If you're a graduate looking to get into merchandising and need to get a feel for the kind of questions employers might ask at interview, then make sure you research these graduate merchandising interview questions below. These questions and answers are taken from real graduate interviews, and compiled to give you an idea of what to expect and how to prepare your answers.
Example Merchandising Interview Questions:
What is the most creative thing you have done over the past year?
This will be a difficult question to answer if you have not got a good example. If you are struggling to think of one then do something now! You will benefit if you show your creative side, and your response could be anything from writing some music to designing an ad campaign.
What is the most important aspect of successful merchandising?
This is a subjective question so there is no right or wrong answer. It is important that you justify the response that you give. A typically answer might be that it is the appearance of the product is the most important part of merchandising. Other avenues you could go down could be the placement of the product or the product's location relative to different products. Show a creative approach and acknowledge that merchandising different types of products requires different approaches.
What aspect of a product makes you want to buy it?
This question is as much about your personality as it is about your knowledge of merchandising. Pick up on a point about a product and say why it is important and appealing to a customer e.g. the colour is important because a consumer can associate a colour both with their identity and with a specific brand.
What do you know about merchandising?
Make sure you research Merchandising as a whole across different industries, and you are able to explain the differences. You should be able to distinguish between head office merchandising and in-store (visual) merchandising. In your answer, try and come up with tangible reasons why this particular sector interests you, and especially why you would be passionate about working within this market.
What changes would you make to our store?
To answer this question, ensure that you research the business thoroughly, and show a lot of passion for them during interview. You’ll want to know what they do as a company, what they supply, their products/services, their competitors and as much as possible about them.
What customer service experience do you have?
Make sure you know your CV inside out, and can speak about your experience without referring to it during the interview. Don't assume that only work experience is relevant. Try and think through any examples of achievements, extra-curricular activities or university projects (as well as work experience) which has given you transferable customer facing experience. For example, you could talk about working on a stand at your freshers’ fair.
Who do we target as customers? If you had a store who would you target?
Research the company, looking at not only at how they present themselves online, but also go and visit their stores for first-hand experience. For the second part of the question, give an answer that is similar to the store’s audience, but ensure that you have concrete reasons why you would target that demographic.
Role Play - We want to see how you would handle a difficult customer situation
Keep a cool, calm and collected head in this situation. Listen to the information you are given carefully, and try not to feel hurried or under pressure. Interviewers are usually looking at what you can do with the information you are provided, and how you handle pressure. Ensure you keep an eye on timings and how long you have to go over things. You will sometimes not have all the information you need to make a decision, so make an informed decision with what you can. Take this exercise seriously, and get involved as much as possible.