Published On : June 29, 2009
A retail interview is in your near future. You want a retail position. You submitted resumes and reached out to your contacts. Your efforts finally paid off. But your challenges aren't over yet; in fact, they're just beginning. Here are eight tips to help you finish the race and land the job you need.
Research the company
Conduct research on the retail company in your crosshairs. You don't have to memorize the company's fourth quarter earnings for the last four years, but you should gain some familiarity with their business model. Also, learn about their public image. Have any events recently put them in the news? Think about which findings are best to mention in your retail interview.
Think about the product
Do you like and believe in this company's product? If you don't, stop and consider if you want the job… But if you do believe in the company's product, then find a way to articulate your feelings. As in: "This product makes me think of my childhood," or "I really think these devices are among the safest and most reliable on the market."
Prepare to show your interest
In your retail interview, it's important to show that you value the company's products. If you're pursuing a job with a clothing store, wear the company's clothes to the interview. (It's not as cheesy as you think.) If you want a job at a home improvement store, have pictures of your latest home projects (using their products, of course) ready to show.
Act like you're already hired
Retail jobs often involve interacting with customers. This means direct eye contact, big smiles, and clear, ringing tones in your voice. In other words, put on your "presentation face" during your retail interview. Demonstrate what you'll look and sound like when you're hired when your interviewer asks questions. Show that you have good people skills, even if the position requires you to work primarily in the stockroom.
Again, imagine that you're impressing customers and not just your interviewer. Dress nicely.
Managers in retail see many candidates who don't know or care about their professional futures, and these candidates don't make it in the door. Set your jaw and adopt a sense of ambition and focus. This will come through in everything you say. Practice this with a friend before the big day.
Prepare for the unexpected
A retail interview might take 10 minutes or two hours. It may happen in an office, at a table, in the store itself, or even in a warehouse. After it ends, you may wait for weeks to hear back, or you may be asked if you can start that very day. You don't know, so stay flexible.
Take your resume
They have your resume already, but bring an extra copy of it. Not only will you look good, but you can look over it before your interview to remind yourself which skills you chose to focus on in this important document.
For more on how to ace your interview and put the job market behind you, explore the resume creation and job search tools on MyPerfectResume.