5 things NOT to do in a RETAIL interview | Selection Partners | Executive Recruitment, Melbourne

5 things NOT to do in a RETAIL interview

Sammi Feb 17

5 things NOT to do in a RETAIL interview

In the many years I have been in recruitment (which is not many because I am only 21 –not!) I have come across a few ‘WOW, did you really just do that?!’ moments.  So I am here to give you a list… a list of what NOT to do in an interview. Not just any old interview but a retail interview. So, here goes!

 1.       Being late to the interview and showing up too early!

Obviously, it’s better to be early than late. However, I find that being 10-15mins early is acceptable, anything more than that borders inappropriate and annoying. Not to mention, the awkwardness you encounter when you have to hang around the reception area waiting for your interview time. However, showing up late, shows the interviewer that you are unreliable with poor time management. Always allow extra time for traffic jams and do research on where to park your car if you drive.

2.       Dress inappropriately

Wearing clothes that are too tight or too loose, too dressy or too casual is a big NO-NO. I recently met with a candidate who asked if he could meet me in casual. I (thinking it’ll be jeans and a T-shirt) said that was fine, so when he came to see me in track pants (with holes in them) flip flops and a muscle top, it looked to me as if the candidate had just rolled out of bed and came to see me. Being a retailer, I would say that dressing casually is fine, but that, was just inappropriate! On the flip side, I have many clients who have a ‘No Suit, No Shirt’ policy, which means potential candidates interview in T-shirts and jeans/khaki pants. What I am getting at is, do some research, have a look at their website, visit their stores and look at what their staff are wearing, and try to match that. You don’t have to buy new clothes (although I am not going to stop you if you want) but when you’re in an interview, the company will be looking at whether or not you’ll be the right fit. If it’s more of a high end company, dress the part!

3.       Talk negatively about current or previous employers

No surprises here! Having a negative mindset or opinion about a company or a person will only reflect badly on you. Your potential employer will question why they would hire someone like yourself and ask themselves if you’d be saying the same thing about them in a few years’ time. You need to be careful – you don’t want to come across as the ‘Negative Nancy’ or ‘Negative Norman’ even if the company may (or may not) have done you wrong!

4.       Answer a cell phone or text during the interview

This would probably be the worst thing to do! Worse than rocking up in track pants and worse than talking negatively about a company or a person. Answering your phone or texting while you are mid conversation with someone is just rude, let alone in an interview. Put simply, TURN OFF YOUR PHONE. 

5.       Arrogance

It’s good to have confidence… but when does it become too confident and borderline arrogant? And, are you being genuine or are you lying to yourself… and the interviewer? Avoid saying ‘I did this’ and ‘I did that’, remember to give credit where credit is due! No-one is expecting you to be Superman/Superwoman! Show that you are more than capable on your own but still able to work collaboratively in a team!

To be successful in an interview, ignore these 5 points and see how far it’ll get you! The important thing is to be yourself, remember it still is a professional interview, one that may advance your career! 

Written by Sammi Nguyen - Sammi recruits in Retail and has 10 years’ plus experience within the Sector. She has a deep understanding of the retail industry and focuses on national recruitment of Managers through to Executives.

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