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Interview Questions for Store Managers with Answers

Josh Evan

Written by:

Josh Evan

A store manager is usually in charge of overseeing a store's staff and overall operation.

Companies often rely heavily on store managers to make a profit as they interact with the customers directly. Because of his continuous effort, any store can function efficiently. 

If you want to pursue a successful career in marketing and management, be a store manager. Ensure your resume and cover letter are updated.

Review the store manager interview questions mentioned in this article if you receive an interview call. It will help you prepare for the upcoming interview.

What Does a Store Manager Do?

Store manager checking the list

The chain shops of any company, for example, clothing, medicine, convenience, or appliances, need a store manager. A store's overall performance depends on the timely decisions of the store manager as he has to deal with different managerial issues.

Therefore, companies look for diverse skills in a candidate who has applied for a store manager position depending on the type of goods a store sells. 

For example, a clothing store manager will have to change the clothes on display on the mannequin with the change of the season and trends. But whatever they do, their utmost priority is to maintain customer satisfaction. 

Continue reading to know the diversity of work a store manager needs. 

  • Promote the product lines
  • Generate more sales and total revenue
  • Keep costs in control
  • Provide exceptional customer service
  • Ensure customer satisfaction
  • Solve complaints and issues of returned goods from customers
  • Research on buying trends of new customers 
  • Synchronize daily staffing objectives and plans
  • Passionate about teamwork and utilizing talent 
  • Stuff hiring, developing skills by training, and supervising
  • Inspecting the productivity of the staff members 
  • Personnel documentation
  • Supervision of cash and receipts 
  • Writing and submission of daily reports 
  • Undertake administrative duties
  • Responding to complaints 
  • Ensure the efficient running of all operations
  • Meet store’s performance targets and sales goals
  • Maintain the safety protocols and health regulations around the shop
  • Design an attractive appearance for the shop and display items
  • Promote brands by ad banners for promotional strategies
  • Create and uphold an employment and promotion schedule based on seasonal sales and other cycles
  • To ensure optimum effectiveness in achieving sales quotas, maintain adequate stock levels, and monitor stocking, 
  • Implement purchasing plans, and communicate regularly with suppliers or head office for refilling goods.

Basic Skills Needed for the Store Manager Job

Apply for a store manager position if you possess leadership and problem-solving abilities. In addition, there is frequently a surge of consumers over the holidays, so working extra hours, managing stress, and regulating sales can all be advantageous for those in this line of work.

Initial requirements for the candidate must be met in terms of education. In order to update your résumé, make sure you meet all the essentials and read the list below carefully before looking for store manager interview questions.

The expertise you believe you possess in this list can be included in your resume to upgrade it as well.

1. Educational Qualification:

A candidate will be qualified to apply for the store manager post if they have an educational background in Marketing, Business Study, or Finance.

Although it is not mandatory to have a degree in the related field, 48% of store managers among 396,362 candidates working all over the USA have obtained a bachelor’s degree. 

Moreover, an associate degree is considered equivalent to a bachelor’s degree, and around 22% of managers have completed one.

Therefore, the academic qualification you need to show in your CV is:

  • High school diploma, diploma, or equivalent degree
  • Bachelor’s degree in marketing, business administration, or finance 
  • Courses on managerial and marketing subjects are preferable

Experience in the field is not required if the company is hiring freshers. However, to become a competent candidate, having at least three years of experience in store management, managerial, or sales floor will make the interviewer interested in hiring you. 

Additional Skills to Acquire for Working Better in Your Workplace:

While you are working your way up to being a store manager from an entry-level job, it is most likely that the hiring company will provide training for you. And the retail or chain store management training includes courses that will boost your confidence. The training can last from 6 months to three years.

It is better to try and obtain these additional skills.

2. Previous Experience as a Leader:

In order to improve the total revenue of sales in your shop, focusing on your responsibilities alone will not be enough. As the store manager, you will have to conduct and arrange training for your staff and look for ways to motivate them to put their total effort into operating the store. 

