Preparing for your interview can seem like an intimidating proposition. However, it is crucial to getting the job. Especially in a front-facing position such as sales associate, employers want to be sure that your on-paper characteristics translate into a personable, skilled employee. One of the most effective ways to ensure that you are not flustered by surprise questions at your interview is to review some potential sales associate interview questions and plan your answers.
In addition to wanting to know that you possess generally desirable attributes such as work ethic and honesty, employers will ask questions that are designed to probe your abilities to handle a sales associate position. Answering such questions effectively means understanding how your own qualifications will help you perform well as a sales associate. To assist you in planning your interview answers, we have assembled a few common sales associate interview questions and some sample answers that you can tailor to fit your actual characteristics and experience.
4 Sales Associate Interview Questions & Answers
1. Please tell me about your style of interacting with customers.
Generally, I cultivate a friendly and approachable demeanor. I make sure to greet customers individually when they enter the store, and I offer my help. I also keep an eye out for customers who may need assistance, and I check in to make sure that they are finding what they need. When a customer wants to speak to me, I make eye contact and give him or her my full attention; if I am on the phone or speaking with another customer, I briefly let the first customer know that I will be right with him or her. Some companies have particular policies or guidelines as to the desired mode and style of customer interaction. I pay close attention to such instructions, and I do my best to make sure that my demeanor is in line with company expectations.
2. Can you describe a time when you have gone above and beyond to ensure customer satisfaction?
I pride myself on my ability to meet customers’ needs and to be creative in finding effective solutions to problems. In my previous job as a sales associate at a clothing retailer, I had a customer come in who was looking for a dress of a specific color. Unfortunately, my location did not have that dress in her size. I called several other locations to track down the dress and got an associate to send it to my location. Throughout, I kept the customer updated on the progress of my search. When I found out that the dress could be brought to my location the next day, I asked the customer whether she would prefer to go to the other location, come in the next day or have the dress shipped to her home at no additional charge. The customer, who was initially frustrated because we did not have the item she wanted, concluded the transaction by commenting how impressed she was by the way I handled the situation and that she would definitely visit our store again.
3. What are some things a sales associate can do to promote sales and special events?
As a sales associate, I would verbally call customers’ attention to promotions. For example, if I see someone browsing for a certain type of item, I would let them know if we have a promotion on that item or its accessories. I would also use signs in accordance with company directive to indicate sales or special offers. Attractive and prominent window or aisle displays can also be a great way to catch customers’ eyes and bring special offers to their attention. I would also make it easier for customers to locate items by keeping shelving and products organized and attractive. Intuitive arrangements can also lead to increased sales when products that are often bought together are placed in proximity to one another.
4. What do you do when a customer is irate or disruptive?
I use company policy as well as common sense to determine the appropriate action. In many instances, upset customers can be calmed down by listening to concerns and calmly offering solutions. However, there are situations that would call for escalating to a manager or even summoning security.