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Typical Interview Questions for Retail Management

by Kristin Swain, studioD

Retail managers serve as liaisons between employees and district managers or owners. In this role, you are responsible for managing and scheduling employees, controlling costs, and overseeing the organization, stock and appearance of the store. When interviewing for this position, hiring managers may ask questions about your education, retail and management experience and personality.

Difficult Customers

Describing a difficult situation that you had with a customer and how you resolved the conflict is an example of a typical retail management interview question. This type of question judges your problem solving and customer service skills. When answering, use an example from your previous management or retail experience. Briefly address what the conflict was and its cause before outlining your response and the outcome of the situation.

Likes and Dislikes

Another typical interview question is about what you liked and didn't like about a previous position. Often when this question is asked, the interviewer specifies a particular position listed on your resume. When answering this question it is common to list the pros and cons of the position, however, avoid speaking about negative aspects of a previous position or employer. Use specific examples and start and end the answer on a positive note.

Management Experience

When interviewing for a retail management position it is expected that you have some sort of management training or experience. The interviewer may ask you about how you would perform for the store for which you're interviewing. This is a hypothetical situation question to probe what you may offer the store if you are hired as manager. When answering, outline a plan of action that you would implement as manager. Detail how you would manage employees, control costs and store loss, and meet or exceed store goals.

Tough Decisions

Retail managers are often faced with tough decisions, particularly when it comes to employees. Examples of these types of decisions include hiring, firing, settling disputes and scheduling conflicts. This type of question may test your integrity, ethics and leadership skills. An example of this type of question is what you would do if you caught an employee stealing. Common things to consider when answering this question are mounting an investigation, speaking with the employee and store ownership, and reprimanding or terminating the employee.

About the Author

Residing in Los Angeles, Kristin Swain has been a professional writer since 2008. Her experience includes finance, travel, marketing and television. Swain holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from Georgia State University.

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