, even though basic computer skills seem like basic motor skills these days, you wouldn’t believe how many coworkers I had who did not understand how to work any of our point of sale software for the duration of their employment.)

For most sales associate positions, I don’t think those you hire need to have any previous experience in retail. I also don’t think, depending on your brand, they even necessarily have to have any real experience. We all start somewhere, and if the person you hire has the right natural abilities, it doesn’t matter what they did beforehand; you were going to train them anyway. Sometimes it’s even a bonus to hire raw talent because you can mold them into the perfect employee for your brand.

Regardless, though, you need to be looking for people who can multitask, move and think quickly, and are willing to do as much as it takes to please a customer. These are three critical features to a good retail worker. You cannot hire someone who doesn’t have all three of these.

48. What skills can you bring to the retailer?
How have you successfully managed conflict?
When was the last time your plans were disrupted due to an unexpected event? How did you react?
Describe a situation where you were: under pressure; able to influence someone; creative; motivated (and showed it); able to stay calm; decisive etc
How have you ensured quality in the teams you have worked in?
Tell me about a time when you dealt with a difficult customer.?
Questions about your skills will align with the competencies that the retailer seeks and the values of the company, so if they are an entrepreneurial company, for example, expect questions about times you took the initiative or improved something.

► The first step to preparing for these questions is to remind yourself of the attributes the company wants – reread the job ad.
► The next step is to come up with examples of when you developed and demonstrated these skills from your part-time jobs, internships, extra-curricular activities and your course.
► Practise explaining these examples – many graduates don’t show themselves in the best light they could. Use the CAR structure: explain the Circumstances (or background), the Actions you took and the Results (or outcomes). If you’re talking about when you worked in a team, focus on what you did.

49. Tell Me how Would You Handle an Understaffed Shift?
Unless you are being interviewed for a position with a large department store, it is likely that there will only be one or two sales associates on duty at any given time. As such, when an employee does not report for duty, this can put the store in a bind. Your interviewer will want to know how you would handle such a situation. “I would first contact the employees who were scheduled off that day to find out if they are willing to cover the shift. If not, I would take it upon myself to cover that shift on my own.” This answer not only shows that you have a plan in place, but it also proves that you are dedicated to your job if that plan fails.

50. Tell me can you create X with our product? (Or: Sell me that product and a related product.)?
You want to know this prospect has the ability to mix and match items first for suggestive selling reasons. You need to know that your prospect can take a client buying a bedspread and show them the benefits of buying matching sheets.

Secondly, if you’re a clothes seller, you want to know that your sales person can do more than just suggestive sell. You need someone who can style an outfit.

Of course, your prospect does not have the benefit of having the inventory virtually memorized like you do, so you have to allow for a little bit of extra time. But overall, anyone who’s got a natural knack for sales should be able to pick out two related items and give some sort of pitch as to why you should buy them together.

51. Tell me how do you see our brand?
This one is such an important question, and is something of an extension to the first question. In fact, you may get your answer to this in the first answer. You want to hire someone who understands your brand, because, after all, your sales people are the face of your brand.

If you’re a manager at an upscale clothing store which prides itself on excellent customer service, you can’t hire someone who believes that your clothes are terrible quality and they can give your customers minimal service. That’s a no-brainer.

52. Explain me what would you do in a situation where you have an understaffed shift?
This is another situation where strong problem solving skills are needed. Within store management there are certain situations that you are bound to face at some point, and being understaffed is one of them. Employers want to know that you will be able to properly handle such a situation. In answering this question, provide a detailed course of action that you would take to try to get the store properly staffed as quickly as possible, ending with your willingness to cover the shift if need be. This showcases your leadership abilities, which interviewers are looking for.

53. Explain me why are you interested in a position at this company?
Detail why you want a job with this specific company. Base your answer to this retail job interview question on what you have learned about the company from your pre-interview research.

How does this company differ from the competition? What about the way it operates attracts you? What interesting innovations have the company introduced such as customer loyalty programs and on-line services.

The company will expect you to have done your homework. Know their main competitors and be aware of current industry trends. The internet is a useful source of information.

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