39 Questions and Answers Written by Professional Interviewers
Question 1 of 39
How well do you handle customer complaints?
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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.
Have you ever helped someone else achieve their goal or helped to better themselves, if so, how?
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Think about the times you have helped a friend achieve their goal. You may have run a few miles with them each day in preparation for a 10k. You might have stayed up late at night reviewing flashcards for a big test the next day. Or, maybe you watched a family's children for a couple of days to allow the parents to work on their goal of opening a new business. These types of scenarios work great to answer this question. Simply tell the interviewer a high-level overview of your scenario, and share how thankful the individual was for your contribution.
Think about the things that people have repeatedly commended you for. What are the common qualities that you have received praise for at work, in school, or within your family? These things make great examples! Simply share your three qualities, and tell the interviewer that other people have told you they really like these qualities in you. 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.
Think about the one thing that people repeatedly commend you for; this is your answer to this question! Start off by sharing the one trait, and tell the interviewer that people often tell you this is your strength. For example, you might say, "My best trait is my ability to relate to people. My co-workers often mention that they really admire this trait. I just really enjoy helping people."
"My best trait is my ability to relate to people. My co-workers often mention that they really admire this trait. I just really enjoy helping people."
The interviewer wants to hear that you are passionate about food. After all, it is the industry of Whole Foods. Simply share your favorite meal with enthusiasm. You might share that lemon pepper salmon with steam asparagus is your favorite in the summer. You might mention that you love grilled chicken, baby red potatoes, and steamed broccoli. Or, you may mention that you are crazy about tacos with grass fed beef and topped with loads of veggies. Whatever your favorite is, be excited to share it!
6. How often are you late for your responsibilities, such as school or work? Never. The interviewer needs to know that they can count on you to be at work by your assigned time every day. Start off by telling the interviewer that you are a punctual person, and you are always a couple of minutes early when arriving at work. Be sure to mention that you plan ahead for traffic, and if you live somewhere with snow, be sure to mention that you watch the weather ensuring you leave enough time to clean off your car and drive a little more cautiously when necessary. If you have children, be sure to mention that you have backup plans in place for childcare should something fall through with your typical plans. Here is an answer example: 7. Why would you like to work at Whole Foods? The interviewer wants to hear that you are passionate about working at Whole Foods. Whole Foods prides itself on providing the highest quality natural and organic products to its customers. Tell the interviewer why you look forward to being a part of something as an employee of Whole Foods. Recognize that you would be helping families make healthy choices. Be mindful that you would be hosting a place where people would pick out their Thanksgiving dinner. And, acknowledge that you would be the setting for many people to talk, laugh, and share company with one another. Be excited to share that you would get to be a part of something great by being an employee at Whole Foods! Here is an answer example: 8. Where do you see yourself in five years? 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 Whole Foods through graduation, and then share what career or further education you hope to be pursuing at that five-year mark. If Whole Foods offers careers in your field, such as management, be sure to mention that you would be open to considering a career in your field at Whole Foods if one is available upon graduating.
If you are not a student, no problem! Simply share that you see yourself working at Whole Foods! You may even mention that you hope to have received a promotion by the five year mark. Here is an answer example: 9. Why do you feel you will be better suited for this job than the other applicants? Talking about ourselves in this way can be challenging. We recommend reaching out to a few colleagues, family members, and friends. Ask them for their opinion. 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, and explain how your co-workers, family members, and friends have encouraged you with your gift in this area. Here is an answer example: 10. Do you need a job at Whole Foods or just working for fun? If you are working at Whole Foods just for fun, that's great! Tell this to the interviewer, and be sure to mention that you look forward to working hard for such a great company!
