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Merchandiser Interview Questions

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  1. Are you familiar with and have used planograms of different types? See answer
  2. As a merchandiser, have you interacted with customers while presenting the brand? See answer
  3. How well do you prioritize merchandising requests and communication from the company? See answer
  4. If you had the opportunity to completely reorganize the layout of the sales floor, including moving around shelves and changing product organization, how would you approach the task? See answer
  5. What has been your process as a merchandiser with promoting a brand?
  6. Have you used devices, phones and tablets to communicate information about inventory levels?
  7. How do you determine how to set up the most enticing sales floor display possible for different featured products?
  8. How does the economic concept of supply and demand apply to your work as a merchandiser?
  9. Explain your techniques for selecting a pricing strategy and analyzing its potential impact on sales and profits.
  10. How do you decide when to mark down an item, put it on clearance or discontinue it in the store?
  11. Our merchandisers are also responsible for placing reorders and communicating with vendors. Do you have experience filling out and submitting purchase orders according to a preset budget?
  12. Do you have experience aligning inventory counts based on both in-store purchases and online orders?
  13. Have you ever invested in selling an item that ended up being unpopular with customers? How did you learn from this experience?
  14. Merchandisers need to be able to adapt to consumer expectations while protecting the business’s bottom line. What would you do if a company advertisement misprinted the price of an item on sale?
  15. How would you promote an item with unattractive packaging?
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6 Merchandiser Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

What has been your process, as a merchandiser, with promoting a brand?

A:

The merchandiser is responsible for the presentation of a brand in a retail environment. They may be stocking shelves, talking to customers and taking inventory while making the brand stand out with a fully stocked appearance. With an eye to how the product looks as well as the number of items presented, the merchandiser is directly responsible for presenting the brand to the consumer.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Knowledge of branding importanance at retail
  • Can transmit questions and information
  • Able to make a compelling presentation to customers

Example:

“I think the best presentation is what a manufacturer expects. Having worked for a major national brand, I realize that presentation is the first impression on a customer.”

Q:

Are you familiar with and have used planograms of different types?

A:

The ability to read a planogram, the plan for display of the product, by the manufacturer or retail company, such as a department store, is sometimes needed. These plans specifically place merchandise in a particular area for display. Sometimes, the planogram does not exactly match the merchandise; in this case, the merchandiser must use their judgement to substitute one product for another. Look for planogram and POS display experience.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Ability to read planograms
  • Willingness to learn to read and utilize them
  • Able to take the manufacturer’s vision to retail

Example:

“I have extensive experience using planograms and setting up display areas at retail. I understand the need to present the organized product to increase sales.”

Q:

Have you used devices, phones and tablets to communicate information?

A:

Manufacturers and merchandising companies rely on information regarding inventory control that is sent back to them through a handheld device, computer, tablet or smartphone. The merchandiser often has to take clear photos of the completed display setup for transmission back to the company. In some cases, the merchandiser will be marking down products with action such as printing tags with a mobile printer or featuring new prices as in the case of markdowns.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Ability to use a POS handheld device
  • Accuracy and efficiency in transmission
  • Takes clear photos of shelves or products

Example:

“My last job required me to do markdowns of products, photos of displays and daily communication via a handheld device. I was able to understand and utilize their system with no issues.”

Q:

As a merchandiser, have you interacted with customers while presenting the brand?

A:

The merchandiser often has to answer questions from the public about the product they are stocking. They should have a knowledge of the product or be willing to learn. It is often the merchandiser who has to interact with store managers and personnel to ensure that the product is well-positioned and on time for a season if seasonal selling is important. Look for a person who is not afraid to interact. They should also be able to work as a team if that is part of the position requirements.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Ability to have rapport with store personnel
  • Eagerness to help customers at retail
  • Willingness to find answers about the product

Example:

“I understand the merchandiser represents the brand, and effective communication with stores is imperative. I have helped customers as well,by helping them locate the correct product.”

Q:

How well do you prioritize merchandising requests and communication from the company?

A:

Reading communication on a daily basis is important to the merchandiser position. They should be aware of policy changes that affect their organization and efficiency. Working with a team is often a part of the merchandiser position, so sharing knowledge is often important. Problem resolution is a key attribute of the merchandiser, so communication is a major part of the position as well as keeping proper inventory levels.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Ability to build displays of products by company standards
  • Be able to place timely orders
  • Compliance with company policies, procedures, and laws

Example:

“My first priority was to read company communications at the beginning of every shift, in order to be aware of changes or new policies.”

Q:

If you had the opportunity to completely reorganize the layout of the sales floor, including moving around shelves and changing product organization, how would you approach the task?

A:

Merchandisers are instrumental in planning out product displays on both a temporary and permanent basis. Even though merchandisers will likely work from an existing setup, this question can reveal important details about how they create impactful displays. This question targets the merchandiser's strategy for creating displays and organizing merchandise. It shows the interviewer what the candidate knows about best practices for using the store setup to make sales and showcases their strategy for anticipating the mindset of a shopper.

A strong response should feature:

  • Consumer research
  • Knowledge of buying habits
  • Creativity

One example of a good response is:

Example:

"Before approaching the exciting task of a complete redesign, I would assess what parts of the store's current setup are most successful and drive sales. I'd want to preserve those elements and use them as the anchors of my store layout that would guide customers through the aisles. Considering the most visible points of the store, I'd create one central display for each department so customers could easily access items in the same category, encouraging them to make additional purchases because they are reminded of other items they want or need."

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    Last updated: Apr 21, 2021