20 Store Manager Interview Questions and Answers

Important store manager interview questions and how to answer these questions to make the best impression in your job interview.

Store managers in 3 work contexts with text "Store Manager Job Interview"

Read through these:

  • store or retail manager operational interview questions
  • store manager behavioral interview questions
  • common store manager interview questions
  • smart questions to ask the employer
  • top store and retail manager interview tips

and be well prepared to stand out from the competition.

9 All Important Store Manager Operational Interview Questions

1. What strategies do you use to motivate staff members?

Key steps to successful motivation include:

  • spend time with each employee to find out their needs and what motivates them
  • individualize the motivation strategy in line with what works for each person

Provide concrete examples of motivational, programs tools and techniques you have used. Tried and tested examples include:

  • provide regular positive feedback - recognition and praise are powerful motivators
  • encourage development and help them learn new skills and knowledge, invest in training and coaching
  • actively involve staff members in decision-making
  • show your have confidence in them by allowing them to take responsibility for tasks, areas of the store, displays etc
  • provide meaningful monetary rewards ranging from gift cards to bonuses
  • provide non-monetary rewards such as time off

2. How do you train and develop staff members?

Key steps to effective training of staff include:

  • take the time to assess skill and knowledge needs for each staff member
  • tailor the training and coaching to meet individual needs
  • use a mix of learning tools such as providing information, demonstrating tasks, role playing, one-on-one coaching
  • enhance self esteem throughout the training process
  • ensure proper reinforcement and transfer of the learning in the store

The training should meet both the employee's developmental needs and help meet the store and company objectives.

3. How do you delegate tasks?

Criteria for effective delegation as a store or retail manager includes:

  • targeting tasks and assignments to appropriate staff members
  • making proper use of each individual's strengths and skills
  • clearly communicating expectations and outcomes to the staff member
  • ensuring the staff member has the right resources to complete the task
  • ensuring the staff member clearly understand what needs to be done and the importance of the task
  • following up appropriately on task completion

4. What steps do you take to ensure task completion?

This store manager interview question is used to evaluate that you  have the proper procedures in place to monitor your team and tasks. In your interview answer focus on:

  • establishing follow up times and methods
  • reviewing and confirming progress
  • getting feedback from staff members

5. What steps have you taken to establish good communication with your team?

In your interview answer focus on:

  • adjusting your communication style to meet the needs of each team member
  • listening closely and seeing the situation from each staff member's perspective
  • specific mechanisms you have implemented to facilitate ongoing communication

6. What key metrics do you use to inform strategy?

Retail and store management is largely data-driven. It is essential to understand key metrics such as:

  • sales per square foot
  • sales per employee
  • conversion rate
  • gross and net profit
  • average transaction value
  • sales growth
  • inventory turnover
  • sell through
  • shrinkage
  • foot traffic
  • customer retention

7. What store-specific strategies have you developed and implemented?

Typical store and retail strategies center around:

  • improving customer service
  • building foot traffic
  • improving customer engagement
  • increasing transaction size
  • improving merchandising
  • expanding employee skills and knowledge
  • reducing staff turnover
  • optimizing payroll and scheduling
  • maximizing inventory control

8. What is your customer service philosophy?

Understanding what constitutes good customer service and promoting a culture of positive customer experiences is key to success as a store or retail manager.

Support your answer with specific examples of customer service improvements you have implemented.

Find out more at What is good customer service?

9. How have you addressed shrink in your store?

Go through the processes you have implemented to reduce shrink and the results you achieved.

Expect these straightforward operational retail store manager interview questions:

Describe the inventory process at your previous store.

How do you ensure optimal scheduling?

How do you track sales?

What tools do you use for forecasting and budgeting?

6 Behavioral Store Manager Interview Questions

Behavioral interview questions require you to use the STAR Technique to properly answer. Be ready with good examples for the following typical store manager or retail manager interview questions.

1. Describe a recent incident where you had to handle an angry customer

In your store manager interview answer focus on:

  • actively listening to the customer and ensuring you understand the problem through careful questions
  • the steps you took to fix the problem
  • taking responsibility for the customer's satisfaction

2. How have you resolved a conflict situation between staff members?

Conflict is a fact of life and managing it is part of your job. Focus on the techniques you use to diffuse conflict including:

  • finding out and understanding the issues underlying the conflict by asking questions and listening
  • dealing with the situation objectively and not proportioning blame
  • getting agreement from the parties involved to a way forward

Collaboration interview questions and answers

3. How have you managed an under performing staff member?

Store manager interview questions will evaluate your ability to effectively manage employee performance. Focus on the following in your interview answer

