Counter Sales Representative Interview Questions

A counter sales representative may be the face of a company to its customers. As such, employers want to ensure that they have selected the right individual who can represent their values and provide excellent customer service. Typically, hiring managers will ask counter sales representatives situational questions that require them to demonstrate their professional and interpersonal skills during the interview process.
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Example Interview Questions

In this article, we will review commonly asked counter sales representative interview questions and highlight how you can best prepare for your interview.

How do you ensure customer satisfaction?

This question will test your knowledge and skills in directly interacting with customers. The candidate needs to demonstrate an understanding of customer service.

Example answer: "I always strive to ensure customer satisfaction by being proactive with each customer and by anticipating their needs. I find out what the customer's primary objective is and then offer suggestions to help them achieve their goal. To achieve customer satisfaction, I have to be open to all of their needs and be able to work with them to find solutions that get them results. I interact with customers by building a relationship with them. I do this by being friendly and creating a dialogue that caters to their needs."

How have you dealt with customers who demand to speak with a supervisor?

This is a question designed to see how you handle difficult customers. You should use a specific example to give the hiring manager an idea of how you would handle challenging situations. Make sure the example you choose is relevant to one you would encounter as a sales representative.

Example answer: "A mother was in a bad mood at the beginning of the day. She came in with her child and, as she was looking around, she was very rude to me. She kept complaining about the prices of our merchandise. She told me that she couldn't afford the prices we were asking, so I offered her a lower-priced alternative. She insisted that she wasn't going to spend any money that day. However, she left the store within 30 minutes with a bag in her hand and $50 less than she had when she came in."

You are working behind the checkout counter and you see a customer shoplifting. What do you do?

Retailers need employees who are aware of security, knowledgeable about the product lines and dedicated to keeping customers safe. In this question, your interviewer wants to see whether you have the ability to remain calm in a difficult situation.

Example answer: "I remember the policies of my company around theft and take the necessary steps to follow them. I will detain the customer and contact the store manager and I will allow the police to do their job as necessary."

What is the most important characteristic of a good counter sales representative?

Employers want to know the answer to this question so they can determine if you can represent their products in a way that will be effective in generating sales. Your answer should be specific and emphasize your ability to be engaging and provide information about the products in a way that will connect with customers.

Example answer: "The most important characteristic of a counter sales representative is the ability to listen to customers. A good salesperson will be able to identify the customer's needs and then explain how the product will meet those needs. They will also be able to engage the customer in conversation about the product and come up with realistic solutions. Furthermore, the salesperson must make the customer feel comfortable and confident about purchases. I have performed very well in this role because I'm good at listening and engaging customers. I also have the ability to connect with customers and, when I get to know them, I can use that information to help suggest new products."

How do you handle long lines at the checkout counter?

Retail employees are tasked with dealing with a variety of different people on a given day and must remain calm under pressure. In this case, the interviewer wants to know how you will handle impatient customers.

Example answer: "I make sure my cash register is well stocked at all times, which will eliminate most checkout line frustrations. I apologize to customers for the long wait and try to make them as comfortable as possible by being friendly and upbeat. I also ask them how they're doing, engage them in conversation and thank them for their business."

What is the best way to overcome a sales challenge?

The interviewer wants to know about your ability to overcome obstacles and challenges, so you should discuss an obstacle you've overcome and the solution you used. Describe the challenge and the steps you took to resolve it. Keep in mind that you will be judged on your ability to remain professional, work with a sense of urgency and solve problems.

Example answer: "My manager asked me to increase our business in a specific neighborhood. This meant trying to sell a product to a less affluent demographic than the one I had been working with. I went door-to-door and met with community members at senior centers and local events. I communicated with them about our services and made a follow-up appointment to answer any questions they had about the company."

How do you interact with your team members?

Employers will ask you about your communication skills when you are in a team-based environment and how you get along with others. Your answer should be reflective of your ability to coordinate and cooperate with your team members. Example situations will help your interviewer better understand how you deal with different things.

Example answer: "I work well with my team members. I try to make sure everyone understands their role within the team and what is expected of them. I like to reinforce their strengths and help them overcome any obstacles they might be facing. In addition, I like to use rewards and recognition to celebrate our success as a team."

What happens when a customer comes in with complaints about a product?

As a counter sales representative, you need to be able to handle complaints with confidence. Since this might be a common occurrence, be sure to have a clearly-articulated plan of action.

Example answer: "If a customer complains about a product price, I go to the product shelf, check the item on my hand-held scanner to compare the price with the shelf price. If the price is lower than what's on the shelf, I note down the shelf number of the product and have the manager change it. If the price is the same as the shelf price, then I let the customer know that either the scanner isn't working or there's a glitch in the system."

What do you like most about working with customers?

This question is designed to gauge your opinion of the overall type of work. This answer is more important than you might think because it can indicate how you approach your job and even if you're enjoying work at all. Your answer should be enthusiastic and highlight what about the position you enjoy most.

Example answer: "I like how much our field sales force is a team. Many of the people I work with are friends of mine outside of work. I also like the flexibility of the schedule. It's nice to set my own hours so I can take my kid to his soccer games."

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