Profitable Times Newsletter

Hiring the Right People:

Sample Interview Questions


Why do you want to work here?

What do you know about us?

Tell me about how you were raised?

How comfortable are you with the compensation for this position? (Compensation should be stated during telephone conversation before scheduling interview.)

Do you view this as a short-term or more permanent position?

How comfortable are you being on your feet a lot?

How do you feel about doing maintenance type work such as opening and flattening boxes, dusting, straitening storage areas, etc?

What is your greatest strength?

What is your greatest weakness?

When you wake up, from a job perspective, what do you most and least look forward to?

What are your views on the best and worst type of bosses to work for?

When can you start?

Do you have any plans that will take you away from work over the next six months?

Work History

What is your work history, specifically in the following areas?

  • Customer interaction
  • Problem solving

Tell us about your current or most recent job.

  • What are/were your responsibilities and duties?
  • Why did you, or are willing to, leave?
  • What is/was the product focus?

What is your retailing experience in the following areas?

  • On-floor selling
  • Personnel
    • Management
    • Scheduling
  • Buying
  • Training (Sales and operations)
  • Merchandising and display
  • Financial
    • Preparation and understanding of financial statements
    • Budgeting
  • Multi-unit retailing
  • Permanent locations
  • Seasonal locations
  • E-Commerce
  • Mail-order catalog
  • Wholesaling

What did you personally accomplish or contribute to your last position?

Workplace Behaviors

What are your personal feelings about the following?

  • Ethics
  • Appearance
  • Efficiency
  • Diversity
  • Goal setting
  • Stress tolerance
  • Customer service

Can you give an example of a personal circumstance for one or two items above?

How flexible are you during your unscheduled hours to meet unexpected or unusual circumstances?

  • Special events requiring the store to be open beyond normal hours
  • Sudden absence of staff

Interpersonal Skills

How do you interact with supervisors?

How do you react to multiple sources of input?

What are your feelings about yourself in relation to the following traits?

  • Energy
  • Judgment
  • Initiative
  • Demeanor
  • Leadership
  • Problem solving
  • Reliability
  • Cross-cultural awareness
  • Innovation
  • Courtesy
  • Decision making
  • Responsibility

Can you give an example of a personal circumstance for one to three items above?

How are you at delegating responsibility?

How are you at follow-up?


What do you know about merchandise buying plans such as an Open to Buy?

  • Where and how much have you used it?

How comfortable are you with:

  • Computers
    • In general
    • Experience with point of sale systems
  • Internet
    • Buying, auctions, trading
    • Email

Add Customized, Open-Ended, Situational Questions

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