Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Want to score a retail job? Here's some basic advice for you along with a few sample questions that would most likely be addressed to you in your next job interview.

Step 1: Be prepared. Don't skimp out on anything. Do your homework, be competent, learn about the company and the position in which you are applying for. It's great to have side notes like this just in case you get to talk to your interviewer before the interview even starts. You should know this most of all; the first impression is the lasting impression. So make that effort. Be the first person to extend the handshake. Smile, eye contact, you should pretty much know the obvious pointers going into this.
*tip: punctuality, physical appearance, and posture can usually result in an immediate  "yes" or "no".

Step 2: Here, I will set you up with some sample questions along with some sample answers. Let's say you're applying for an assistant manager position at a retail clothing store in the mall.

Q: Tell me a little about yourself.
A: "I'm a well structured individual with excellent organizational skills. I set my goals above my expectations to prove to myself that the sky is not the limit and that I can always rise above. Last year I was recognized for consistent multiple sales and the best customer reviews from our online survey site at my current job."

Say something along the lines of that. It's a plus if you incorporate actual numbers into your background. Know annual and current sales. Conversion is a number you should know, average dollar sale, and unit per transaction numbers all work here. But, this is all considering you have previous or current history with retail. *tip: If this is your first job ever in retail, wait until the season for hiring comes around, usually back to school (end of summer), and right before Christmas you can pretty much guarantee yourself a seasonal position.

Q: What is your greatest weakness?
A: Whenever I have a project due, meeting deadlines are not good enough to me. I would rather complete the project well before the due date.

If you get a question like that, don't ever mention actual weaknesses, for instance, "I can only handle one customer at a time." Consider some development skills. Say something that won't count as a complete negative against you. For example, impatience can be both good and bad. You are impatient because you want to be better so you double your workload. The pros of that would be that you're development is rapidly increasing. The cons of that would be that you're completing things before deadlines or due dates, which are made for a reason.

Q: How do you handle stress?
A: Stress is a necessity for me. It is important to have an equal balance of good and bad stress in your life in order to motivate yourself and stay productive.

That is a great answer. Again, don't highlight anything that could count against you, instead reply with a positive note. Bottom line, be confident in yourself. Practice this over and over, don't give up!

So, this is my basic guide for you to get your favorite retail job. Remember that a job is a job, and anywhere you work, you will eventually have the same feelings of negativity. Working for retail will definitely spawn some of these feelings, but in the end, you're getting paid and the person that gave up, isn't. So grow some balls, man up, and take the bull by the horns. If you work hard, you will always accomplish, even if its as little as self satisfaction. Don't be swayed by negativity!

Good luck with your interview, hope this helps!


  1. I wish I knew most of these answers when I interviewed a couple jobs back

  2. Some excellent advice that I agree with entirely, but I find fault with this answer.

    "Q: What is your greatest weakness?
    A: Whenever I have a project due, meeting deadlines are not good enough to me. I would rather complete the project well before the due date."

    If you make yourself out to be flawless, then the interviewer won't believe you, because nobody is perfect. And with that, it may inspire the employer to start questioning your other answers, and your resume.

    I believe this question is best answered by dropping a few minor weaknesses, for example: "If I work under a lot of pressure, sometimes I can panic a little, which slows me down."
    This is a good one, because everybody panics if they are met with enough pressure, so it is only a small blemish on your wonderful record.

    Other than that the blog is wonderful, and I'm eager to see more. Followed.

  3. its not working if you're having fun right?
    great post too

  4. Yeah stress has always been a problem for me, it's hard to relax with that kind of pressure. Anyway thanks for the tips man.

  5. @byakuya

    that makes sense man. thanks for your input, its always good to see things from different perspectives.

  6. Great advice. I'm having a lot of trouble finding a job in California so I need all the help I can get.

  7. I'm going to have to write these on my hands.

  8. It's always good to twist around the weakness question, almost sounding like a strength. I have an interview this Friday. Hope it goes well!

  9. @salman a

    good luck man! hope to see good results.

  10. I wish I knew this like 10 years ago lol

  11. interesting post. thanks for that! saved it

  12. Another good thing to have (especially for the "tell me about yourself" part is an Elevator Speech. It even comes in handy when you meet people at parties or wherever... just an honest paragraph or so about how awesome you are, the stuff you like, what you're good at, etc.

  13. great info! following to see what else i can learn ;)

  14. Thanks for the tips dude. I'm definitely coming back here when I get an interview :)

  15. This is very useful information. I've been using a similar approach to things since I started looking for jobs, in general. O:

  16. Alot of useful advice in this post, I have learned it the hard way and i wish i knew this stuff before.

  17. atm too late but thx ill need this later on ;)