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5 Common Retail Sales Rep Interview Questions & Answers

Now that you've gotten an interview request due to your stellar resume and cover letter, you need to work hard to make a winning impression at the interview. The interview is a critical stage of the hiring process because it's usually the first time you and the hiring manager will get to meet. It's also your last chance to demonstrate why you are the best candidate in the applicant pool.

Many interview questions will remain the same from job to job. Hiring managers will ask you to tell them about yourself, and you will probably get asked about your previous jobs and academic history. However, you should also expect to hear questions specific to your chosen industry. If you are interviewing for a retail sales rep job, you need to be ready to answer questions pertaining to retail sales.

What follows is a list of commonly asked retail sales rep interview questions with sample responses included. Be sure to look through these before you head to your next interview.

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5 Retail Sales Rep Interview Questions & Answers

Describe a time when you dealt with a particularly difficult customer. What was the problem and how did you respond?

I once was helping a customer at the electronics store where I worked who walked in convinced I would try to rip him off just to make a sale. I treated him with the same respect I gave to every other customer, but he simply would not trust me. He even told me to my face that I was lying to him. It was frustrating, but I was determined to do everything possible to provide great service. I'm not sure that I ever did gain his trust, but I was able to help him purchase a computer that met his needs. My manager overheard our conversation and thanked me afterwards for staying calm and courteous.

Can you talk about why building rapport with customers is important?

I believe most customers want to feel cared for at least as much as they want a good deal. If they feel as though they are being treated like a money machine instead of a person, they are highly unlikely to buy anything. I believe that if I can establish a trusting relationship with the customer, she or he will be more willing to accept my help and will have a better overall experience. Profits come from making sure every customer has an engaging and positive experience.

The work environment in this position can be fast-paced and stressful. Would you describe yourself as someone who can succeed in that type of setting?

Yes. I used to work as a server in a busy downtown restaurant, and my favorite times to work were the busy weekend shifts. I enjoy the challenge of fast-paced jobs, and I actually perform my best when there is a lot of pressure on me. In fact, I look additional tasks when things slow down because I prefer to stay busy.

Our sales and customer service philosophy is goal-oriented. Would you describe yourself as a goal-oriented person?

I love working within a goal-oriented structure. I sang in a select choral ensemble in college, and the director was always pushing us to learn new songs and reach higher levels. I carried that mentality over to my college coursework and then to every job I've held. I believe that setting goals and working to achieve them is the best way to encourage better performance.

Our retail sales reps work in teams. Do you mind describing your experience working in a team setting and why you are a good team player?

The best team experience I've had was on the tennis team in college. Even though tennis is largely an individual sport, the supportive culture on that team was amazing. Everyone competed hard against each other to earn the top spots on the team, but that competitive spirit never got in the way of encouragement and overall team unity. I learned a great deal from that experience. I try to foster that type of team environment wherever I go by being willing to make sacrifices for the good of the team and always having my teammates' backs.

After you've familiarized yourself with these retail sales rep interview questions, practice answering them in your own words. Thorough preparation will help you answer any question you get at an interview with confidence.

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