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Waitrose Interview
Questions

32 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
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Question 1 of 32
Personality fit is important to us at Waitrose. How would you describe your personality?
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How to Answer
Personality and character are two very different things. The interviewer is looking for more information on your traits vs. your integrity. These examples could include buzzwords such as introverted, energetic, and confident.
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Answer Examples
1.
Personality fit is important to us at Waitrose. How would you describe your personality?
Personality and character are two very different things. The interviewer is looking for more information on your traits vs. your integrity. These examples could include buzzwords such as introverted, energetic, and confident.

Rachelle'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."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am confident, friendly, and a go-getter. Are these personality traits that you are looking for in your next hire?"
2.
At Waitrose we have a very clear return policy. How would you handle a customer who was arguing with you about a potential return?
As a retail 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 keeping the customer happy, and keeping the needs of the company in mind as well.

Rachelle'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."
Rachelle'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 are your salary expectations?
The best way to discuss your salary expectations is to use your current earnings as an example. Be open, and honest. Transparency is the best choice when salary based questions arise.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Currently, I earn a base salary of $45,000 per year plus a potential 20% annual bonus. Last year my earnings were $52,000, and I would like to stay in the same range or slightly higher."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am currently making $22/hour with two bonus opportunities. I am looking for compensation that is aligned with the role and provides an opportunity for growth."
4.
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?
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"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."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"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 Waitrose."
5.
We have a strong employee honesty program in place at Waitrose to prevent loss. What would you do if you discovered that a co-worker was stealing product or money?
Loss prevention initiatives are incredibly important in the retail sector. Discuss with the interviewer how you would handle a situation surrounding employee theft.

Be sure to avoid sounding self-righteous in your answer. Be diplomatic and refer to company protocol in these situations.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"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."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I value honesty so if I saw a co-worker stealing; I would tell my manager immediately. Do you have a process in place for reporting these types of situations?"
6.
Take me through your experience in retail. What was the most challenging position you have held? Which was your favorite, and why?
Walk the interviewer through your career history in retail. Be sure to highlight your favorite, and most challenging, positions. Discuss what made them so challenging and rewarding.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"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."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"My most challenging position, and also my most favorite position, would be my current role. I would not normally choose to leave; however, I need to find a position related to my newly acquired degree. In my current position, the hours are great, my co-workers are nice, and I receive fair compensation."
7.
What type of work environment do you dislike working in?
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? Be sure to know the type of environment offered in this position before the interview.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I can be productive in most work environments, so long as the mentality is positive and teamwork is encouraged. I cannot work in an environment that feels negative or toxic."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Rather than focusing on the negative, try spinning your answer into a positive focus: "I do best in a supportive environment where there is room to grow, the ability to ask questions, and healthy co-worker relationships."
8.
What type of manager brings out the best in you?
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"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?"
Rachelle's Answer #2
"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."
9.
Waitrose puts customer service first. How do you ensure that you always put the customers' needs first?
Retail environments are competitive, and business can go down with one honest mistake. Discuss with the interviewer how you ensure that your customers receive the best service from you.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"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."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I ensure that my customers' needs are met by actively listening to them and also asking the right questions. Treat others as you want to be treated. It's a good rule to live by."
10.
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?
Do you have examples of displays that you have created? Do you have unique ideas that you can share with Waitrose in regards to their current merchandising? Show the interviewer that you are interested in the creative aspect of creating an attractive retail display.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"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. The displays I have seen in your stores are fascinating, and I would love to be a part of that creative flair."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"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."
11.
At Waitrose we like to hire strong achievers. Give me an example of a time when you went above and beyond.
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"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."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Just yesterday I had a customer make a purchase, and I noticed that she was struggling with her bags. 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."
12.
This position requires a flexible schedule as we are open evenings, weekends, and most holidays. Are you able to commit to these hours?
Most retail positions 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.

