Updated on August 21st, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Question 1 of 30
Tell me about a time when you led a team. What was your biggest success factor?
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How to Answer
The interviewer would like to hear about a time that you led a team, with a positive outcome. Showcase for the interviewer the primary factors that made your leadership style a success. Your example could come from the workplace or perhaps a time when you led a group project during your post-secondary studies. Home Depot hires outgoing; natural leaders so show the interviewer that you will fit in very well.
"Our company had a sales contest last month, and I was asked to be our team leader for the challenge. I enjoyed that responsibility, and we ended up winning the reward in the end because my team increased sales by the highest percentage. I believe the biggest factor in our success was the enthusiasm I brought to the team. Everyone was engaged, and wanted to win."
What would you do if a coworker asked you to help them steal?
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The interviewer would like to know how you would react if put in an awkward, or potentially harmful situation like being asked by a co-worker to steal with them. Theft can occur in many ways in the workplace and is not necessarily reserved to blatantly taking a product. Ensure that you are aware of the different ways a co-worker may try to pass stealing off as 'no big deal.'
- Timecard fabrication, also known as "buddy punching" where you punch in for a coworker who is not present
- 'Borrowing' money from the cash register
- Falsifying vendor or expense accounts
- Taking items from the lost and found
- Stealing data or documents containing trade secrets
- Taking expensive office supplies like ink, or adding personal items to supply orders
- Billing hours to clients that they did not work
Of course, you already know how to answer this question! Express that you would never engage in this type of behavior and discuss how you would go about reporting this type of situation. If this has happened to you in the past, you can talk about the case.
The interviewer would like to know if you can appropriately handle the stress related to this job. Discuss how you can thrive, even during the most stressful times. You can keep your answer brief. If you can, provide an example of a time when you implemented a stress-management technique in your current role.
"I am quite resilient to stress and believe this is because of my eight-plus years' experience being in a management role in a fast-paced environment. Under times of extreme stress, I make sure to give myself a breather whether that be a quick walk around the block or a couple of minutes on the phone with my wife who is great at bringing me back down to earth."
Tell me about your experience in working in retail.
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The interviewer wants you to bring your resume to life for them.
If you have experience, start off by giving the interviewer a brief overview of your experience by sharing where you have worked, your job title, and any individual achievements. Add a sentence or two about what your job duties were in each role as well. Be sure to mention that you look forward to continuing to work in retail industry roles.
If you do not have experience working in retail, you can express that you have a solid idea of what it means to deliver excellent customer service. Show the ways you have been dedicated in the past, perhaps to volunteer efforts or part of a school club or athletics team.
"I have not worked in retail, as this role with Home Depot would be my first official job; however, I do have experience working in a team environment as Captain of my college football team for the past two years. I know a lot about collaboration and dedication."
Tell me about the most rewarding experience you have had, working in a team environment. What made it so rewarding?
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The interviewer wants to hear that you feel accomplished through teamwork. Talk about a time when you felt fulfilled through a team setting or project collaboration. An example may be a time when you worked on a team project in University, a recent work collaboration, or possibly an extracurricular experience such as coaching a little league team. Discuss the positive results of the teamwork and how you attained a positive outcome as a group.
"Last Christmas, we were short staffed, and run off of our feet during the biggest shopping season of the year. The struggle, the overtime hours, but also the excitement of huge sales numbers, put our team on a type of high that I had not seen before. It was pure adrenaline and super exciting. This experience is by far the best team environment in which I have ever worked. I loved the excitement and the way we all banded together to ensure the success of our store."
6. Name your three best qualities. Think about the qualities that people have repeatedly commended you for. What are the typical attributes that you have received praise for at work, in school, or within your family? These qualities make great examples! Some examples might include your joyful attitude, your kindhearted spirit, your ability to help others, your knack for striking up a conversation, or your patience. Be sure to tie in how those qualities will benefit Home Depot, should they hire you. Here is an answer example: "I believe that my three top qualities are my attention to detail, my intuitiveness, and my ability to strike up a meaningful conversation with people of all ranges. These skills help me a great deal when working in a retail environment because I can quickly build rapport, trust, and then make solid product recommendations."7. What are some of your weaknesses? We all have things we can improve on, so do not be afraid to share them. The interviewer will likely take note of these things and may even provide you with additional training or mentor opportunities in these areas to help you excel.
