Preparing For a Retail Interview

How to Prepare for a Retail Job Interview

Dressing For an Interview

When dressing for a retail interview you need to make sure to be conservative but not to dressy. Don't over do the accessories and make sure to wear appropriate shoes. Theres no need for 5 inch heels. Try to avoid sneakers, flip flops, jeans, hats, sweatshirts and t-shirts with writing. Some examples of things to wear would be a skirt (not too short), dress slacks, blouse, sweater, jacket, and hosiery with closed toe shoes. Always keep accessories and makeup conservative. Keep purses small.
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Interview Questions


  • Tell me about your previous work experience as a retail salesperson.
  • What type of merchandise have you had the most success selling?
  • What do you know about this company’s products and services?
  • What makes you a great candidate for this particular job?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses when interacting with customers?
  • What do you enjoy about working in retail sales?
  • What have you done at your present/last company to increase revenues, reduce costs or save time?
  • Tell me about a time when you felt you were at your best with helping a customer.
  • Talk about a time when you were challenged in the sales process. Why was that, and how did you handle it?
  • What type of retail sales systems have you used?
  • What was the management structure in your previous retail sales jobs?
  • Did you work on commission?
  • What have you done to become a better retail salesperson?
  • What type of schedule are you looking to work?
  • Would you be available to work additional shifts?
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Interview Answers

Q. Have you worked in retail before? (Let’s assume you haven’t. Think about whether you have ever sold anything to anyone, how about selling an idea to your parents? Think about how you like sales associates to sell to you.)

A. I have helped many people make buying decisions . I shop with my mom and my friends all the time and I have a very good sense of what looks good on someone and what doesn’t. Also I have good color sense. I know about fabrics as well as I’ve been sewing my own clothes since 9th grade (and took Textiles classes throughout high school.)

I am a friendly person so I am comfortable approaching people and I believe that if you can get someone to like you and warm up to you they will want you to help them solve their problem.


Q. Can you work for a minimum of 16 hours a week?

A. During the summer I would appreciate full time hours, however before school is finished I could make it work if the hours are spread out. My school work is important, but I take all my commitments seriously and would be happy to work around whatever schedule you need filled.


Q. Can you work shifts? late nights and early mornings? Weekends?

A. Once school is finished I am available for pretty much any shift seven days a week. When classes are on, I’ll just have to work around those specific times.


Q. Why do you want to work in retail?

A. I want to work for your company in this location. I have been a regular customer of your store for a long time and have always been treated well when I come in to shop. I really like helping people, I like meeting new people and I welcome an opportunity to learn more about selling, merchandising and product knowledge.

Or

B. I want to work in retail because I like the people aspect of the business. I like helping people and meeting people ( and I’ve always wanted to work in a shopping mall) and making a difference in peoples’ lives. Shopping makes people happy when they find what they like and I’d like to be a part of that.

Or

C. I think that being able to sell is a skill that will help me throughout my entire career no matter what career I decide on. I want to become a great salesperson, learn negotiating skills and how to communicate with different kinds of people.


Q. Why should I hire you?

A. You should hire me because I am going to provide excellent customer service which will result in customers coming back again and again which means the store makes more money.

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Things to Avoid

  • Showing up late
  • Dirty Clothing
  • Lots of makeup
  • Over use of perfume
  • Bad Breathe
  • Lying
  • Being Rude
  • Complaining
  • Talking bad about current place of employment
  • Being unprepared
  • Appearing nervous
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