Rachelle'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."
Rachelle'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."
Anonymous Answer
"I am able to commit to the hours as shown in the job description and am available outside of college times."
Lauren's Answer
Great response; an interviewer will appreciate your willingness to be flexible contingent on school responsibilities.
"I am prepared and committed to working the hours listed in the position’s job description. I am also open to additional hours when I am not engaged in my college classes and coursework."
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13.
What do you know about Waitrose? Why do you want to work for us?
Display your enthusiasm for the job by assuring the interviewer you have researched the organization and the role. What did you find in your research that made you excited to work for Waitrose?

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have researched Waitrose a great deal and am very happy with the positive reviews I came across, online. I would love to work for a company with such a great reputation."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I want to work for Waitrose because I shop here all of the time. I love your product, and your company culture seems great too."
14.
Tell me 3 qualities you possess that make you a strong fit for this position with Waitrose.
Before your interview, it is essential that you review the company's job description to give yourself a keen understanding of the qualities they desire in their successful candidate. Tie these desired qualities into your answer to display you are a fit for the role.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have a lot of qualities that transfer well into a retail-based position. The top ones would include my strong organization skills, my ability to have a conversation with anyone comfortably, and my solid work ethic/level of honesty."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Try to include a variety of words that the interviewer does not hear all the time. Be unique! Here are some ideas:

- Adaptable
- Considerate
- Diligent
- Intuitive
- Persistent
- Resourceful
- Sincere
- Witty"
15.
Have you researched our company values? What makes you the best candidate for Waitrose?
It is incredibly important to research the company's core values and mission statement before you interview with them. Discuss with the hiring manager why you think you are the top choice for this role with Waitrose.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have researched your core values online and appreciate that you put your customers first while empowering your employees at the same time. I think that I would be the best person for this job because I have a great appreciation for what Waitrose is achieving in the retail marketplace."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Yes, I have researched your company, and I feel that my retail marketing education, as well as the fact that I am bilingual, makes me a solid candidate for this role."
More Interview Q&As
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Common
Phone
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32 Waitrose 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. Personality fit is important to us at Waitrose. How would you describe your personality?
  2. At Waitrose we have a very clear return policy. How would you handle a customer who was arguing with you about a potential return?
  3. What are your salary expectations?
  4. 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?
  5. We have a strong employee honesty program in place at Waitrose to prevent loss. What would you do if you discovered that a co-worker was stealing product or money?
  6. Take me through your experience in retail. What was the most challenging position you have held? Which was your favorite, and why?
  7. What type of work environment do you dislike working in?
  8. What type of manager brings out the best in you?
  9. Waitrose puts customer service first. How do you ensure that you always put the customers' needs first?
  10. 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?
  11. At Waitrose we like to hire strong achievers. Give me an example of a time when you went above and beyond.
  12. This position requires a flexible schedule as we are open evenings, weekends, and most holidays. Are you able to commit to these hours?
  13. What do you know about Waitrose? Why do you want to work for us?
  14. Tell me 3 qualities you possess that make you a strong fit for this position with Waitrose.
  15. Have you researched our company values? What makes you the best candidate for Waitrose?
  16. Why is this job with Waitrose right for you at this time in your career?
  17. In this role you will be required to handle customer transactions. On a scale of 1-10 how strong are your mathematical skills?
  18. 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?
  19. At Waitrose we firmly believe in grooming our employees into management roles as they show potential. Are you interested in potential leadership roles with us?
  20. 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?
  21. You will be responsible for a large amount of cash and valuable merchandise at Waitrose. What would your most recent employer say about your character and honesty?
  22. How do you like to be recognized for your accomplishments?
  23. Tell me about a time when you made a suggestion requesting change in an organization.
  24. What is the most competitive work situation you have experienced? How did you handle it? What was the result?
  25. How do you handle a situation where your supervisor does not properly communicate information to you?
  26. We need reliable people on our team at Waitrose. How many days were you absent from work last year?
  27. Describe to me your ideal employer.
  28. How can Waitrose motivate you on the job?
  29. How do you feel about performance incentives?
  30. What do you hope to learn from this job at Waitrose?
  31. Do you have reliable transportation?
  32. How do you handle situations that could cause you to be late or miss work?
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