Retail Sales Associate Interview Questions and Answers

Posted in Career Blog

As a retail sales associate, there are several situations you may face. Your interviewer will want to know that you can perform the duties of your job and handle potentially stressful events. The following retail sales associate interview questions and answers will help your interviewer form an opinion of you and your ability to do the job well.

How Would You Handle a Customer Complaint?
It is more likely that your interviewer will provide you with a hypothetical situation such as “If a customer wants to return a sweater with a hole in it but does not have a receipt for the purchase, what would you do?” This is a great opportunity to prove your knowledge of the company and its policies. “I would be sure to follow the company’s return policy. I would explain to the customer that without a receipt, his or her item can only be replaced with the same item or store credit.” This shows that you have taken the time to review the return policy, and your interviewer will certainly appreciate the initiative.

What Would You Do If You Suspected a Coworker was Stealing Money or Merchandise?
Your interviewer may ask this question in order to determine where your loyalties lie. If you suspected that a coworker had stolen money or merchandise, you should immediately speak to your supervisor and never confront the individual yourself; all of this should be done according to the company’s policy. “I would review the company’s policy for handling such things at the time of the incident. Then, I would follow through with that policy. Theft is a serious crime and can hurt the business as well as the rest of its employees.” This answer proves that you are loyal to your employer and that you will not overlook such a serious offense due to friendship or fear of conflict.

Do You Have Sales Experience?
Although this question may seem like a no-brainer, there are some things that may count as sales experience that you otherwise may not consider. For example, if you were elected class president in high school, this experience can serve you well. A great answer may sound similar to “Although I have not worked in retail sales previously, I worked on multiple election committees in high school and college. I am aware of what it takes to market a product or a person.” Of course, if you have experience, be sure to provide specific examples. “I worked for XYZ convenience stores for two years during college, and before that I worked as a telemarketer for ABC Magazine.”

How Do People Respond to You in General?
When you work in retail sales, you will essentially be the ‘face’ of the company. As such, you will need to present yourself professionally at all times in order to get the response you need to be successful. “If you were to ask my friends and family about me, they would tell you that I am hard-working, trustworthy and generally friendly in nature. I am able to look past stress and obstacles in order to meet my goals, so they may also tell you that I am very determined. I feel that my overall demeanor will be an asset to your company” is a good way to answer this question.

Whether you are applying for a position in a grocery store or an upscale boutique, the responses you provide to these questions could ultimately determine whether or not you are hired. Answering truthfully, confidently and in relation to company policy is always the best way to go.

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