We get asked "Just tell me what I should say in my job interview" OK - that's exactly what we'll do here!
Before we get into real questions and real suggested answers, we should cover the basics of how to answer ALL questions.
Here are 3 general tips:
1. Remember what the interviewer is trying to do.
They ARE NOT trying to get to know you. They ARE trying to predict what type of future employee you might be. Even when you don't mean it, everything you say, can be interpreted as saying what kind of future employee you might be.
Your answers should help them do that specific job. Ask yourself, "Is this answer saying something about what kind of future employee I will be?"
2. Identify who the employer is looking for.
Usually that's pretty easy... They usually want hardworking, organised, team player, good communicator... Do your answers address these skills?
Read the job ad (crazy idea!). Write down the skills they want. Do you have examples from your life that shows these skills?
3. Interviewers want to employ people that WANT TO WORK FOR THEM.
Have you told them you really want to work for their specific company? Have you researched their company? Do you know about its products?
If you don't care if you get a job with a company or not, that will show through in the interview. And magically... you won't get the job.
Research the company. Tell them you really want to work for them.
OK - here are model answers to real Christmas casual interview questions:
Give an example of how you have handled a difficult customer?
- "I haven't had a proper customer before, but I do referee soccer.
Occassionally, I get an angry parent at a game. When that happens, the main thing is to let them talk and tell you what their issue is. Don't interrupt them. I tell them that I understand how they feel. Then, I ask them, really politely what they would like me to do moving forward. As long as they feel that they have been heard, they are usually satisfied with the result."
Our returns policy is 14 days. If a customer came 19 days later, what would you do?
- "Hmmmm... I think I'd ask my manager. I'd like to help the customer, but if the company has a policy it must be for a reason. I don't want to wing it and end up making the situation worse. So I'd explain the policy to the customer in case they had a special reason for being extra late (like they just had a baby or something...) but I would then ask my manager."
What is your favourite product?
- "I bought XYZ when if first came out. It's still my favourite. I love it because A, B, C.
Do you think you are a team player? Why?
- "Sure. I really like playing team sports. In netball, we all have to work hard together to achieve our goal. We have to turn up to practice every week and push through and do the hardwork. In the end, it's great working together."
If you were working in a store all by yourself and there was a customer there, the phone was ringing and there was stock to be unpacked. In which order would you complete it?
- "All three jobs are important, but I think the unpacking is definitely the third priority because customers and sales come first. With a real customer and the phone... I guess I could answer the phone and ask them to hold, and then serve the store customer. Or, I could just serve the store customer first. I think the customer in the store is the biggest priority."
Why would a customer want to be served by you?
- "I'm friendly and I like people. I listen carefully. If I know the answer to their question, I'll tell them. If I'm not sure, I would find someone or a place where we can get the answer. I like to be efficient and deliver service in a friendly and effcient way. That's what I like when I'm shopping in a store."
What are three things that describe you?
- "I'm organised - my friends all say that. I like people and people generally seem to like me. And I like to learn new things."
If every single job in the world paid the same, what would you do?
- "Something helping people... Something I would do well and be useful. Maybe a doctor or nurse. They are jobs that people really appreciate."
Name one task you would be performing at this store
- "I read the job ad and it talked about unpacking stock, helping customers and working at the cash register."