Getting to the second stage of the hiring process is great, and it means that your resume and cover letter were excellent. However, you still have the important task of performing well in the interview. Interviews are crucial to landing a job, partly because they go more in depth than applications, and partly because they are the first opportunity hiring managers have to interact with you personally.
Some interview questions will pop up in every job interview no matter the industry. Expect to be asked about your background and why the company should choose you over other candidates. Those questions are important, but the questions you will get that are directly related to the industry are critical as well. If you are hoping to be hired as a merchandise associate, you need to be prepared to answer questions about that specific job.
We've created a list of five merchandise associate interview questions that are frequently asked during interviews. Educate yourself to get an idea of what to expect.
5 Merchandise Associate Interview Questions & Answers
1. Good interpersonal skills are essential in this position. How have your experiences developed your skills in this area?
The experience that taught me the most about interpersonal skills was my time as a door-to-door salesperson. This job required me to foster positive interactions with people in situations where many of them probably did not want to talk to me. A high percentage of people I talked to immediately said they were not interested, so I had to learn to keep a positive attitude and to never let an encounter turn hostile. I also learned how to quickly build rapport with people so they would let their guard down and feel comfortable talking with me about my products.
2. Driving sales is an important part of the job. Can you describe your sales philosophy?
I believe that a good merchandise associate can drive sales and customer satisfaction at the same time. If the company's products are good, and I believe yours are, then my job would be to help customers find the right product to meet their needs. If I do this well, customers will feel taken care of, purchase our product and develop loyalty to the store. This, in turn, will drive sales, and the cycle can continue to be beneficial to both parties.
3. Describe a time when you had a conflict with a supervisor. What was the conflict and how did you resolve it?
In a previous sales position, I was exceeding my sales goals for every product except one. My manager met with me to discuss why I was underperforming. My contention was that the product was too expensive and not useful enough, meaning the established sales goal was unrealistic. After a long discussion in which we both genuinely listened to the other's viewpoint, we reached a compromise. My manager agreed to reassess the price and nature of the product, and I agreed to try some new sales techniques he showed me.
4. This job will require you to meet certain sales goals. Would you describe yourself as a goal-oriented person?
Yes, I would. I ran track in college, and through that experience I learned how to set goals and make plans to achieve them. I also learned how to keep raising the bar in order to challenge myself to improve, and I've carried this practice over into my work life. I enjoy pushing myself by setting challenging goals, and I've been able to succeed at every job I've held because of this attitude.
5. Our merchandise associates must have detailed knowledge of our entire range of products. Can you explain why you believe you can excel at this task?
I believe I will excel because of my dedication to doing the job well. When I was hired as a sales associate at an electronics store, I had very little knowledge of any of the products. Most of my coworkers learned about the products only while they were on the clock, but this method was too slow for me because I hated not being able to give useful input to customers. I made flashcards to study at home, and I quickly became the most knowledgeable employee in the store. I approach every new job with this same mentality.
After you study these sample responses, practice answering the questions using your own experiences. Rehearsing how to answer common merchandise associate interview questions will go a long way toward helping you get hired.