This may be used for positions that require the sale of merchandise. This may be applicable to positions such as Sales Associate, Sales person, Sales Consultant, Sales Clerk, Sales Representative, Sales Advisor, etc.


  1. Tell me about yourself
    Tip: This should go for about 1-2 minutes. Talk about your previous retail experience, what you learnt and accomplishments. Don’t talk too much about your personal issues.
  2. Why did you apply here? Why do you want to work here?
    Tip: Do your research on the company. Base your answer on what you learnt or what attracted you to the company. How is this company different from its competitors? Do you have a personal attraction or experience to the product the company sells?
  3. What do you know about our company?
    Tip: Read on its history, products, strengths, potential weaknesses, challenges and other details related to the company. You may use the company’s website and other sites. This shows your insights and interest to the interviewer or recruiting manager. Make sure you have a wealth of knowledge on the company.
  4. Do you have previous retail experience?
  5. Tell me about your previous/current work experience in retail. Why do you want to leave your current employer?
    Tip: Focus on the positives. Don’t mention negative experiences or personal conflicts you had with your current/previous boss. As a suggestion, you may state that you want a more challenging job that allows you to attain more skills and responsibility, etc.
  6. Tell me about a time when you landed your most successful sale.
    Tip: Make sure you explain how and why you were successful.
  7. What makes you a strong candidate for this job position and why should we hire you?
    Tip: Talk about your experiences and skills such as your ability to sell products/service or persuade customers, great communication and listening skills, friendly attitude, customer service experience, product/service knowledge, negotiation skills, ability to adjust to other’s actions/emotions, general math skills e.g. arithmetic and algebra, etc. Explain how this may be applicable to the job position and how you can add value or benefit the company.
  8. What are your strengths and weaknesses when interacting with customers?
    Tip: Make sure you emphasize that you know how to sell a product. This is very important. Explain how you have taken steps to improve on your weaknesses.
  9. What qualities do you believe are the most important in retail?
    Tip: Talk about being able to persuade and sell a product/service to customers. Other skills include great communication and listening skills, excellent customer service, etc.
  10. How will you go about being familiar with our products/service in order to sell them?
    Tip: Internet searches and readings, spending enough time with the product, asking questions and talking with workers who have experience with it, etc.
  11. What will you do in our company to reduce costs, increase profits, save time, increase customers or provide excellent service?
    Tip: Think of how skills required for the job may be applicable to these. For example “By understanding customer needs and developing good rapport, I would be able to develop a positive relationship and experience with the customer. This will enable customers to share this with their friends…this will ultimately increase profits and customer confidence in our products”
  12. How will you make customers feel welcomed at our store?
    Tip: Greeting customers coming into the store.
  13. Sell me (this product) * any product/material may be asked e.g. book, pencil, dress, television, etc. What techniques will you use, how will you go about this?
    Tip: You may identify key features of the product/material and describe how these may benefit the customer. Don’t just list the features, but describe how they will benefit the customer. Display your ability to identify customer’s demands and sell.
  14. Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond for a customer.
  15. Tell me about a time you were challenged in the sales process. How did you handle it?
  16. Tell me about a time you took the initiative in carrying out a task at a retail store
  17. What experiences do you have in dealing with difficult customers? What will you do differently?
    Tip: Recruiter is looking for someone who will be calm and professional in such situation; someone who is willing to listen to the concerns of the customers to try and reach a consensus with the customer.
  18. Can you work under pressure? Have you ever worked under pressure?
    Tip: Don’t discuss a time when you created the pressure either by delaying or acting irresponsibly. Discuss situations where you thrived under pressure and got the job done.
  19. Tell me about a time when you gave great customer service
  20. Tell me about a time you worked as a team. What was your role in the team and what did you accomplish?
  21. Tell me about a time you worked hard for a sale but didn’t get it in the end. Also, how did you handle the situation?
    Tip: Show how resilient you are in maintaining performance after disappointment.
  22. Assuming you are scheduled to leave your shift at a specific time, but your replacement worker doesn’t show up, what will you do?
    Tip: It is best to show that you are flexible and able to work over-time if necessary. As a suggestion, you may state that you will discuss this with the manager and follow his/her direction in the situation. You may state that you will be willing to work over-time and wait until the next replacement comes in. Don’t state that you will just leave the store!
  23. Assuming a customer leaves without paying, what will you do?
    Tip: As a suggestion, you may use customer information in contacting the customer. This may be in the form of his/her license plate, name, or purchase receipt. You may state that you will report this to store manager for proper direction.
  24. If a co-worker is rude to a customer, what will you do?
    Tip: You may provide ways on how to improve co-worker attitude and how that will ultimately help the company e.g. profitability, customer trust, better customer service, etc.
  25. If a customer returns an open and half gone product, what will you do?
  26. What challenges do you think the retail sector is facing in the current climate?
    Tips: As a suggestion, there may be less spending due to recession; online shopping; Governmental influence; Tax; etc. Do some research on the company and its sector to understand where they currently stand.
  27. Between a good product and a good service, which is more important? and why?
  28. Our products are currently on sale at half price. They sell for $20.50. How much will be 25%, 50%, or 75% off?
    Tip: Mathematical questions like this could be asked. Brush up on general math skills such as arithmetic, algebra, and basic word problems.
  29. A customer buys $75.25 worth of products. He/she gives you $100. How much is the customer’s change?
    Tip: Mathematical questions like this could be asked. Brush up on general math skills such as arithmetic, algebra, and basic word problems.
  30. What type of work shifts or schedule are you willing to work? When can you start?
    Tip: You may give one or two week notice at least. Don’t state that you are willing to start few months later. Show enthusiasm and commitment to the company.
  31. If you are hired, how long do you plan on working here?
    Tip: Be honest in your answer.
  32. Any Questions?
    Tip: Make sure you ask a question. Ask questions that deeply demonstrate your interest in the company. Don’t ask questions that can be easily answered from the company website.

NOTE: These are very relevant questions that may help in the interview. Questions may be asked in a random fashion. Questions not included on this page may be asked during the interview.