5 Important Merchandise Associate Interview Tips


Once you have given your resume and cover letter to a business, the ball is officially in their court for deciding whether you get a job offer. As long as your resume is formatted correctly and contains pertinent information, you should have no problem getting called in for an interview to become a merchandise associate. This face-to-face meeting is incredibly important, and it is an opportunity you should not take lightly.

Every company is different and is going to ask a different set of questions. While there is no way to be 100 percent certain that you are ready for anything that will come your way, there are a few things you can do to prepare. Interviewing for an associate position is going to differ slightly from interviewing to become a manager, and there are some rules to abide by. Here are some crucial merchandise associate interview tips you need to follow the next time you are speaking with a hiring manager.

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Merchandise Associate Interview Tips

Express Interest in Growing With the Company: When a store requires a manager, it is highly likely that they are going to promote from within. Merchandise associates are often groomed to one day become managers, so you should state that you would like to grow with the organization. You might be asked something along the lines of “Where do you see yourself in five years?” Regardless of what your actual plans are, if you have plans at all, you should give the interviewer the impression that you are in this for the long haul. Saying something to the effect that you would like to one day be a store manager is definitely going to give you special considerations.

Emphasize Organizational Skills: A big responsibility most associates will have is keeping track of inventory. You may be in charge of restocking inventory or ordering supplies when the need arises. Therefore, highlighting the fact that you are a highly organized individual is only going to work in your favor. You will probably not be asked outright if you are an organized individual, but if you are asked to describe a skill or something about yourself, then that would be the opportunity to mention it. It would be even better if you could provide a story of a time when your organizational skills came in handy.

Working Under Pressure: Another common task you likely have to accomplish as a merchandise associate is to work closely with vendors in order to acquire additional stock. You may even need to meet with new vendors to convince them to let your store sell their products. This requires excellent communication, but being able to make decisions quickly is going to be an asset. Again, telling a story of a time when you had to make a decision under pressure and it ultimately worked in your favor is going to work to your advantage.

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Be Enthusiastic: Associates regularly have to interact with the general public, so you should have a friendly personality. Some people are naturally more extroverted than others, so approaching potential customers may not be the easiest thing for you. Regardless, there are a few things you can do during the interview to show that you are at least polite and approachable. You should maintain eye contact with the interviewer to show you are engaged in the conversation. Smiling will also be a huge assistance.

Be Ready to Discuss a Setback: It is not uncommon in interviews to be asked something such as, “What is your biggest weakness?” or “Describe a time when you made a mistake.” The important thing to remember with these questions is that the hiring manager is not trying to get you to admit that you are a failure. Instead, the interviewer is trying to get a sense of how you pull yourself back to your feet after experiencing a setback. Perhaps you made a mistake early on in your career, but you learned from it and ultimately succeeded in an objective later on. That is the kind of story you want to tell in this scenario.

Make a strong first impression on the hiring manager by following these useful merchandise associate interview tips. You will ultimately be more successful in your job hunt if you abide by these key rules.