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Sales Clerk Interview Questions

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  1. What was your greatest motivation for applying for the position of sales clerk at our store? See answer
  2. How would you handle a situation of an upset customer who came specifically for a product only to discover we were out of stock? See answer
  3. Tell us about how comfortable you are handling money, counting change and working with credit and debit card machines. See answer
  4. What skills do you possess that make you a successful sales clerk? See answer
  5. As a sales clerk, how would you encourage customers to increase the amount of their purchase?
  6. Organizational skills are essential for our sales clerk position. What are some methods you use to help you prioritize tasks and work efficiently?
  7. Can you give an example of when you provided good customer service?
  8. Why do you think you would be a good fit for the role of a sales clerk with our company?
  9. What prior experience do you have as a sales clerk?
  10. How do you feel about performing cleaning and organizational duties in addition to the regular sales clerk role and responsibilities?
  11. Can you discuss a time you disagreed with a co-worker and how the situation was resolved?
  12. What three things do you think are essential to providing an optimal customer service experience?
  13. Can you work well under pressure?
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6 Sales Clerk Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

What was your greatest motivation for applying for the position of sales clerk at our store?

A:

The goal is this question is to identify if your applicant is merely looking for a job or if they are interested in the position at your retail establishment. An ideal candidate would have a passion for your product or brand. They should have a basic understanding of the function of a sales clerk, the knowledge that they will be primarily working with customers and a desire to encourage sales.

What to look for in an answer:

  • An excitement about your company or brand
  • Desire to help customers and encourage sales
  • Professional and personable attitude

Example:

“I’ve been shopping at your store for years. I look forward to showing your customers what makes your products so special. “

Q:

How would you handle a situation of an upset customer who came specifically for a product only to discover we were out of stock?

A:

There will be situations where it will be difficult for your sales clerk to please your customers. This question will test your candidate’s problem-solving skills and their dedication to your store’s reputation and your customer’s satisfaction. They should be able to demonstrate that they can handle potentially high-pressure situations peacefully.

What to look for in an answer:

  • A desire to please the customer
  • Motivation to uphold the business’s reputation
  • Creative ability to find a solution to problems they may encounter daily

Example:

“I would be apologetic. Then, I would special order the product and promise to call when it arrives or ship it out for free.”

Q:

Tell us about how comfortable you are handling money, counting change and working with credit and debit card machines.

A:

A sales clerk is responsible for handling all the cash and financial matters involved in a sale. The ideal candidate should have some experience handling money. If you sense that the applicant is not confident handling money, they may not be a good fit. At minimum, they should have the ability to learn your system.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience handling money in some form
  • Confidence that they can work with payments
  • A willingness to learn if inexperienced

Example:

“I am comfortable with math and can quickly learn any new system. My high-school math teacher made us learn to count change back the old-fashioned way. I enjoyed learning and am confident with this skill.”

Q:

As a sales clerk, how would you encourage customers to increase the amount of their purchase without sounding pushy?

A:

A good sales clerk candidate will naturally want to help your business increase sales. However, it is possible that your applicant had never considered this aspect of the position. This question will help you identify if they are comfortable making suggestions to your customers about purchasing additional products. A good answer will demonstrate that the applicant understands that this technique should only be employed if it can benefit the customer.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Demonstration that they are comfortable making suggestions
  • Desire to help your business grow
  • Understanding of the importance of putting customer’s needs first

Example:

“I would suggest a product based on their current purchase and what I’ve learned about them from talking to them. I would start by suggesting free samples, if available, so the customer doesn’t feel like they’ve been put on the spot.”

Q:

Punctuality is essential for our sales clerk position. What would be your greatest struggle to get to work on time?

A:

Your business relies on your sales clerks. Ideally, you want a candidate who doesn’t struggle to get to work on time at all. Asking this question causes the applicant to think through reasons they might miss a shift. If they have a vehicle that isn’t reliable or a child who is sick often, it could negatively affect your business and your other employees. Seek candidates who keep their scheduled hours.

What to look for in an answer:

  • A truthful answer that is well thought out
  • Strong sense of the importance of punctuality
  • Commitment to keeping their shifts

Example:

“Thankfully, I have a reliable car and a strong immune system. It would take something very unexpected for me to be late to work.”

Q:

What skills do you possess that make you a successful sales clerk?

A:

This question is helpful because it helps you gauge the candidate's qualifications. Although some candidates may not be experienced in sales, this offers them the opportunity to highlight their best skills and abilities. A candidate can detail their best qualities and reveal to you what motivates them as a sales clerk. The response provided can help reveal a candidate's character and help you see if they will be a good fit for the company.

The candidate's response should emphasize:

  • Strong communication skills
  • Desire to help
  • Confidence in abilities

An answer to this question may look something like this:

Example:

"I have a naturally upbeat personality which draws people to me. I am very relaxed and find that people are open to sharing and talking to me. Because of my natural demeanor, I can easily help customers get the products that meet their needs. I strive to understand others and find that communicating with customers comes very easily to me. I enjoy helping people and like to see the look of satisfaction on an individual's face when they get what they need or want. I know that my strong interpersonal skills coupled with my welcoming personality and desire to help will help me succeed in improving sales for the company and in helping our customers have the best experience possible."

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