When applying for any managerial position, you are going to need a strong resume and cover letter that accurately show your leadership abilities. Take plenty of time to ensure those documents are of the highest quality possible so that you make a hiring manager interested in meeting with you. If you actually get an interview then you need to prepare even more, because this is the moment when you really need to showcase your abilities.
Most people spend a majority of their preparation time getting ready for the more typical interview questions related to why you want to work at this particular store and what you believe your greatest strengths are. In addition to planning responses for those questions, you also need to be prepared for inquiries related to the store manager position itself. These are fairly common retail store manager interview questions and answers that you should read through to get a sense of what responses you need to have ready.
5 Retail Store Manager Interview Questions & Answers
1. How would you handle a difficult employee, or how would you handle an employee who is struggling?
I believe it is crucial to differentiate between an employee who simply does not have the drive to succeed at the company versus an employee who is merely going through a rough patch and needs motivation. In either scenario, I would talk with the employee first to see what is going on and see if a solution can be reached without resorting to disciplinary actions. For instance, at my last job, there was an employee who was not greeting customers and asking if they needed assistance while in the store. I spoke with him about what was going on, and he informed me that his mother was very ill, so his head just was not in the game. We were able to work out a system where he got time off, and when he returned he was an exemplary employee.
2. How do you train new employees?
Whenever a new hire is made, I would always shadow the worker at first. I prefer merely observing an employee work and only stepping in whenever something needs to be changed. For example, if a new worker is not asking a customer enough questions about why they need a product, I would tell them to feel free to learn a bit about the customer. I also understand when it is time to step in and close a sale when employees get a little in over their heads.
3. What would you do if there was a shift that was understaffed?
This has happened to me in the past, and the first thing I have done is contact other employees to see if they can come in to quickly cover it. Sometimes this requires offering an incentive such as a small bump in pay for that shift. It is understandable if no one else can come in on such short notice, so when the need arises, I have no problem jumping in and covering the shift myself.
4. What is your knowledge of our store’s products?
I have worked at a bookstore in the past, and I make it a point to become familiar with the most popular authors and genres. This allows me to make recommendations to customers. For example, if someone were to come in wanting to buy the Harry Potter series, then I would recommend similar books for young adults. I have found this approach is particularly successful with customers who frequent the store because they are the most open to hearing suggestions and trying new books.
5. How successful have you been in delegating tasks?
I think it is crucial to delegate tasks wisely. Naturally I cannot do everything myself, but when it comes to delegating I think it is important to pinpoint employees’ strengths in order to give them the best assignments. Workers who are more outgoing and extroverted tend to do better on the sales floor talking with customers. Other employees are more efficient restocking shelves, manning the register and ordering new supplies. I make sure everyone has a task and understands the importance of the task to the overall success of the company.
To show an interviewer why you are the best individual for the open position, review these common retail store manager interview questions and answers.