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Coles Supermarkets Interview
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32 Questions and Answers by Jordan Henry

Published July 13th, 2018 | Jordan Henry is a resume specialist with additional experience in career development and cover letter writing.
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Question 1 of 32
In a retail environment, staff turnover is often high. How would you handle it if your co-worker did not show up for their shift?
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How to Answer
Employees at Coles Supermarkets must be adaptable and flexible. Assure the interviewer that you are a team player and are happy to step in if your manager needed a shift covered at the last minute.
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Answer Examples
1.
In a retail environment, staff turnover is often high. How would you handle it if your co-worker did not show up for their shift?
Employees at Coles Supermarkets must be adaptable and flexible. Assure the interviewer that you are a team player and are happy to step in if your manager needed a shift covered at the last minute.

Jordan's Answer #1
"I know that my coworkers and managers rely on every team-member to show up for their shifts on time and prepared to work. If my manager needed me to come in at the last minute to cover someone's shift, I would be more than happy to fill in. I want my coworkers and managers to see me as a willing and excited team player."
Jordan's Answer #2
"I'm in a position right now where I have plenty of free time, and my schedule is very flexible. As long as I'm available, I'm always happy to cover a coworker's shift if they're unable to make it. I've also volunteered to stay late to help cover shifts that coworkers didn't show up for, and I'd almost always be able to do that at Coles as well."
2.
At Coles Supermarkets we have a very clear return policy. How would you handle a customer who was arguing with you about a potential return?
As a Coles Supermarkets employee, you will come across customers who want to argue with store policy. Assure the interviewer that you can handle a situation like this with poise while making the customer happy and keeping the needs of the company in mind as well.

Jordan's Answer #1
"Return policies are meant to be followed; however, there may be some exceptions allowed from time to time. I feel that having a satisfied customer is most important, and sometimes refusing a return is not worth the bad word of mouth or risk of negative online review. There is a fine balance between being accommodating and being a pushover. If I were unsure of the best decision, I would ask my supervisor for clarification."
Jordan's Answer #2
"I have some dispute resolution training from my previous retail position and fully believe that flexibility needs to be offered in extreme situations."
3.
What is the most competitive work situation you have experienced? How did you handle it? What was the result?
Retail environments like Coles Supermarkets may offer opportunities for friendly competition with your coworkers and other stores in your district and region. Tell the interviewer about your experience in competitive environments, whether this was racing others to achieve the highest sales, working towards a promotion, or eagerly trying to win a new contract. Show the interviewer that you rose to the challenge and that you were excited to push yourself to be the best. It is a definite plus if you have cheered on your competitors and helped them along the way. Be sure to mention any successful outcome.

Jordan's Answer #1
"My current sales position is highly commission based, so my colleagues and I are quite competitive. Even when we compete, we have a great work environment where we help each other when someone is struggling to meet their quota. We coach each other on sales techniques and share success stories. The result has been a positive work environment with healthy competition."
Jordan's Answer #2
"Last year I worked at a high-end jewelry store where sales goals were intense and the rewards were high. I am geared for healthy competition, so sales contests greatly motivated mI ended up winning 7 of the 12 contests! I won an iPad, cash incentives, and concert tickets. It was great."
4.
What are your salary expectations?
Do some research to determine what to expect from a position at Coles Supermarkets, and use your current earnings to talk about your expectations. Be open and honest. Transparency is the best choice when salary based questions arise.

Jordan's Answer #1
"I currently make $15 per hour and generally work between 25 and 35 hours per week. I'm hoping to stay in the same range or slightly higher."
Jordan's Answer #2
"I currently make minimum wage, and I'm happy to begin a position at Coles in that same range. I'm hopeful that my hard work and dedication to the team will earn me a promotion or pay increase after some time. Does Coles have any merit-based bonuses or pay-scale increases?"
5.
Personality fit is important to us at Coles Supermarkets. How would you describe your personality?
When you work at Coles Supermarkets, you are one part of a larger team. Your personality will play a part in whether the interviewer believes you would be a good fit for the team. Talk to the interviewer about your personality -- such as introverted, energetic, or confident -- as opposed to your character -- such as honest, hard-working, or reliable.

Jordan's Answer #1
"I would describe my personality as approachable, light-hearted, and positive. I believe that, if asked, my colleagues and supervisor would say the same about me."
Jordan's Answer #2
"I am a confident communicator, and I'm very friendly! My last boss, Trish, always described me as a go-getter; I enjoy challenges and pushing myself to achieve new goals."
6.
Why is this job with Coles Supermarkets right for you at this time in your career?
A position at Coles Supermarkets will provide you with plenty of benefits in the present while also allowing for opportunities to move up in the company in the future. Discuss with the interviewer why you are looking to make a change, and how a position at Coles fits well with the changes that you want to make. Be thoughtful and draw upon the research you have done on the company.

