Retail interview questions

Question: Did you increase sales?
Answer: Virtually doubled sales from $1.0 million to $1.9 million for Tower Records’ downtown store, traditionally a difficult sales location.


Question: Did you improve gross margins or turnover?
Answer: Improved Better Sportswear gross margin by 18% and turnover by 30%.

Question: Did you implement new ideas that affected sales?
Answer: Captured 48% sales increase through negotiation and implementation of three key vendor coordinator/selling specialist programs.

Question: Were your sales increases greater than other stores in the chain?
Answer: Exceeded comparable store sales increases with 9% departmental improvement (storewide average is 1.2%).

Question: Did you increase credit conversions?
Answer: Increased credit conversions by 3,531, or 47.4 per FTE.

Question: Did you open new stores?
Answer: Successfully opened 12 new stores; achieved company record for new store sales volume on opening day and opening week.

Question: Did you take on any remodeling or tenant improvement projects?
Answer 1: Opened 15 new stores, directed 12 major remodels, and supervised 22 tenant improvement projects in an 8-year period, with a 100% record for meeting critical deadlines.
Answer 2: Created cohesive image for retailer, knitting together discordant color/design motifs into a cohesive theme for company’s full-service stores and two specialty divisions.

Question: Did you identify and capitalize on particular sales trends?
Answer: Developed sales analysis program that resulted in 10% improvement in regular price sales with corresponding gross margin increase in Bridge/Designer Sportswear.

Question: Did you train any staff members who were promoted?
Answer 1: Coached inexperienced staff who went on to hold Assistant Store Manager and Store Manager positions.
Answer 2: Transformed a young staff (who had essentially alienated customers) into a dynamic, customer-driven sales force.

Question: Did you rectify specific procedural problems, for instance, with cash-drawer errors, deposit errors, etc.?
Answer: Implemented operating controls to virtually eliminate cash-drawer errors (a 60% decrease) and deposit errors (a 75% decrease).

Question: Did you reduce expenses?
Reduced salary expenditures by 1% (a 5-figure savings) through “peak-flow” scheduling strategy.

Question: Were there any difficult transitions to manage?
Answer: Maintained morale throughout culture shift associated with ACB’s acquisition of XZY Company; accomplished through “town hall” meetings, secret-shopper service incentives, and paid time off for employee suggestions.

Question: Were you promoted over employees who were more experienced than you?
Answer: Selected for store-management assignment over more experienced staff because of professionalism and performance record.

Question: Did your computer skills come into play?
Answer: Guided a seamless computer system conversion that integrated the store’s entire operational infrastructure.

Question: Did you have significant competition to deal with?
Answer: Met surge of competition from national “big box” retailers with successful customer-service campaign; conducted surveys to identify niche-market products, designed promotional and pricing strategies, and boosted staff-customer ratio to maintain service levels. Efforts resulted in a 15% increase in average ticket sale.

Question: Were inventory levels too high?
Answer: Reduced excess warehouse stock by approximately 20% while avoiding out-of-stocks.

Question: Did you reduce mark-down losses?
Answer: Reduced mark-down losses by as much as 50% through improved departmen-tal inventory flow.

Question: Did the department you buy for contribute to a greater portion of net store profit?
Answer: Contributed an average of 48% net profit to store’s total net income.

Question: Was inventory shrinkage below the average of other stores?
Answer: Controlled inventory shrinkage at 1.2% (below company average of 2.5%).

Question: Did you introduce any ideas or programs new to your industry?
Answer: Recognized as first specialty retailer to introduce “shop concepts,” reversing one company’s 10-year loss history to profits of $1.5 million in just two years.

Question: Did you save the company money?
Answer: Delivered savings of $1.2 million during first two years, without sacrifice to raw material quality or service.

Question: How did you save money?
Answer: Achieved across-the-board savings of 15–45% through redesign, substitutions, and overseas vendor sourcing.

Question: Did your negotiation skills save money?
Answer: Renegotiated freight contracts for savings of $45,000 in annual transportation costs.

Question: Did you reduce the time required to process requisitions?
Answer: Introduced “Procurement Card,” saving approximately $100 per requisition and reducing turnaround time for purchase orders by as much as four weeks.

Question: Did you improve technology or the use of technology by others?
Answer: Conducted user training classes for automated requisitioning and ordering, increasing company-wide use of computer system from 36% to 93%.

Question: Did you reduce the number of SKUs needed?
Answer: Slashed SKUs from 1,500 to under 200 (surveyed managers, identified critical forms, and consolidated duplicate items).

Question: Did you tighten up your supplier list?
Answer: Reduced vendor base by 90%, leveraging negotiating power with three primary suppliers.

Question: Were any services outsourced at a savings to company?
Answer: Outsourced and negotiated contract for primary forms, with a projected first-year savings of $62,000.

Question: Did you form special relationships or arrangements with your suppliers?
Answer: Introduced Supplier Certification/ Partnering, achieving alliance goals for quality, cost reductions, and expansion.

Retail Job Titles

These retail interview questions can be used in many careers such as Store Manager, Buyer or Divisional Merchandise Manager. Check these Job Titles related to Retail positions:

  • Retail Buyer
  • Manager of Retail Strategy Communications and Processes
  • Sales Associate
  • Sales Development Specialist
  • Sales Executive
  • Assistant Sales Manager
  • Assistant Store Director
  • Sales Inventory Analyst
  • Senior Merchant-Retail Administration Analyst
  • Retail Customer Service Associate
  • Retail Food Service Manager
  • General Manager
  • Loss Prevention
  • Retail Sales Consultant
  • Retail Sales Representative
  • Merchandise Planner
  • Merchandise Supervisor
  • Order Entry/Processor
  • Paint Specialist
  • Regional Manager
  • Sales Associate
  • Retail Personal Banker
  • Retail Sales Associate: Retail Sales Worker, Sales Clerks, Retail Clerks, Salespeople
  • Retail Sales Associate/Photographer
  • Sales Manager
  • Retail Security Officer
  • Retail Trainee
  • Retail Team Leader
  • Store Manager
  • Stocker
  • Team Leader
  • Sales Representative
  • Retail Leadership Development Program
  • Retail Management Trainee
  • Retail Marketing Specialist
  • Senior Brand Manager
  • Customer Service
  • Department Manager
  • Floor Leader
  • Retail Associate Store Manager