How to Run a Successful Retail Interview

With so much attention paid to candidate quality, many employers fail to focus on the ingredients of a successful interview. Your retail candidates are only as good as your retail candidate assessment. If your interview process is rushed or sketchy, you may inadvertently be passing over the best candidates to your rivals. Remember that interviews…

With so much attention paid to candidate quality, many employers fail to focus on the ingredients of a successful interview.

Your retail candidates are only as good as your retail candidate assessment. If your interview process is rushed or sketchy, you may inadvertently be passing over the best candidates to your rivals.

Remember that interviews are a two-way street. As much as you expect interviewees to impress you, it’s vital you make a great impression on them too. Candidates want to work for welcoming, professional retail companies, so you need to show them your worth.

By staging calm, thoughtful interviews where candidates are truly engaged, you increase your chance of making a positive retail staff selection.

Choose your setting

Avoid open-plan offices to stage your interviews. If possible, choose quiet, private places where candidates are likely to feel more relaxed.

Pre-book the room to avoid doubling up on the day. Be sure all interviewers know exactly where they have to be at specified interview times.

Develop rapport

Greet your candidates warmly and give them a chance to settle in. Thank them for coming then spend time introducing yourself and the company.

It’s fine to be genuinely excited about the organisation and the possibilities of the new role. This will rub off on genuine candidates and help elicit their best interview performance.

Show you’ve researched your candidates

Reading job applications and resumes beforehand not only shows respect but gives you a chance to craft probing questions which offer real insight into candidate strengths and weaknesses.

Use open-ended questions to dig deep

Don’t just ask questions with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response. Create a series of questions which really engage your candidates and encourage them to explore job-relevant issues on a deeper level.

Concentrate on matching answers with the key skills and attributes demanded by the position. As candidates relax, they are likely to show more of their true colours.

Listen and learn

Don’t do all the talking yourself and don’t rush in to fill every silence. Allow your candidates time to gather their thoughts and compose meaningful answers.

Listen carefully to what your candidates say. Also assess body language throughout the interview. Candidates who make sustained eye contact and keep a relaxed posture are giving a positive message to their prospective employer.

Follow up systematically

The interviews might be over once all candidates have left the building, yet your work is only just beginning.

Assess all available information thoroughly and be sure to keep candidates in the loop by text or email as you complete a clear, timely hiring process.

Don’t forget that our specialist recruitment agencies with years of experience in the retail industry can help with every aspect of the hiring process.