Performance incentives can be very motivating, and you may have opportunities to take advantage of such incentives as an employee of Navy Exchange Service Command. Talk to the interviewer about your feelings regarding performance incentives.
"I think performance incentives are a great idea -- they keep me motivated to do a good job, and I like knowing that I'm part of ensuring that my team stays on top of our KPIs. I'm extremely motivated by being rewarded for my successes."
"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!"
Do some research to determine how you can expect to be compensated at Navy Exchange Service Command, and use your current earnings to talk about your expectations. Be open and honest. Transparency is the best choice when salary-based questions arise.
"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."
The management team at Navy Exchange Service Command wants to know how best to motivate every member of their team. Talk to the interviewer about the variety of ways in which you find motivation on the job.
"I am best motivated through words of praise and recognition for a job well done. I like to know that my efforts are noticed. In my current position, we have a leader board -- I like that concept because it creates a healthy bit of personal competition for me as well."
"I am very much self-driven and self-motivated. As long as I am being treated with respect and feel appreciated, you will get the best work from me."
A job search isn't just a one-sided hunt. You must also feel as though a job at Navy Exchange Service Command is a good fit for you. Tell the interviewer about your ideal employer. Be specific, and be sure to keep the conversation positive. Avoid speaking poorly of any previous managers or organizations.
"My ideal employer is one that brings charisma and passion to their work. I work best with organizations who have a penchant for learning and promote their employees based on performance."
"My ideal employer is reliable, has a good reputation, and treats me like a unique individual versus just a number."
Being a Navy Exchange Service Command employee means being reliable and consistent. Make sure the interviewer knows that you respect your coworkers and managers enough to always show up for your assigned shifts. You can be honest about a time you had to miss a shift; be sure to mention that you followed all of the protocols for calling off of work.
"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 one person doesn't show up for their shift, that means that everyone else has to work harder. I've never skipped work without a good reason, and I always make sure to call in with plenty of advance notice so that my managers and coworkers are prepared to cover the shift. I've never had an unexcused absence from work."
"I am very committed to my employer and am only absent in events of sickness or the odd family emergency. I do my best to be available and present when expected. When I got the flu last year and had to be absent from work for three days, I made sure to inform my managers as soon as I could and bring a doctor's note with me when I returned to work."
An interview isn't just about determining if you're right for the Navy Exchange -- it's also about making sure that a job at Navy Exchange is right for you. Are you pretty flexible in your ability to work in most environments? Have you experienced a position where the atmosphere wasn't conducive to your productivity? Make sure you're familiar with the environment at Navy Exchange Service Command.
"I can be productive in most work environments, so long as the energy is positive and teamwork is encouraged. I cannot work in an environment that feels negative or toxic."
"I do best in a supportive environment where there is room to grow, the ability to ask questions, and healthy co-worker relationships."
Your personality will play a role in whether the interviewer believes you would be a good fit for the Navy Exchange 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.
"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."
"I am a confident communicator, and I'm really friendly! I love engaging new people in conversation. My last boss, Ricardo, always described me as a go-getter; I enjoy challenges and pushing myself to achieve new goals."
The environment at Navy Exchange stores is fast-paced; though supervisors have the best intentions, some information may fall through the cracks and your managers may not always communicate with you in a way that you prefer. Describe your communication preferences and tell the interviewer how you have handled interactions with supervisors in the past.
"Whenever I have had a supervisor who does not properly communicate with me, I try to learn their style of communication and emulate it. Sometimes you have to relate to others in their style to be understood."
"I have had great supervisors in my previous positions; however, if faced with a communication challenge like this, I would ask the supervisor how I could improve communication between us. Rather than placing blame, I believe it's always more effective to ask for growth recommendations."
Managers at Navy Exchange stores work hard to ensure a healthy team, which starts with supporting individual associates. Show the interviewer that you are self-aware and understand the type of manager or employer that brings out the best in you, whether that is a close working relationship with a lot of accountability or a more hands-off approach where you have autonomy. If you are unsure of your preference, try to make your answer as open as possible.
"I have worked with a wide range of personalities and management styles with great success. If I could express a preference, I feel that I am best with a manager who allows me autonomy while still investing time in me through mentorship and training. Can you describe the management style here?"
"In the past, I have worked best with managers who are strong mentors but also offer autonomy when it comes to the tasks they know I am well-versed in."
A position at Navy Exchange Service Command 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 Navy Exchange fits well with the changes that you want to make. Be thoughtful and draw upon the research you have done on the company.
"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."
"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 Navy Exchange Service Command because of the flexibility you offer students, as well as the growth potential."
Retail environments like Navy Exchange stores may offer opportunities for friendly competition with your coworkers and other stores in your district and region. Tell your interviewer about your experience in competitive environments, whether that meant 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.
