1. Why do you want to work for Target and for not one of our competitors?

Hint: Try to focus on your personal preferences to Target, the vision, working culture and values of the retail giant. You should simply focus on something that distinguishes Target from other competitors, such as Walmart or Kmart, and what hiring managers at Target are proud of.

Alternatively you can tell them that you enjoy shopping in their stores, or that the location is perfect for you–nearby your house, for example.

Good Answers:

  • I like the brand of Target and the vision of the company. I prefer to shop here and believe that this is the environment in which people should shop and work. I also like the quality of products and the approach the level of customer service. Friendly and motivating working environment is what I imagine when I hear Target. I would be proud to work for this company.
  • To be honest, the main reason is the location of this store. I live just ten minutes away and it will be very convenient for me to work here. But I also love the shopping experience and all in all I see no reason why I would not choose you for my employer.


2. Why this position?

Hint: You should tell them that you have the right abilities, skills, personality and experience for the job. That’s all they need to hear at Target to be happy with your answer. Alternatively, you can also focus on motivation to do the particular type of work.

Of course, if you did something similar before, and have a relevant experience, you should go for it in your answer.


Good answers:

  • I believe to have the right personality for this kind of a job, because I am talkative and enjoy being around customers.
  • This is a type of work I would enjoy doing. And I had similar job in the past, so I have the experience and I really would like to get the same job again here in your store. Why would i start from scratch when I can benefit from my past experience?
  • To be honest, I consider this a starting point in my career. I’d love to work as a manager one day, but I think everyone has to start as a sales here, and perhaps grow with the company.


3. This job is a routine work. What would motivate you to do it well every day?

Hint: You should focus on your preference to routine jobs. Not everyone needs new challenges every day. Ideal employees at Target should simply like routine jobs.

A good feeling from a well-done job can resonate in your answer. However, you should not mention money as motivation. We all know that we work primarily for money (not many people would go to job if there was no paycheck at the end of the month), but it is not a good idea to talk about it, especially in companies like Target, where the wages aren’t the highest one…


Good answers:

  • To be honest with you, I prefer routine jobs. Once I learn to do things, I do my job well and have a good feeling from doing it well. Positions in which you have to learn new things every day are not really a good choice for me, since I am not the most creative person. However, once I learn to do my tasks well, I enjoy doing them and can go like that for a long time.
  • I am a customer oriented person. If I see that the customers are satisfied in the store, it makes me proud of myself and motivated to work hard every day. It does not matter if it is a routine job or not.
  • From my point of view, no job is routine. Even if you work as a cashier, you see new people all the time, there are problems you need to solve and other things happen in a store every day. If you do not walk around with your eyes closed, you’ll find a lot of variety in this job.


4. What can you improve about Target?

Hint: Target managers ask this question mostly in interviews for leadership roles, but you can face it in any interview in a store or distribution center.

It is a tricky question indeed. You should not mention something important, perhaps something that would touch the HR managers personally, because it could create a negative atmosphere in your interview (the same people that interview you for a job could be responsible for the situation in a store you mention, or they can have a different point of view).

On the other hand, you should mention something, in order to demonstrate your good observation skills, and the value you an bring to Target as one of the leaders in the store.

I recommend you to stay positive in your answer and combine a compliment with an idea of improvement. This magical combination will work for your favor almost always.


Good answer:

  • From my point of view, Target is an excellent company with a unique philosophy and strong process management. This store seems to be managed pretty well. However, if I get a chance to understand things better, I believe I could improve certain processes and increase the store effectiveness in some way, or at least improve the motivation of people in my team and improve the efficiency of work. At the end of day, the company surely invested a lot of time and money into improving every single process in the store. The most we can do as managers is getting the best out of our people, helping them grow in the company.

woman wearing a face mask shops at a big grocery store

5. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Hint: Most people overrate the difficulty of this interview question. All you have to do is to choose a weakness which is NOT related to a job you are applying for and to choose a strength which at least somehow matters for the job. On the top of that, I recommend you to mention that you try to improve on your weaknesses.

That’s the attitude interviewers seek in good applicants for all jobs at Target.


