5 Common Retail Interview Questions

5 Common Retail Interview Questions

You’ve spent weeks or months sending out resumes and finally landed that interview for a retail job. Now, the hour or so of interview questions may be all that’s standing between you and getting hired. Worried about what you’ll be asked? Check out our list of the most common interview questions below and take some time to rehearse a great answer to each. In retail, yo’ll likely be dealing with the public a lot, so showing grace and poise under pressure will count for a lot! 

General Retail Interview Questions

You can expect the following general retail interview questions no matter what area of retail in which you’re working.

Who was your best boss? Your interviewer is trying to determine how you got along with your last supervisor and what management style you prefer. Talk about what you learned from your favorite and how you helped him or her improve the business.

What are some of your weaknesses? Turn your weaknesses around so that they become strengths. For example, mention that you find it hard to say no to a customer and will do everything you can to ensure her satisfaction. Another tact is to mention a weakness that you’ve overcome. For example, you used to be easily intimidated but after working with different types of customers and with guidance from your boss, you developed a firm but open manner when dealing with others.

Specific Retail Interview Questions

The following specific retail interview questions will vary depending on the type of product handled by your future employers.

How do you sell xyz? The interviewer wants to find out how much technical knowledge you have about the product, whether you can understand the needs of the customer, and whether you know the questions to ask. For example, if you’re selling computers, you might say you first ask the customer whether they’re looking for a home computer or a desktop, and what they might be using it for 

If the customer comes in to complain about xyz, what do you do? You may sometimes have to deal with dissatisfied customers who want to return a product. The interviewer wants to see if you can calm the customer down and find out enough about the problem to offer a workable solution. For example, you might tell the customer that you understand how frustrating it is to buy a mixer that doesn’t work. Then you might ask her what she was trying to prepare, and what precisely went wrong.


A zinger is an unexpected retail interview question that is thrown at you out of the blue just to see how you react. Each one is typically different from the other. This is just one example.

A man dressed as a chicken comes into the hardware store to return an egg. What do you do? These types of questions have no right or wrong answers. They’re designed to see how you deal with stressful and unusual situations. What you answer here is less important than how you answer. You want to remain pleasant and in control as you come up with an answer. If you can inject humor so much the better. During your practice interview, ask your friend to throw some zingers at you.

Your good responses to these retail interview questions will show that you understand the needs of the company, have the right background, and are personable enough to interact with customers. Most of all, they’ll help you get the job. And for more interview advice, check out LiveCareer’sinterview videos –with good (and bad!) answers to common interview questions.

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