3. Experience in Sales:

It will attract the hiring manager’s attention if your resume shows examples of your previous sales experience. Depending on your sales knowledge, the company trusts their stores to you as you will have a team to manage and train.

During your work, you will need to be creative about how to maximize sales by adding more offers or showcasing the product to the customer in an attractive way so that they turn into buyers from browsers.

4. Organized Multitasker:

As a store manager, you will need to wear many hats. You need to organize your tasks and manage them so that you can reach the target in time. Also, keeping up with the trends of the fast-pacing market is another challenging task for a store manager that you need to master. 

4. Negotiation & Conflict Management:

As the store manager, the customer will insist that they speak with you about any carelessness or mistake on the part of your personnel. After purchasing anything, the client can also wish to bargain over the price or argue over the return policy.

In the situations mentioned above, you will need to respond fast and ensure that the disagreement is promptly resolved by maintaining your composure under stress.

5. Being Resilient at Your Workplace:

A store manager’s responsibility is constantly changing, from being a team leader to the market analyzer or communicating with the vendor to restock products. All companies look for an ordinary skill in their Store managers: that is, they are flexible enough to handle the stress because the pressure will burn you out if you do not have proper management. 

6. Communication Skills:

It is the only skill you can show in your resume and interview. Your examiner will determine whether you have the practical communication skills to deal with the meetings and discussions for the whole day. 

Your job will be nearly confirmed if you have a calm and clear nature when talking and persuading people to do their job correctly.

Common Questions Asked in the Interview for the Store Manager

Store manager working in her office  

People interested in working as store managers typically begin their preparation in high school by preparing for retail manager interview questions to obtain sales temp jobs.

Even if you don't have a bachelor's degree in the relevant industry, your CV will still stand out with this kind of experience. You should update your resume with as many qualifications and skills as possible.

Following that, you must get ready for the interview. In the interview, you will need to demonstrate the educational background, talents, and experience you listed on your resume.

However, the recruiter also anticipates that you will be familiar with the organization, brand, or retailer for which you are applying. To find out what you need to do, keep reading.

Question#1: Have you been a retail store manager before? Have you made mistakes? Which approach did you take?

Explanation: A strong candidate is willing to acknowledge that they have made some mistakes in their professional life and that those mistakes have shaped their character today. 

Answer: “I am not perfect as a human. As a manager, I addressed a troublesome employee inappropriately. I took extra precautions in communication because I learned from this to ensure that similar errors don’t emerge again.” 

Question#2: Which techniques work best to inspire your staff, and why do you think so?

Explanation: The answer requires a concrete example of your success and experience in handling human resources and proof of your leadership role. 

Answer: “I created an ‘Employee of the month’ board in my prior managerial post.  When a month ended, rewards were given to those employees who met their targets. The rewards help them to work harder every month.”

Question#3: Did you have to manage a poorly performing employee in your prior role as a retail store manager? How did you respond to the predicament?

Explanation: The answer must contain a positive outcome and will show the candidate's effective communication and problem-solving skill. 

Answer: “At my last job, I had to talk to a worker who wasn't performing well for a long time. I sketched out a scheme for them to follow depending on the areas they are lacking. Their performance increased over the course of a few weeks.” 

Question#4: You have a lot of excess inventory since a particular product hasn't sold well. What approaches would you employ to sell it and make money?

Explanation: A qualified applicant’s response should highlight a sales-focused mentality, creative thinking, and an aptitude for solving issues.

Answer: "To get clients' attention, I would start by rearranging the product's positioning so that it is closer to the store's entrance. Additionally, I would instruct my staff to concentrate on promoting that specific item and generate a few natural conversation starters for them. Lastly, I would put the products on sale.”

Question#5: A client wishes to return something purchased six months ago. Your return policy states that the product must be returned within 30 days of receipt to be eligible for a refund. How would you respond?

Explanation: The question will determine whether the candidate can handle sudden conflict in the store.