Good answers:

  • I have a tendency to be over-friendly with customers. Also, I think too much sometimes. From my strengths, I can mention good listening skills and an ability to understand the needs of the customer. I believe I can benefit from this greatly as a sales employee, and it’s one of the reasons why I applied for this job in particular.
  • Sometimes I struggle with concentration at work, especially when I have to deal with routine tasks. However, I practice every day and my concentration has improved a lot over the recent years. From my strengths I can mention that I am very responsible person, and I always accomplish all my duties on time. I consider it as my biggest strength.
  • My computing skills are not as good as they should be. However, I attend evening courses and practice at home, in order to improve my skills with MS Office and other software packages. On the other hand, people say that I am a hard worker. I have no problems with working overtime and doing hard labor.

Special Tip: You can also download the full list of Target interview questions in a one page long PDF, print it, and practice your interview answers anytime later, even when offline:

target interview questions, PDF

6. Tell us about a time that you made a mistake and what you did to fix the mistake?

Hint: Mistakes can prove costly, especially if we speak about jobs in which you are responsible for money handling, or for accounting.

However, we are only human beings–all of us, including the interviewers. Each of us makes mistakes. It is something natural. Interviewers do not expect you to be perfect…

Therefore, the best thing to do is to speak honestly about a mistake you made and the way you managed to fix it. You can also mention that you do your best to avoid making mistakes. If you have no experience with making mistakes at work, you can speak about a time you made a mistake at school.


Good answers:

  • I always double check everything, in order to avoid making mistakes. However, in my previous job of a cashier, once I was very tired and made couple of mistakes because of my tiredness. At the end of the day, more than $50 was missing in a cash counter. I decided to take full responsibility for my mistake and paid the missing balance from my own pocket. I learned a lesson and never again went to work while being sick.
  • I remember a time when a customer approached me when I was busy. I sent him to my colleague. I refused to help her. My colleague was unable to solve her request, because it was my specialty and responsibility, not his. She came back and was angry, reported it to the manager and said she would never come back to our store. I apologized in public and we offered her a free gift. She accepted it. She left the store not being completely unhappy. However, I understood it had been a big mistake. Since then I have been prioritize helping the customer to all other duties in my work.


7. Describe a time when you went out of your way to help somebody?

Hint: This question seems to be very difficult. However, there are many situations that happen daily when we are “going out of our way” to help someone.

You do not have to talk about a work related situation. You can tell a story of you helping a drunken guy, or you can just say how you helped one of your colleagues. Helping colleagues is strongly appreciated at companies like Target, where they try to create a friendly working environment and strong team culture.


Good answers:

  • Once I saw a man lying on the street. Cars were just passing by. I stopped and asked him if he was all right. I didn’t notice any injuries. However, he did not answer my question, so I called the emergency immediately. I asked them what to do and followed their instructions. The emergency rescue came about five minutes later. It turned out that the man suffered some sort of spasm in his lungs, and would have likely die if the rescue had not arrived.
  • I believe it is my duty to help the others. In my previous job, I used to give a lift to three coworkers who lived in different city. It was out of my way, but there was no public transport available for them at the end of the shift, and they had to wait one hour for the next bus. Therefore I decided to give them a lift every time we were together on shift, despite the fact that I came home twenty minutes later because of that.
  • I try to be attentive to the needs and feelings of both my colleagues and customers. If I see a customer who seems to need help, I go and ask them. I have done it in all my previous jobs, and want to do it until the end of my professional career.


8. What would you do if you rang an item up to be 20$, but a customer insisted it was 18$?

Hint: Customer is a guest at Target. And guest is always right, at least while shopping in a store. That’s why you should stress that you would never argue with a customer. If they was wrong, you would suggest some options, such as returning the item. And of course, you should say you would apologize for the misleading price tag, or for anything else that may have caused the mistake.


Good Answers:

  • I would never argue with a guest. I would call a manager or other responsible person to verify the price. If the customer was right, I would call a responsible person to fix the problem, so an item would ring us $18. If they were not right, I would strongly apologize for the confusing price tag (or anything else that could cause the problem) and offer them a possibility to return an item.
  • First of all, I would apologize for the uncertainty and kindly ask them to wait for a moment. Then I would find out what the real price was and progress accordingly. If they were not right, I would offer them an option to return the item.


