Best Interview Questions

Ever wanted to know the best interview questions before you step into the interview room. The People Pod have gathered the best interview questions for retail managers, sales executives and customer service professionals alike.

Select the business area to reveal the type of interview questions, as we reveal the ideal hints and tips.

Change Management

How would you manage a major business change?

Acts as a champion for change quickly, takes the lead and sets examples, takes time out to drive plans, implement & communicate change effectively.

Seeks first to understand then to be understood.

Overuse caution -

When was the last time you challenged a senior member of the business and what happened?

Builds a powerful case for change, challenges the status quo or traditional approaches constructively.

Comfortable and aware of how to challenge at all levels.

Commercial / Sales development Questions

How has your business / department performed over the last year?

Discuss ALL relevant commercial targets.

Sales, standards, customer service, training & development, stock loss, P&L control, etc.

How would you increase sales in our business?

Analyse the previous years figures and have a strategic ACTION / BUSINESS PLAN to increase sales utilising KPI targeting & reviewing. Consistently and actively seek opportunities in the market, area & region. Provide a creative approach.

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How would you increase the sales margin?

Considers profitability of different products & services and ensures all staff know HOW and WHERE profit margins can be optimised and maximised 'POUND NOTES & PERCENTAGES'.

Consider operational issues may also affect margin i.e. admin, stock control, discount, theft etc.

What do you do to proactively drive sales?

Type your answer here

Who are your competitors and how do you monitor their impact?

Fully aware of all small, medium and large competitors in addition to forthcoming diverse competitors.

Performs regular competitor analysis and shares information companywide.

Customer Responsive Based Questions

How important do you feel customer service is in your business? Why is this?

Ensure you understand the value of customer excellence.

Explains customer's needs in a strategic and commercial context.

Be willing to challenge the organisation to deliver what the customer wants.

How would you promote your business within the community?

Understands positive and negative influences of their business on the community.

Demonstrates personal flair when raising their business profile by : Product launches, sponsorship, charity events, cheese & wine evening, internet training evening etc

How do you measure customer service in your business?

Measures the whole shopping experience as a complete visit increasing total customer loyalty.

Actively seeks information on customer NEEDS, TRENDS & LIFESTYLES & uses information.

Seeks feedback from customers, courtesy calls, monitors complaint & complimentary letters, internal mystery shops, contact 100, Returns against sales.

What have you done in the past to improve customer service?

Demonstrates an innovative yet commercial approach to achieving customer service levels above and beyond in words business plans and actions.

Creates a can do attitude amongst the whole team that allows individuals to go the extra mile and differentiates their business from the competition.

Interpersonal Effectivess

How do you communicate information to your team how often?

Selling approach rather than telling approach.

Communicates regularly, memos, one-ones, newsletters, briefs, de-briefs.

How do you ensure your staff understand company standards and policies?

1st seek to understand before being understood, T&D, regular reviewing, continuous improvement.

How do you measure the audiences understanding of the information that you have communicated?

Checks understanding (FORMALLY & INFORMALLY), 360degree feedback, requests audiences feedback and encourages input, encourages open communication / information sharing.

Informal chat in the canteen, open door policy.

If I asked your colleagues what they thought of you what would they tell me? What would they want to change

Understands impact of own style on others and relates that to development needs.

Managing Performance Questions

What targets do you set for your staff?

Set commercial targets, translate business targets clearly to encourage full individual ownership, leads by example, strives to exceed targets, conveys PMA.

How do you review targets?

Regular one-one meetings, providing 360 degree feedback, performance reviews, PDP’s,

How do you manage under performing team members?

Confronts difficult / underperforming work colleagues immediately.

Ask? Is it personal, is it training, are they not clear on what is expected

Set clear goals and objectives, review

Then finally if performance hasn't improved follow correct disciplinary procedures.

Motivating & Coaching

How do you manage over performing team members?

Recognise & reward, succession planning, personally gets involved with training and development. Agree PDP’s, more responsibility, review their targets.

On giving an over performing team member more responsibility they don't perform, how would you manage the situation?

Trusts people with responsibility, does not withdraw at first sign of concern. Motivate, encourage and instill confidence, let staff learn from mistakes, emphasis on enabling not controlling.

Personal Motivation

What motivates you?

Tenacious and resilient, competitive, strives to be the best, having fun, financial, career development.

What is your biggest disappointment?

Positive about disappointments, critiques own performance. Moves on in a positive mindset.

What is your biggest achievement?

Positive, passionate and enthusiastic about their biggest achievement. PERSONAL or PROFESSIONAL.

Planning & Organising

How would you plan and organise a typical week?

Plans own work & others (staff rostering), to do lists, note taking, scheduling, prioritising, diarising. Builds contingencies into plans to avoid possible disruptions. Creates weekly task sheets related to overall daily operational tasks.

How would review your plans?

Continually monitors, critiques & reviews objectives and standards. Follows all plans and key priorities

How do you plan: short, medium and long term for the business?

Plans with the whole team in mind, plans ahead and involves succession planning. Ability to multi-task from project to project, involves relevant team members. Builds contingencies into plans to avoid possible disruptions.

Problem Solving Questions

Talk me through; in detail the process you would adopt to manage a complex business problem or issue?

Analyses all available data accurately, timely, logically & objectively, poses probing questions and doesn’t take information on face value. Identifies the range of options and contributing factors, analyses cause & effect, breaks problem down into component parts, able to think on their feet. Then takes full responsibility to generate workable solutions not always constrained by traditional solutions.