Job Interview Questions and Answers for Retail Industry Careers

Job Interview Questions and Answers for Retail Industry CareersIt would be reasonable to presume that you are you already in the Retail Sales and you wish to grow further in the retail industry? Further, there are good chances that you are expecting an interview call for the job you have applied or are expecting a call anytime soon.

We have compiled a few relevant and important questions with suggested answers in response to these questions. Even if you are a fresher or have no experience in retail industry and now wish to make a career in retail sales, you will find many questions helpful in this article – if not all, to prepare for your interviews. Is it not a great interview help?

How to take the maximum advantage of the Job Interview Questions and Answers

A thorough attempt has been made to put the questions in a sequence which would resemble the flow of the actual interview.

  1. You should first read each and every question and then try to answer the questions on your own. In other words, resist the temptation of looking at the suggested answers, initially.
  2. Prepare your own answers. Now you can read the suggested the answers. Combining the two you can prepare the answer to each question which suits your experience and background the best.
  3. For best results, book mark this page and do visit and read this page at least 3 to 4 times to get the maximum benefit.

What is the interviewer looking for in an ideal candidate?

Questions that are asked in an interview for retail positions at junior or middle level management positions are designed to check the suitability of the candidate from several points of view. For example, the prospective employer would like to evaluate competencies like education, professional qualifications, soft skills, aptitude towards sales, customer service and team management; organizational capabilities, and communication skills. 

Job Interview Questions and Answers for Retail Industry Careers

It’s worth preparing answers to all of these good interview questions before your actual face to face interview or phone interview.

Also watch this video to listen to the Sales Job Interview questions

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Interview Question 1. Tell me something bit about yourself?

Tip / Suggested Answer: This is a very general and vague question. At the same time it is the often asked question during the initial part of the interview.

Many candidates give very short answer such as “My name is Anthony Dsouza, I belong to this city and I have come for the interview”. Yet there are candidates who would very long answers and most of it would be irrelevant which fails to impress the interview board.

The best course of action would be to tell the interviewer that you are briefly going to talk about your A. educational background, B. previous & current jobs or Career and C. family. Next, you should pick each one of these topics listed as A, B, C and begin describing about yourself to the interviewer with whatever information you feel is appropriate on those lines. 

Interview Question 2. What is the job role of a retail sales manager or what are the responsibilities of a Retail Sales Manager?

Tip: This is an industry related question. The interviewer has asked this question to check if you have the basic understanding of what a retail manager’s job profile is. There is a scope hidden in this question to impress the interviewer. Grab this opportunity to speak about the retail management business and what you think would be your responsibilities would be.

Suggested Answer: Some of the important duties and qualities required of the Retail Manager are:

  1. Management of Team, Providing Leadership and development of the team’s abilities to perform and give results.
  2. HR activities: Recruitment / hiring; employee training and motivation.
  3. Manage Day to day activities and operations
  4. Good Communications skills.
  5. Problem solving skills
  6. Retail Sales Management and Customer Relations Management

Overall responsibility of managing the store which includes meeting the targets and earning profits. He is responsible for the smooth and effective functioning of the store.

Interview Question 3. What are your Greatest Strengths?

Tip: While answering this question, you may use your career experience and speak confidently to the interviewer and describe some of your qualities which make you most suited for this position.

Suggested Answer:

I have good communication skills and can work with different types of people of varying personality and skills.

I have a solid background in store operations with great problem solving abilities and team handling

My work experience as the Asst. Retail Store Manager has taught me skills like Time Management and Team Management which are required for this position.

Besides, I have good Selling Skills and Leadership Ability.

Interview Question 4. What are your greatest weaknesses?

Tip: These are some of the general  questions relating to personality that may be asked during a retail management interview.

Suggested Answer:

I am workaholic and I involve myself so much into the work so much that I forget what time of the day it is.

Earlier I used to hesitate a lot while dealing with customers or speaking with large group of people but gradually I worked on these issues and have started to overcome these limitations

Interview Question 5. Where do you see yourself three years from now?

Suggested Answer:

I am keen to grow within this industry as I like Retail Industry. Therefore, in 3 years from now, I envisage myself playing a bigger and more responsible role for my employers.

For example, I want to use my customer service and team building skills so that I can handle a larger team (or more than one team) and manage multiple stores. In terms of position, I have a goal to be Area Operations Manager where I am also and giving my team product knowledge and guiding Store Mangers on day to day basis to perform better.

