Nike doesn’t really have a standardized interview process in place for any position. Interviews for in-store jobs (sales associate, cashier) are often conducted in a group, and you will face a mix of personal and situational (scenario-based) questions. What questions exactly they will ask you, however, depends on the particular manager who leads the interview, and also whether it is a group or one on one. The only exception is the HireVue interview, which they typically use for their internship recruitment. In this case, however, it goes about simple question (we analyze them in the article) plus one coding question, which should be simple for you to answer if you meet the basis job requirements.
For corporate jobs (IT, Finance, Accounting, etc) the interview process consists typically in several rounds, including phone and online interviews (HireVue), and at least one face to face interview. The questions in the face to face interview are typically more related to the particular job field (IT, accounting, etc), and we won’t analyze them in detail in this article (since they differ for each position), except of some scenario-based questions–since they repeat in Nike interviews across all departments and positions.
Let’s have a look at questions you may face while interviewing for in-store position with Nike, plus some scenario-based questions you may face while trying to get any job with the company, and on HireVue.
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Why do you want to work for Nike?
Try to praise their brand, explain some positive associations you have with Nike. Maybe you love some athletes they sponsor, or their corporate values (innovation, team spirit, authenticity, sustainability) resonate with your values.
Or you simply want to work for the no 1. in the field, the largest supplier of athletic shoes and apparel in the world. You have heard great things about the atmosphere in the workplace, or about their training program–that can be another reason.
Nike is a good company and if you do your research before the interviews, you will certainly find something worthy of praise. Try to be genuine in your answer. If you got a recommendation from an existing employee, you should definitely mention it.
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Can you please tell us something about yourself, your working experience?
How you talk is actually more important than what you say. Be positive. Say nice things about your former places of work. Show some enthusiasm for life and for everything that’s happened to you up to this point.
You can emphasize the lessons you learned in your former jobs and how they prepared you for your new occupation with Nike. Any sales or customer service experience will help, though it isn’t mandatory.
Remember that they observe more things than just your answers. Do you keep an eye contact with them? Do you talk to the point? Is it easy to understand your words? They try to figure out if a customer will enjoy talking to you…
Here is a description of a customer (age, gender, hobbies, preferences, style). Walk around the store and choose something for them
This practical test is quite common at Nike, and I personally like the idea. It is the most straightforward way of testing your ability to match a customer with a product, which is undoubtedly an important skill in any retail store job. My suggestions:
- Try to make your choice within 5 minutes. Select the most important points from the description (for example the sport they do, their age and style preference), and head to the right sections, and pick a few items.
- Bring more types of products–shoes, shirt, hat, whatever. Nike wants you to up-sell the customer. If they enjoy playing tennis, you can bring shorts, shirt, shoes, wristband, headband, and even a nice technical jacket they’d wear after the match, to not get cold :).
- Have explanation ready for your selection. You should be able to explain why you chose this or that item, how it matches the things from the description of a customer. As long as you are able to justify your choices, they’ll be happy with your answer.
What is your definition of a great customer service?
Anything you point out, ensure the hiring managers that you want to deliver an unforgettable service to each customer.
You can talk about proactive approach–approaching the customer with smile, giving them recommendations based on the items they are looking at, quickly responding to their questions and requests, and basically trying your best to make them feel welcome and attended to.
Another alternative consists in referring to the results of a great customer service. You want to treat each customer in a way that will motivate them to come back to the store, to spend more money on Nike products, to recommend the shop to their peers, to post positive online reviews, etc. Basically you’ll do everything to make them a regular customer.
What are you passionate about and how it relates to Nike?
Sport is probably the best answer. When you enjoy doing sports, and wear things from Nike while exercising, it will be easier for you to make recommendations to the customers. Not only that you have tried some products and can describe a first-hand experience, but also you understand different materials and equipment, and basically know a lot about the stuff you sell.
If you aren’t passionate about sports, however, you can still be passionate about clothing. Or perhaps you can support some cause, for example sustainability. Nike tries to double productivity while halving the company’s environmental impact.
You can say that you are passionate about saving environment but at the same time know that people will continue to wear and buy clothes. Hence your passion relates to Nike, because they try to minimize their impact on environment while continue upping their production capacities. That’s an appealing vision to you.
Special Tip: Download the full list of questions in a one page long PDF, and practice your interview answers anytime later:
Tell us about a time when you succeeded under pressure.
Working environment at Nike is quite laid-back and relaxed, but you will have some sales targets to meet. What’s more, at peak times when the store is full of shoppers, it may be stressful to try to deliver a good customer service to everyone.
You can refer to a situation from school or from your previous job. Try to pick a situation with a happy ending. For example, you were preparing for a difficult exam and did not have much time, but you prioritized your work and eventually succeeded.
Or you had to meet a difficult goal in your last job (can be a sales goal but also other), had to push hard, overcome some obstacles, stay overtime. And you eventually did it, though it perhaps took a toll on you. The key is to show the interviewers that you can handle the pressure, and won’t give up easily.
Other questions you may get while interviewing for a job at Nike (personal and scenario-based)
- Tell us about a time when you failed, either in school or at work.
- What do you consider your biggest weakness as a sales employee?
- Please solve this simple coding puzzle (HireVue question).
- How important is teamwork for you?
- Tell us about a time when you showed initiative.
- How long do you want to have this job? Where do you see yourself in five years from now?
- Give an example of a time when you were innovative in work.
- Describe a situation when you used persuasion to successfully convince someone.
- What are your salary expectations?
- How would you best friends describe you?
- Describe a conflict you had with someone at work, or at school.
- Tell us about an obstacle you overcame.
- After everything we discussed here, do you have any questions?
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What to wear to your interview at Nike
Nike employees do not follow any particular dress code, and can wear pretty much anything at work. The same is true for your job interview. Wear something you feel comfortable wearing, something that reflects your personality. As long as it is clean and at least somehow ironed, you’re good to go.
As you can probably guess, wearing a piece of clothing from Nike is a good idea :). At least they will find it easier to believe your story about positive associations with their brand.
And you should avoid wearing something from their main competitors, Adidas or Uniqlo. Show them that you play for the right team in your personal life, and want to play for the same team in your job.
Conclusion, next steps
In-store interviews at Nike belong to interviews with average difficulty. While you typically won’t face a competition of many other job seekers, you will deal with some tricky behavioral questions, and often also with a task of matching a customer with fitting products from Nike.
The key is to show a friendly outgoing personality, quick reactions, and positive associations with the brand of Nike. As long as you manage to do this, and don’t remain silent when they ask you their scenario-based questions, you should make it and succeed. I wish you good luck!
May also interest you:
- Please describe your passion for apparel and footwear.
- Can you describe your passion for sports?
- What is your favorite brand and why?