The interviewer wants to hear that your weaknesses are not critical for the job to which you are applying. Think of a couple of things you could improve upon that are not necessary for the job, and openly share them with the interviewer. Here is an answer example: "I would say that my biggest weakness is in the lack of work experience that I do have; since I am newer to my career. With that said, I am a sponge when it comes to learning new skills and am confident that the time you take to train me will be swift and simple."8. How do you define good customer service? Start off by telling the interviewer that excellent customer service means having a positive attitude, and creating a great experience for customers while doing what it takes to ensure customers come back to your store. Tell the interviewer that great customer service is dropping what you are doing to happily assist a customer, greeting them when they walk through the door and asking them if you can help them find something. Here is an answer example: "I love to deliver great customer service, and I define this by a few factors. First, do my customers feel listened to? Did they find choices related to their needs? Also, was I able to give them the product knowledge they needed to make an informed decision? Home Depot is known for delivering exceptional customer experience, and I plan to compliment this in every way, should I be hired."9. When faced with a problem, how do you decide on the best solution? There may be more than one solution to a problem, and the interviewer would like to know how you make a final choice when you're in a situation like that. Efficiently comparing and contrasting, or weighing the pros and cons, is essential when choosing the best way to solve a problem. The interviewer wants to see that you are capable when it comes to calculating risk vs. reward. Think about a time when you have compared the risk and reward to a potential solution. Here is an answer example: "If I have a problem with multiple solutions, I always go back to the classic pros vs. cons method. I fully understand that although no solution is perfect, and some solutions offer lesser sacrifice while others pose potential loss. I have been trained to take the solution that is 'closest to the money' which means that if I am stuck between a rock and a hard place, I will choose the solution that is most beneficial to the company's bottom line."10. Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond for customer service. Talking about a time when you calmed an upset customer can be an excellent example for this question. Be ready to talk about the time you went above and beyond with handling a customer complaint. Explain how you listened to every word the customer had to say. Next, describe how you apologized to the customer with a calm voice and sincere heart. Finally, be sure to tell the interviewer what solution you offered the customer. Perhaps you did not charge them for a meal if it was in a restaurant. Maybe you offered a new dish for them to try. Be sure to close with how happy the customer was when they left!
Or, you may approach the question with something you have done during the ordinary course of the day to go above and beyond for your customers. For example, if you work at a grocery store, you might share that you walk the customers out to their car when customer levels allow and assist them with loading the groceries in their vehicle. Here is an answer example: "I go above and beyond in customer service by keeping my eyes out for opportunities to help. I do this in my daily life, outside of work as well. Whether that be to help someone with a heavy package, holding the elevator door for them, or reaching something on the top shelf."11. Do you shop at Home Depot? If you do not regularly shop at Home Depot, we recommend that you make a visit to their store before your interview, so you understand the company culture and shopping experience before arriving at your meeting. When asked this question, you can say, "Yes, I have shopped at Home Depot!" If you regularly visit Home Depot, that's great! Tell the interviewer that you are a regular, and specify why you like the store so much. Here is an answer example: "Yes, I have shopped at Home Depot!"12. Describe a time when you disliked company rules in your last job. The interviewer wants to hear that you are not a rule breaker, and you support the rules the company has put into place. Tell the interviewer that you follow all of the company rules and are supportive of the leadership decisions the company makes regarding regulations. After all, there had to be some logic to their professional decision! Here is an answer example: "I understand that there will be times when I dislike the rules at work, and that is okay. I do not always need to agree. So long as nobody is hurt or dishonest, I will follow the rules. There are processes and procedures in place that I will not know everything about, and I accept that. For instance, my current company incorporated split shifts. I do not agree with them because they affect work/life balance; however, I also understand that they are a cost-saving measure for the company."13. Why should we not hire you? This interview question is similar to 'What are your weaknesses?'. This question can be tricky to answer because you do not want to be a hundred percent honest and lay out all the reasons the interviewer should not hire you. Start your answer by saying there is no reason not to hire you. Just tell the interviewer that you would be a great employee, and confidently share that there is no reason not to hire you! You might wrap it up by sharing that you are customer focused, have a proven employment record, and you love Home Depot! Here is an answer example: "I understand that I come from one of your competitors so I hope that you can see why it would be a benefit to your company, versus a hindrance. I know how to overcome objections and close a sale, and have been the top retail sales rep for the past six months running."14. How strong is your knowledge of power tools? Be honest with the interviewer about your knowledge of power tools. If you have a lot of knowledge and experience, that is great! If not, just tell the interviewer that you do not know a lot and you look forward to learning all about the tools sold at Home Depot. The interviewer will likely ensure you receive extra training when you start, to help you learn the ins-and-outs of their products. Here is an answer example: "I would rate my power tool knowledge as intermediate level. I have used them for various projects around the home but certainly still have a lot to learn. I look forward to taking my existing interest and elevating that with your Home Depot product training program."15. Do you see yourself a leader? When have you led a team? Perhaps you have led a club at work, been a coach for a youth sports team, or were on the advisory board for a non-profit organization. You should always be prepared to show the interviewer that you have a natural ability to lead others. Whether you have led a group of 500 or a team of 2, you must display to the interviewer that you are capable of handling the responsibility that comes with being a leader and mentor.
