5 Questions Every Retail Manager Needs Answers to During an Interview

Working in retail is unlike working in any other industry. It requires organization, a friendly manner, an ability to work under pressure and multi-tasking skills. As most retail managers have only a few minutes to interview job candidates, they must gather as much pertinent information as possible very quickly — by asking these five questions.

1. What Does Our Brand Mean to You?

It is usually very easy to find candidates for retail jobs, but finding candidates with a passion for retail is a different matter. If a candidate can demonstrate a passion for your retail business, the chances are this passion will rub off on other members of your team and, more importantly, on your customers.

2. What Would You Do Differently in Our Store?

Almost anyone can operate a till and take payments from customers, but not every candidate possesses sales acumen. Ask your candidates to walk around your store for a few minutes prior to the interview, and encourage them to make notes on areas that could be improved. A critical mind in retail is always very useful; and after all, a good idea is a good idea — wherever it comes from.

3. Have You Ever Had to Resolve a Customer Service Issue Yourself?

Customer service in retail is often about problem-solving, conflict resolution and proactive thinking. Every retail employee has to deal with irate customers from time to time, and they often need to resolve issues there and then. Ask the candidate to talk at length about a real issue he or she has dealt with in the past. What did they do to appease the customer? What was the outcome?

4. Have You Ever Received Fantastic Customer Service?

It is vital that retail employees know exactly what constitutes great customer service. Get the candidate to talk about a specific instance of fantastic customer service they’ve personally experienced. This should tell you everything you need to know about that person’s understanding of this essential area of retail.

5. Are You Flexible With Regard to Your Working Hours?

Things may go wrong and staff may go sick, but the retail show must always go on. In order to deal with contingencies, or to react to changing circumstances, you need flexibility in your workforce. A retail candidate who goes on the record to say they’d be willing to be flexible with regard to their working hours will make scheduling a lot easier for you.

If your candidate scores well in all five questions, you’ve probably found the ideal recruit for your retail business.

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