9. Describe a time when you were under pressure in work.

Hint: More than anything else, you should try to look relaxed in your interview. That is the best proof of your ability to handle stressful situations with a cool head, because job interview is a stressful situation.

If you looked stressed anyway (for some of us it is difficult to overcome interview nerves), you should simply mention that you always know how to prioritize your tasks and that the stress does not affect your negatively, or distract you.

You can even say that you work better under pressure. If it is your first job application, you can speak about an experience from the college.


Good answers

  • My school leaving examination was very stressful, and I needed to learn a lot. To be honest, I wasn’t the best companion at the time. I was quite nervous and angry when talking to someone. But I learned a lesson: Stress does not change anything to better. I had only problems and created problems for others because of my stress. This lesson actually helped me to be more chilled ever since. When life’s not at stake, nothing is.
  • My last job in a call center was quite stressful. We needed to meet high sales targets and the entire  office was under huge pressure–at least that’s how I felt about the situation. To be honest, I do not like such a stressful environment, and it’s the reason why I applied for a job with Target. I know that the workload is heavy here as well, but it’s a different form of stress. Here my results depend only on my motivation and skills. It was another story in a call center.
  • As you can see, I am stressing right now. This job is very important for me. I take my job very seriously and that’s why I am sometimes stressed at work. However, I think that I actually work better under pressure.


10. Give me an example of a situation when you exceeded someone’s expectation. What was the outcome?

Hint: As a good employee, you should try to exceed the expectations of the customers all the time. It is a good idea to say that going above and beyond is a norm for you in work.

If you have no previous working experience, it is better to say what you would do in such a case, than to say nothing. You can use an example from school as well.

The outcome should be something positive, from a point of view of an employer. This includes acquiring a new customer, getting positive feedback or online reviews, creating better relationships on the workplace, etc.

Good answers:

  • I consider it to be my duty to always do 110% for a customer. For example, in my last job, I called several times a friend, expert in the area of electronics, to give me an advice when a customer asked a specific question which I wasn’t able to answer. The customers really appreciated these extra calls, and I was happy to help them. They came back to the store many times after that and I believe that it was also my credit, at least partially.
  • I have never had such an experience, because this is my first job application. However, I understand the importance of customer satisfaction in this store, and I will always try my very best to make the customers happy.

three satisfied female customers leave the store with their bags full

11. Tell me a little about your past experience.

Hint: This question seems to be easy, but it is not. First of all, interviewer asks you to tell a little about your experience. So, you should not repeat your entire resume–unless it is a short one and there is actually a little on it :).

Tr to talk about jobs that are at least somehow related to the one you try to get with Target. If you have no experience, you can mention some experience from the school, stressing the lessons you learned, especially if they can help you to ease into the new role with Target.

Special Tip: Check also Why did you leave your last job?


Good answers:

  • I worked as a teller at Wells Fargo for two years. I leaned to talk to people, to sell the products, to communicate with different types of people and to deal with objections. I believe it can help me in this job, if you choose me, of course. I enjoyed my experience with customers, and would love to stay in the same field.
  • I have had just part time jobs before. I worked as a manual worker on a construction site, I picked strawberries, and I volunteered in a research center. However, I believe that I learned what it means to have a routine job, and to be responsible for things and people. I feel ready to get my first full time job, hopefully here at Target.


12. What would your teacher/former colleague say about you?

Hint: Interviewers ask this question for two reasons. First one, they try to see if you are critical enough,  and can admit your your weaknesses and imperfections.

But they may also call your references after the interview, to assess your level of trustworthiness. Needless to say, it’s good if you say the same thing your colleagues will say about you.

I suggest you to get some references, in any possible way. Even if you have no real previous working experience, you should ask your former class teacher (or a good friend) to give you a written reference. Remember: At Target, any reference is better than no reference.

Before going to your interview, you should call people from the list of your references, and tell them that you are going to be interviewed at Target. They should expect the call from the store manager.

In 80% of cases they will call someone to get an “honest” feedback on your skills and personality. It’s better when you choose the person they will call to…

Instruct your references to tell the managers from Target something like this:

Mark is a responsible and organized person. He always wanted to work for Target as he really likes the vision of the company, the brand. I strongly recommend him for this role at Target.