Talk about your desire to be a leader. Share with the interviewer that you strive to be a role model for others. Explain that you jump at the opportunity to lead groups, encourage your counterparts, and be a face of the organization when challenges arise. Here is an answer example: "In my current position, I am the president of the social committee. I love that I have the opportunity to encourage employee engagement while being a positive influence on the workplace culture. I am a natural leader because I start with leading by example. As a leader, I make myself available to others who need mentor-ship, a bit of assistance in adjusting to their role, or just a listening ear when they've had a tough day. I am confident in my leadership abilities and look forward to joining your team in a leadership role."16. Tell me about a time when you did not have enough time to complete all assigned tasks. How did you prioritize? Start off by telling the interviewer that you are typically an organized person and achieve everything on time. Share how you usually organize your work. You might share that you keep a to-do list of all the objectives that you must complete, keep your electronic calendar up-to-date and that you spend 5-10 minutes at the beginning of your day reviewing your calendar for the day as well as prioritizing your to-do list for that day.
Next, share a time when you failed to get an assigned task done on time due to something outside of your control. Perhaps you were sick, an emergency arose, or someone else called in sick for the day changing your priorities. Share how you prioritized your time with the goal of achieving the deadline, and share why you were not able to achieve it on time. Finally, be sure to wrap it up by reiterating that you are usually a deadline driven person, and you almost always complete everything on time. Here is an answer example: "I am always diligent when it comes to deadlines. However, once I remember having an abnormally large order from a regular client once. I was a little stressed about making sure it was perfect, so I put in four overtime hours to meet the expectation. It felt great to deliver high-quality service."17. How well would you say you know our departments and what we sell? Be honest with the interviewer about your knowledge of departments and what is sold. If you have a lot of knowledge and experience on the Home Depot products, that is great! If not, just tell the interviewer that you do not know a lot and you look forward to learning. You might say that you know the basics and that Home Depot offers plumbing, lighting, paint, flooring, appliance, electrical, garden, and tool department. You might also mention that you know Home Depot sells quality washers/dryers, kitchen appliances, tools, paint, patio furniture, flowers, plumbing, and much more! Here is an answer example: "I have shopped primarily in your paint department and also purchased by flowers and patio furniture from Home Depot this past year. I love your affordable prices but also the fact that you have great quality offerings as well. I am interested in learning more about your other departments."18. Where do you see yourself in the Home Depot organization in two years? The interviewer wants to hear that you have realistic career progression expectations within Home Depot. Interviewing, hiring, and onboarding is an expensive and time-consuming endeavor for any company. The interviewer wants to know that, if engaged, you will see this as a longer-term fit. Discuss your career plans, goals, and how those fit with what this company is offering. Describe your passion for this opportunity, and what you like about the company for which you are applying. Tell the interviewer that you are excited about joining the team at Home Depot!
