Hello, and welcome to this blog on Retail Interview Questions and Answers. In this guide we will be teaching you all about how to ACE any retail interview. We’ll give you the top 7 RETAIL interview questions, suggested answers, and also 3 questions for you to ask at the end of the interview that will impress the panel! With all this, you’ll see your chances of passing your Retail interview skyrocket. What’s more, at the end of this blog we will give you the slides of our Retail interview presentation to download, to help you with your own preparation!
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Important Tips For Passing Your Retail Interview
TIP #1 – Refer to the job description in your answers to the interview questions.
This is extremely important. The job description has been written by employers not just for the purpose of attracting people to the role, but also as a way of determining which candidates are the best fit. Attention to detail matters, and this starts with understanding the job role and its core requirements. If you can’t do this, then it’s likely that you aren’t a good fit for a job in retail – as this is a position which requires strong attention to detail.
TIP #2 – Prepare your answers beforehand!
This is another essential point, and a skill which transfers to any interview you sit. Before you take an interview, sit down and prepare your answers beforehand! By looking at the job description, and the company profile, you should be able to get a good idea of what type of questions will be asked, and what the right way to respond is. So, prepare in advance. Have answers to the most common types of question, and be ready to use these in the interview.
TIP #3 – Think carefully how you would deal with a difficult customer in a retail situation and also be aware of how to deal with a customer complaint.
During your retail interview, it is very likely that you will be asked questions relating to your past experience, and how you’ve dealt with difficult situations before. The employer will want to know that you have the knowhow and experience to handle difficult customers. This is a customer-facing role, and your people skills will be integral to your success in the role.
Now, let’s look at some sample retail job interview questions, and how to respond.
QUESTION #1 – Tell me about yourself?
Every company has a set of characteristics/qualities, which they expect their employees to abide by. If the company doesn’t have these posted online, then it is likely that you’ll be able to decipher their values by reading the job description, and their company ethos on their website. Usually, retail companies look for employees with the following qualities:
So, make sure you use these in your response!
“Before applying for this job, I studied the job description in detail to make sure I had the skills and expertise to perform to a high standard. I have lots of experience working with people and making people happy is something I thrive on. I am a self-motivated person who promises to come to work every day with an enthusiastic and consistent attitude. I have a customer-focused mindset and understand your business won’t operate successfully without happy and returning customers. I am attentive, have an eye for detail and can be relied upon to learn the job quickly. Finally, I am flexible and reliable and would be available to work extra hours if required, either to cover someone’s shift at short notice, or help out the business as and when required.”
QUESTION #2 – You are due to leave work at 5pm. Your replacement worker doesn’t show up. What do you do?
TIP #1 – You have to stay behind and help out! There is simply no other answer option to this retail interview question.
TIP #2 – This question is assessing how flexible you are as an employee, but also assessing how much you care about the company. Whilst it is your right to leave at 5pm, no employer wants to hire an employee who isn’t flexible, especially in a situation like this.
“The simple answer is, I would stay behind until they either turned up or an alternative replacement could be sought. I would never leave the business in trouble and I understand working in retail requires a level of flexibility. Obviously, it would be important to establish why my co- worker hadn’t turned up without giving notice, and I would implement steps to make sure they were safe, first of all. One of the positive traits I have is a flexible attitude to work and also a commitment to reliability. I can assure you that I would never let you down and would be on hand to cover situations like this, as and when they arose.”
QUESTION 3 – Describe a time when you dealt with an unhappy customer?
TIP #1 – Give a SPECIFIC example when answering this interview question.
TIP #2 – Use the STAR technique to structure your response:
- Situation – What was the situation and why was the customer unhappy?
- Task – What was the task you wanted to achieve when dealing with the customer?
- Action – What action did you take to resolve the issue?
- Result – What was the end result?
“A customer entered the store whilst I was working in a previous job. He came up to the retail desk and started complaining in an angry tone how a member of our staff had been just rude to him on the phone. It was my job to resolve the situation for the customer in a satisfactory manner whilst also investigating the complaint to make sure the situation did not happen again.
