Card payments, watch payments, smart phone payments, cryptocurrency. All these technologies are undoubtedly on the rise (at least in the US and the rest of the Western world), but cash is far from being obsolete. In many locations–think fast food chains, food trucks, newspaper stands, bars, buses, and so on, people still prefer to pay with cash–or they may not have another option.

What’s more, a merchant has to pay a fee for each card payment they accept. If you buy something for $1 (not that we can buy a lot of things for $1 in 2021, but there are still some), it’s definitely better for them if you pay with cash. Logically when you try to get a job in one of these places, cash handling will on the list of your working duties.

Hiring managers will often ask you about your cash handling experience, and now we will look at 7 sample answers to this typical interview question. My list includes some obvious choices, but also some unconventional options, and answers for people without any previous working experience. * The answers will work also for the alternative wording of this interview question, common in South Africa, “How are you with handling money as a cashier?” Let’s have a look at them.

 

7 sample answers to “Describe your cash handling experience” interview question

  1. I’ve worked with cash in my last job of a cashier in a restaurant. Accepting payments, ensuring that customer did not pay with a counterfeit bill, making sure that I give them back the correct change, and so on, formed my daily bread in work. And I enjoyed it. I’ve been also responsible for counting the cash in the drawer at the start and end of the shift. I’d say I have plenty of cash handling experience, and do not see a reason why I’d struggle with it in my new job.
  2. Cash payments, card payments, crypto–I have a fair share of experience with all of them. The last place where I sold tickets was quite modern, and they tried to offer different payment options to customers, which I considered a good move, because some demographic groups of population still prefer cash. I can assure you that I have decent math skills and won’t find it hard to pay back the right amount when someone pays with a fifty dollar bill.
  3. This is my first job application, so I have no experience with cash handling. But I am sure I’ll learn to do it well in no time. One does not need to be the smartest student in the city to operate a cash register, or to count the cash in the drawer. I am eager to learn and motivated to work hard, and believe that my motivation will make up for the lack of experience with cash handling. What’s more, you can count on my responsibility always. I would never steal anything or do something else with cash that could possibly compromise my career. In my opinion, the short term “gain”, just isn’t worth the long term consequences such an act could have.
  4. Cash handling? Where do you live? Nobody pays with cash in this city, especially during the pandemic. I can’t really remember the last time I held a dollar bill in my hands. Everyone is paying with their phones, watches, cards, PayPal, and what not. And I can assure you that I can handle all these payments with ease, and also help the customer if they struggle with something, since I’ve been using these technologies myself for some time.
  5. I’ve been handling cash in all my previous jobs. And though I occasionally made a mistake–and gave someone one dollar extra in change, I tried to approach my job responsibly, always focusing on the counting, eliminating distractions. I also did not hesitate to use the calculator when I was not 100% sure about the amount I should pay back to the customer. As I said, I occasionally made a small mistake, maybe once a week, which I believe is acceptable considering how busy the place was, and how many transactions I processed daily–hundreds of them…
  6. I’ve never worked for anyone, so I can talk about cash handling only from the position of a shopper. I’ve never had deep pockets, and could not afford throwing out money randomly, without keeping track on my expenses, or losing money just because I did not do my math. It actually happened to me many times that they gave me back a wrong amount in a store–maybe it was an accident, maybe someone made it on purpose, to “earn” more than their minimum wage. Hard to say, and I definitely do not want to judge anyone. But I always noticed the difference, right at the cash desk, so they had no other option to giving me back the right amount of money. I believe that I can successfully translate this attitude to a job in your store, and won’t make any mistakes while handling cash.
  7. I’ve been working with cash in my last job of a bus driver. As you can imagine, people hate waiting, and so it is important to handle the payments quickly, but of course without making a mistake. I found it hard in the beginning, and I was a bit stressed out, and made some mistakes. Once I got into the groove, however, and found my system, it felt almost effortless to do the quick math, print the ticket, and give them the change. I hope to benefit from this cash handling experience in my new job.

 

Showing confidence is the most important thing

Regardless of whether you worked with cash before or not, you should show your confidence in handling money, as well as taking care of other working duties.

Counting money or processing cash transactions is not a job for intellectuals. Millions of people have such jobs in all corners of the world, and there is no reason why you’d not handle it. Ensure the hiring managers that you feel ready, and are eager and motivated to learn how to take care of your duties, if this will be your first professional experience with handling cash.

Cash handling is not only about accepting cash payments

It is a good idea to talk about a variety of cash handling skills in your interview. Counting money in the drawer at the start of the shift (and the end of it), operating cash registers and adding machines (especially in the bank), working with checks and coupons, and so on.

Show the hiring managers that you are versatile behind the cash desk, and won’t need days of training to handle the job. And if this is your first job application, you can at least show them that you understand the variety, and know what will be expected from you in work. You are ready to get into your routines as quickly as possible.

 

Unconventional answers can help you stand out

In most cases you won’t face a stern competition while trying to get a job of a cashier, or a teller, or a ticket seller. But if you do face competition of many other job seekers, or perhaps interview in a group, it’s not a bad idea giving them one or two unconventional answers. Just to say something they will remember, something that will help them to distinguish you in the crowd.

Why not saying that you have experience with cryptocurrency payments, something your interviewer may have no idea about? See sample answer no. 2 from the list. Or you can talk about your experience of the shopper, and how they gave you back a wrong amount many times, and how this actually prepared you for the job, once you stand on the other side of the cash register. See sample answer no. 6 as a good example…

Ready to answer this one? I hope so! Check also 7 sample answers to other tricky interview questions:

Matthew Chulaw
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