Interview Question 6. Why do you want to leave your present job?

Tip: Avoid giving out negative reasons about your previous role or employer. Keep your answer quite general – maybe say that you’re looking for a new challenge and a change of environment or pace.

Suggested Answer:

While I do enjoy working at my current job but I am looking for more responsibility with new and fresh challenges. As I have been working with my current employers for almost three and half years and on this position for the last 2 years, I have grown in my role with a lot of learning.

Secondly, I believe that at the moment the growth opportunities are limited with my current organisation.  After working for almost 3 and half years I have learned how the company runs the entire business cycle, I think it is time is to move on to a progressive organisation with more opportunities and challenges

Interview Question 7. What do you dislike about your present company?

Tip: The purpose of asking this question is twofold: First the interviewer wants to find out about your professional likes and dislikes. Secondly, the interview board would like to understand as to why you are looking for another job. This is based on the assumption that there must be something you don’t like about your current job and that is the reason that you are now looking for another one.

Suggested Answer:

I am really enjoying working with Tommy Hilfiger for the last 3 years as the Jr. Retail Store Manager. The organisation has a grand work culture. It offers great opportunity for entry level people to learn and grow. However after spending more than 3 years, I feel that I will not able to reach my full potential because of the lack of new challenges and limited learning.

Note: It’s always best to present yourself in the most positive way and not to complain about your employer or work culture, but certain specific points are OK – if presented in positive light you.

Interview Question 8. Tell me about the most difficult customer you’ve ever had to serve.

Tip: This is a behavioral job interview questions asked to test and analyze your interpersonal skills, abilities, problem-solving skills and decision-making skills. When you are asked this or a similar question, you must provide a positive, well – thought and well-constructed. Also avoid a harsh or cynical response. The more you showcase your strong empathetic nature, communication strengths and attentiveness to customer complaints, the better off you’ll be in the eyes of the selection team.

Suggested Answer:

Customers deserve respect, so I try to handle an unhappy customer by listening attentively to his concerns. Recently a dissatisfied customer walked into my store and complained very angrily about the quality of one of our products. I listened carefully to what the customer had to say. Throughout the whole process I remained calm.

When she finished her complaints, I apologized and told her that I empathize with her. Also I took the responsibility to resolve the issue immediately. Hence, I offered to give her a free of cost replacement.

Interview Question 9. Tell me something about yourself that I didn’t know from reading your resume.

Tip: Don’t get tempted to repeat the contents of your resume. Think of a talent or skill that you have not in your CV, but that’s unique and reveals something positive about your personality. Alternatively it could be something out of your past experience.

Suggested Answer:

You wouldn’t know that I’ve done a small course in Merchandising. This was done on weekends during my 2nd year of the job.

This course has helped immensely in understanding the taste and needs of the customer when he walks into my store and asks if we have something as per his description. The learning helps me in suggesting the right clothes and quite often the customer appreciates my recommendation and it results into a sales.

Interview Question 10. Can you work shifts? late nights and early mornings? Weekends?

Tip: The retail industry has to work on Sundays and on Holidays to be able to receive maximum number of shoppers. Also for the same reason the timings are usually till late hours. Hence, the hiring team wants to ensure that you are not the one who will run away from not so regular working hours.

Suggested Answer:

Work is most important for me. If the store has certain working hours then I will be glad to be present and work willingly, I will be there night or day, I will have no problem in working during Weekends but in general, I can give my best in the day shift.

 A word from the Author

These are just some of the questions that may be asked during a retail management interview.

There may be several other questions that may differ from company to company but if you prepare well for about 10 to 15 questions, it will make positive improvement in your confidence and performance.

Other useful links:

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About the Author

Sundeep Kataria CV MakerSundeep Kataria is the CEO of ACS Consultants – a Management Consulting Firm. He holds multiple qualifications: MBA, PGDIT (IIFT), MS in Counselling & Psychotherapy and Diploma in Company Law. He has also formally learnt Digital Marketing and Website Making.

In 1995 he pioneered the concept of professional Career Counselling, Executive Coaching and Mentoring. Over the years he has mentored many professionals, like CAs, Engineers, Sales & Marketing Professionals, IT Experts etc.

The unique style of Sundeep Kataria is that he connects with each and every individual personally, holds in depth discussion before undertaking the assignment.

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1 Response

  1. August 3, 2016

    […] Job Interview Questions and Answers for Retail Industry Careers […]

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