If you are a student, tell the interviewer that you plan to stay at Home Depot through graduation in the role that you are hired into, and then share what career or further education you hope to be pursuing following graduation. If Home Depot offers jobs in your field, such as management, be sure to mention that you would be open to considering a career in your area at Home Depot if one is available upon graduation. Here is an answer example: "My two-year plan is to join your organization and earn my way into a floor manager position. I have a great deal of experience with team management, customer dispute, and inventory. I believe you will see me well-suited for a management role in a short amount of time."19. How do you expect to make a difference at Home Depot? The interviewer wants to hear that you are excited about working at Home Depot and have thought about how you can make a positive impact while working there. Think about what kind of impact you could make, if hired.
Ways to make a difference:
- Creating a favorable environment for customers by smiling, asking them if you can help them find something, and providing them with excellent service.
- Building business relationships with your co-workers, so everyone looks forward to coming to work each day.
- By helping ensure a place where parents and children come to buy supplies for their first DIY project!
Whatever comes to mind that you are passionate about, share it with the interviewer! Here is an answer example: "I expect to make a difference at Home Depot by bringing positive energy to the store every day. I will also ensure that my product knowledge in my department is top-notch so that the customers are always confident in their purchase."20. How well do you handle customer complaints? Successfully addressing customer complaints is an essential part of customer service, and the interviewer wants to hear that you are okay talking through a customer's complaint. Start off by telling the interviewer that you do not mind addressing customer complaints, and you recognize that most customers have good intentions when coming forth with a complaint.
Tell the interviewer that you take time to listen to everything the customer has to say first to ensure you truly understand what they are upset about. Next, share that you make eye contact with the customer and sincerely apologize to them. Finally, be sure to mention that you offer to correct any mistakes that were made or take the appropriate action to rectify the situation. Here is an answer example: "I handle customer complaints very well, and usually quite quickly. I understand that every upset customer wants to know that they are being listened to, and I do that very well. My listening skills are strong, and I can make suggestions for a resolution that works well for the customer, and my employer."21. Why do you want to work at Home Depot? The interviewer wants to hear that you are looking forward to working at Home Depot. Home Depot is focused on encouraging people to take on DIY projects. Tell the interviewer why you look forward to being a part of something as an employee of Home Depot. Recognize that you would be helping families take on DIY projects. Be mindful that you would be educating them on selecting great new gadgets for their homes. And, acknowledge that you would be the setting for people to make selections for creating their dream home! Be excited to share that you would get to be a part of something great by being an employee at Home Depot. Here is an answer example: "I love DIY, construction projects, and being creative in my own home, so the idea of helping others make their vision become a reality is a stimulating thought for me. The products at Home Depot are ones that I am passionate about and will have no problem promoting to your loyal customers."22. If you found a twenty dollar bill in the parking lot, what would you do? You would turn the money in at the member service desk or to a store manager! The interviewer needs to hear that you are honest and ethical. In this situation, the best thing to do is to turn the money in, and it is what the interviewer expects to hear from you. Here is an answer example: "I could never keep money that was not mine. Perhaps the person who dropped the money may desperately need that $20 today, and turning it in would give them a better chance of finding the money."23. Why do you feel you will be better suited for this job than the rest of the applicants? The interviewer wants to hear what unique skills you will bring to Home Depot, over anyone else. Bragging about yourself can be challenging, but you need to be able to show the interviewer, humbly, that you are the best person for the job. Tell the interviewer what sets you apart, and explain how your co-workers, family members, and friends have encouraged this trait in you. Here is an answer example: "I feel that I am the best suited for this job because of my existing experience in customer service as well as the fact that I have training in upselling and customer dispute resolution. I have a passion for DIY home projects and my knowledge of many Home Depot products is already solid."24. Can work in a team environment here at Home Depot? Home Depot is a team environment, and the interviewer wants to hear that you enjoy being a part of a team. Start off by telling the interviewer that you like being a part of a team. Share that you are open to mentoring/training new team members once you have learned your role. Tell the interviewer that you can fill in for team members who might be ill as long as you have a little notice to re-arrange your schedule. Discuss how you look forward to celebrating team member birthdays and work anniversaries. And, mention that you look forward to achieving goals together as a group. Here is an answer example: "I can work in a team environment! I crave the camaraderie that comes with a group based work environment and look forward to being a positive addition to your team here at Home Depot."25. What is a must have tool for any home improvement project? Think about what tools you most commonly use on your home projects. Or, what tools have you most widely seen other people using? You might say:
- A cordless drill
- A level
- A measuring tape
- Miter Saw
Be prepared to share your favorite, and give one example of common use of the tool. Here is an answer example: "If I had to choose one tool, I would say a cordless drill is incredibly important. There are so many attachments available which make this tool very multi-purpose."26. Do you prefer working in a team environment or alone? Home Depot is very much a team environment. Start off by telling the interviewer that you prefer the team environment, and you are great at working alone too! If you had to choose one over the other, you would pick a team environment of course - because you're applying for a job in retail! Here is an answer example: "I like being part of a team, so if I had to pick one over the other, I would say that working as part of a team would be my preference. With that said, I can complete projects independently as needed."27. Tell me about a time when you had to work with someone you didn't get along with? The interviewer wants to hear that you handle conflict appropriately in the workplace. Start off by sharing with the interviewer that you typically get along with your co-workers great, but from time-to-time, you might disagree with someone.
