Retail interview questions and answers

Why do you want to work in retail?

If an interviewer asks you this question, you could say something like - “I had a desire to work in retail store since long and this made me pursue my degree in Retail management.. Working in a retail setting environment where I get chance to help customers and organize stock is something that excites me.”

“Retail store seems like a really interesting place to work, with the variety of items and services that you offer, and I feel that given the opportunity, I could be an asset to the team.”

What makes you suitable for this retail job?

Retail management is something that requires you to work in variety of departments and you need to deal with different kinds of customers. Appearing for an interview in the retail sector you need to possess certain skills that are mentioned below:

- Interpersonal skills - In a retail industry you need to communicate with people the entire day so you need an excellent skill of handling diverse group of people.

- Effective time management skills- In retail shops you have a very flexible schedule so with the help of time management skill you would be able to do quality work in the provided time.

- Ability to stay calm - These stores have a very stressful working environment. So you need to stay calm at times when you are required to multi task.

- Ability to handle cash, debit and credit card transactions- Handling transactions effectively indicates that you are trustworthy and able to work in the cash department as well.

Decision making skill- At times you have to act like a decision maker and coming up with creative ways to make sales and communicate with customers will create a good impression on the employer.

How would you deal with an angry customer?

There are customers with a very short temper so working in the retail industry you must know how to deal with such kind of people. You can say something like this- “ I would respond in such a manner that satisfies my customer and he gets a proper solution to his problem without making any loss in the business.”

Here are tips for on how you can cope up with an angry or rude customer:

- Remain calm- You need to remain calm at times when your customer yells at you in a very bad manner.

- Don’t take it personally- When you are working for an organization you should not take things personally as you are responsible to maintain the reputation of that particular organization.

- Be a good listener- An angry customer always wants to vent out his frustration so if you listen to them without a negative reaction, it would make them feel that they are being heard.

- Show your sympathy- Sympathizing with an angry customer will help you in negotiating and solving the problem.

- Apologize- If you say sorry in return of the customer's complaint, you wont loose anything. It would rather help you in calming down the situation.

- Find a solution- Lastly you have to find the appropriate solution to the problem to satisfy your customer.

Would you mind working overtime? Are you comfortable working at night?

Even retail industry does operates at night and you must be confused what kind of work you have to do during night hours. Its about evaluating other employees and looking after the deliveries, restocking shelves, monitoring inventories, making sure targets are hit, dealing with customer inquiries, organizing the warehouse and ensuring the store is ready for the daytime hours.

So you can have your answer in any of the following ways:

- “Its fine with me working at night hours as I used to do it in my last job too.”
- “I wont mind working at night if the job demands to do so.”
- “Night shifts are good to me until I am working in the safe environment.”

Why should we hire you and not one of the other applicants?

Employers asks this question in almost every interview you go, so you must answer this question with an example in the same context. You can share your past experience that would present your ability to work in the retail industry.

You must go through the job description before you go for any interview as you will come across the skills and experiences that are listed down by the employer. Frame your answer with the help of the most prominent needs of the employer.

For an example, one of the answer could be like this- “I am not aware of the qualities and experiences of the other applicants but I am in this field from last few years and have the ability to deal with diverse group of people. Even I have the ability to keep the workplace peaceful and challenging at the same time.”

Describe a time where customer wasn’t happy and what did you do to change it?

At times you may come across unhappy customers in the retail shop as satisfying a customer is the most difficult task here. So you can answer your employer like this- “I will try to keep my personal emotions at bay and will address the customers issues.”

Knowing your customers needs and expectations can also be a solution to make your customer happy by providing them the kind of service they want.

How do you adapt in a constantly changing environment?

Here are some ideas how you can give answer to this question:

“I would take most of the changes in a positive manner and will try to learn from it and will make improvement comparing my past performances.”
“Will keep track of the types of changes occurring and will looks after that the changes are positive or negative.”

Its not necessary that every time you will deal with same kind of customer or you will be working in the same department. There will be situations where you will be asked to work differently and in different areas. So flexibility is the most important quality employer must be looking at in you.

A co-worker is rude to customers, what would you do?

Being rude to customer is not acceptable in the retail industry as they are considered as the king of the business. So here's how you can answer this question- “I would try to find out the reason that why my co-worker is being rude and would do something to get control over the situation.”

“I'd try to communicate with my co-worker and make him understand the customer's importance and would ask him to apologize and to make improvement in his behavior and attitude.”

“ I would try to control the situation as customer service is the priority of every retail industry and rude sales associates can create a negative impact on that reputation.”

What is most important – a good product or friendly, fast service?

For any customer a good product and fast and friendly service is equally important. If a customer doesn't get good service while buying a product at one place he , may go to another retail store for a better service.

There is no restriction for him as now-a-days there are so many shops having the same product. Fast and friendly service can make a attract customers for the second visit too.

A superior product will needs no description and promotion so friendly and efficient customer service is what will set your company apart from the competition.

What would you do if you saw someone was stealing?

Here's how you can answer this question to the employer-

“If I am working for a small retail store I would point out the customer that he or she is shoplifting. If the customer agrees on their mistake of doing and apologize I would just leave the matter through a warning.”

“If I am working for a big retail store I would point out the matter and will handover the whole matter to the security department of the store.”

Drunk customer comes to the shop. What would be your reaction?

If he just comes to buy something and leaves, I won't have a problem. I'll simple provide him what he asks for.

Such customers are very difficult to handle as they do not have ability to understand at that point of time. They need to be handled in a friendly manner rather than being rude to them. I would try to fulfill his requirement and politely make him leave. The problem arises when a drunk customer creates a scene.

If he misbehaves with any customer or employee and is not ready to listen, I might need to call the security or police.
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