I started off by listening attentively to the customers complaint. I used effective body language to show I was listening. After he had the opportunity to express his dissatisfaction, I explained the process I would go through to both investigate the complaint and also resolve it for him. I apologized for any distress we had caused him and reassured him I would get to the bottom of the situation quickly, whilst keeping him updated on my progress. After speaking to the member of team who spoke to the customer, she admitted she had been short with the customer on the phone and apologized immediately for her error. I then spoke to the customer and, once again, apologized unreservedly for the issue. As a valued customer, I offered him a credit note to the value of £30 and reassured him the situation would not happen again.
The end result was the situation was resolved to the satisfaction of the customer and we took positive steps to make sure the situation did not happen again.”
QUESTION 4 – Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
TIP #1 – This interview question assesses your commitment to their organization. Retail demonstrate your commitment work generally has a higher turnover rate than other jobs. Therefore, the interviewer wants to know you will be committed to them for the foreseeable future because they will be investing time and effort to training you up.
TIP #2 – Whilst you do need to be committed to them, it is also advisable to show a level of enthusiasm with regards to your own career development and progression.
“Ideally, I would see myself still working for you. I plan to stay in the retail industry long-term, and providing you are happy with my performance, which I strongly believe you will be, then I will be committed to you for the long-term. During my research for today’s retail interview, I found out lots of positive things about your business and you have enthusiastic plans for the future, which I would like to be a part of. If I am successful today, my first aim would be to become competent in the role and also be accepted by my peers and respected as a hard worker. Then, if the situation arises in the future, and management believe I have the potential, I would be open to career progression within your organization.”
QUESTION 5 – A customer wants to return some goods that have been clearly opened and used. What would you do and say?
TIP #1 – Whilst great customer service is a priority, you also have to know when to follow and adhere to company policy. If company policy states unopened or used items are not eligible for a refund, you must stick to the policy.
TIP #2 – When answering this question, state: – You will be polite and courteous to the customer at all times; – You would follow your training and company policy in respect of refunds; – You would explain they are not eligible for a refund and explain the reasons why.
“Whilst dealing with the customer I would be polite and courteous at all times. I would also follow my training and adhere to company policy in respect of refunds. I assume that, in this type of situation, the customer would not be eligible for a refund, and on that basis, I would politely explain the reasons why. I understand the company has legal obligations in respect of refunds and the customer also has their own rights, but if perfectly decent items or goods have been opened and used, the customer would not be eligible for a refund.”
QUESTION 6 – What do you think is more important – great service or a great quality product?
TIP #1 – Whilst this appears to be a simple retail interview question to answer, you could get caught out. In retail, both great customer service and great products are equally as important.
TIP #2 – When responding to this interview question, say both are just as important and explain the reasons why!
“To be honest, I believe they are both as important as each other and I wouldn’t place any emphasis on either. If you have a sub standard product or service you will get complaints. People are now more likely to go online and leave a bad review if they feel they have received either a poor product or poor service. Therefore, I believe it is vital in retail that both customer service and a great quality product are offered in parallel.”
QUESTION 7 – A customer’s order comes to £17.11. If they give you a £10 note and two £5 notes, how much change would you give them? ANSWER = £2.89
TIP – Depending on the retail role you are being interviewed for, they may ask you a simple numerical question to assess how good you are with numbers. Whilst most retail checkout tills will do this work for you, it is a good idea to have a basic concept of subtraction and addition.
Now,, let’s look at some questions to ask at the end of your retail interview.
Three Questions To Ask At The End Of Your Retail Interview
Asking questions at the end of the interview is extremely important. The reason for this, is that it demonstrates enthusiasm and interest in the company – important qualities for any employer to see in a potential employee. Ideally, you should try to prepare questions prior to attending the interview. Do not try to be clever and catch the interviewers out with difficult questions – as this will only reduce from your chances.
Below we’ve listed 3 potential questions that you can ask at the end of your interview, to impress the employer, and show your interest in joining the company:
QUESTION 1 – What challenges are you facing within the industry and what could I do within the role to help you overcome them?
QUESTION 2 – I noticed on your website you have launched a new product. Has it been a success?
QUESTION 3 – What’s the next steps in the process of selection?
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