"My current sales position is highly commission-based, so my colleagues and I are quite competitive. Even when we're competing, 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."
"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 our sales contests really motivated me.I ended up winning 7 of the 12 contests! I won an iPad, cash incentives, and concert tickets. It was great."
The most successful organizations are always growing and adapting to better serve their customers, and Navy Exchange Service Command is no exception. In addition to being able to handle change, can you also recognize when change is required and be confident enough to present that to your organization? Talk to the interviewer about a time when you were able to suggest a change in the workplace.
"Last year when I was managing our weekend shift, I noticed a pretty solid opportunity for us to save on overtime hours. I created a presentation and gave it to my manager who took it to upper management. The changes were implemented, and I was very proud of the suggestion that I made."
"When I began my most recent job at a family run shop, the owners operated based on trust and didn't have a loss prevention plan. I suggested that we install a couple of cameras inside the store to deter anyone from stealing. So far, we have seen a 56% decline in the overall loss."
Retail environments like Navy Exchange Service Command 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.
"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."
"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."
At Navy Exchange stores, customer service and being a team player always come first. Display to the interviewer that you can do more than the bare minimum. Show that you can react appropriately when you see that your employer has a need that goes beyond your usual day-to-day expectations.
"Last week I noticed that my manager had not completed the schedule for the following week. Some of the staff were complaining that they didn't have their work schedule yet. Rather than going to my manager with the complaint, I offered to take on some of her workload so that she would have the time to complete the schedule. We worked together for a couple of overtime hours that day and were able to catch her up on everything. It felt good to help but also benefited me by way of organization."
"Just yesterday I had a customer make a purchase, and I noticed that she was struggling with her belongings. She had a stroller, a couple of kids, and a lot of bags to carry. I offered to help her out to her car, and she gratefully accepted. It felt excellent to go above the call of duty that day."
Excellent customer service is a vital component to the success of Navy Exchange stores. If you have experience in retail or customer-service, walk the interviewer through your job history and describe your favorite and most challenging roles. If you don't have any retail experience, that's okay! You have likely gained many of the skills necessary to serve customers in your other professional and personal relationships -- and you can let the interviewer know that you are excited to make the transition to retail and learn more about the industry.
"I have worked in retail for the past eight years. My most challenging position was with Company ABC. I found it so challenging because it was a different industry than I was accustomed. I learned a great deal during that time. This position was also my favorite because it was such a great challenge. I like to be pushed beyond my boundaries. It keeps me motivated to be better."
"While I haven't yet worked in a retail environments, I'm excited to get started! I love learning new things, especially when it comes to working with and serving other people. In college, I worked in a writing lab where I helped younger students correct their essays and prepare for English exams. It was a challenging job, but I learned so much about listening to people's needs, practicing patience, and helping frustrated students feel more at ease. I think that experience set me up for success in the retail industry."
Having a deep knowledge of the Navy Exchange Service Command brand and customer is incredibly important -- any information you know about the company's values will work to set you apart from other candidates. Spend some time exploring the Navy Exchange website and becoming familiar with their core values and mission statement: 'To provide authorized customers with quality goods and services at a savings and to support Navy quality of life programs for active duty military, retirees, reservists and their families.'
"I've been a long-time shopper at Navy Exchange, and I love supporting a company that supports our military and their families. I come from a long line of military servicepeople, so it would be an honor to work for a company that honors our military and their families."
"I recently learned about NEX's A-OK Student Reward Program, and I was blown away. I love that it encourages the children of servicepeople to stay focused in school. I would love to work for a company with such strong family values and dedication to servicepeople and their families."
Honesty is incredibly important when you are working in a retail environment like Navy Exchange Service Command, where employees handle a multitude of cash transactions. Assure the interviewer that you can be trusted by speaking about your character. Draw on the opinion of others to solidify your answer.
"My most recent employer and all others would say that I have strong character and always choose honesty first. I have solid references who will attest to that as well."
"My most recent team-leader, Salim, told me multiple times that he considered me to be a person of integrity and honesty, which is feedback I really appreciate. I always want to be a person who my coworkers and employers can trust."
Employees at Navy Exchange Service Command must be adaptable and flexible. Assure your interviewer that you are a team player and would be happy to step in if your manager needed a shift covered at the last minute.
"I am more than willing to cover a shift for a co-worker if I am able. I don't mind accepting overtime hours and consider myself to be a team player."
"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 in. In the past, 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 Navy Exchange as well."
In a service-focused job like a sales position at Navy Exchange Service Command, you will likely encounter customers who make your job less than pleasant. Retail and customer service-based roles will often require diplomacy when it comes to working with the public. Discuss with the interviewer how you would handle an aggressive customer.
"If I had a customer who was being aggressive and disrespectful, I would calmly but firmly ask them to calm down. If security needed to be called, I would do so. Everyone needs to remain respectful, and I would not hesitate to ask a customer to offer that respect in return."
