25+ Target Interview Questions and Best Sample Answers [2020]

Target Corporation is an American retail corporation, currently ranked as the 8th-largest retailer in the United States. Target has locations in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Target has a number of seasonal and regular jobs available across the country. Including jobs like a guest advocate, cashier, specialty sales, retail associate, warehouse operations, and more.

Target Corporation employs more than 350,000 Americans across the country and has more than 1,880 stores, 42 distribution centers, and 20 corporate offices globally. The Target Corporation tagline is “Expect More. Pay Less.” and has been in business since 1962, under The Dayton Company.

Target defines its company culture as “friendly, fun, and collaborative” and believes in strong “diversity and inclusivity”.

Target’s Mission on Service & Engagement

Most commonly, Target hires retail associates, cashiers, guest advocates, car attendants, and store attendants. These are classified as their “service and engagement” associates. Before attending a phone interview or on-location interview at a Target store, it’s important to review their mission statement.

Target defines its service and engagement mission statement as:

As part of our collaborative and guest-obsessed team, you help us create an experience that makes guests say I love Target! When you work at Target, you're helping every family discover the joy in everyday life. You're working alongside a dedicated team that brings their passion and pride to all that they do.

What to Expect

As a candidate attending a job interview, it’s important to expect two types of interview questions. The first type of question is a qualifying interview question. This is a question like, “Why are you passionate about working for Target?” or “Why are you passionate about working in a retail environment?” These questions assist the team leader or the hiring manager in qualifying the candidate based on previous work experience.

The second type of interview question to expect is a behavioral interview question. This is an open-ended question that presents an opportunity for the candidate to tell a story using previous job experiences. This would be a question like, “Tell me about a time you had to deal with a difficult customer..” These questions should be answered using the STAR Method (Situation, Task, Action, Result).

Behavioral interview questions help a team leader or hiring manager better predict future “on the job” performance. And assists the manager in measuring the core competencies of the candidate. Core competencies help a manager better place the candidate with another team member(s) who better accompanies the skills, characteristics, and general approach.

Interview Tips

When interviewing for a retail position, consider key skills the interviewer might be searching for. According to Hubspot, key skills of any retail associate or sales associate include “communication skills, interpersonal skills, experience with a CRM or POS system, having a customer-centric mindset, deep knowledge of the product or inventory, genuine enthusiasm for the company and products, creative problem solving and decision-making skills, having an empathetic attitude, and adaptability skills when tasked with multiple projects or unexpected situations.”

Additionally, Capterra adds that any great retail worker “listens to their customers, understands what they need and what they want, and puts themselves in the customer’s shoes to come up with the perfect solution for the customer’s problem.” And aligns with Hubspot’s assessment that a retail worker has “empathy that leads to active listening skills, which are crucial in being a successful salesperson.”

Lastly, as a job seeker, it may be beneficial to review the job description or job advertisement in advance of any target job interview. The job description contains insightful information into what the position requires and the missions of the job title. It can be helpful to cross-reference any prepared interview questions with the job description to better prepare.

Target Interview Questions & Answers

Below are common interview questions and sample answers for a Target job interview.

Why do you want to work at Target?

Answer: I’m passionate about the company culture and have been a customer for years. Target is one of my favorite retail locations to visit because of the variety of merchandise available, and the friendly guest advocate experience.

Can you tell me who the Target mascot is?

Answer: Bullseye, the mascot!

What does our company culture look like?

Answer: The company culture is defined as “fun, friendly, and collaborative.”

What stands out to you in our service and engagement mission statement?

Answer: One part of the mission statement that sticks out to me is helping families find joy in everyday life. I find a lot of joy in visiting a Target store, and I want to provide that to others.

What makes you passionate about retail?

Answer: A retail experience can be a great way to start my career. In particular, it’s about driving customer satisfaction and coordinating with team members to improve a product's experience. Our product is our store.

How do you define customer service?

Answer: Being able to assist those who feel frustrated with the products or services they are currently using. This means being able to assist someone with a more tailored experience that speaks to them individually.

Tell me about a time you went above and beyond for a customer.

Answer: A customer needed a product at my previous job, and unfortunately it wasn’t available on the sales floor. I checked with the warehouse manager, and it looked like we had a product in the backroom that the customer wanted. I went back there and got it for them. Even though it was a far walk and we had to take the product down from high shelving, this was really useful to the customer.

Tip: This is a behavioral question because it begins with "Tell me about a time.." It can be very impactful to practice interview answers in advance of any job interview. When reciting an interview answer, it should take no more than 90-seconds. Being prepared for a job interview can be very impactful for any job search.

What makes you a collaborative team member?

Answer: I like to practice active-listening as much as I can. This is not only just listening to my teammates but also empathizing with them and addressing their concerns.

How do you handle disagreements with a team member?

Answer: Dealing with conflict can always be difficult. But I believe in empathy and firmly understanding a situation before trying to engage in conflict resolution. I’ll try to ask several questions to get a better idea of what’s happening and then try to calmly address the situation.

If your cash register was over by $5 at the end of the night, what would you do?

Answer: I would leave a note for my supervisor and store manager informing them of the situation.

Tell me about a time you experienced a stressful situation at work.

Answer: It was store closing, and we had several customers come into the retail location. They were intentionally trying to pull a prank on us. I decided the best way to handle the situation was to calmly address the group and inform the store manager and supervisor of the situation. It was stressful because we felt personally attacked.

