What are Common Retail Interview Questions?

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  • Written By: Lauren Romano
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 08 October 2019
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The retail industry can be quite stressful and requires strong, patient and hard-working individuals who can deal with the pressures. When applying for a retail job, an interviewer may ask a wide range of questions including ones that pertain to the products, past experiences and personal qualifications. Preparing answers ahead of time to the possible retail interview questions can allow for more confidence and less stress during the process.

One of the main retail interview questions a potential employee needs to be able to answer is about why he or she wants to work for the company. The best answer is one that truly reflects passion for the product or services. Retail is about being able to sell products, and when the seller believes in what's being offered, there is more of a chance the customer will as well.

Retail is about being able to relate to customers. Another of the retail interview questions the interviewer may ask is how you would handle a rude customer. The best answer typically involves stating how it's vital to stay calm, keep the face relaxed and have a pleasant sounding voice in addition to offering up feasible options to make the customer happy.


Another one of the retail interview questions may pertain to how a customer pays for merchandise. For example, the interviewer may ask how you would handle it if a customer demanded to pay with a method that wasn't accepted. The correct answer would be to stay calm and let the customer know the methods that are accepted. The interviewer may also ask what to do if a customer's credit card is declined. An acceptable answer would be to quietly inform the customer that there is a problem with the card, then ask if there is another method he or she would like to use.

Despite the fact that many retail establishments work by using registers or computers that calculate correct change, it is still important that the employee know basic math skills that can be useful should those electronics not work. Be prepared to answer a basic math question such as what is 50 percent off $24 US Dollars (USD). Always make sure to inform the interviewer that there would be a double-check of the calculations as well before handing over the change.

An additional retail interview question you may be asked is what makes you qualified for that specific retail position. This is where it's best to highlight personal skills as well as a knowledge of the company. If you've owned the product or used the service for years or are a huge fan of the company, let the interviewer know, but also include personal characteristics such as patience, willingness to satisfy the customer and paying close attention to detail.

When answering retail interviewer questions, it is important to keep in mind that the company relies on sales associates to represent its brand. It wants employees it can count on to positively show customers that it puts their money and faith in good hands. The more you show that you are committed to customer satisfaction and being an outstanding and reliable employee, the more the interviewer may want to hire you.


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Post 3

@bythewell - It's the psychological tests that seem to be becoming standard that I worry about. I had a friend once who lost out on a job because he answered one of those wrong. He told me he was trying to get the answers right and that he wasn't exactly answering honestly anyway.

Post 2

@Ana1234 - Over preparation can be a mistake though, particularly if there is a verbal interview. They might ask the questions you're expecting and they might not. If the person interviewing you is someone you will eventually be working with or for, they are more likely to be looking for signs that you'll fit in with the team.

If you come across as an automaton or that you're just saying what they want to hear, they might be more likely to hire the guy who didn't have perfect answers, but had a good sense of humor about it.

Post 1

Interviewing techniques for many big, branded stores are fairly similar, so if you want to work somewhere like that you should do some research and see if you can find their common interview questions. Even just ask on Facebook or somewhere if anyone you know has ever interviewed with them before, so that you can know what to expect.

Often you'll be expected to watch a training video and fill out a questionnaire as well as answer verbal questions, and it can help to know what they're looking for in an employee, particularly if there is a lot of competition for the job.

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