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Retail Recruitment: Competency Based Interview Questions

May 22, 2012 | A Guide to Retail Employment Law & HR

Retail Recruitment: Competency Based Interview Questions

Retail recruitment is essential for recruiting the right retail staff.  Here are some good retail recruitment competency based questions that you can ask in interviews:

Team Work

  • Can you give me an example of when you have worked as part of a team to achieve a goal? What made the team successful?
  • How can you make a difference to the retail staff team that you work in?
  • Do you enjoy working as part of a retail team? Why? Are there any aspects of working as a team that you don’t like? Why?
  • Give me an example of when you have had to share your workload with the rest of your team.
  • Give me an example of when you have successfully motivated a team to achieve great results.
  • Give me an example of when you have influenced someone over whom you have no direct control. What was the result?
  • Give me an example of when you have influenced your peers.

Problem Solving for Retail Staff

  • Can you give me an example of when you have solved a problem in an unusual way? What made you solve it that way?
  • What is the most difficult work related situation that you have been faced with. How did you cope? What was the outcome?
  • As a manager what staff related issues do you need to deal with?
  • What types of problems do you typically deal with in your job? What steps do you take to overcome these problems? What was the outcome?
  • How do you ensure that you have all the information you need to complete a project/job?
  • Give me an example of when you have used a mistake that has been made to your own advantage and learned from it.

Results Focus for Retail Staff

  • How do you know that you are successful
  • Give me an example of where you have taken a risk in order to move a project forward
  • How do you make sure that you learn and develop continuously?
  • What is the greatest asset that you could bring to this role?
  • What are your personal and long term career goals
  • What motivates you and why?
  • What makes you feel under pressure? How do you deal with pressure?
  • Give me an example of when you have achieved something through your personal drive and commitment. What did you learn from the experience?

Leadership Ability for Retail Staff

  • Describe a situation when you have been responsible for a team of people. What problems did you come up against and how did you overcome them?
  • Who would you describe as an inspirational leader? What characteristics do they have which you admire?
  • The Company believes its employees are one of the keys to its success. How would you as a manager portray this belief to your team?
  • How do you develop your current team and how do you assess their level of competence?
  • How do you motivate your team?
  • How do you train and develop people, please give examples
  • How do you prioritize your team’s workload?
  • Give me an example of a time when you have had to deal with a performance issue.
  • How do you measure the effectiveness of your leadership style?
  • Give me an example of when you have dealt wit conflict in a team?
  • What kind of mentoring/coaching style do you have?
  • Give me an example of when you have maximized the potential of a team. What was the result? What problems did you encounter and how did you overcome them?

Managing Change/Adaptability

  • People are normally resistant to change. How do you manage this?
  • Think of a time when you have been thrown in the deep end or had the goal posts moved on a project. How did you cope?
  • Working in this industry has its positives and negatives. How will you need to change your lifestyle to be successful? How do you feel about that?
  • Give me an example of when you have successfully managed change?

Planning and Organizing

  • What preparation did you do for this interview?
  • What preparation do you do before you present information to clients?
  • What do you think project-planning entails?
  • When taking on a new position, how do you prioritize what you tackle first?
  • Why do you think attention to detail is important to your job? What could the possible consequences of carelessness be?
  • How do you plan your day-to-day activities?
  • How do you ensure that you meet project deadlines
  • What deadlines do you typically have to work towards in your job?

Strategic Thinking and Awareness

  • How do you strategically plan ahead?
  • How do you balance the short term and long term needs of the business
  • How do you stay abreast of the latest technological advances in our industry?
  • What are our competitors doing at the moment?
  • What do you think is the biggest opportunity facing the IT industry in the future?
  • What is your current strategy for your area of responsibility

Customer Focus

  • How do you get your team to think like a customer
  • How do you foster a customer-focused environment on a project?
  • How do you anticipate customer needs in light of market developments
  • What customer service would give the Company the competitive edge?
  • How do you currently assess/evaluate customer satisfaction?
  • Talk me through the most difficult customer situation you have dealt with and the outcome.
  • How do you maintain high standards of customer service in your current role
  • Customer service is a priority for the Company. What steps would you take to ensure your department was offering the best in the industry?
  • Why is good customer service important?

Profit Delivery

  • What value/profit do you think your role can add to the Company?
  • As a manager in the company, you could have a huge amount of influence over profit in your department. What do you believe are your key tools for increasing profit?
  • What actions have you taken in the past to increase your team/ projects profit margin?
  • How do you control operational costs
  • How do you ensure the maximum profitability of a project?
  • How do you review and evaluate project performance?
  • Give an example of how you have increased profit. What action did you take?

Stress Tolerance/Ability to succeed under pressure

  • Give me an example of when you had to work under very pressurized conditions. What made the situation so pressurized? How did you handle the situation? What was the outcome?
  • What deadlines have you had to work against before? How did you ensure that you met these deadlines?
  • Tell me about a work situation in which the pressure grew to an unacceptable level. What steps did you take to ease the pressure? What was the outcome of this?

Tenacity

  • Tell me about a situation in which you have really wanted something that has been denied you by your company/boss. Did you take any steps to persuade them otherwise? If so, what did you do and what was the outcome?
  • You are desperately trying to get a client visit with a potential customer who is currently using your competitor’s services but s/he will not meet with you. What steps could you take to persuade him otherwise?

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