Answer: “Since I cannot go against the company policy, I will try to convince the customer to return and buy something else at the same price. Doing so will motivate the customer to look at other good products of the store they might have missed and avoid the conflict of a refund.” 

Question#6: How often should you change the display? Do you have expertise in appealingly arranging displays?

Explanation: It is a strategic question to know if you have any prior experience. Moreover, the hiring manager can determine how much the company needs to train you.

Answer: “I would say every two to three weeks. The timeframe may differ with festivals and holidays. And with that in mind, I will change the display according to the upcoming festival, customer demand, or seasonal change.” 

Question#7: Do you think your background as a retail shop manager stands out apart from numerous other job candidates?

Explanation: As a recruiter, you should look for a candidate whose past work experience matches the work environment for which you are currently hiring. For example, hire someone with expertise in managing large teams if your store manager is expected to lead a large group.

Answer: “In my prior store manager position, I managed large and small teams. I have overseen stores that received praise for their outstanding performance.”

Question#8: After receiving a new shipment of products, how would you resolve the issue if the products are different from what you have ordered for your store?

Explanation: The interviewer wants to know if you can manage costs. Again, the question demands a solution.

Answer: “Returning the products will be troublesome, costly, and time-consuming. If the goods are related to my store's products and are in demand, I will keep them and consider a promotional initiative to sell them.”

Question#9: Would you be comfortable supervising store operations for extra hours or on the weekends? Which shift is preferable for you?

Explanation: As an interviewer, you need to find a candidate ready to work under pressure. The candidate may need to work overtime to complete the tasks and meet the goal. It is better to ask about it before recruitment.

Answer: “If my job requires me to work overtime, I am ready to do that. However, I will take a leave after the work is done to recover from the stress. 

I do not want to feel burned out by the workload at night and stressed all day. Therefore, I prefer the shift during the morning.”

Question#10: Have you ever faced a situation when you had to choose to buy one product over another due to budget constraints? What conclusion did you come to?

Explanation: You should answer the question with your experience of analyzing a problematic situation.

Answer: “In such a situation, I will choose the product that has high market demand and customer preference.”

Practice these interview questions for the store manager position on your own:

Question#11: Do you know what storage shrinkage is? How would you handle it in your store?

Question#12: One of our competitor stores sells a specific product briskly, but we cannot sell the same product successfully. What do you think could be the reason?

Question#13: How many employees did you fire at your previous job? What made you let them go?

Question#14: How would you respond to a dissatisfied customer?

Question#15: Could you offer an instance of when you resolved a dispute between two coworkers?

Question#16: You will have to deliver the news of the sales team's failure to achieve the month's target. How will you share the remarks with your team?

Question#17: How do you keep track of inventory? Do you use any software?

Bonus Question:

How to answer: Tell me about yourself for the store manager position.

Answer: I am a committed, effective, and diligent employee that enjoys my job and also experiences excellent job satisfaction when completing challenging goals and duties.

The Career Path of Store Managers

In the recent job market, getting a job without experience is challenging. Therefore, even if you have the educational qualification, you may still need to enter a junior position in a retail chain shop or franchise to work on the ground level. 

Your interviewer may ask about your future career preferences at the end of the store manager interview questions. So,  prepare how you would like to respond.

The jobs are more likely to be salespersons, clerks, and cashiers. After that, you will take more responsibility as a shift leader or assistant retail store manager, and you can work and train yourself.

And after becoming a store manager for a few years, you will be qualified as a district or regional manager.

Before entering the job sector, you should clearly define what you want to do. Follow the stages below to figure out your retail store manager career path.

1. Entry Level: 

You will need to find jobs at the entry-level that will help you to climb the ladder of being a store manager. You will require hours of experience to work with the higher-ups or the management team of the head office and at the ground level with the workers at the store or directly with the customers and the sellers. 

The roles of entry-level are:

Merchandise representatives, assistance buyers, pricing and coordinator, and assistant store manager. 

