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Interview questions

Merchandiser

For the interview

A positive opener to start

Why did you decide to become a Merchandiser?

What do you like most about your job?

Behavioral Questions

  • Describe a time you had a positive impact on the business. What did you do?
  • This question allows the candidate to show off their best work. Hearing about their biggest achievements helps you get a sense of what you can expect if they were to work for you. 
  • Describe a time you had to explain your research to someone who is not familiar with merchandising and/or pricing strategies. How did you approach this situation?
  • A Merchandiser has to be able to explain what conclusions they draw from the data they analyse to people that haven’t researched the data. This question shows you how they do that.
  • How do you stay up to date with industry trends?
  • Learn how your candidate ensures they are always up-to-date with the latest developments in the field of merchandising.

Soft Skills

  • How do you prioritise your tasks if you have a lot of different deadlines to meet?
  • Effective time management and organisational skills are essential for a successful Merchandiser. Find out how they prioritise their time.
  •  What would you say are the three most important skills for a Merchandiser to have?
  • This question gives you great insight into what the candidate deems valuable skills. In most cases, this will reflect their own skills as well.
  • How do you prevent making mistakes in interpreting large amounts of pricing data?
  • Merchandisers sometimes have to stare at spreadsheets with pricing data for hours on end. With this line of work, small errors and mistakes can easily slip in. Find out how the candidate tries to prevent this from happening.

Hard Skills

  • How would you define our target audience?
  • Merchandisers need to truly understand your target audience in order for them to know how to market your product better.
  • What do you think is the most important metric to look at when planning a new merchandising campaign?
  • This question gives you an idea into what metrics and data the candidate finds important when planning a new campaign.
  • What types of tools do you use to plan campaigns?
  • Find out what experience the candidate has with using different types of tools.

Operational / Situational Questions

  • Say you got the job, what would be the first thing you would do?
  • This question gives you insight into what the candidate has in store for your business and what they might do within their first weeks on the job.
  • You (hopefully) had a look at our store/website before this interview. What would you change or do differently?
  • This shows whether the candidate has done their due diligence and researched your company before the interview.
  • You analysed loads of data and as a result made an informed decision to change the visual display of one of our products in store. Unfortunately, the result appears to be counterproductive and sales have actually dropped. What do you do?
  • You can analyse all the data you want, but sometimes, reality just doesn’t align with what the data suggests. That’s fine. But as a Merchandiser, you need to know how to respond and act when this happens.
  • A supplier contacts you the day before a big promotion that they can no longer deliver the number of products as promised. Instead, they can only deliver half the quantity. What do you do?
  • Unforeseeable problems can happen, so find out how the candidate responds and test their problem-solving skills. Ideally, however, the candidate will demonstrate that they plan their work much better than that. Instead of having products arrive the day before the promotion, they should plan it days if not weeks in advance to minimise the risk of problems like this from happening. A great candidate will demonstrate this!

Merchandiser Interview Questions

A Merchandiser plans and develops strategies to better market your product(s). This could be by organising product displays or by calculating an optimal pricing strategy.

From the visual arrangement of your product on the shelves to special promotions and flash sales. The Merchandiser can work on anything product-related that will help maximise your company’s product sales. As such, they can have a tremendous impact on your bottom line.

Typical Merchandiser skills to look for in a candidate include:

  • Highly analytical mindset and the ability to distil meaning from vast amounts of data.
  • Creative brain that can think outside the box and come up with unique solutions to promote your product better.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and a real team player, as the Merchandiser has to align and collaborate with many stakeholders across your organisation.
  • Ability to deliver presentations and pitches on research findings to both direct team members and higher management

Interviewing a Merchandiser

You found a potential candidate for the role, congratulations! That means it’s time to start preparing for the job interview. After all, you need to be just as prepared as they are to ensure that you find the best fit for your business.

Luckily for you, we are here to help. The list below contains a variety of Merchandiser interview questions, ranging from situational questions to questions testing their hard skills. Simply incorporate these questions into your interview process to make finding the right Merchandiser easier.

Do note, though, that these Merchandiser interview questions are best asked during the first interview. They are relatively general to ensure they can be used by anyone hiring a Merchandiser, regardless of your specific business or industry.

How to open the job interview

Before you dive right in with difficult questions, you might want to consider using some icebreakers first. Even the most confident interviewees can feel nervous during a job interview. And the more nervous they are, the bigger the chance they won’t give you their best possible answers. Nerves can stifle someone, which in turn prevents you from truly getting to know the candidate.

So instead of feeding into these nerves, try to start the interview with a few easy opening questions. These questions shouldn’t go into the role’s details too much.

Job Ad Template available

See our Merchandiser job ad template here

For the interview

A positive opener to start

Why did you decide to become a Merchandiser?

What do you like most about your job?

Behavioral Questions

  • Describe a time you had a positive impact on the business. What did you do?
  • This question allows the candidate to show off their best work. Hearing about their biggest achievements helps you get a sense of what you can expect if they were to work for you. 
  • Describe a time you had to explain your research to someone who is not familiar with merchandising and/or pricing strategies. How did you approach this situation?
  • A Merchandiser has to be able to explain what conclusions they draw from the data they analyse to people that haven’t researched the data. This question shows you how they do that.
  • How do you stay up to date with industry trends?
  • Learn how your candidate ensures they are always up-to-date with the latest developments in the field of merchandising.

Soft Skills

  • How do you prioritise your tasks if you have a lot of different deadlines to meet?
  • Effective time management and organisational skills are essential for a successful Merchandiser. Find out how they prioritise their time.
  •  What would you say are the three most important skills for a Merchandiser to have?
  • This question gives you great insight into what the candidate deems valuable skills. In most cases, this will reflect their own skills as well.
  • How do you prevent making mistakes in interpreting large amounts of pricing data?
  • Merchandisers sometimes have to stare at spreadsheets with pricing data for hours on end. With this line of work, small errors and mistakes can easily slip in. Find out how the candidate tries to prevent this from happening.

Hard Skills

  • How would you define our target audience?
  • Merchandisers need to truly understand your target audience in order for them to know how to market your product better.
  • What do you think is the most important metric to look at when planning a new merchandising campaign?
  • This question gives you an idea into what metrics and data the candidate finds important when planning a new campaign.
  • What types of tools do you use to plan campaigns?
  • Find out what experience the candidate has with using different types of tools.

Operational / Situational Questions

  • Say you got the job, what would be the first thing you would do?
  • This question gives you insight into what the candidate has in store for your business and what they might do within their first weeks on the job.
  • You (hopefully) had a look at our store/website before this interview. What would you change or do differently?
  • This shows whether the candidate has done their due diligence and researched your company before the interview.
  • You analysed loads of data and as a result made an informed decision to change the visual display of one of our products in store. Unfortunately, the result appears to be counterproductive and sales have actually dropped. What do you do?
  • You can analyse all the data you want, but sometimes, reality just doesn’t align with what the data suggests. That’s fine. But as a Merchandiser, you need to know how to respond and act when this happens.
  • A supplier contacts you the day before a big promotion that they can no longer deliver the number of products as promised. Instead, they can only deliver half the quantity. What do you do?
  • Unforeseeable problems can happen, so find out how the candidate responds and test their problem-solving skills. Ideally, however, the candidate will demonstrate that they plan their work much better than that. Instead of having products arrive the day before the promotion, they should plan it days if not weeks in advance to minimise the risk of problems like this from happening. A great candidate will demonstrate this!

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