AutoZone employs more than 80,000 people in their 6,000+ stores in US, Puerto Rico, Brazil and Mexico. As it is the case with any big retailer, employee fluctuation is always present, and the company is almost always hiring. Some people leave, some are promoted to managerial roles, and the company keeps growing, which means there is always room for new entry level staff, such as sales associates, customer service workers, and delivery drivers, both full time and part time. Let’s have a look at what will happen in an interview for one of these roles.
First of all, interviews with AutoZone are relatively easy. They won’t torture you with tricky behavioral questions or some psychometric tests. On the contrary, you will face mostly basic questions about your motivation, goals, experience, plus a couple of situational questions, related to your interaction with customers and colleagues. Once you are done with reading this article, you should be ready to ace your interview with AutoZone. At least I hope so. Let’s proceed to the questions.
Why do you want to work at AutoZone?
AutoZone is a typical chain of retail stores which doesn’t really stand out in terms of salaries, working conditions, or employee benefits. Working for AutoZone, you’ll earn similar wage, and experience similar conditions, as you’d earn and experience working for Home Depot, Target, Aldi, Meijer, or any other similar company. Hence it would make no sense pointing out salary or employee benefits as the reason of your choice.
But there is one fundamental difference between AutoZone and other companies who compete with them for the workforce: the product. And that’s exactly what you should focus on. Tell them how much you love cars, and everything that belongs to them. Of course, it is much easier to enjoy our time at work when we sell something we like, when we enjoy our interactions with the customers because we speak about things that genuinely interest us.
You can add some secondary reasons as well. Maybe you got a recommendation from a friend working at AutoZone, someone who praised the team spirit and working environment. Or you live nearby the store, and will find it extremely easy to commute to work. In any case, you should always emphasize your interest in car and car parts, and everything else is secondary really.
What is your knowledge of different car parts?
You will learn most things on the job, but they are looking for people who are honestly interested in cars, breaking systems, suspension systems, cooling systems, and so on. Now, you do not have to be a car mechanic to get a job with AutoZone. But you should demonstrate your honest interest in automobiles and everything belonging to them. And if something interests us, we will read about it, learn how it works, try it.
Show confidence in your knowledge. You can list your favorite brands of cars and car parts, ideally brands they sell at AutoZone. If you have any experience with repairing cars–even just your own car, say so, and narrate in detail what repairs you made. And do not forget to talk with enthusiasm when talking about cars and car parts. They should get an impression that you enjoy chatting about the subject, and will enjoy your interaction with the customers.
What is your availability?
Cars can get broken at any time, and drivers want to buy spare parts as soon as it happens. Because an American without a car is almost like a bird without wings. No surprise that almost all AutoZone stores are open from Monday to Sunday, often for 14 hours a day. It makes room for a lot of part time employees, and you will hear this questions in almost every interview for a part time job.
The key is to show some flexibility and willingness to sacrifice something for your job with AutoZone. Of course, nobody wants to work on Sunday, when their family and friends are back at home. But somebody has to be in the store on Sunday, as well as in the evenings.
Ensure the hiring manager that you are aware of the opening hours, and the job is your first or second priority (after school). And prepare a schedule for an entire week, clearly explaining when you can work and when you are at school, or have some other obligations. As long as you show some flexibility, you will for sure manage to arrange a good schedule with the manager.
How well do you know the local area?
This question is common especially in an interview for a delivery driver position with AutoZone. Try to avoid short answers, such as “I know it well”. You should always elaborate on your answer. Perhaps you’ve been born in the area, or you’ve worked as a delivery boy before, or you distributed newspapers, or had any other job that helped you get to know the local area better.
And if you did not have such a job before, ensure the hiring managers that you are pretty efficient with navigation, and a great driver, and have a good memory and without a doubt after a month in the job you will know the area perfectly. Like with many other questions, the key is to show your confidence in an ability to handle the job.
How would you deal with an upset customer?
Regardless of how hard you try, some customers will complain. They won’t like the price (something you have no control over), your demeanor, or they will simply have a bad day, and complain for no real reason. Ensure the hiring managers that such behavior won’t impact you negatively at work.
You will try your best to help every customer. Staying calm and courteous in every situation, you won’t give them a reason to be upset. But if they still find some reason (and some of them will), you will try your best to remedy the situation, won’t get into arguments, and will try to learn from the situation. Once over, however, you won’t dwell on any negative emotions. You will focus on the next customer, trying your best with smile on your face, regardless of what happened with the last one. If you find this question hard, you can check 7 sample answers to it here: Tell us about a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer.
Do you mind standing on your feet all day?
Different retailers have different rules for their employees. At AutoZone, most sales associates stand on their feet all day, addressing customers, trying to help them and make sure they will eventually buy something. Again, a longer answer is better than a short one. Perhaps you had to stand on your feet all day in one of your former jobs. Sure enough it wasn’t always easy, but you managed to handle it. And you see no reason why it should be any different this time around.
Or you are an endurance athlete or an avid hiker, and actually do not like sitting. What’s more, you want to achieve good results as a salesman. Hiding in the back office and not approaching the customers will hardly yield the desired results. You understand the importance of being present on the sales floor and talking to customers, and to do it you have to be on your feet…
Other questions you may face in your job interview with AutoZone
- Where do you see yourself in the future whit AutoZone?
- How well do you understand cars?
- Are you willing to comply with company safety standards?
- Can you work hard and provide excellent customer service?
- After everything we discussed here, do you have any questions?
Conclusion, next steps
Interview with AutoZone belongs to interviews with easy difficulty. The questions are almost always the same, and you can prepare for them in advance. As long as you show enthusiasm for cars and customer service, are willing to comply with company safety standards, dress code, etc, and do not answer their questions with silence, they will give you a chance. I hope you will succeed and wish you best of luck!
May also interest you:
- How to overcome interview nerves – Cannot fall asleep the night before your interview? Find it hard to come up with the right words when it matters? Your nerves are typically to blame. Learn how to control them and deliver your very best in the interviews.
- 15 most common interview questions and answers – Why should we hire you? What motivates you? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Learn how to answer questions you may face in any job interview, including the one with AutoZone.