The interviewer wants to hear the one unique thing that sets you apart from every other candidate who has applied for this position. Talking about ourselves in this way can be challenging. Reach out to a few co-workers, family members, and friends. Ask them for their opinion on your greatest traits. You'll probably be surprised at the consistency in their responses! Their answers will give you insight into how to answer this question. Tell the interviewer what sets you apart by using different words which will make you a stand-out candidate.
"Nordstrom will benefit from hiring me in a few ways. One, I bring with me a strong Rolodex of clients from my previous commissioned fashion sales role. Second, I come with strong recommendations. I am reliable, eager to sell, and a great face for your well-known and respected brand. I plan to make a strong, and positive, impact immediately after being hired."
Everyone has a different expectation of how many hours they would like to work, and the interviewer is merely learning what your needs and expectations are. Before arriving at your interview, have some hours in mind that will work well with your schedule. Keep your answer to the point as there is no need to go into great detail about your personal life.
"At this point, I am available to work part-time, to work with my University schedule. I can work around 20 hours per week. Once the summer hits, I am available full time."
Interviewers want to ensure you are placed into a job, within a Nordstrom department, that you will enjoy. Now is the time to share what your perfect fit may be, within their store. Start off by telling the interviewer that you will happily work in any department, but if you were able to choose a department, you would select 'insert your desired department here.' This flexibility will show the interviewer that you are a team player willing to work in other areas to support the store, and it opens that door for the interviewer to place you where you want to be!
"I have always had a penchant for footwear! I know it well and am very familiar with the various labels that you carry. For that reason, I would like to be considered for your footwear department, If this choice is not available, I am willing to be trained in another department such as lingerie, or even handbags."
The interviewer wants to hear that you are excited about working in the fashion industry. What makes you passionate about this field? Perhaps it is your love for design and color. Maybe you enjoy helping people find their style. Or, do you like assisting people to see their style evolve? Whatever makes you passionate about the field, share it with the interviewer.
"I want a career in fashion because it's a topic that I have a lot of passion for and knowledge in. I like to show people how to dress for their lifestyle and elevate their look without breaking the bank, or being uncomfortable in clothes that aren't the best shape or cut for them."
The interviewer wants to hear that you enjoy fashion and are familiar with famous designers. We recommend that you visit Nordstrom's website before your interview to get familiar with the designers they are currently offering. Merely pick the designer whose style most appeals to you, and share it with the interviewer. Be sure to mention why you like that style too. For example, you might suggest that you like Alexander Wang's fashionable handbags because they are always timeless and elegant.
"Right now, my favorite designer is Ted Baker. I love the classic elements mixed in with the out-there print, on many of the clothes and accessories. I know that you have many great smaller designers in your stores as well. Which ones are your favorite?"
The interviewer would like to know a bit more about your longer-term aspirations within Nordstrom. If you have hopes of being promoted or moving into another role, tell the interviewer that you look forward to the opportunity to step into that role someday, but you understand it may take several years to get there. Next, mention that you are willing to do what it takes, in the role you are hired into until you can make this transition.
"I plan to make Nordstrom my long-term home. I would like to work my way into an assistant manager position, and then into management. In three years I plan to show you, through hard work and dedication, that I am someone that should be considered for a management role."
The interviewer wants to hear that you are excited about working at Nordstrom. Nordstrom aims always to be fashionable. Tell the interviewer why you look forward to being a part of a fashion-focused team at Nordstrom. Be excited that you would be encouraging men & women through helping them feel good about themselves and the way they dress. Be excited to share that you would get to be a part of something great by being an employee at Nordstrom!
"I have been an assistant manager in my clothing department for three years. I am ready for advancement in a management role; however, my organization is unable to promote me without a transfer to another city. When I saw your position open for a management role, and so close to my home, I was excited. What excited me even more; however, is that you are known a brand that I have closely followed for many years. You have developed a strong sense of trust with your customers, and I genuinely appreciate that."
The interviewer needs to hear that you are reliable and that you understand what it means to be a trustworthy employee. Start off by telling the interviewer that you are stable and do not call off from work unless you would have an emergency or are very ill. Next, share with the interviewer how few times you have called off from work in the past year. If you were sick with the flu and had to call off work two days in a row, that's to be expected! We are all human and get sick from time-to-time. Finally, mention that you always complete all of your assigned tasks for the shift to help the team keep the store in top-notch performing order. Display your level of reliability by giving examples such as being early for work, filling in for others, or lending a hand without being asked.
"I am most certainly a reliable person. I am always 10 minutes early for my shifts and have no trouble picking up extra shifts if someone calls in sick. My references will attest to the fact that I am a highly reliable and responsible employee."