If you are seeking a job because you need the income, tell the interviewer that you are seeking the income, but working at Whole Foods would be fun. So, it's a win-win! Here is an answer example: 11. What would you do if a coworker asked you to help steal? The interviewer wants to hear that you are an honest and ethical person. Tell the interviewer that you would not steal if a coworker asked you to, and share that you would instead tell your manager about the situation because it is the right thing to do. Here is an answer example: 12. Do you prefer working in a team environment or alone? Whole Foods 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. Here is an answer example: 13. What do you know about the quality of products we sell? The interviewer is hoping that you have read the Whole Foods website to learn a little bit about their products ahead of time. As with any job interview, we recommend that you visit Whole Foods' website before arriving to your interview. You will learn that Whole Foods strives to, "provide the finest natural and organic foods available, maintain the strictest quality standards in the industry, and have an unshakeable commitment to sustainable agriculture." Here is an answer example: "provide the finest natural and organic foods available, maintain the strictest quality standards in the industry, and have an unshakeable commitment to sustainable agriculture."14. 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 about 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 re-iterating that you are usually a deadline driven person, and you almost always complete everything on time. Here is an answer example: 15. Tell me about a time when you had to be a leader. How was the outcome? The interviewer wants to hear about a positive experience you have had with leadership. Think about a time when you led a sports team, led a college project, managed a store, or coached a little league team. These are all great examples! Start off by giving the interviewer a high-level overview of what you were leading, and share that you enjoyed the experience. Discuss the positive outcome that the group had, and explain that you would gladly lead again! Here is an answer example: 16. Do you have any friends or relatives that work at Whole Foods? Be candid with the interviewer. Simply share if you have any relatives who work for Whole Foods as well as what store or office location they work for. If you have any close friends who work for the company, be sure to mention this as well! Finally, tell the interviewer that these people really enjoy working at Whole Foods and have only told you wonderful things about the company. Here is an answer example: 17. Tell me about a time you received good customer service. The interviewer wants to hear that you understand what good customer service truly is. Think about a time when an employee went above and beyond for you. Share a high-level overview of the scenario, and explain how the employee had a positive attitude and was pleasant during your encounter. Be sure to mention what the employee did that was above and beyond your expectations. Here is an answer example: 18. Tell me about a time you had a difficult customer and what you did to difuse the situation. Begin by telling the interviewer that thankfully the majority of customers are pleasant to work with, and the difficult customer situations are typically few and far between. Next, share a time when you served a difficult customer. A great example might be a customer who was upset. Outline why the customer was difficult, and mention how you cheerfully worked with the customer in a professional and polite manner to ensure they were provided with the best experience possible. Mention that you understand the customer is not challenging because of you, and they were being difficult because of the situation. Talk about how you realized your role was to provide the best service possible. Finally, be sure to mention how happy the customer was when they walked away from the situation because of your service. Here is an answer example: 19. How would your references describe you? The interviewer wants to hear that your references will describe you in a positive manner. Think about the positive things your references have said about you in the past. Instead of listing these things, tell the interviewer what each person has told you. For example, you might say, "John has told me that I am a hard worker, and he has told me that he really likes how I am always happy to be at work!" These concrete examples will be sure to impress the interviewer! Here is an answer example: "John has told me that I am a hard worker, and he has told me that he really likes how I am always happy to be at work!"20. What do you like most about Whole Foods? Think about what keeps you coming back to Whole Foods over and over again. Is it the environment of the store? Is it knowing you can trust that they have selected top quality products for you? Is it the selection of fresh meat? Is it the yummy organic fruits and veggies? The interviewer wants to hear that you have a passion about something at Whole Foods that keeps you coming back. Excitedly share your favorite aspect of Whole Foods with the interviewer. Here is an answer example: 21. Have you shopped at Whole Foods before? Be candid with the interviewer, and tell the interviewer whether or not you have shopped at Whole Foods before. If you have shopped at Whole Foods, tell the interviewer, and share how much you enjoy going to Whole Foods on a regular basis. If you have not shopped at Whole Foods, make time to visit the store before your interview noting some of the unique things that Whole Foods has to offer. Then, you can share that you have been to Whole Foods before, and mention a couple of the unique things you have noticed inside of their stores. Here is an answer example: 22. Why do you think you will like working at Whole Foods? The interviewer wants to hear that you are passionate about working at Whole Foods. Whole Foods is focused on providing the best quality products to its customers. Tell the