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5 Assistant Manager Interview Questions and Answers

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Our assistant manger is expected to step in for some tasks, such as the displays, when the manager is not available. Do you know how to follow a schematic diagram when setting up retail displays? 


Changes in a retail store design require assistant managers to read a schematic diagram and set up departments according to the plans. Knowledge of the schematic diagrams ensures that the design is created and implemented in the retail space correctly. Assistant managers fill in for store managers and set up the designs in the manager's absence. Advanced understanding of the diagrams is a trait of the right candidate. What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience following schematic diagrams
  • Implementation and creation of store displays and department changes
  • Ability to take charge in the manager's absence

"Working closely with the store managers, I developed a higher proficiency with following schematic diagrams. I installed and implemented product displays to attract more sales."


Do you have experience operating a retail store on your own without a manager present?


Assistant managers run the retail store in the manager's absence. The candidate must have skills in daily operations and be able to complete all daily tasks handled by the store manager. He or she oversees a large volume of workers, manages expense reports and provides customer service to customers entering the store. Assistant managers complete daily sales paperwork, assists with inventory acquisitions and keeps the staff motivated with high production levels. Ideal candidates work well alone or with teams. What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience managing a retail store
  • Knowledge of daily operations of a retail store
  • Ability to work well with managers and teams

"I have three years of practice running a retail store on my own, overseeing 100 employees, tracking sales and ordering new inventory."


Assistant managers often have to place orders for new inventory and communicate with vendors on a regular basis. Do you have any experience with this?


Assistant managers place orders for new products to fill the retail store. They communicate with existing vendors and set up new accounts when unique products are available. The candidate must be able to represent the company in a positive manner at all times and follow up with vendors and send damaged goods back after receiving proper credit or acquires replacement products. What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience ordering inventory from vendors
  • Experience setting up new accounts with vendors and managing existing vendors
  • Superior communications skills

"As an assistant manager, I managed accounts with vendors on a weekly basis. I ordered new products, managed product losses and communicated changes with vendors."


Have you performed employee evaluations for a retail store through previous employers?


Employee evaluations streamline how the business operates and identify weaknesses. The process requires the assistant manager to determine if more training would help workers who are failing to complete tasks properly. The assistant manager also coaches support staff and sales associates. They set up new training programs when business changes are implemented. The employee evaluations establish if the worker is eligible for a raise or promotion based on merit. What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience in completing employee evaluations
  • Examples of identifying company weaknesses and strengths efficiently
  • Experience managing and coordinating training for new and existing employees

"Yes, I assessed statistical data for each worker and identified their weaknesses and strengths. I coordinated training courses for associates who needed extra help."


Have you evaluated retail reports analysis, spreadsheets and sales statistics?


Assistant managers generate reports and spreadsheets to evaluate current sales totals and evaluate current profit margins. The reviews require knowledge of how to analyze the data and use it to improve business practices. The job duties include managing products that aren't selling as expected and replenishing orders of top-sellers when feasible. The assistant manager reviews expenses and overhead costs for the store and devises strategies to lower and control these costs. What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience reviewing sales totals, profits and losses
  • Analytic skills that improve business practices and sales
  • Experience controlling overhead costs and expenses

"I managed sales margins and improved practices to close more sales. I also conducted analytics to discover which products were more feasible in cutting down on costs."

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