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Part-Time Job

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
My first ever post in this forum?

Anyway, I've applied for a part-time job at some local clothes shops. One of them I'm waiting for an interview for and the other I have an application form for.

The only thing is, I'm not too experienced when it comes to interviews. Experienced enough, however, to know that they'll probably ask me bullshit questions that I won't have thought answers out to 3 days before. So, what kind of questions can I expect? Aside from "Why do you want to work here?"

On the application form there's loads of shitty questions. For example: "What do you enjoy about fashion..." (yes, without a question mark ;x ) as well as "In what ways would you be enthusiastic about selling our product...", and my personal favourite; "What will give you a buzz about working in one of our stores..."

Of course, I just want to make a little extra money, and I know a lot of you are probably thinking that if I can't answer the questions I don't deserve/am not suited for the job. But anyway, advice/help? Thanks.

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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    They often ask questions relating to the way you'd handle certain situations - rude or difficult customers, shoplifters etc. I also remember being asked about time management - how I would make sure I carried out all my duties within the shift time and the like. They asked me what I would do if I felt one member of staff wasn't pulling their weight (an issue which has since cropped up), the order of importance in which I would place my duties at work (i.e. they wanted to hear that I'd always put customer service and interaction before tidying up, clearing fitting rooms etc). They often throw curveballs at you too...they asked me when I last made a mistake and how I rectified the situation, at my interview...as well as asking a situation in my life that had demonstrated the use and understanding of teamwork. Basically a load of old bollocks, and all the spiel you come out with goes out of the window as soon as you get the job...emphasise your love of customer interaction, social skills, tactful nature and your ability to learn and turn your hand to all manner of tasks. They eat it up, seriously. Obviously, like you said, it's a part time job in retail, so they don't expect Einstein or Coco Chanel to turn up...just someone keen, smart, relatively coherent :p and smartly turned out. Not to say you need to don a top hat and tails, but it always helps to make the effort, especially in the world of clothes shops.

    You don't need to rehearse your answers beforehand, just have a think about it, because they can really throw you off with their "wacky" interview techniques, especially some shops (who seem to pride themselves on it!). Sure you'll do fine, Good luck :)
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    in one interview, when they asked me why i wanted the job, i just said cause i was broke and it seemed like a great place to work. no use bullshitting about your career if you and they both know it's a saturday job for extra cash. they said afterwards they admired my honesty and hired me on the spot.

    show you're competent and hardworking, and that you like the products you'll be selling, and you'll do fine.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    They may make you describe to them the layout of the shop and why it's been set out in such a way, or make you pick an outfit for a certain occassion and explain why.

    Retail is common sense and being friendly. It's not a skilled job. I should know, I've done it for over 3 years.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I know my friend who got a job in a clothes store was asked to pick out outfits that would be appropriate for different occasions in her interview.

    In one interview for Virgin megastores I was asked "what is your greatest achievement in life so far?" and "when was the last time you helped someone and what did you do to help them?" It depends on the individual interviewing techniques the interviewer decides to use, but obviously some of them go for asking you very difficult questions that have absoloutely nothing to do with the job, just to see how well you can make something up on the spot lol.

    It is good to be honest, if there are areas you don't have much experience in then just emphasise the fact that you don't have experience but are willing and egar to learn, if they ask you why you think a retail environment will suit you you can just say you're quite a friendly and sociable person etc. and like working with people. I think most interviewers expect a little bit of BS, especially if they ask you ridiculous questions! Good luck anyway.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks for the replies. Very helpful.

    almost_innocent: What was your reply to "what is your greatest achievement in life so far?" Did you go for the "I think the friends I've made can be counted as my greatest achievement" technique - Or more for the "I got an A* in physics" technique? Or neither?

