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Assistant Store Manager Interview Questions

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  1. How would you deal with a troublesome employee, like one who’s always late, fails to perform or mistreats customers or co-workers? See answer
  2. How would you resolve customer complaints, both when the customer is right and when they’re wrong? See answer
  3. How do you hold up under long hours and stressful situations? See answer
  4. What is your leadership style, and why have you chosen that approach? See answer
  5. What do you know about inventory tracking, sales monitoring and sales goal setting? See answer
  6. As assistant store manager, you may play a role in making hiring decisions. What would you do if two of your top employees both applied for an opening as keyholder or shift lead? See answer
  7. What metrics do you use to measure success and how do you track and record those metrics?
  8. What would you do if you caught one of your top-selling store associates stealing small supplies from the break room?
  9. Are you comfortable leading professional development trainings to implement new store policies?
  10. How would you handle the situation if a supplier sent a completely incorrect inventory order, leaving you almost out of stock?
  11. Describe some of the promotional strategies you would like to implement in our store and why you think they would be effective.
  12. What tactics do you use to manage employee schedules and ensure that every shift has sufficient coverage to meet customer demand?
  13. What would you do if corporate instituted a new store policy that you thought would lead to lower sales or poor workplace morale?
  14. Do you have experience setting up attractive displays to draw customers into the store?
  15. What would you do if a team member was having a bad day and didn’t have a good attitude when interacting with customers?
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6 Assistant Store Manager Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

How would you deal with a troublesome employee, like one who’s always late, fails to perform or mistreats customers or co-workers?

A:

The true measure of an assistant store manager isn’t how they handle normal day-to-day operations but rather emergency situations or crises, like a difficult worker. He or she can’t get combative or retaliatory yet can’t ignore or avoid a problem employee either. An appropriate and responsible approach involves calm, clear communication with clearly set and agreed-upon guidelines for improvement, with equally delineated timelines and consequences for failure.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Calmness and clarity during crises
  • Ability to communicate clearly and respectfully
  • Willingness to set and implement consequences for inadequate compliance

Example:

“I’d approach my manager about the issue, offering my thoughts on a solution and, ultimately, implement whichever solution the manager decides is most appropriate.”

Q:

How would you resolve customer complaints, both when the customer is right and when they’re wrong?

A:

The customer may always be right in business, but that doesn’t mean an assistant manager should let his or herself or the company be taken advantage of. Rather, he or she must maintain a careful balance between providing exceptional customer service and honoring the company’s rules. If unable to provide the desired solution, the candidate should always aim to seek one the customer and company can mutually accept.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Courtesy in the face of conflict
  • Creative problem-solving
  • Willingness to compromise where possible while adhering to the rules

Example:

“First I’d hear the customer out. If I can’t provide the desired solution, I’d devise an alternative and seek managerial approval to implement it.”

Q:

How do you hold up under long hours and stressful situations?

A:

An assistant store manager is a high-stress position that can involve long hours and multiple sudden dilemmas. A candidate should be healthy and strong enough to safely endure this. He or she should also know how to delegate tasks to avoid taking on unnecessary stress and adequately attend to his or her own self-care, like taking breaks, to prevent bad decision-making and burnout.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Healthy and strong physical constitution
  • Mental and emotional patience, endurance and flexibility
  • Reasonable and appropriate boundaries

Example:

“I’m in excellent health because I know how to take care of myself while taking care of my responsibilities. I thrive in active environments, viewing problems as challenges.”

Q:

What is your leadership style, and why have you chosen that approach?

A:

Different leaders use different leadership styles with varying degrees of effectiveness. It is, therefore, important to understand what style a candidate uses and why. It should not be implemented simply by default to accommodate the individual’s own personality quirks but rather by intention thanks to personal experience with its proven effectiveness over other approaches. Is the candidate a coach, a democratic leader or mostly hands-off?

What to look for in an answer:

  • Awareness of different leadership style distinctions like transactional and strategic
  • Deliberateness and rationale in choosing a style
  • Proven effective leadership

Example:

“I’ve explored numerous leadership styles, both in managerial and lower-level employee roles, and I’ve experienced the best results on both sides with transformational leadership.”

Q:

What do you know about inventory tracking, sales monitoring and sales goal setting?

A:

Skilled assistant store managers must be skilled salespeople as well. A candidate should have sales experience, ideally with demonstrable outcomes setting and meeting or exceeding targets. A candidate should be familiar with common types of software systems for tracking inventory and monitoring sales. The candidate should be comfortable planning and performing merchandising, marketing and product display efforts and teaching those skills to team members.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Sales and inventory software proficiency
  • Proven salesmanship abilities
  • Skills in merchandising, marketing and displaying products

Example:

“I helped my last employer beat sales goals by 30% for eight consecutive quarters through a combination of improving merchandising and analyzing sales and inventory data.”

Q:

As assistant store manager, you may play a role in making hiring decisions. What would you do if two of your top employees both applied for an opening as keyholder or shift lead?

A:

Assistant store managers have to make difficult decisions and look after the well-being of both their staff and the store. The way they handle promotions and internal hires can impact other employees, especially if they show favoritism or cause another employee to feel overlooked. Successful candidates know how to tactfully make decisions and explain them to their team. This question lets candidates express their awareness of workplace politics and showcase their strategy for balancing risk and reward.

An ideal response should feature:

  • Understanding of team morale
  • Respect for employee dedication
  • Logical decision-making

Example:

"If I had two amazing employees and only one opportunity for a promotion, I would first consider seniority and who has been at the store longer. Hiring the more senior employee shows a clear logic and doesn't devalue what either candidate has to offer. I would interview both of them and make it clear that if they were not selected, I would be actively looking for new open positions to reassure them that they have growth opportunities."

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