How do you help customers make decisions?

Answer: First, I try to listen to the customer and their needs. Then provide them with several options to choose from. Options can always help make the customer feel like we’re thinking creatively about the situation and their personal desires. Then I try to help make a good decision by informing the customer of my own personal taste of products or merchandise and why I would choose something.

What are your salary expectations?

Answer: Since this is an hourly position and I noticed through the corporate website and PayScale.com that the average hourly compensation was around $15 per hour, I would be expecting somewhere in the $15 per hour range to the $20 per hour range.

What skill do you think is most applicable to this job?

Answer: I believe active-listening is the best skill to have for this job.

What’s one thing on your job application that you want me to see?

Answer: I’d like you to see my previous retail experience on my resume and how I assisted store managers with rearranging displays and handling merchandising tasks.

How do you handle difficult customers?

Answer: Calmly and trying to empathize with the customer as much as possible. Asking questions to get a better idea of the situation and then trying to promote ways to overcome the conflict or situation.

How do you measure success when it comes to customer satisfaction?

Answer: Either through anonymous notes through the corporate website or through a satisfied customer that speaks directly to me.

How do you coordinate with other associates on the sales floor?

Answer: By making sure that we aren’t doubling up our work. Clear communication and being able to articulate who is going to do what is important. And addressing the desired result or goal of our work.

What would you do if a customer asked you a question and you couldn't answer it?

Answer: I would first inform the customer that I'm new to Target as an employee. Then, inform them that I would like to consult with another colleague who has more information or knowledge of what they asked. I would ask them to stay where they were and then work quickly to find another colleague who can assist with the matter.

What type of pride would you bring to the workplace?

Answer: I have been a Target customer for years. This is a place that I want to replicate the experience that I've had for other customers. When customers approach me, I want to bring them joy. I don't simply want to answer their question and then move on with my day. It's about providing an optimal customer experience.

Where do you see yourself progressing at Target?

Answer: I would like to move into a management position. Being able to gain management experience is something that will assist me with my career. And I don't see any better place to be able to do that than Target.

What was your best experience at a Target store?

Answer: My parents and myself were picking up new chairs for our dining room. And they were heavy chairs. We had the assistance of all the Target agents and floor salespeople to assist us. It made the experience seamless. And it was something that made us feel like we were being cared for on an individual level. Rather than simply providing us the product and not thinking about how we are going to get the product home or into our vehicles.

Tell me about a time you demonstrated great teamwork.

Answer: I was working in a previous retail setting. And there was a customer who had asked me a question that I wasn't familiar with. I wanted to answer the question for the customer. But noticed that all associates were busy occupied with other customers. At that time, I decided it was best if I could ask for help. I asked our store manager, who was occupied, but I mentioned this was going to be an important skill for me to learn. And he/she understood and moved forward with helping me. This is an example of great teamwork because I wanted to learn but also was aware of my surroundings and wanted to make sure every associate was working efficiently.

What does great teamwork mean to you?

Answer: I'd like to tell a small story of great teamwork. A store manager previously asked our team to stay with the store later in the working hours to make sure that store stock was properly ordered and managed. Our inventory was simply out of control. During this time, job titles went away. And it was up to each person to decide how they might help with the process. I decided that I wanted to assist with counting and checking stock before it was put into the ordering system. I asked the rest of the team if this would be helpful. And it seemed to inspire other workers to want to define how they might be able to help with the process as it got started. Working as a team, supporting each other, and maintaining positive communication is key to being able to achieve goals for the business and operate quickly with a high standard of work.

Questions to Ask the Interviewer

Below are questions to ask the interviewer or recruiter at the end of the interview:

  • Can you tell me more about the hiring process and future interview process?
  • Will there be a second interview before the position is offered to me?
  • Is there any type of assessment test that needs to be taken in order to receive a job here?
  • What’s it like to be a Target employee?
  • What’s the training process like at Target?
  • Are there any benefits for seasonal employees?
  • What advice would you give to an interviewee who wants to work at Target?
  • Can you tell me what you personally value about the company culture here?
  • What are some of the short-term goals for the role?
  • What are some of the long-term goals for the role?
  • How would I be able to apply my problem-solving skills in this role?
  • Can you tell me more about what the onboarding process is like for this role?
  • What do you think the work-life balance will look like for this role?
  • When looking at me as a candidate, what do you think the team will value the most?
  • What are you most concerned about when it comes to myself as a candidate?
  • What skills do you feel every candidate should have in this role?
  • What is your personal management style?
  • Can you tell me more about what the hiring process has been like for this role?
  • What follow-up questions would you ask if you were trying to get hired in this role?
  • What competencies do you feel the team will value the most?
  • What are the long-term plans for the department or team I'm going to be working with?
  • What strengths and weaknesses do you feel this role should have more of?
  • What common interview questions would you advise someone to stop asking?
  • Give me a one-word answer of how you would describe the company's culture.
  • What goals should I have as a candidate in this role?
  • What are your goals for this role?
  • What are the goals the team has for this role?
  • What’s the biggest challenge you could see me getting enthusiastic about in this position?
  • What career advice do you think the previous employee in this role would want to provide me?

Asking questions at the end of the interview can show the potential employer that the candidate was engaged in the interview, practiced active-listening skills, and has a passion for moving onto the next round of interviews or for accepting the future job offer.

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.

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