Contacting your references before an interview will take you just few minutes. However, it can pay big time at the end of the day. Contact your references if you still have time to do so.


Good Answers:

  • My colleagues would say that it was fun to work with me. They would say that I was a responsible worker and enjoyed my time in the store.
  • My colleagues would say that I was a customer-oriented person, a good team player and also a good team leader–if it was needed to lead. They would say that I always did a good job and tried my very best, though I sometimes made mistakes, like everyone else. I brought some references with me. Here they are. You can have a look at the list or call the people to see yourself what they think about me as a person, and as an employee.
  • My colleagues would say that I was a nice person to be with. They may also say that I always came on time. Most likely, they would recommend hiring me :).


13. If another co-worker were gossiping about someone else something which was untrue, how would you react?

Hint: Managers at Target do not want you to solve the problems of other employees in the store. They simply want to hear that you focus on your job and do not care about gossiping. And obviously, that you do not like to gossip. They look for people who are positive about the others.


Good answers:

  • I would simply tell them that what they were saying was not true, and I would continue working. Gossips will always be present in the workplace and we need to accept them as something inevitable. However, I want to focus on my job, and prefer not to think about the gossips of other people. I personally never gossip.
  • It’s their opinion. I always try to have a good relationship with my colleagues. However, I need to focus on my job and I do not think I’ll have time to think about the gossips of other people. I try to be friendly to everyone, but if some colleagues cannot get along each other, I can do nothing about it.


14. If a customer accused you of bad service, what would you do?

Hint: Customer is always right. That’s the policy of this corporation. Therefore, you should never suggest arguing with them. Oppositely, you should suggest giving them additional questions and trying to make them happy with your service again. Another possibility is offering them an assistance of  some “more experienced” colleagues.


Good answers:

  • First of all, this is unlikely to happen because I always do my job in a responsible way and try to exceed the expectations of my customers. But if it happened, I would apologize, ask them what I did wrong, and I would try to resolve it and make them happy with my service again.
  • I would apologize and ask them what I should do better. If I was eventually unable to satisfy them with my service, I would offer them a help of one of my colleagues, or a manager–whatever they preferred.
  • I would try to solve the situation, stay calm and listen to their complaints. I would try to remember the situation, what exactly I did and how customer reacted, in order to improve my behavior in a similar situation in the future. Excellent customer service is the key and we should always try to deliver it.


15. If a supervisor asked you to change the way your job is performed even though you knew you were doing it right, how would you react?

Hint: Target is an American corporation with strong rules of hierarchy. They want the employees to listen to the orders from their superiors. Therefore, you should simply say that you would accept it and do what supervisor or manager told you to do.

At the end of the day the supervisors know the rules, they’ve been in a company longer than you, and they also bear the responsibility for mistakes. Once you progress in your career at Target (what will certainly happen), you will do things better. For now, however, you will simply obey they lead…


Good answer:

  • Supervisor is much more experienced. They see the bigger picture, they understand things I do not understand. What’s more, it is their obligation and responsibility to instruct me, to correct me. For sure they have their reasons. Therefore I would explain them my point of view–just to offer some feedback, but if they insisted on their suggestions, I would simply change the way in which my job was performed.

an angry supervisor points his finger at someone

16. Explain a time when you were very busy and needed to prioritize the tasks in your work.

Hint: This question tests your time management skills, and ability to prioritize work. Any answer in which you demonstrate, ideally on a real situation from the past, that you do not struggle to prioritize your work is a good one.

If this is your first working experience, you can mention busy times at the college or a busy period from your personal life. What matters for Target interviewers is your attitude, not the exact situation. During a typical day in a Target store you will often need to prioritize the tasks. Demonstrate that you won’t have much problems with it.

May also interest you: Attention to detail interview questions.


