We all need to wash somewhere, and sleep somewhere. That was the simple yet ingenious idea of Bed Bath & Beyond founders, who over 50 years ago believed that retail market would shift towards specialized retail stores. And they were right, at least to some extent. Starting with a single location in 1971, Bed Bath and Beyond runs almost 1,500 stores in US, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico today. The employ over 50,000 people, both full time and part time. As you can imagine, with such a huge retail operation in place, the company is almost always hiring, and you can also get onboard :).
To make it happen, you will have to pass a relatively simple interview, which can be both one on one and in a group setting. They will ask you about your experience, motivation, couple of situational/behavioral questions (dealing with angry customer, making an upsell, etc), and in some cases they also do a short role play, asking you to try and sell them some item from the offer (such as a pillow or a towel). As long as you show the right attitude and do not remain silent, they will give you a chance to prove your words in the job. Let’s have a look at the questions, one by one.
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Why do you want to work at Bed Bath & Beyond? Why not some other retail giant?
To be honest, this isn’t an easy questions, since you won’t earn better, and job conditions at Bed Bath & Beyond are pretty similar to job conditions in many other retail stores where you can apply for a job. Even though you should say something meaningful, and they should get an impression that they are your first choice, or at least one of your top picks. Let me give you some ideas.
You can say that you have a friend working in one of their locations. They said great things about the job, the team spirit in the workplace, fair treatment of employees. Their words motivated you to also give it a shot. Or you really like this particular product segment, and do not want to work in a store selling groceries. Bedding, bath, cookware–that’s what you like to learn more about and sell. Another alternative is praising the location of the store–perhaps it is close to your house, school, or you have an excellent traffic connection. One way or another, you should give them some reason…
Please tell us more about your working experience in retail.
You can find yourself in two scenarios. Either you have relevant experience–from a shop, restaurant, call center–simply a place where you dealt with customers and goods, or you don’t have any experience. In the first case, try to find similarities, and explain how duties you had prepared you for the new job. It is also important having an answer ready for “Why did you leave your last retail job?“, chances are high they will ask. You should avoid negative remarks about your former colleagues, even if that was the reason why you quit. Try to stay positive and focus on what you learned, and how it prepared you for your role with Bed Bath & Beyond.
If you lack experience, the key is to show confidence. Tell them that you are a hard worker and learn quickly, and are super motivated. You’ve read the job description carefully and know what the job entails. You also shopped at their place several times and have a good idea of the scope of operation, and number of customers. Everything considered, you believe to have what it takes to do an excellent job at their place as a sales associate (or any other in-store job you apply for). That’s what they want to hear from you when you lack experience.
Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult person.
You can talk about an interaction with a difficult customer, or with a colleague you found it hard to get along with. If this is your first job application, however, you can even talk about a time when you dealt with a “difficult” classmate, teacher, friend. Your attitude matters for the interviewers, not the particular situation you narrate, or person you choose for the answer. Basically they hope to hear from you the following:
- That you can keep your emotions in check when dealing with others. You focus on the solution of the problem, and do not blame other person.
- That you can admit making a mistake, and acknowledge that other conflict party can be in the right.
- You count with dealing with tricky customers and colleagues at times, since conflicts belong to every workplace. Such an experience isn’t pleasant, but you can get over it quickly and move on.
- That you try your best to not burn the bridges, and eventually end the conflict on a friendly note (if that’s possible, of course).
Imagine that you saw one of your colleagues stealing a small inexpensive item from the store. What will you do?
This is a question of ethics and whether you will do a right thing. Seeing someone stealing anything–and it doesn’t matter whether it is a customer, your colleague, best friend, or even your grandpa, you will notify the the manager or the security guard immediately. Simply because that’s the right thing to do. You should not suggest taking any heroic actions, such as running after the thief, since that isn’t your job… It is important to keep your eyes open and report on similar incidents, but someone else is responsible for dealing with them.
I know that in reality you may do something else. Perhaps you’d go to a colleague and talk to them, trying to understand their motives, or asking them to return the item. While interviewing for a job at Bed Bath & Beyond, however, you should say what they expect to hear from a good job candidate–and that’s reporting the incident immediately.
Here is a pillow (or other object from the offer). Imagine that I am a customer. Try to sell it to me.
Many people are super scared of similar interview questions, the infamous role plays. However, you should realize one thing: they do not expect to hear a perfect sales pitch from you. All they want to see is that you have some courage (to approach the customer), and want to take initiative in your job. That’s really all that matters, since you will learn everything else in your short training.
The key is to always ask additional questions. You can ask them who they are buying the pillow for, what they are looking for in a perfect pillow, whether they have any sleep problems, etc. Once they give you some information, you can use it to pitch them, explaining how the product you offer will help them meet their needs. Of course, if it goes about a special product in any way, you can focus on the special feature… As long as you do not remain silent and give it a good shot, interviewers will be satisfied with your answer.
Other questions you may face in your interview with Bed Bath & Beyond
- Please tell us more about your availability?
- Are you OK with $XX hourly rate?
- Do you have any products from our store at home? Why did you choose them?
- What do you consider your greatest strength when it comes to this type of work.
- Describe your definition of an outstanding customer service.
- Tell us about a time when you faced an ethical dilemma.
- Where can you start?
- Do you have any questions?
Interview at Bed Bath & Beyond belongs to interviews with an average difficulty. The company knows that they have many competitors when it comes to hiring young people, and at the same time they cannot offer you something special that nobody else can. Hence they aren’t too picky in their recruitment.
As long as you do not remain silent when hearing their questions, and show right attitude to work and willingness to try your best every day, they will give you a chance to prove your words in the job… I hope you will succeed and wish you best of luck!
May also interest you:
- 15 most common interview questions and answers.
- Autozone interview questions.
- Staples interview questions.