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Best Answers for Retail Management Interviews

written by: •edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 9/8/2010

No matter how much experience and how many skills you have that are perfect for the job, a bad interview can throw your chances of landing it out the window. Practice for a retail management job interview by reading possible questions and the best answers for retail management interviews.

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    Overview

    While you certainly want to appear confident and natural and not contrived or rehearsed when you arrive at any job interview, preparing yourself for potential questions and having an idea of how you should answer will help you feel calmer and appear more knowledgeable. Following are some examples of questions that an interviewer might pose at an interview for a management position in a retail setting, along with some of the best answers for retail management interviews.

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    Questions About the Store

    Handshake 

    One question an interviewer may ask is whether you shop at that particular store and, if it is part of a retail chain, other locations. In addition, the interviewer may ask what your impression of the store is compared with other locations and with similar retailers.

    While your initial reaction might be to state that you always shop there, it is better to be honest while providing reasons for your response. For instance, if you do not shop there or visit the store infrequently, say so, adding comments about positive aspects you noticed when you did come in as well as changes that would make you, as a customer, likelier to shop there. If you are a loyal customer, say so, following up with what you love about the store.

    A similar response is best if you are asked why people shop there or why more people do not shop the retailer.

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    Questions About Customer Service

    When you are interviewing for a retail management position, the interviewer will want to obtain insight regarding your customer service skills and style. Therefore, you should be prepared for some hypothetical behavior questions or those that require a response taken from your personal experience, such as the following, which are listed with the best answers for retail management interviews.

    "When was one time that you received great customer service?"

    For this type of question, answer with an anecdote about an experience you had as a customer when someone went above and beyond his job description to help you. Likewise, for an equal but opposite "poor customer service" question, provide an instance in detail and follow up with an example of how you, as a retail manager, would have handled the situation.

    "A customer complains about a product/service/experience and wants a full refund/replacement at no expense/employee's head on a platter. What would you do?"

    Explain that you would, first and foremost, validate and empathize with the customer's feelings. After doing so, provide a scenario about how you would rectify the situation to the best of your ability.

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    Questions About You

    Interviewer 

    Finally, most interviewers will want to get a feel for your personality and discern what you are ultimately seeking. The questions they pose in this category fall along the lines of "Tell me about yourself." Here are some questions they may present in this regard along with some of the best answers with which to respond.

    "Why do you want to work here?"

    Again, be honest. Talk about aspects of the store and the position that appeal to you, as well as changes that you believe would make the store even better, and how you would help to implement these changes.

    "Where do you see yourself in one/five/ten years?"

    Talk about your future in the company for which you are interviewing. Include details on achievements you hope to earn and skills you would like to gain.

    Overall, answer any questions honestly. In doing so, you don't have to worry about keeping false stories straight. In addition, use tact along with common sense and draw from your own experiences. You may just land the job of your dreams.

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    Photo Credits

    Handshake: sxc.hu/Fotocromo

    Interviewer: sxc.hu/Tamer Tatlici