Good answers:

  • I remember when one colleague unexpectedly left the company I worked for. I was supposed to temporarily take care of their working duties, until the managers found the replacement. Then I really had to prioritize my tasks and do the most important things firstly. I managed to do it well, until the company found a replacement. Working for almost twelve hours a day, for a span of two weeks, it was a test of my abilities. However, I did it, from the loyalty to the employer and to other colleagues.
  • I can still recall clearly my school leaving examinations. While studying, I had to take care of my small sister and also I had a part time job I could not leave. I prioritized my tasks, created a daily plan for each day, and worked according to the plan. Task after task, day after day. It helped me to cope with my daily duties and to avoid wasting time with things that were not so important, or not important at all. This experience makes me believe that I can prioritize my work.


17. How long do you want to work for Target?

Hint: Recruitment is an expensive process. To choose a new employee, to train them, to pay them each month, etc. It is not as simple as it seems from a perspective of a job seeker. That’s why retail companies prefer to recruit employees who plan to stay for a longer time.

It is good to give them a reason why you plan, or desire, to stay longer. Then, after everything has been said and done and you have a new job contract, you can forget about your promise. Nobody will blame you if you leave Target after the first month–in case that you do not like the job. You will be neither the first nor the last employee to do so… While interviewing for a job, however, you should tell them what they want to hear.


Good answers:

  • I like everything about Target. The culture, the vision, the goods, the working environment. If I get a job here, I’ll be glad to stay for many years to come. Of course only if it will be possible and the employer will be satisfied with my job.
  • I am planning to have this job for about one year. However, I would like to stay with Target as long as there are career growth options for me with the company. I am young and I understand I need to learn new things, and start from the bottom. But who knows where this journey will take me?

You should also check: Are you a team player?


18. Describe a time when you effectively resolved another person’s request. What was the situation and what kind of information did you gather to help assist in resolving their request? What was the outcome?

Hint: You should try to pick something special. To read a product label to the customer who forgot their glasses at home is a standard procedure expected from any worker at Target.

You should focus on something special you did, such as giving a call to a third person or doing something which was outside of your working duties. However, the most important thing is to answer all three parts of a question and demonstrate your good listening skills and ability to talk to the point.

(1st part – description of a situation, 2nd part – what information you gathered and what you did, 3rd part- outcome.) Obviously, if you have no working experience, you can speak about situation from school or from family. Just think about it for a while… We solve other persons’ requests all the time.


Good answer:

  • I once called three different people to find out if a product was gluten free. It was not written on a label and I was not sure about it. The customer needed the information to decide about their purchase. Therefore I called several people and finally found an answer. The product wasn’t gluten free. Then I showed them similar products that were gluten free. Customer was very happy and bought the product. They actually returned to the store regularly to buy it.


19. When are you able to start?

Hint: Target nearly always sends successful applicants for a drug test. Applicant can start the orientation and the job once the results of the test are delivered and negative. It typically takes about two weeks.

Anyway, in order to convince them about your honest interest and determination to have this job, you should say that you are available to start the job as soon as possible. Say them that Target is your first choice.

By the way, this  is a „buying question“. If they ask you this question, they seriously consider hiring you.


Good answers:

  • I am able to start as soon as possible. I really want to have this job and will be happy to start very soon. Of course, I have had also other interviews, but Target is my first choice.
  • I do not have any other occupation at the moment. I am able to start tomorrow if you want. I understand I need to undertake a drug test firstly though, which is fine for me because I do not take any drugs.
  • I could possibly start tomorrow, but I want to finish the project I am currently working on. It would be very unprofessional and irresponsible from me to leave my current employer right now. I need three weeks or a month, also to arrange about a shorter notice period. Then I will be ready to start with you.


20. Do you have any questions?

Hint: If you get a chance to ask a question, you should take it. Asking a question shows that you care about the opportunity, want to know more. It shows that you are motivated after everything that has happened in the interview.

However, you should not ask about something that was clearly outlined on the job description or already discussed in an interview. Good things to inquire about are the next steps of recruitment process, company culture or working environment.


Good answers:

  • Can you tell me something more about the shift patterns in this store?
  • How does a typical working day look like on this position?
  • Can you please tell me what the next steps of recruitment process are?


Conclusion, next steps

Interviews at Target belong to easier job interviews. The company runs an excellent training program, and once you demonstrate motivation, and right attitude to work, they will give you a chance. Try to practice your interview answers, and do not forget to check also the articles below, to not underestimate anything about your preparation:

Matthew Chulaw
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