"Most places that I have worked have procedures in place for these kinds of scenarios, and I am happy to follow the procedures put in place by Navy Exchange Service Command."
Before your interview, take some time to find out more about what Navy Exchange Service Command looks for in an employee, and find ways to honestly demonstrated how you meet those needs. For instance, NEX associates must be able to 'communicate product-related information to customers knowledgeably and legibly' and 'interact with customers and coworkers in a friendly and professional manner.' Describe how you are uniquely suited for some of the job requirements.
"ReAnna, my former supervisor, recently told me how much she appreciated me hard work and my willingness to do tasks that other team-members weren't excited about. I have a generally sunny disposition, and I love meeting new people -- so connecting with customers would come naturally to me!"
Many entry-level employees at Navy Exchange Service Command to 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.
"I would be very excited about obtaining a role in leadership within Navy Exchange Service Command in the future. I'm confident that you'll 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 to take on more responsibility."
"I have been in an unofficial leadership role for the past three years of my career, so I believe that a management role with Navy Exchange Service Command would be a great next step in my career!"
If offered a position at Navy Exchange Service Command, you may be asked to contribute to the design or construction of displays. Do you have examples of displays that you have created? Do you have unique ideas that you can share with Navy Exchange Service Command in regards to their current merchandising? Let the interviewer know if you are interested in creating displays and if you have any special skills to contribute to their design or construction.
"I have a strong creative flair and enjoy creating attractive displays. I think I have enough experience in retail to understand what attracts a customer and what prompts them to purchase, and I'm eager to learn more! The displays I have seen in your stores are fascinating, and I would love to be a part of those creative projects."
"I believe that with some training, I could very easily create some attractive displays. I have a natural flair for the creative and look forward to exercising that."
At Navy Exchange Service Command, it's important for customers to know who they can turn to if they need help finding an item or have questions about a product -- and uniforms help accomplish that goal. Talk to the interviewer about any times that you have been required to wear a uniform. What are your thoughts on this? Be sure to keep your answer positive and avoid speaking poorly of the practice surrounding uniforms.
"I have worn a uniform for work at restaurant XYZ and when I was a retail manager for company ABC. I have seen the uniforms worn by the retail employees at Navy Exchange Service Command and see that it adds a strong level of professionalism."
"I think that uniforms are a great way to provide a feeling of unity in the workplace, and it makes it that much easier to get ready for a shift! May I see what your uniforms look like?"
Strong math skills will be an asset in your position at Navy Exchange Service Command. Assure the interviewer that you are comfortable with the skills associated with math-related tasks.
"I did very well in math during high school and am comfortable with the skills required when it comes to accepting cash, balancing a cash float, and performing inventory-related tasks."
"My math skills are strong, and I am confident that I can meet your expectations when it comes to accepting payment from customers."
Navy Exchange Service Command takes loss prevention and employee theft very seriously. Loss prevention initiatives are an important part in ensuring that Navy Exchange stays competitive in their market. Discuss with the interviewer how you would handle a situation surrounding employee theft.
"My reaction to employee theft would differ if I were a retail associate or a retail manager. If I were a manager and caught an employee stealing, I would terminate them immediately. If I were an associate, I would report the incident according to company protocol. I would avoid approaching the employee as I would not want to make it a personal issue."
"I once had a coworker who asked me to help him steal, and it was so uncomfortable! I would never steal anything for any reason, so it was easy to say no to him. Even though it was hard to go to my manager and know that my coworker would likely get fired, I had to do the right thing. What is the process for those kinds of situations at Navy Exchange?"
As a Navy Exchange Service Command 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.
"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."
"I have some dispute resolution training from my previous retail position and fully believe that flexibility needs to be offered in extreme situations."
It's important that you understand the mission and aesthetic of Navy Exchange Service Command. Spend some time on the Navy Exchange website, take a look at their different departments and offerings, and get a feel for their brand. What did you find in your research that made you excited to work for Navy Exchange Service Command?
"I've been a Navy Exchange customer for years and have always appreciated how it feels like more than just a store -- it feels like a warm, familiar gathering place. I would love to be a part of making customers feel the same warmth and comfort I always feel as a customer at Navy Exchange."
"I want to work for Navy Exchange Service Command because I shop here all of the time. I love your products, and your company culture seems great too."
Like most retail environments, Navy Exchange competes with other companies in their industry -- which means that business can go down with one honest mistake. Discuss with the interviewer how you ensure that your customers receive the best service from you.
"I have a rule always to treat my customers how I would want treatment in a store or establishment. Customer service is vital to a company's success."
"I ensure that my customers' needs are met by actively listening to them and also asking the right questions. If I'm working on a task and a customer has a question, I always stop and help them before going back to my task."