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Common retail interview questions and answers

Check out the most common retail interview questions and example answers.

Common retail interview questions and answers

When interviewing for a retail position, hiring managers are looking for a variety of skills. They want to hire people who are sociable, friendly, presentable and hardworking. And sometimes the competition can be stiff!  So if you really want to ace your interview, revise these common retail interview questions.

6 retail interview questions (with sample answers)

Why do you want to work in retail?

This is one of the most common retail interview questions. Show that you’re passionate about retail. You want the hiring manager to know you won’t take just any old job…it has to be retail!

“I’ve always enjoyed working with people. And I love to provide a first-class experience to customers. I know retail can be a busy industry sometimes, but I thrive in these conditions.”

Why do you want to work for us?

Always make sure you find specific reasons why you want to work for this particular company. Do your research before the interview to make sure you know the company inside out!

“Firstly, I adore your products. I’ve shopped here for many years so I’ve already fallen in love with the products and the quality. Secondly, I know you’re a well-reputed employer from the awards you’ve won. I have also seen on your website that you offer great career progression, which is something that’s important to me.”

What do you consider good customer service?

Customer service is the most important part of retail. So be sure to talk about going the extra mile for the customer and knowing the product like the back of your hand.

“Good customer service starts from the second they walk in the door. Customers should always be greeted and know they have assistance to hand. I think it’s also about listening to the customer and truly understanding their needs. One of the other aspects of good customer service is being knowledgeable about the product. This builds trust between you and the customer and results in repeat business.”

How would you handle busy periods with long queues?

Working in retail can have you rushed off your feet. Especially during sales or the festive season. So you’ll need to prove to the hiring manager that you can keep your cool during busier periods.

“I’d work efficiently but still keep calm and pleasant for the customers. If I was working on the tills, I’d apologise to each customer for the wait. It’s also important to offer help to your team members where possible during busy periods. If I see the tills need an extra person, I’ll be the first to volunteer myself.”

How would you deal with an unhappy customer?

You’re always going to get unhappy customers. They might be unhappy about the queue. Or they could be annoyed because the product let them down. Either way, you need to show you can turn a bad situation into a positive.

“I think the first thing to do with unhappy customers is give them your undivided attention. Listen to them and make sure they know they’re being heard. Once they feel their problem has been understood, they already start to feel better. I’d then empathise with them to show I understand their predicament. Finally, I’d let them know their custom is important to us and offer the best solution possible. That could be a refund, a replacement, or simply an apology for the inconvenience.”

When have you gone the extra mile for a customer?

This question swings back to customer service. It’s another way of seeing how you’ve overperformed for customers in the past. Think of a time when you really went above and beyond for a customer. And don’t forget to talk about the end result! How did this make the customer feel?

“When I was working as a retail assistant, a customer came in looking for an outfit for a little girl as a present. He seemed totally clueless about what to buy. So I asked him some questions about the girl to find out her age and style. I went on to pick out two separate outfits for the customer to choose from. In the end, he decided to buy both outfits! He was so grateful for the help and left us a raving review on our website.”

Practise to succeed!

The best way to succeed in your retail interview is to practise! Always prepare answers in advance. And don’t forget to use the STAR interview method. This will help you to structure your answers properly! 

Want to work in retail? Access thousands of retail jobs on the SonicJobs app today!



10 months ago

Nice Articles

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