Jordan's Answer #1
"I have been interested in seeking a new position for quite some time but haven't jumped on anything yet because I want to make sure it's the right fit. I feel that this job is right for me, especially at this point in my career, because it offers an opportunity for me to utilize my recent education in Communications while giving me an opportunity to advance in my management skills."
Jordan's Answer #2
"This job will fit perfectly surrounding my school schedule. I hope once I complete my education that I can be given full-time hours for the summer. I am excited to work for Coles Supermarkets because of the flexibility you offer students, as well as the growth potential."
7.
This position requires a flexible schedule as we are open evenings, weekends, and most holidays. Are you able to commit to these hours?
Retail jobs such as positions at Coles Supermarkets require a wide range of hours that may include evenings, weekends, holidays, overtime, and split shifts. Assure the interviewer that you can commit to a wide range of hours. If there is anything in your schedule that may hinder your availability, be sure to address this.

Jordan's Answer #1
"I am happy to offer a flexible schedule, and to work overtime as needed. I do take an evening college course on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so I would not be available those days after 5 PM."
Jordan's Answer #2
"I understand that this role will include working evenings, weekends, and holidays. I am available to work anytime and am happy to work overtime as well."
8.
Have you researched our company values? What makes you the best candidate for Coles Supermarkets?
Being knowledgeable about the Coles Supermarkets brand and customer is incredibly important -- any information you know about the company's values will set you apart from other candidates. Spend some time exploring the Coles website and becoming familiar with their core values: 'Giving Aussie families the products they need for a happy, healthy home life, at prices they can afford.' Discuss with the hiring manager why you think you are the top choice for this role with Coles Supermarkets.

Jordan's Answer #1
"I'm so appreciative of Coles Supermarkets' dedication to putting Australian business first and sourcing quality local products. I would love to be a part of an organization that is encouraging Aussie farmers and sustainability."
Jordan's Answer #2
"I recently learned about the Coles Nurture Fund, and I am so impressed with their dedication to investing in Australian innovations in the food industry -- they've invested so much in small business and developers who want to create new market-leading products, technologies, and processes."
9.
At Coles Supermarkets we firmly believe in grooming our employees into management roles as they show potential. Are you interested in potential leadership roles with us?
Many seasonal or entry-level employees at Coles Supermarkets go on to explore other career options such as store management, district level leadership and even corporate opportunities. Talk to the interviewer about any interest you have in gaining a leadership role down the road.

Jordan's Answer #1
"I would be very excited about obtaining a role in leadership within Coles Supermarkets in the future. I'm confident that you will find that my hard work and attention to detail will make me well-suited for a leadership position in the future as you feel I'm ready."
Jordan's Answer #2
"I have been in an unofficial leadership role for the past three years of my career, so I think a management role with Coles Supermarkets would be a great next step in my career!"
10.
In this role you will be required to handle customer transactions. On a scale of 1-10 how strong are your mathematical skills?
Strong math skills are an asset for associates at Coles Supermarkets. Assure the interviewer that you are comfortable with the skills associated with math-related tasks.

Jordan's Answer #1
"I did very well in math during high school and am comfortable with the skills involved in accepting cash, balancing a cash float, and performing inventory-related tasks."
Jordan's Answer #2
"My math skills are strong, and I am confident that I can meet your expectations when it comes to accepting payment from customers."
11.
How do you like to be recognized for your accomplishments?
The managers at Coles Supermarkets will be focused on nurturing a positive work environment and strong team, so they'll be sure to offer feedback on your work as well as recognition of your accomplishments. Share with the interviewer how you would want credit for your hard work. Through gifts? Financial perks? Public recognition? Kind words? Title promotions?

Jordan's Answer #1
"I am very much an over-achiever and find that the best way for me to be recognized for a job well done is through words of kindness and recognition. I am easily encouraged, and the best reward for me is to know that my hard work is noticed."
Jordan's Answer #2
"As a sales professional, I am driven by a challenge with a financial perk. Sales contests, for example, are a great way to motivate me."
12.
How do you handle situations that could cause you to be late or miss work?
At Coles Supermarkets, promptness is important -- your team members are relying on you to be on time and ready to start work. It's always better to be a few minutes early for a shift. Make sure that your interviewer knows that you always plan for traffic, bad weather, and any other situation that could make you late for your shift. Your interviewer wants to know that you are proactive and that you can handle the stress of unexpected situations that affect arriving to work on time.

Jordan's Answer #1
"I stay calm and composed when issues arise. My dad got rear ended one time when driving me to school. I texted my friend to see if she could tell my teacher what happened. I explained the situation to my teacher when I got to class. If this happened on my way to work, I would call ahead of time to ensure someone could cover my shift."
Jordan's Answer #2
"I hope never to be late! When I started working at a restaurant at sixteen years old, we were taught the adage of 'if you're on time, you're late,' so I've worked to implement that into my life. I always try to arrive 15 minutes early, but unforeseen circumstances can arise from time to time. I handle surprises using common sense and keeping courtesy to others in mind."
13.
Do you have reliable transportation?
The management team at Coles Supermarkets needs to know that you will be able to make it to work consistently and on time. Let the interviewer know about your transportation plans, whether that includes driving, walking, taking public transit, or riding your bike.