The interviewer wants to hear that you do not allow challenges to get the best of you. Think about a time when you had a setback, personal or work-related. Start off by giving an overview of the situation. Next, share that you maintained a positive outlook and did not allow this to get the best of you. Finally, share what you did instead to keep moving on instead of focusing on the setback.
"When working in a customer facing role, as I do, setbacks will happen on a regular basis. I recall one time when I hit my weekly sales target by just a hair. Ten minutes before closing, a customer returned an item purchased from me. It put me in the hole! It felt very discouraging. With that said, I took that energy and applied it to my following weeks' KPI's and knocked it out of the park the following few weeks."
ONordstrom is a customer focused fashion business, and the interviewer needs to hear that you enjoying talking to people about fashion. Start off by telling the interviewer that you like talking about fashion, offering fashion advice, picking out the latest styles, and staying on top of fashion trends. Next, share that you look forward to talking about fashion with customers at Nordstrom.
The interviewer wants to learn more about your knowledge. Share one particular area in which you could improve your fashion knowledge. Perhaps you could learn more about men's clothing sizes. Maybe you could learn more about how to provide maternity clothing advice to women. Or, maybe you could learn more about how to properly fit a suit. Show excitement when it comes to gaining a new skill!
"If I could choose one area in which to improve my fashion knowledge, I would choose menswear, particular suiting. It's such an art, to tailor the perfect suit, and I would love to learn more."
As with any job interview, we recommend that you visit the company website before going to your meeting. When asked this question, list a few facts that you learned about Nordstrom from their website, articles, or even online reviews.
"I have researched Nordstrom a great deal, and have been a dedicated customer for many years. Nordstrom has been in business over 100 years, and I know that you have about 320 stores. I appreciate that Nordstrom started out as a small shoe store in Seattle, and is now publicly traded on the NYSE. What a success story!"
The interviewer hopes to hear that you will stay with the company long-term. If you are a student, tell the interviewer that you plan to stay at Nordstrom through graduation, and then share what career or further education you hope to be pursuing long-term. If Nordstrom 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 Nordstrom if one is available upon graduating. If you are not a student, no problem! Merely share that you see yourself working at Nordstrom! You may even mention that you hope to have received a promotion by the five-year mark.
"I have been seeking a retail environment outside of typical big box store for some time now. Your brand and brand story resonates with me, and I like the fact that you encourage continued education opportunities for your management team as well. For these reasons, I would like to stay at Nordstrom as long as you will have me!"
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. 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 normal 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 into their car.
"In my current organization, we have a very stringent return policy. It's very different from the flexible return policy that Nordstrom offers its customers. I had a customer who was very upset when she realized that she missed our return window by two days. Her items were unworn, and she had the receipt, so I did break the rules and took her return. I was ready to take the heat from management, but fortunately, that didn't happen. The customer was pleased that I was willing to be flexible in that way and she has used me as her shopper ever since."
The interviewer would like to know about a time when you were asked to take on a task for which you knew very little. Have you ever had to take on a responsibility or a role that you felt was over your experience level? Talk to the interviewer about a time when you have dealt with this type of situation. Include the outcome, and what you learned.
"I was asked to train an employee on a new point of sale system that I hardly knew. To prepare, I worked overtime, watching online tutorials so that the new employee's training time was well spent."
The interviewer wants to hear that you can put together a fashionable outfit without much effort. Think about a great outfit. It can be a classic chic outfit or a fun look for a formal event. It can be a perfect business ensemble. Stick to a style that you know and appreciate, while giving fun facts about the designers that you choose for your ensemble.
"I would pick a classic knee-length lace dress in a light shade of pink, pair it with nude heels, and top it off with a classic pearl necklace to wear to a wedding this upcoming weekend. I particularly love the nude pumps that Stuart Weitzman is offering this season. They are so classic and also comfortable enough to stand in all day."
The interviewer wants to see that you are self-aware and understand the type of manager or employer that brings out the best in you. Some individuals prefer a close working relationship with a lot of accountability, while others prefer space and autonomy. If you are unsure of the management style of the interviewing company, try to leave your answer as open as possible. You can certainly ask the interviewer to describe their management style.
"I like a manager that is interested in nurturing their employees. I don't need hand-holding, but I like when my manager takes an interest in me and encourages my drive for growth and development. My manager could encourage me by offering to be a resource, connecting me with other resources, and the like."
Nordstrom is an American upscale fashion retailer, founded by John W. Nordstrom and Carl F. Wallin and headquartered in Seattle. The company began as a shoe retailer and has since expanded its inventory to include clothing, accessories, handbags, jewelry, cosmetics, and fragrances. There are 310 stores operating in 38 states and Canada, which includes 119 full-line stores and 183 Nordstrom Racks, two Jeffrey boutiques and one clearance store. Nordstrom also serves customers through Nordstrom.com, the newly developed e-commerce site nordstromrack.com, and its online private sale site, HauteLook.