    Kath2003: "hey may make you describe to them the layout of the shop and why it's been set out in such a way" - I never gave that much thought. Why would they put suits/blazers at the back, T-shirts on the left, and trousers on the right? I just can't think of a reason. Well, maybe the suits are at the back as they don't sell as much as they are generally more expensive... Which means anyone wanting to look at them will have loads of money so it pays to let them pass everything else first incase they see something which catches their fancy. Makes sense that the tagless things are on the counter or towards the back too, so they can't be stolen easily. But apart from that I'm stuck for ideas.

    Kaff: "i just said cause i was broke and it seemed like a great place to work." - Is that all that you said? You could have gone to any shop to earn some extra money, did you tell them why you picked that particular shop? What was the reason?

    briggi: Could you explain "as well as asking a situation in my life that had demonstrated the use and understanding of teamwork" in abit more detail please?

    I sound like the interviewer. Sorry 'bout the interrogation. Just nervousness; I don't fancy ending up in Pound World.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Capacity
    Kaff: "i just said cause i was broke and it seemed like a great place to work." - Is that all that you said? You could have gone to any shop to earn some extra money, did you tell them why you picked that particular shop? What was the reason?

    i just said i needed a job, i liked that shop, i shopped at that shop, and it seemed to have a really friendly atmosphere. plus i could wear my jeans. and i work best in jeans.

    i gave them proper answers for all the 'describe a difficult situation and how you dealt with it' types though.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Capacity
    briggi: Could you explain "as well as asking a situation in my life that had demonstrated the use and understanding of teamwork" in abit more detail please?

    Basically they asked me a normal everyday experience I'd had that showed I was able to work productively with other people. Obviously just to say that I'm not completely inept at social interaction and getting a job done more quickly because everyone had their own little part to play. You can use any kind of example, I'd guess...I used an example of working on a hospital ward, because obviously that's a situation where my role isn't the only one to play, but if I don't do my bit then things go a bit wrong (or in theory, anyway :p ). I said that when it comes to shift-changing time, we all pull together to make sure everything is in order, all meds given, patients happy etc, so the change goes smoothly and we can get away on time. They liked that, because it showed how organised I (supposedly) am as well. Really you could use anything from co-ordinating a house move, to working together on a project in school or college with your fellow students...my boyfriend said when he got his first part time job at 16 he used the analogy of a grocery shopping trip with his parents to demonstrate team-working. Basically the bit at the till where someone unloads, someone packs etc...so it's done efficiently as possible. It can be anything really :)

    Hope that helps, realise I'm rambling once again, but if there's owt else you want to know just ask :D
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Its partly job specific, and partly to quiz your personality to see if you'd fit in with the environment, staff, stress etc.

    When they ask you the obvious "Why do you want to work here?" Be honest, but explain things like you feel it would be a job that relates closely with your interests, something you feel you would be well suited [no pun intended :p] to do, and something to help you earn a few quid and get further into the fashion industry etc. Be relaxed, but not too relaxed. If you go steaming in with an "i've already got the job" attitude, you won't get it. Oh, and all the usual stuff like how you want to experience a working environment, meet new people, work as part of a team to acheive a goal, have a good time etc.

    Hope that helps somewhat.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Capacity


    Kath2003: "hey may make you describe to them the layout of the shop and why it's been set out in such a way" - I never gave that much thought. Why would they put suits/blazers at the back, T-shirts on the left, and trousers on the right? I just can't think of a reason. Well, maybe the suits are at the back as they don't sell as much as they are generally more expensive... Which means anyone wanting to look at them will have loads of money so it pays to let them pass everything else first incase they see something which catches their fancy. Makes sense that the tagless things are on the counter or towards the back too, so they can't be stolen easily. But apart from that I'm stuck for ideas.


    Er, most stores dont' generally arrange their store into like trousers on one side, shirts on the other etc. It's generally arranged into sectons, each with a certain look like "retro" or "vintage" or "smart day wear".

    They'll have hotspots which are the first things you see as you walk into the store, and places which you're drawn to around the store. Explain why you think certain looks have been placed on these spots.

    As for the tag things, we tag everything in my store so I wouldn't bother mentioning that.

    Also, point out criticsms - what parts of the shop don't you like and why?
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