Jordan's Answer
"I have a well-maintained vehicle, and I am comfortable with the amount of travel required to get to the store every day."
14.
What do you hope to learn from this job at Coles Supermarkets?
Employees at Coles Supermarkets have the opportunity to learn a wide variety of skills. Share what you are looking to get out of the experience. Review the job description and information about related careers to help you get a better idea of what you have to look forward to. Discuss how this position will help you in your career.

Jordan's Answer #1
"I am looking to lay the foundation for the rest of my career with this position. I love helping people and am excited about the chance to learn more about customer service. I'm also an artist and love building things, so I'm also hoping that I get a chance to learn more about creating store displays."
Jordan's Answer #2
"I hope to gain stronger skills in communication and customer service. I understand that retail can be challenging because of the multiple personalities you are faced with on a daily basis. I believe this will help my confidence grow and my sales skills as well."
15.
How do you feel about performance incentives?
Performance incentives can be very motivating, and you may have opportunities to take advantage of such incentives as an associate at Coles Supermarkets. Talk to the interviewer about your feelings regarding performance incentives.

Jordan's Answer #1
"I think performance incentives are a great idea -- they keep me motivated to do a great job, and I like knowing that I'm part of ensuring that our team is on top of our KPI's. I'm extremely motivated by being rewarded for my successes."
Jordan's Answer #2
"I've never worked in a position that offers performance incentives, but that's never stopped me from staying motivated. However, small perks are always nice to have!"
More Interview Q&As
Explore expert tips and resources to be more confident in your next interview.
Behavioral
Common
Phone
Tough
Leadership
All Interview Topics
All Career Q&As
Suggested Career
Interview Q&As
Continue practicing by visiting these similar question sets
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32 Coles Supermarkets Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.
Interview Questions
  1. In a retail environment, staff turnover is often high. How would you handle it if your co-worker did not show up for their shift?
  2. At Coles Supermarkets we have a very clear return policy. How would you handle a customer who was arguing with you about a potential return?
  3. What is the most competitive work situation you have experienced? How did you handle it? What was the result?
  4. What are your salary expectations?
  5. Personality fit is important to us at Coles Supermarkets. How would you describe your personality?
  6. Why is this job with Coles Supermarkets right for you at this time in your career?
  7. This position requires a flexible schedule as we are open evenings, weekends, and most holidays. Are you able to commit to these hours?
  8. Have you researched our company values? What makes you the best candidate for Coles Supermarkets?
  9. At Coles Supermarkets we firmly believe in grooming our employees into management roles as they show potential. Are you interested in potential leadership roles with us?
  10. In this role you will be required to handle customer transactions. On a scale of 1-10 how strong are your mathematical skills?
  11. How do you like to be recognized for your accomplishments?
  12. How do you handle situations that could cause you to be late or miss work?
  13. Do you have reliable transportation?
  14. What do you hope to learn from this job at Coles Supermarkets?
  15. How do you feel about performance incentives?
  16. How can Coles Supermarkets motivate you on the job?
  17. Describe to me your ideal employer.
  18. We need reliable people on our team at Coles Supermarkets. How many days were you absent from work last year?
  19. What type of work environment do you dislike working in?
  20. How do you handle a situation where your supervisor does not properly communicate information to you?
  21. What type of manager brings out the best in you?
  22. Tell me about a time when you made a suggestion requesting change in an organization.
  23. At Coles Supermarkets we like to hire strong achievers. Give me an example of a time when you went above and beyond.
  24. Take me through your experience in retail. What was the most challenging position you have held? Which was your favorite, and why?
  25. You will be responsible for a large amount of cash and valuable merchandise at Coles Supermarkets. What would your most recent employer say about your character and honesty?
  26. Working in a retail environment, you will sometimes come across rude customers. How would you handle a customer who is aggressive towards you or a co-worker?
  27. Tell me 3 qualities you possess that make you a strong fit for this position with Coles Supermarkets.
  28. In our retail stores we take pride in our merchandising and displays. Do you consider yourself to be a creative person, capable of making an attractive retail display?
  29. This position requires you to wear a uniform to work. Have you worn a uniform in the workplace before? How do you feel about this?
  30. We have a strong employee honesty program in place at Coles Supermarkets to prevent loss. What would you do if you discovered that a co-worker was stealing product or money?
  31. What do you know about Coles Supermarkets? Why do you want to work for us?
  32. Coles Supermarkets puts customer service first. How do you ensure that you always put the customers' needs first?
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