Michaels runs over 1,270 stores across the US and Canada. More than 40,000 people work for the company. Considering the typical job hopping rates in retail, and the fact that Michaels keeps growing each year, it should not surprise you that they are almost always hiring, especially for full time and part time positions in the stores, such as sales associate, cashier, stock clerk, assistant manager, and other common positions you can get with Michaels.

The interview process does not differ much from other retail giants, but they have a tendency to ask a question or two about your artistic passions, or about DIY and whether the abbreviation means anything to you, when it comes to making your home a nicer place. The company does not have an extensive training program in place, and you will be “thrown into the water” after a brief online training session and a short quiz. However, the job is not difficult, they have processes in place for almost everything, and you can always ask your colleagues for help. These are some of the reasons why the interview with Michaels–for a typical retail position, isn’t difficult. Let’s have a look at the questions you may face, and how to deal with them.


Can you tell us something about yourself?

Typically the first question, an icebreaker. More than anything else, you should try to show positive and outgoing personality. Tell them whether you study, and suggest your availability (they will ask about it later on if you don’t). It is also a good idea to mention anything you’ve done when it comes to art–painting, sculpturing, decorating, do it yourself, etc, because at Michaels, managers prefer to hire people who have passion for the type of merchandise the company offers to their customers.

It is also fine to mention couple of your strengths (and perhaps one weakness). You can avoid the dreaded question about strengths and weaknesses in this way. Saying that you are an excellent listener, hard worker, and enjoy interactions with other people will always work. You can also say that you love to learn new things and meet new people–because you will do both at Michaels. One way or another, stay positive and give them a brief introduction of who you are, without venturing into details. If they want to know more details about your studies or hobbies or anything else, they will ask about them.


Why do you want to work at Michaels? Why not one of our competitors, or other retail giant?

More likely than not you do not have a particular preference. Perhaps you applied because you live nearby or you are just trying your chances with various retailers. But you should never say so in an interview. Give them some praise. Pick two or three product lines you like, be it some arts, crafts, framing, decor, or their own brands. Tell them that it is always better to work with merchandise you like, and would buy personally, then with some random goods you do not relate to in any way.

Another option is talking about a recommendation from a friend, someone who works in one of their stores. They said you nice things about the working environment, collective of people, workload, and what not, and motivated you to also apply with Michaels. Of course, you can come up with any other reason, as long as it makes sense, and as long as they get an impression that you really care, and did not apply with them by a mere chance.


What do you like about art?

This is your opportunity to show them your “artistic soul”, or at least your admiration for all the beautiful stuff they sell at Michaels. And you have a few options for a really good answer. One is talking about your own artistic skills–something you painted or drew, or an amazing way in which you decorated your home, or bedroom, buying a couple of pieces they sell at Michaels along the way.

Another option is going for a more philosophical explanation, defining the position art has in your life and lives of other people. Our everyday existence can be quite dull. We go to work, eat, sleep, and maybe do a nice thing or two in between, if you know what I mean. But it makes all the difference if we brighten our everyday routine with some works of art, if we decorate our spaces with stuff which helps us appreciate the beauty of the world and uniqueness of each moment. We are people, not machines, and it is important for us to perceive a beautiful things and creations of art. Michaels makes this just a bit easier, and it is one of the reasons why you decided to pursue a career with them…


What role do you play in a team?

Unless you apply for a managerial position in one of their stores, you do not have to say that you are a born leader. Sure enough you can say so if true, but there are other, important roles in each team. You can label yourself as “a responsible one”, or someone who brings positive energy to the team–always having good mood and smile on your face.

Whatever you pick, they should get an impression that you want to play an active role in their team, and actually bring something onboard–be it your amazing sales skills, empathy, responsibility, or anything else. Ensure them about your proactive approach to work and preference for working in the team. You can also check 7 sample answers to this interesting question here: https://interviewpenguin.com/what-role-do-you-play-in-a-team/

What is your availability?

You will get this question always when applying for a part time position with Michaels. And it is important to prepare for it in advance, because the last thing you want is to start stuttering, being unsure of your own schedule at school, or of other obligations you have during the week.

Try to present a clear schedule for the week. You can say when exactly you go to school and when your lessons end each day, and whether you are available on weekends. And you should definitely show some flexibility, and your readiness to sacrifice something for your new job. What I try to say here is that if you claimed that you could not work on any Sunday of the month, because you go to Church and cannot work on Sundays, they would not hire you.

It doesn’t mean that you have to work every Sunday, but you should realize that other employees also want to have a free weekend from time to time. Being aware of that, you are ready to sacrifice something, and you are sure your colleague will pay back the favor the other time around.


How would you deal with a difficult customer?

Difficult customer can mean a lot of things. And you should probably pick one of them, and explain it to the hiring managers, before you start answering. A good example is a customer who complains about the level of customer service, or about the prices in the store. A customer who asks you endless questions (and eventually won’t buy anything) is another example.

In any case, pick a customer, and explain what you would do. Ensure the interviewers that you plan to take each customer feedback seriously, because though you will try to provide an amazing service each an every time, you can make a mistake. You are only human after all…

What’s more, you won’t start any arguments with the customers, and won’t raise your voice once they raise their voice. You will simply focus on the solution of the problem, and try to stay courteous at all times. You will do so because you realize that every customer–even the one who asked you fifty questions about a product and eventually did not buy anything, can post a five star review of the store online, but also a one star review. And you want to make sure that customer come back and recommend the store to their peers. The only way to achieve it is trying to provide an excellent service each time, regardless of how inappropriately the customer behaves.


Other questions you may face in your interview with Michaels

  • What do you know about Michaels? What makes us stand out from the competition?
  • Imagine that a customer ask you to call a manager. What will you do?
  • This job (cashier, stock clerk) is quite repetitive, and can become boring at times. What will you do to stay motivated day in day out?
  • How long do you want to stay with Michaels? Can you imagine a promotion within the company?
  • Tell us about a time when you struggled to communicate something to someone. What did you do to eventually get your message over?
  • What are your salary expectations?
  • After everything we’ve said here, do you have any questions?


Conclusion, next steps

Interviews for common retail jobs with Michaels belong to easy interviews. The company is almost always hiring, and they compete for the applicants with many other retail giants, some paying better starting salaries. Therefor if you show up, demonstrate some enthusiasm for the job and for the products they sell at Michaels, and do not remain silent when they ask you their questions, they will typically hire you.

Get over the questions once again, try to learn something about the company, and make sure that you arrive to your interview with a positive attitude. I hope you will succeed, and wish you best of luck!


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Matthew Chulaw
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