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Store Manager

Best interview questions for your hiring process

Store Manager Interview questions

A Store Manager is responsible for the day-to-day operations of your store. They manage the team on site and deal with partners and suppliers. They also set out the store’s growth strategy and report this (and its progress) back to top management.

When hiring a Store Manager, you should look for the following skills and characteristics:

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Great leadership qualities
  • Highly organised and structured in their working
  • Strategic mindset and the ability to see the bigger picture

Interviewing a Store Manager

Are you searching for a new Store Manager? Then make sure you don’t settle for anything less than amazing. Asking the right questions during the job interview can really have an impact on this. But how do you know which questions to ask your potential new hire?

That’s where these Store Manager interview questions come in. They are specifically created with this job role in mind. They help you uncover whether the candidate possesses the right skill set for the position.

But do bear in mind that these are entry-level questions. They are relatively general and therefore best asked during a first interview. They could potentially also be used when interviewing for an Assistant Store Manager role.

How to open the job interview

Before you start grilling your candidate, you might want to consider starting off with a few opening questions. These help your potential Store Manager get a bit more comfortable and settle into the interview.

If you start with difficult, in-depth questions straight away, you might make the candidate unnecessarily nervous. And once the candidate is nervous, it can be difficult to get the best answers out of them. In some cases, they might actually know the answers to your questions but forget them or fail to properly articulate them due to their nerves. This doesn’t benefit them and it certainly doesn’t benefit you either!

Instead, try these positive opening questions to ease into the interview first.

Best interview questions for your hiring process

See our Store Manager job description here

For the interview

A positive opener to start

What do you love most about being a Store Manager?

Tell me a little bit about your career path so far?

Why did you choose to become a Store Manager?

Behavioral Questions

Tell me about a time you ran a special campaign or event in one of your previous stores. Why did you decide to do this, how did you set it up, and what was the outcome?

This is a very practical question that really taps into the candidate’s experience as a Store Manager. It allows the candidate to be as elaborate and detailed as they want, giving you insight into their skill set.

Tell me about a time you had to fire someone. How did you handle this?

Firing someone can be difficult but, unfortunately, it’s a part of the Store Manager’s job. Find out how they handle such a situation. 

Tell me about a time you had to give an employee constructive feedback. How did you handle this?

To be successful as a manager, the candidate must be able to give feedback effectively. Learn how the candidate gives constructive feedback to help employees develop and grow.

Soft Skills

How do you keep yourself and the team motivated?

The Store Manager isn’t just there to delegate and give orders. They have to lead the team by example and motivate them to reach their full potential (as well as that of the store as a whole). This question shows you how the candidate keeps everyone motivated.

How do you plan and organise your work?

Planning and organisation are two key skills to have in this role. See how the candidate organises their time efficiently.

How do you present the store’s (financial) progress to the team?

Whether good or bad, as a Store Manager you’re responsible for keeping people informed about the direction the store is going in. Do you give monthly updates, or do you have a screen up in the break room with all the live data in real-time?

Hard Skills

How would you describe your management style?

Is the hierarchy in their store relatively flat or incredibly strict and hierarchical? Do they give continuous feedback, or do they wait till annual performance reviews?

What are some of the key metrics you use to track a store’s performance and inform your strategy for the future?

A very concrete question about the metrics they find important when looking at the store’s performance.

How do you measure and evaluate employee performance?

Similar to the previous question. How does your potential new Store Manager assess the performance of your team members?

Operational / Situational Questions

A customer has requested to speak to you after one of your employees was rude to them. The employee defends they weren’t being rude and that it’s the customer who was rude. What do you do?

This is a common dilemma they have to face as a Store Manager. Do they take the side of the customer or their employee? How do they handle the situation?

One of your employees does not respect your authority. What do you do?

There are always going to be people who undermine their authority as a manager. How does the candidate deal with this?

You arrive at the store in the morning and you notice the lock is broken and the store has been trashed. What do you do?

This, of course, is in no way a fault of them as a Store Manager. But it’s their job to contact the right people (e.g. security, the police, cleaners, the insurance company) to fix the problem.

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