Type of work you may need to do:

  • Analysis selling trend reports
  • Inventory Monitor 
  • Display building
  • Monitor pricing 
  • Merchandise Repricing  
  • Reports on weekly sales and inventory 

2. Mid-Level:

After gathering experience, you can now apply for the job of store manager. It may take you 5 to 6 years to reach the mid-level.

The roles of mid-level are:

You can work as a mid-level control buyer, merchandise planner, buyer, and store manager. 

Type of work you may need to do:

  • Control receipts
  • Report store financial
  • Establishing solid relationships with vendors
  • Lead teams to meet sales goals
  • Manage inventory 
  • Manage departmental budgets 
  • Negotiate vendor terms 
  • Organize prodigy line reviews 
  • Oversee the implementation of store sales 
  • Resolving customer complaints 
  • Setting prices 

3. Senior Level 

After eight to ten years, you may get promoted to a senior manager or the upper positions with a higher salary.

You can get two jobs: sales management and regional sales manager. The sales manager can lead to becoming a general sales manager, and the latter may help you become a national sales manager.

The roles of the senior level are:

Merchandising manager, store director, or district manager.

Type of work you may need to do:

  • Ensure safety for both employees and consumers in the store
  • Oversee implementation of company strategy 
  • Recruit and develop management teams 
  • Develop short and long-term business plans 
  • Direct the company to earn more revenue and achieve product goal 
  • Oversee promotion campaign plans and review the product line 
  • Use financial metrics to figure out if the product’s shelf space will meet the potential profit or not.

Current and Future Market Demand for Store Managers

After analyzing 30 million job aspirants, Zippia stated that more than 1,584,113 people are currently working as store managers spread all over the USA.

Among them, males are 51.2%, and women are 48.8%. And in Washington, DC, the average annual salary is higher than in any other state, with an average of almost $64,385 annually.

But will store manager career opportunities increase? Yes, it will increase by over 5% in the next five years. Every year, approximately 41,900 job openings are found in the market for the position of store manager.

Even if you want to change your job status and leave the field, the experience will help you get a job in the flourishing e-commerce field. 

Many job opportunities for the current e-commerce managers are interlinked with the store management post overseeing the development, monitoring, analysis, best practice incorporation, supervising, team management, and quality control assurance. Therefore, it is a good career choice. 

And even if the online business doesn't go for long, you cannot replace the stores as people will go and shop in the retailers.

Is it a good career choice?

We believe if you are a store manager, you will get discounts, benefits, vacation bonuses, decision-making skills, and experience in managing stores and people. It is an excellent job for people skilled in communication and it assists the business and its employee's growth. 

It can be stressful and have extended hours to work before the deadline. So, think carefully if your time management skills are not up to the notch. 

The Salary Range of Store Managers

According to ZipRecruiter, you may start your job as a store manager for around $22,000. If you can manage to level up your skills and expertise, after reviewing your performance, your salary can increase to about $66,000. 

Even if you start at the lowest salary, you still have opportunities for salary increments on the basis of expertise, skills you have acquired, location, and the time you have served the company. 

Therefore, on average, $42,968 may be the salary for a store manager. However, the pay range in the United States can vary depending on where you live or for which company you work. 

You need to work hard to reach the positions that pay the highest salaries in this field, which are senior store manager ($76,907 per annual salary), director of the retail stores ($75,949 per annual salary), or store development ($75,662 per annual salary), store manager ($72,360 per annual salary) and director($69,938 per annual salary).

The highest-paying six-figure job- The Home Depot store manager pays $45,906 annually. Moreover, they provide more benefits, including childcare, disability insurance, health, life insurance, tuition reimbursement, and profit sharing. 


Josh Evan

Written by:

Josh Evan

Josh Evan is the professional career counselor and career development writer at When Work Works. He loves to see people from this field succeed through initiating the right thing in the right way. He never tells; he shows the way. We appointed John not because of his impressive CV. It was his counseling charisma which stood out of everything. He can implant idea, confidence and productive thoughts into mind almost effortlessly. His pen and mouth both speak for the greater good.

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