The world of retail can be unpredictable and fast-paced, and skilled retail employees are valuable company resources. Identifying candidates that have what it takes to cut it in the retail world requires asking questions focused on customer service and analyzing an applicant’s ability to succeed in high-pressure work. Here are a few pillars to keep in mind when you’re interviewing candidates for retail positions:
Your candidate does not have to have much experience in retail to be a good fit, although a good sales background NEVER hurts. You are searching for someone who can multitask with a smile on their face, and can sort out priorities quickly and to everyone’s best interest. Ask questions about their previous experience. When is the last time they did something that required responsibility for completing many tasks quickly and efficiently? When is the last time they had to help others? Have they ever had to meet a quota?
Ask what they know about your products, and what they plan to do to get better acquainted. Ideally, you would want someone who is already familiar with your merchandise to reduce the learning curve, but someone who is eager to learn can be just as successful. This is a good time to fill them in on your training process and gauge their reaction and needs.
Retail often demands flexible schedules of its employees. Cover their scheduling needs and determine how likely they would be to pick up extra shifts if need be. This can also shed light on their dedication to the position and perhaps even how long they plan to stay with your business.
What would you do if a customer. . .
These questions are included in almost all pre-hiring employment assessments because they are incredibly important, especially in the retail world. It is essential to learn how your candidate believes they will handle difficult customers or situations. Inexperience will certainly become obvious in their answers, and you can identify which candidates should move forward in your hiring process.
Great retail workers are in high demand all over. Asking the right questions can help scope out those candidates you need to bring your team forward.
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Kimberly Gaspar is CareerPlug’s Recruitment Services Intern.