Write-ups on Exams, Job Interviews, Business English, Learn English Abroad, and More...
In these short pages, we provide a sample answer for each interview question in relation to the industry shown. We then analyse the answer, pointing out valuable information so that you can adapt the answer to your specific circumstances.
Retail - What Are Your Strengths?
I feel that my core strength in employment is communication. I enjoy social situations as I have a love for people. This follows through into my professional life when talking to customers and really helps me connect with them. I like to make customers feel welcome when they come into a shop so they can shop with ease. In previous situations, when I've seen new customers come in, I've met them and introduced myself and the shop. I like to give customers a small tour of the building to let them know the wide variety of products on offer. To add to this, communication is essential to having a good working environment with colleagues. I'm a great believer in working closely with others as I feel it's significantly more effective than working alone. I've experienced the achievements of teamwork first-hand.
I can be quite determined when working towards a goal. I enjoy the monthly challenges set out for the team. Watching our sales get closer and closer to our target drives me on even more. A while back in a previous job, I went all out to exceed my target. I finished the previous month on such a high that my form just rolled over to the next month and I kept on going. I smashed my target by eighteen sales and set a national company record for a single month.
I'm a very good multitasker too. I like to lay out my tasks for the day and work through them from priority to low importance. Retail can be demanding and fast-paced, but more importantly it can be unpredictable because we deal with the public. For that reason it is best practice to organise yourself for the day with a to-do list and work from the top down.
When you consider the sector this interview is in, you can imagine how important being a people person is. That is the angle the Interviewee took when they opened with their answer. Communication is absolutely vital in Retail and an employee needs to be highly articulate when dealing with customer complaints or queries. A Retail employee could be doing stock-take with a colleague one minute, dealing with a complaint the next, then running a customer through their Winter range the next. So, the Interviewee started with the strongest possible strength to focus on.
The Interviewee then highlights how target-driven they are and throws in an example. The example is a good indication that the Interviewee works tirelessly towards their end-goal. And, in a business designed to meet weekly/monthly targets, this will accelerate the employer's decision to hire the Interviewee.
The highlight of the answer is the Interviewee's ability to multitask. As mentioned, the unpredictability of working with the public means that an employee would need to be on hand to change what they're doing, or have more than one task ongoing at any moment. Retail brings with it a huge amount of unpredictability, especially at busy times of the year.
Overall, it seems the Interviewee's strategy was to focus mainly on the the most important/relevant skills needed to do the job. This is a good route to take as it shows structure and organisation throughout the answers. The Interviewee had a game-plan and stuck with it.