I would not say it about many employers in retail, but Lululemon really tries to create a special culture in the stores. Calling their sales associates “Educators”, your main goal will be to educate customers. Instead of trying to convince them to buy yoga pants or a yoga mat, you will educate them on unique features of various products, and let them make an informed decision about their purchase. This concept isn’t unique in retail, but no doubt it feels better, for both employees and customers. Teamwork and having fun also forms an integral part of working for Lululemon. Everything considered, Lululemon is a great place to work, and they receive many job applications.
Do not feel down, however. With over 500 locations all over the world and close to 30,000 employees, the company is almost always hiring, for both full time and part time jobs. You have a realistic chance of getting in, but you will have to pass a series of group/one on one interviews, answering many tricky behavioral questions along the way. If you show right attitude however, and passion for Lululemon and what they try to achieve in their stores, they will typically give you a chance. Let’s have a look at some of the questions.
Introduce yourself and a passion that you have and/or a goal you are working towards?
Basically a “Tell me about yourself” question, just asked in a more fancy way. The key is to connect your passion or goal with Lululemon, in some way. Perhaps sport is your greatest passion, or yoga. You work on bettering yourself in all means–physical, mental, spiritual. What Lululemon does and aims to achieve resonates with you strongly, and hence you consider it a great place of work while striving to reach your goals.
If you are still a student, you can talk about graduating from school as your goal, but in such a case it it important to talk also about some passions that relate to Lululemon and products they sell in their stores. Again it can be sports, hiking, movement in general. When it comes to other things, you can basically introduce yourself as you’d do in any other meeting: saying your name, where you live, whether you study or work, etc. The key is to show positive attitude and enthusiasm right from the start. They should get an impression that you are pumped (in a good way) for this interview.
How important is teamwork to you, and how does it look like in your view?
Teamwork is an integral part of working culture at Lululemon. You should give it a high importance, but try to add something, so it doesn’t sound like empty words. Perhaps an example from your past job, of from school, on which you demonstrate that you are a team player, and can go above and beyond for your colleagues.
When explaining what it means to you, or how it looks like, try to focus on more than just working together. Say that it means being attentive to the needs and feelings of your colleagues, ready to help them anytime they need, and cooperating instead of competing, while you try to achieve the common goal–the best possible level of customer satisfaction and highest sales at the same time. You can also say that you read a lot about the working culture at Lululemon, and know that teamwork is integral in their success story. You can quote it as one of your reasons for applying.
What does sweat mean to you?
If there’s one (in)famous question for Lululemon interviews, it is the one about sweat. It can come in different wording, but chances are close to certainty that you will face a question about sweat sooner or later in the hiring process. The most important thing is to show positive attitude towards sweat, regardless of how strange it may sound.
You can say that you associate sweat with exercise, endorphins, getting into shape, looking better. We sweat when we move, discover the world, leave our comfort zone, venture into the unknown. People who never sweat are boring people (I know that Roger Federer rarely sweats, but he’s an exception to the rule :)). You can even take it one step further, talking about hard work and sweating while trying to educate the customers at Lululemon. One way or another, you love to sweat and it is one of the reason why you apply for a job with this company instead of another one.
Tell me about a time you showed respect for fellow coworker.
Respect and diversity are one of the values they try to promote at Lululemon. It is important to demonstrate that you can, and want to, recognize your colleague for a good job they do. Not necessarily for good results only–on some days they may not come. It is enough seeing them trying their best for customers and fellow colleagues, on any day. Once again, it is about paying attention to your colleagues, instead of staying in your small bubble and focusing only on yourself.
Remember that hiring managers can hardly verify the authenticity of your story. Perhaps you haven’t had a chance yet to show respect to colleagues, or you haven’t done so yet–but want to from now on. You can definitely say so, but you can also make up a fictive situation when you praised your colleague for something, recognized their efforts or attitude. The choice is yours.
What is the best way to make people feel included?
Great answer can be summarized in one word: communication. But not one-sided communication… You should give people (be it customers at Lululemon or your colleagues) a chance to express themselves, to say how they feel about this or that product, and what they are looking for. Talk with them, make them engaged, and make sure they play a part in the show.
Ensure the hiring managers that you plan to ask questions instead of just talking, when it comes to interactions with both your colleagues and customers. You know very well that relationship building is crucial when it comes to customer loyalty, and you will try your best to build relationship with the people in the store.
Tell us about a time when you worked without supervision.
You will have a manager, someone you can rely on when it comes to advice and guidance at Lululemon. But standing behind you and always watching what you do isn’t really a type of working culture they promote at Lululemon. On the contrary, they want the employees to feel the responsibility for their work and goals, and to work more or less independently, without constant supervision.
Ensure them that you can do that, with a fitting example from your previous job. You can talk about a situation when you managed to solve some problem on your own, for example. What’s more, you can emphasize that you enjoy working, and aren’t one of those employees who spend half of the shift playing with their smart phone…
Other questions you can face while interviewing for a job at Lululemon
- Tell me about a time you had to give a difficult feedback. What was the outcome?
- Describe a situation when you made a mistake in one of your previous jobs.
- Tell us about a time when you had to meet some deadline. How did you cope with pressure?
- What does Lululemon brand represent in your eyes?
- What does diversity mean to you?
- How do you imagine a typical day at work here at Lululemon?
- After everything we discussed, do you have any questions?
Thoughts on group interview with Lululemon
With the number of applications Lululemon keeps getting every month, it is just logical that the company often interviews people in groups. The main goal is to save time and resources, and not compare the applicants in real time. This is something you should always remember, because it would be a mistake forcing it with some super out-of-the-box answers, just to say something nobody else from other applicants has said…
You should just focus on your line, the impression you want to make, on your answers. It doesn’t matter if other applicants said something similar. On the top of that, try to be friendly to other people in the room. Teamwork and having fun with colleagues is an important part of working culture at Lululemon, and the hiring managers should get an impression that you are a team player, and someone others enjoy having around…
Compared to interviews in other retail stores, we can certainly call the one at Lululemon difficult. You will have to pass several rounds of interviews, and answer many tricky behavioral questions (as you can see on my list). But I believe you can succeed, if you spend enough time preparing for the questions, and educating yourself about Lululemon brand. In this case it is definitely worth it, since working culture at Lululemon easily beats working culture in vast majority of other retail stores. And they also pay slightly better :). I hope you will succeed, and wish you best of luck!
May also interest you:
- 15 most common interview questions and answers.
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