Why do you want to work at Hollister?
Try to show some positive associations to their brand. You can praise the easy-going working environment, the style they represent and merchandise they sell to the customers–the wide choice of shirts, polos, cardigans, jeans, whatever.
Another alternative is referring to a recommendation from a friend, someone who works at one of Hollister stores already. They told you good things about the job, praised the employee benefits and camaraderie in the workplace, and you decided to give it a try.
Another alternative is pointing out the location, working hours, or something else that simply makes it a good fit for you, considering your other commitments, such as school or family. One way or another, they should get an impression that you have a clear reason for applying.
Tell me something about your background and working experience.
More than anything else they observe your communication skills. How you talk is actually more important than what you say. Remember to keep eye contact with the interviewers, and try to speak genuinely about your life and former jobs.
You can talk about your school, future plans, or anything else. The important thing is to somehow fit Hollister in the picture. Perhaps you want to earn some extra cash to support your college studies, or you’ve worked in retail before. You prefer to continue working in the field, instead of starting from scratch in a new one. Hollister fits well into this picture of your life.
If you have no previous experience with retail jobs or customer service, you can assure them that you understand what they expect from an excellent sales associate. At the end of the day you’ve shopped at Hollister and other famous stores many times. You’ve experienced the service from the position of a customer…
What is your availability? How many hours do you want to work weekly?
You will get this question always when applying for a part-time position with Hollister. I suggest you to prepare a schedule for an entire week (or even month), clearly indicating when you can work, and when you have other commitment (school, family, etc).
You should never rule out weekends though, and generally demonstrate that the job is high on the list of your priorities, and you do not want to work only when “you have nothing else to do”. In general, it’s good to say that you’d like to work at least 20 hours a week, or more–if possible for both you and them.
Why did you wear this outfit? Sell it to me.
You should think about this questions beforehand, when deciding how to dress for your interview. Choose matching colors, clothes pieces that do not counteract one another in style, and something you look good wearing. Of course if you have at home something they sell at Hollister, it’s better wearing it than something from one of their competitors.
If they do the role play with you–asking you to sell them the stuff, be sure to talk about the materials, how the clothes reflect the latest fashion trends, how the different pieces complement, and mention also the accessories. At Hollister they want you to maximize the value of each customer. Which basically means that you should try to upsell people, in any moment. You should keep this on your mind while doing the role play, trying to “sell” them your own outfit.
How would you handle a difficult customer?
This one is a bit tricky, because “difficult customer” can mean a lot of things. You have two options for a good answer. Either you talk generally, about any sort of a customer, or pick a specific type (angry, simple, choosing clothes endlessly, aggressive, etc).
In the first case, you can simply say that you would try your best to be courteous to each customer. You would not get involved into any pointless conflicts, and you would try to respect them as they are, and sell them something, regardless of the way they act. Of course unless they disturb other customers with their behavior.
For the second case, let’s pick a customer who complains about everything. The prices are too high, he does not get the level of attention he expects, you are working too slow, etc. In such a case you can describe how you’d react to each objection:
- Prices are the same for everyone, reflecting the production and sales costs, and cannot really be lower. What’s more, some items are on sale, so maybe they want to check those.
- There are many customers in a store, and you need to divide your attention to everyone. You’d love to bi-locate or serve two customers at the same time, but it’s not possible. They will have to bear with that.
- You are trying your best to be quick, but at it takes time to serve the customers properly, to give good recommendations, etc. Quality is more important than price, and for sure they would not be happy if they made a bad purchase just because you rushed them…
When was the last time you made a genuine conversation with a stranger?
Well, not easy to do that today, in an era when everyone stares at the screen of their smartphone almost non-stop. People forget how to have real interactions, not to say with strangers. I bet that out of ten people who read this article nine haven’t made such a genuine conversation in months…
Nevertheless, they are looking for outgoing people at Hollister. They want you to go and approach customers, but not in a forced manner, not always necessarily saying the same things. That’s why they want to hear that you can strike a conversation with a stranger. And you can certainly make something up for this occasion.
Perhaps you met someone in a metro and liked their t-shirt, or you could not find something in the city, and instead of “asking” your smartphone, you approached another human being, just like people had done for thousands of years, before social media and smart devices came to existence. Just think about any situation that can realistically happen. You can also ensure the interviewers that you enjoy talking to strangers, that you do not find it odd…
How would you help a customer find jeans?
The key is to show some system in your work. Perhaps you will ask them a few questions: what’s their size, what material they prefer, what sort of style they like to wear, for what occasion they need the new jeans.
Then you will pick two or three models that match their expectations, and ask them to try them on–of course if they like them. You can also add that you will offer your expert opinion–whether the jeans fit their body nicely, or they should look for a different design, etc.
How would you describe your style?
I cannot really give you a precise advice here, because I do not see what clothes you are wearing while reading this article–if you wear anything at all. What I suggest you to do is to think about your interview attire for a while, what design trends it represent, and for what sorts of activities the clothes are appropriate.
You should not answer the question with one word only, saying, for example, that’s you wear a casual style or athletic style or whatever. Try to go more in depth, maybe saying what values and opinions your clothes reflect, what sort of identity you try to create for yourself in your outfit.
Talking like this sends a clear signal to the hiring managers at Hollister: You understand a lot about clothes and styling, and won’t find it hard to give a good advice to your customers in the store.
What does diversity mean to you?
Diversity is one of the values they try to promote across the stores at Hollister. I suggest you to say that first and foremost, it’s an important value to you, and you embrace diversity. Then you can talk about the value in broad, explaining that for you it’s not only about races or genders, but also about body types, preferences, and expectations of various customers.
You realize that we live in a diverse world. And to be able to provide an excellent service to the customers, you have no other option than embrace this diversity, and adjust your conduct at work accordingly. But that’s not something you’ll have problems with, since diversity is a value you try to promote in your circles.
Imagine that you see someone trying to steal something from the store. How will you react?
Avoid suggesting some heroic action. Maybe you feel strong enough to clear the entire squad of thieves single-handed, and cannot wait to give your fists some exercise. But that’s not really what they expect from you at Hollister. If you apply for a sales associate position, say that you will notify the security guard immediately. That’s the end of the story.
If you apply for a security guard position, however, say that you will approach the thief, in the right moment, when they cannot escape. You will expose the stolen merchandise, and call the police to come to the scene. Of course if the thief tried to run away, you’d follow them and try your best to catch them…
Ready to ace your Hollister interview? Not yet? Check also the following articles to get ready:
- How to dress for an interview – 4 rules to consider when choosing your clothes for the big day.
- Sales associate interview questions – Questions you may get in an interview for a sales associate job in any place, including Hollister.
- Salary negotiation tips – In most cases you will earn peanuts at Hollister, but why not at least try to get a slightly better salary offer?