Next, think of a time when you had a conflict with a co-worker. Tell the interviewer a brief overview of why you had a disagreed. Discuss how you ensured that you did not embarrass the individual by pulling them aside into a private space to have the conversation. Tell the interviewer that instead of continuing to be frustrated, it was better to talk about the situation to resolve it.
Finally, be sure to mention that the person continued to have a respectful relationship with you following the conversation due to the way that you handled the situation. Here is an answer example: "I recently worked with someone who didn't come to work on time. She was inconsistent, and I often needed to cover her shifts. I did end up talking to her, letting her know how her choices affected me. She apologized, but the situation did not improve. Eventually, she was terminated."28. Tell me about your latest DIY project. Think about a recent DIY project you have done. This can be anything from remodeling your home to putting on new light plate covers or painting in your apartment. If you attended a DIY class at Home Depot to learn how to do your project, be sure to mention that as well. Here is an answer example: "I recently decided to take on the refinishing of my hardwood floors. The Home Depot location closest to me was offering a free workshop on how to strip wood flooring, so I took that. That class gave me the confidence that I needed. They turned out so well!"29. What are your salary expectations? In many states, it is now illegal for hiring authorities to ask about your current earnings. A question like this will give the interviewer a solid idea of what you are hoping to earn. When you change positions, you want to see an increase in wage. Most interviewees will typically aim for a 7-15% increase for each time they change jobs. This range offers room for negotiations with the new company. This percentage increase reflects economic inflation, unique skills you bring to the table from the last time you joined an organization, and an increase in responsibilities. The best way to discuss your salary expectations is to use your current earnings as an example if you are comfortable doing so. If this makes you uncomfortable, do give as many indicators as you can. Be open, and honest. Transparency is the best choice when salary based questions arise.
If you are newer to your career, or the area, and are unsure of what a fair ask may be, there are many reliable salary calculators available online. Here is an answer example: "Currently, I earn a base salary of $45,000 per year, and I would like to earn slightly higher in my next position, as I have additional certifications since my last salary negotiation took place."30. What is your availability? Before you offer up your evenings and weekends, be sure that you are clear on what they need from you for this position. Typically the hours are laid out in the job description, but if it only says "part-time" or "full-time," you may want to respond first with, "What hours do you need me to work?" Once the interviewer has laid out the expectations, you can tell them, "That sounds great! I'm available on those days, and I can offer my weekends if I am needed as well."
You want to show them that you're excited about the job and that you are willing to make yourself available to work when they need you. Here is an answer example: "part-time"
Author of Home Depot Answers and Questions
Rachelle Enns is a job search expert, executive headhunter, career catalyst, and interview coach. Utilized by top talent from Fortune companies like Microsoft, General Electric, and Nestle, she helps professionals position themselves in today's competitive digital marketplace.
Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume and Executive Resume Solutions, two companies focused on helping job seekers get their edge back. She helps everyone from new graduates looking for their first placement, to CEO's who want more out of their career.
Rachelle coaches students to executives on how to master the toughest interview questions and how to handle the most bizarre interview situations; all with confidence and poise.
Rachelle trains other career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers, globally. A big part of her job is also spent coaching HR professionals on how to bring the human touch back into their interview and hiring process.
First written on: 02/08/2014 Last modified on: 08/21/2018
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