How to Stop Interviewing and Get a Retail Job

John Krautzel
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If you are looking to make a move from your current retail job to a position with another employer, going on several rounds of interviews without getting a job offer is frustrating. You might feel like you have wasted your time interviewing or even start to doubt your professional skills. While there is no way to guarantee an interviewer will hire you, you can increase the likelihood you will receive a job offer after an interview.

Saying the right thing is especially important during a job interview, as what you say gives interviewers insight into how you will behave in the workplace. Andrea Kay of "USA Today" says "loose lips" often lead to interviewers not offering jobs to some candidates. Avoid making negative comments about your current employer, because most interviewers will hesitate to hire someone who badmouths another retailer during an interview. Do not make disparaging comments about your prospective employer's facilities or employees, because this is a surefire way to lose out on a potential job offer.

Avoiding common missteps is important, but what you do is just as important as what you do not do. You must remember you are competing against other candidates for the job, so be prepared to sell recruiters on your experience, skills, and abilities. If you have experience taking inventory or using hand-held computers to manage price changes, let the recruiter know. Don't be afraid to tell the interviewer how you resolved a particularly sticky customer service issue or handled a problem with a customer return. An interviewer is more likely to extend a job offer to someone who demonstrates commitment to the retail industry.

Post-interview behavior is also important, because even small mistakes can hurt your chances of getting a job offer. You can follow up with the interviewer about the position, but do not make multiple telephone calls or send multiple emails, especially during busy periods such as inventory week or the weeks leading up to a major holiday. Most retail jobs include some customer service responsibilities, so demonstrate good people skills by sending interviewers notes to thank them for their time and consideration. If you do not hear from an interviewer right away, do not resort to sending angry emails, because this will surely hurt your chances of landing a job.

Although retail jobs are more plentiful than jobs in some other industries, there are not enough positions available for those who want them. This means you must present yourself in a professional manner before, during, and after each interview. Avoid negative comments; instead, sell interviewers on your skills and experience and thank them for their time to make it more likely that you will receive a job offer.

(Photo courtesy of xedos4 /


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  • Alicia M
    Alicia M
    Good article with concrete examples of appropriate & inappropriate behavior. Basically, the article contained common sense approaches to being a personable professional.
  • Robert K
    Robert K
    I agree completely with the advice and observations of the writer of this article. Saying the right thing during an interview...acting the right way during and immediately post interview are very important. These are in fact rudimentary facets of a logical and commonsense approach to the interview process. I am somewhat surprised about the approach(es) of some job hunters and their discretion  (or utter lack thereof) that it would warrant mention of such advice as "avoid making negative comments about your current employer" or "do not make disparaging comments about your prospective employers facilities or employees". A very common advice given to approaching and comporting oneself during an interview is "Be yourself". Well, if you're going to conduct yourself during the interview in a manner that is very obviously counterproductive...then do yourself and the interviewer a favor and do not go to that interview. When you are working with a customer to sell them the product(s) or service(s) that you offer, you don't discuss or speak critically of another customer  nor do you disparage your competitor sales agency or your competitors product(s) or services(s) just as in the same respect you don't start criticizing and / or taking pot shots at the customer in front of you. Remember folks (to put it in retail terms) it is your job to sell the customer your products or services in this case the product is "you" and the experience/skills/education and training that you "bring to the table". Your effective use of the above provides the "service" that fills the void and or needs of the customer (in this case the prospective employer). Selling yourself as the "right fit for the organization" is the name of the game. The question that begs answering is always "what can you do for us". With preparation (studying up on yourself and on the company you wish to work for...remember no matter what the industry or how lowly or high up a position is that a company offers-no company wants someone who is simply looking for a job and paycheck from their company.They want a candidate that is interested in and can become devoted to their organization) and the right attitude with which you approachthe interview you set yourself on the right track to being able to provide the prospective employer the most compelling answer to the question "what can you do for us" and "i can do so better than the rest of the people you interviewed"...thus ensuring you are viewed as the "right fit" candidate for the job and company and not as the rest of the jobseekers....square pegs trying to fit in the round hole.

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