Career Advice

6 Ways to Nail a Retail Interview

min read
Mikaela Thompson

As a retail role can be competitive yet widely opportunistic for future opportunities, we've compiled a few tips to help you jump through the hoops and get to the final stages. Here's what's important and things to think about when preparing for your retail interview.

Skill Sets

Do you have what it takes to have a retail role. The Retail industry is vastly varying and if you are working in the shop as floor staff whether as a supervisor or regular sales staff or Key Leader such as in LuLuLemon — here's what you need to know to see if you have what it takes.

Are you comfortable with customer service? Do you have good communication skills? Do you have experience in cash handling capabilities and can be a patient person? Are you calm under pressure?

STAR Method

The acronym stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. It is a strategic way to help you weave a story without getting lost in the details. You can use this to explain a situation or past example whereby you relay what the situation was, what the responsibilities were as the tasks, and what were the actions you took to resolve it, before finishing up with the result.

Tailoring Method

This is a way that you can insert yourself into a story so that the interviewer or hiring party sees you as the ideal candidate. To put yourself in the best light with the most relevancy, look through the job description and comb through any problem-solving skills they may be looking for. During the interview, you can bring up a past example that best resembles this scenario and talk about how you solved the problem and the actions you took towards solving it. Or, you can mention a hypothetical example and how you would work towards it.

Give Success Stories

Stay positive and only use successful examples that work in your favour. Let the example speak for itself. You can explain a few details, but the narrative of the story should naturally show your accomplishments and how it will help the future employer if you secure this role. This means, you're speaking their language and are on the same page about what they are looking for in their potential candidate.

Brush Up on Mathematics Skills

Technical issues arise all the time. If you're on the floor and handling payments, the cashier may give out on you, which means you are no longer able to see what the change will be for a given customer. Yes, you may have a calculator at hand at your convenience, but the prospective employer would want to know that you are quick thinking.

Aska  friend to help you with some mathematics questions that they can throw at you or go online and look some up for simple subtraction, division, adding or multiplication, so that you can be on-the-ready when you attend your retail interview.

Ask Questions

Take initiative and show that you are also intuitive. By asking questions, you naturally show interest in the role. You can be insightful but also ask genuine questions that you are interested in knowing more about to help you decipher if this role is for you. Remember, this interview is not just about impressing. Make sure it is also what you are looking for in your next position. Retail questions you might like to ask could include:

  • What are the benefits of working a retail job at 'X' brand?
  • Is there something different this retail brand does differently from others?
  • Is there a uniform or dress code and what is it?
  • How often is the visual merchandising display changed over?
  • How many seasonal sales are there for customers?

Being Asked in Return

If you also are given a test on the spot to see, not just your mathematics skills, but also a behavioural interview test to see what your personality is like, here is what the interviewer may be looking for:

  • Empathy
  • Calmness
  • Professionalism
  • Leadership
  • Understanding

The Takeaway

All-in-all, if you focus your practice on the above skills, you'll be able to place yourself at the heart of the solutions for the employer, which is a great place to be. Be compassionate as a retail person that knows how to understand customers, especially upset customers if a situation arises, and also show that  you can take initiative when needs be. Know that you know the store policies well if you are also floor staff and that you are responsible with exchanges and refunds for instance, so that you're not putting the company at any risk.

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