  • immediately dealing with the issue
  • finding out the reason for the poor performance
  • agreeing on solutions and specific performance improvement objectives
  • providing resources for improvement
  • agreeing on how performance improvement will be tracked

4. Tell me about a time you had to discipline a staff member for poor behavior

There are a number of common staff behavioral issues that store managers have to deal with including:

  • punctuality
  • failure to follow set company policy and procedures
  • displaying apathy towards customers
  • insubordination
  • disruptive behavior

Taking action can be tough but is necessary and includes the following steps:

  • documenting the unacceptable behaviors including actual observations
  • providing factual feedback and finding out the reasons for poor behavior
  • ensuring the employee understands the appropriate behavioral expectations
  • providing the necessary support to meet these expectations
  • documenting the interaction and following up at an agreed time

5. Describe a mistake you recently made and how you handled it

Consider the impact your mistakes as a store manager make on your team, the customers and the overall operations of the store. Focus on:

  • how you took accountability for the mistake
  • what you did to contain the fallout from your mistake
  • what you put in place to prevent it from happening again

Often mistakes made by a manager center around communication and misunderstanding. Your communication skills as a manager will be explored throughout the interview.

6. Tell me about a tough decision you had to make recently at work, what steps did you take?

Store management involves making small and big decisions daily. The process for making a sound decision is standard regardless of the type of decision and includes:

  • collecting and reviewing the relevant facts
  • considering all the possible alternatives
  • considering the available resources and any possible problems
  • deciding on the most appropriate action

Manager Behavioral Interview Questions

Problem-solving behavioral interview questions

5 Common Store Manager Interview Questions

Expect these standard interview questions in your store manager or retail manager job interview.

1. What makes you the right candidate for this job?

Focus on the competencies and strengths that make you a great candidate for this particular store manager job when answering store manager interview questions about your suitability for the job.

Provide concrete examples of your relevant achievements and show how you match the job requirements. Focus on your management skills as these are the most essential in this job.

List of workplace competencies

Why should we hire you?

2. What has been your greatest achievements as a store manager?

Retail store manager interview questions about your accomplishments are looking for concrete examples of your success. Focus on measurable results such as:

  • increased revenue
  • reduced expenditure
  • reduced staff turnover
  • improved store traffic

3. How would your team describe you as a manager?

Think of the words your team would use to describe you such as:

  • enthusiastic
  • professional
  • fair
  • team player
  • energetic
  • organized

4. What do you consider to be your strengths and weaknesses as a store manager?

These typical store manager interview questions require some thought beforehand. Emphasize the strengths you have that are crucial to the position. Get help with answering this question at:

List of workplace strengths

How to describe your weaknesses in an interview

5. Why do you want this job?

Show a match between the job requirements and your strengths, skills and needs. Discuss the things you like about the company.

Why do you want this job?

What motivates you interview answers

Best Interview Questions to Ask the Employer

Have some smart questions ready to ask the interviewer. Insightful store manager interview questions that demonstrate your knowledge of the company and your interest in the job ensure you leave a positive impression. Good examples include:

What are the most important priorities when starting this position?

What are the current objectives for the store?

What are the main challenges I will face in this position?

How would doing an excellent job be defined?

What are the current challenges the company faces?

What type of training and support can I expect to receive?

What is the best thing about working for this company?

Avoid questions that could easily be answered by reviewing the company website. Avoid questions about benefits and compensation at this point in the hiring process.

Good interview questions to ask

5 Top Store Manager Interview Tips

1. Do thorough research before your interview.

You should know about the following:

  • the company - number of stores, mission, future plans
  • main competitors
  • who your customers are
  • store products

Find out how to research the company before your interview

2. Be familiar with your resume and have relevant work samples and evidence of your achievements

Know your resume backwards so you can readily respond to questions about the information in your resume. Take enough copies of your resume for all the interviewers and any non-confidential documents and materials that will impress.

3. Arrive on time and make a good impression from the word go

Good time keeping is key to this type of job so ensure you get to the interview in good time to complete any documentation and settle before the interview begins.

Find out how make the right impression from the word go.

4. Focus on your verbal and non verbal communication

As a key store manager skill, your communication ability will be constantly assessed throughout the interview. Find out how to build rapport with the interviewer.

5. Follow up after the interview

Send an interview thank you as soon as possible after your interview.

Sample interview thank you email

How to follow up after the interview

Essential store manager interview questions

What should I wear to a store manager interview?

It is important to have the right interview attire. You need to project a professional and competent image and one that fits with the company culture.

It is always advisable to dress more formally for your interview than you would for your work day. Find out more about the right interview dress here.

What skills should a store manager have?

Find out all about store manager duties, responsibilities and skills. Ensure you have a full understanding of the store manager role. This will help you answer store manager interview questions with confidence.


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