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10 Interview Questions To Ask To Find
Your Next Retail Super Employee

Posted Feb 14, 2018
Interview in progress sign on office door

You’ve been through the hiring process before and you’ve used the same stale interview questions every single time. You need a change.

What should you really be asking a potential hire? We researched dozens of articles on the topic and picked a RETAIL TOP 10 for you, complete with creative language and options. Try some of these questions to make your next interview anything but ordinary.

It’s all about actually getting to know this person.

They more they talk, the more you get a real idea of who they are and how they interact with people. Here are some conversation-starters.

  • If you had a super power, what would it be?
  • What would you do if someone asked you to go to Mars and live there forever?
  • What movie character is most like you?

And just listen to what they have to say. When people hear a question they aren’t ready for, or haven’t prepared for, they need to rely on their gut. And honesty and a more authentic answer will follow.

Find out if their past retail experience has set them up for success at your company.

Some people pad their resumes. You need to find out if there’s real substance behind the claims or if it’s just something on their resume to look good. Try questions like…

  • What can you tell me about these three products from my store?
  • What do you think is our best selling product and why?

If you ask these questions and they look at you confused or seem afraid to answer, their sales skills might be lacking.

Is general math a strong skill?

If the cash register fails and the calculator isn’t right there, make sure your employee can quickly make change. Make up a few scenarios like…

  • The total is $14.29 and the customer gives you a $20 bill and says, wait, I have the 29 cents. You ring $20.29 into the register, but they realize they actually don’t have the change and now you have to figure out the change yourself. What is it?

Will this person represent us well?

This employee is going to be a face in your business and they will be interacting with customers all the time. Ask things like…

  • Do you believe in the ‘customer is always right’ concept?
  • If a customer were making a scene in the store, what would you do first?

This can gauge how they approach a situation and if they will try to remedy the issue or run to a manager at the first angry customer through the door.

Are they already a fan?

Do they actually like/wear/use your products? If someone is already a fan, they might be a better salesperson since they have direct knowledge. Ask things like…

  • What is your favorite piece of clothing in the store and why?
  • What is the best thing about our jean selection?
  • What accessories do you think we should add to the store?

This will also show you their level of passion for selling these products. If they get really excited when talking and even have ideas for future products, they are definitely someone you want behind your counter.

Find out if reliability is important to them.

You need to gauge their feelings on being on time and getting to work no matter what. Ask questions like…

  • If you slept past your alarm and missed the start of your shift, what would you do?
  • If we had a giant snow storm, would you just stay home for the day?

Again, just listening to their answers will tell you a lot.  

Are they really committed to the position?

Ask questions like…

  • If we needed you to help us with a major event on a day you don’t normally work, would you step in and help?
  • Does the option to pick up extra shifts matter to you?

This gives you an idea of their level of commitment. Are they there just to work their shifts, get their check and leave?  Or do they want to help the company and be a part of events and successes?

Find out what they are most proud about from their last job.

Consider asking something like…

  • What was the best day you had at your last retail job?
  • Did you become known for anything in particular at your last retail job?

If they answer it was the day they won “upseller of the month” rather than the day the boss let them leave early and get pizza, you get a sense of their love of sales. Were they known as the ‘late one’ or the ‘closer?’ Certainly, food for thought.  

Where will they need the most training?

Software? Product knowledge? Ask questions like…

  • We use an iPad for our sales tracking, are you familiar with using one?
  • Bring me three products you know nothing about in the store.

For instance, if they come back with some of your best selling items, you’ll know that they will need a lot of training on the products.

Simply, ask WHY . . .?

Why did you leave your last job? Knowing this information could be vital. If they left because they went to college versus getting into a fight with a co-worker, that’s good information to know.

These suggested questions cover a lot of the basics, but don’t forget to throw in some fun questions to let the potential candidate’s personality show.

Happy hiring!