What to Expect from a Retail Interview

By Dorie Cross

Interviews are crucial in retail. They are the best way for an employer to get a feel of your personality, and the best way for you to portray qualities that don't shine through on paper. As you head into your retail interview, here are few things you may be asked and some of the key qualities your new employer might be looking for.

Entry Level

At the entry level, your employer will be looking for signs that you are outgoing, relaxed, and also alert! So smile, be friendly, and open! You should be able to answer questions like:

  • If you've had a retail job in the past, what kinds of things did your customers tend to ask of you?
  • Describe a time when you were presented with a difficult problem that you had to resolve on your own. What did you do?

Management Level

As you speak with your employer, present yourself with confidence as a leader who cares deeply about the success of the company. Be ready for questions such as:

  • Describe an employee problem, scheduling problem or training obstacle you encountered in a previous position. How did you approach the issue and what were the results?
  • What will you do to help your employees reach out, upsell and make purchasing recommendations?
  • Describe your experience with the target audience for this company's product or brand. How will you approach these kinds of customers and what methods will you use to meet their needs?

Treat each question as an opportunity to demonstrate your positive attitude when it comes to interacting with customers and meeting their needs. Make sure the employer sees you as someone who pays attention to detail, who thinks like a customer, and someone who puts the needs of the company ahead of your own.