25+ TOP Retail Interview Questions & Answers
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.”
4. 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.
5. What interests do you have outside your work?
This shows whether you are a one-dimensional person who just plays football. For example, someone who also uses his or her brains and is not just tied to one activity. More important, sometimes companies promote a particular sport among their staff and want team players for it. For example, if you are a good golfer, that could come in handy for company golfing events and would add to your appeal. Again you have to be honest here, or it could come back to haunt you!
6. What is your minimum salary requirement for retailing job?
This question has to be asked. If you are speaking to an employee who is looking to make between $10 and $12, and you know that you can only realistically offer $8.50 (or that is what your commission based associates are averaging), do not go any further. It would not be fair to you or the candidate to bring them on board, train them, and then have them leave because the money just is not there.
7. Are you comfortable interacting with customers?
No retail position is totally behind the scenes, so make sure that the candidate is not afraid to answer basic questions if needed, such as where the restroom is, or where an item or department is located. A friendly personality is always necessary in retail. Make sure that shines through!
8. Did you have previous experience in retail?
The interviewers may ask this question to test your understanding of the skills that a retail job demands. If you have been in lots of retail outlets, give a main focus to those that provide similar services or products to this new company you are considering.
9. Why did you leave your last job?
You do not need to tell your prospective employer that you got dismissed for one reason or the other. Avoid negative reasons and focus on some positive ones like the need to grow your career or relocate to be close to your family.
10. What makes you the best candidate for this retailing job?
In answering this question, you should be aware of the requirements on the retailing job. This will help you to pick specific trainings and experience in your career that relate to the post for which you are interviewing. Outline some transferable skills that you have gained and explain how these will help you succeed even in areas where you do not have experience.
11. Are you comfortable offering our charge account to customers?
A candidate should not be shy here. Someone who tells you that they are uncomfortable when being solicited for proprietary charges by other retailers will not be successful in your organization. If that is something that you as a candidate struggle with, make sure that you portray your desire to succeed. Tell the employer that it is something that you are gaining skills on, and would love the opportunity to perfect your script.
12. How will you make customers feel welcome in our store?
Countless potential customers in retail shops go unnoticed every day. It is often this attitude of indifference that leads people to shop at other places. Make sure that you have a candidate that will meet and greet your customers. Interviewees, let your personality shine here. Let your interviewer know that you are not afraid to introduce yourself to customers, and that you will not be hiding in the back restocking something.
13. Outline some important qualities in this retail job?
These are the key qualities necessary for one to succeed in any retail position including good communication skills, strong customer service, flexibility and high energy among others.
14. Describe an experience you have ever had with a difficult customer?
Provide a clear description of this including the circumstances under which this happened, how you dealt with the situation and the outcome.
15. What is your greatest achievement in retailing?
Go for an accomplishment that relates to the position you are interviewing for providing specific details. You should include the results like increased revenues, reduced expenses or even enhancing a company’s reputation.
16. How can your previous co-workers describe you?
This will be testing the way you relate with the people you work with since most retailing businesses employ several members of staff. Mention a number of your strong traits like enthusiasm, wide knowledge, keenness to show yourself a team player.
17. How long can you work with us?
You should give a response that will reassure the employer of being around for some considerable time. Also express how fabulous it would feel being part of the company’s expansion.
18. Which interests do you have besides your career?
Retailing business can be extremely involving and having other interests like sporting activities can be pretty relaxed promoting increased output. You can even mention some of your hobbies.
19. What is your most interesting part in retailing?
This is to test how well you enjoy your career, and you can start by mentioning how fun it is to deal with enterprising people. You can also state how satisfying it is when you suggest ideas that end up working great for the customers.
20. What motivates you in your retailing career?
Be sure not to mention money in answering this question. Instead, mention some things like satisfied customers and determination to go up the ladder.
21. If you were a wholesaler, how would you choose a retailer to distribute your goods and services?
Applicant should answer that he/she would review the requirements of the establishments and determine quantity and the different types of purchases involved. Study the market reports, sales promotional materials, visit trade shows, factories, and product manufacturing places and understand its requirements and will select a retailer which best fits the establishment’s requirements.
22. Have you had experience of locking up a shop and dealing with stock ordering?
These are a couple of examples of things that retail staff may be expected to get involved with, and they’ll be keen to see how much additional training they might need to provide.
23. Do you have any questions about this retails job?
Depending on the role, you might want to ask questions about career progression, opportunities, what type of tills or security system they use.
I hope that by putting a bit of effort into your preparation, you will come across really well in your interview and land that job.
24. Have you ever had issues with previous bosses?
You will be lying by saying No. Mention some understandable scenarios where you feel like a given boss irritated you or made decisions that affected your performance. End this with a lighter note by mentioning some positive influences that the same boss had.
25. What are your salary expectations for this retail job?
Instead of providing a straight figure, give an answer that sounds like, “I’ve been thinking about this and I think a person with my experience can earn between A and B.”