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Retail Recruitment guide - Preparing for a Job Interview
First of all give yourself a pat on the back for making it to interview stage! You sent your CV and cover letter over to your potential new employer, they liked what they saw and now they want to see you in person. A good retail recruitment consultant will always help you prepare for your interview but it’s still worth jotting down a few pointers to make sure you’re fully prepared!
Research the organisation
Company research is a critical part of interview preparation. It will help you answer questions about the company as well as giving you ideas for questions to ask the interviewer. Your starting point should be the “About Us” page on the company’s website. You should also try and find out whether the company is part of a larger group of companies. You might also want to get a feel for how the company compares to other organizations in the same industry. You can do this by reading articles about the company in industry magazines or websites.
Revisit the job description
It’s a good idea to have another read through the job description with a view to matching the skills you have to the requirements of the job. You need to go into the interview with a clear idea of what the job calls for and how your skills relate to the job. Don’t forget to have another look at your cover letter just to remind yourself of the experience and skills you can elaborate on.
Prepare some questions to ask
No matter how well your interview goes, you won’t leave the best impression if, at the end, your answer to the inevitable “Have you got any questions you’d like to ask us?” is “No.” It’s always a good idea to have some questions ready to ask. Don’t make them too obvious as chances are those will get answered in the course of the interview! You might like to consider some of the following:
- Compared to your competitors, what would you say are your strengths and weaknesses?
- What do you think have been some of your most successful initiatives?
- Can you tell me about what opportunities the company offers for advancement and training?
- What’s your best selling item?
- What do you like best about working here?
- Visit the store
It’s always worth visiting the store you’ve applied to work at. Don’t introduce yourself at this point though! The purpose of your visit should be to see how the staff interact with customers and each other and how they sell their products. With a bit of luck you’ll be able to mention some of your observations at interview.
Plan your outfit in advance
Dressing well shows that you care about the job you’re being interviewed for and that you’ve given consideration to who you’ll be working for. Men really can’t go wrong with a smart suit. You might not need to wear a suit in the actual retail job, but it’ll still give a good impression at interview. For women we’d recommend choosing flattering and smart clothes that show your personality but also show that you are professional.
Plan your journey
Hopefully you’ll have already visited the store so will know the best way to get there. That said, make sure you check the route on the day in case of known delays and leave with plenty of time to spare, just in case.
In our next article, we’ll focus on the interview itself and look at what questions you might be asked on the day and how best to answer them.
C2 Recruitment is celebrating 10 years success in Retail Recruitment this year. We are a boutique recruitment agency specialising in retail, hospitality and leisure recruitment. All of our consultants have sector specific backgrounds. If you get in touch with us today you’ll be assigned a consultant with direct experience in your sector – someone who really has walked in your shoes!