interviewer why you look forward to being a part of the Whole Foods organization. Mention to the interviewer that you look forward to helping families select top quality food. Recognize that you would be helping create an environment where friends and families come to shop together. Be mindful that you would be hosting a place where families will start their weekly dinners together. Be excited to share that you would get to be a part of something great by being an employee at Whole Foods! Here is an answer example: 23. Have you ever called off from work before? The interviewer wants to know that you are a reliable person. Tell the interviewer that you are reliable 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 2 days in a row, that's to be expected! Simply tell the interviewer that you had the flu and had to call off 2 days in the past year. We are all human and get sick from time-to-time. Missing work for those 2 days will not be a deal breaker. Here is an answer example: 24. When was the last time you contributed to a team effort and what was your role? The interviewer wants to hear that you enjoy being a part of a team and that you contribute to the success of the team. Start off by sharing the last time you contributed to a team effort. Perhaps it was a large project at work. Maybe it was on a basketball team. Or, you might have led a Girl Scout troop. All of these make great examples! Discuss how you personally made efforts to contribute to the team, and be sure to mention how successful the team was! Here is an answer example: 25. Do you have an interest in learning about the products we sell at Whole Foods? Yes, you do! The interviewer needs to hear that you are open and willing to learn about what Whole Foods sells because promoting their products is part of the job. Tell the interviewer that you look forward to learning about the products and sharing your expertise with customers. Here is an answer example: 26. Would you say you are a sociable person? Absolutely! The interviewer wants to hear that you are comfortable conversing with other people. As a customer service person, you are definitely a sociable person. Explain to the interviewer that you enjoy getting to know your co-workers, work hard to build relationships with your regular customers through simple interactions, and look forward coming to work each day in customer service. You might work best in a large group setting, or one-on-one interactions might be your thing. Either way, you are a sociable person. Here is an answer example: 27. What do you know about Whole Foods? As with any job interview, we recommend that you visit the Whole Foods website before arriving at your website to learn some key facts about the company. When the interviewer asks you this question, list 3-5 facts that you learned from their website. You might share that Whole Foods started as one store in Austin, TX in 1980. You might mention that a lot of Whole Foods' growth has been due to mergers and acquisitions. You might share that you like the recipes Whole Foods has on its website. Or, you might mention how many stores are in your local area. Here is an answer example: 28. 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. Start off by telling the interviewer that you follow all of the company rules and are supportive of the leadership decisions the company makes regarding rules. After all, there had to be some logic to their professional decision! Next, think of an outside the box rule your company had that you simply would have made a different decision about. A sound example might be that company rule that says no insulated lunch boxes/totes can be put into the fridge because it takes up too much space. You might tell the interviewer, "If I could change one decision the leadership team made regarding a rule, I would not have implemented the rule that says employees cannot put a lunch tote/lunch box in the fridge for space reasons because it makes it so much harder to find your own food in the fridge at lunch time resulting in a line at the refrigerator and less time to spend outside enjoying the sunshine." This shows the interviewer that you respect decisions even when you recognize you would make different decisions sometimes. Here is an answer example: "If I could change one decision the leadership team made regarding a rule, I would not have implemented the rule that says employees cannot put a lunch tote/lunch box in the fridge for space reasons because it makes it so much harder to find your own food in the fridge at lunch time resulting in a line at the refrigerator and less time to spend outside enjoying the sunshine."29. What is your philosophy on eating well? Everyone has their philosophy on eating well. The interviewer simply wants to hear that you have a stance on what eating well means to you. You might mention that eating well means eating organic as often as possible. You might mention that grass-fed meats are your thing. You might share that eating fruits and vegetables regularly is a good idea. You might share that you really believe in eating local foods. Or, you might share that eating a well balanced diet full of different nutrients in your idea of eating well. Simply share your 'eating well' philosophy with the interviewer. Here is an answer example: 30. 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 a great example for this question. Be ready to talk about the time you went above and beyond with handling a customer complaint. Explain how you personally 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 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. Here is an answer example: 31. Tell me about your experience working in retail? The interviewer wants to learn more about your background and experience.
If you don't have any experience, it's okay! Tell the interviewer that you do not have any experience in the industry, and you look forward to making the transition and learning everything there is to know!
If you have experience, start off by giving the interviewer a high-level overview of your experience by sharing where you have worked, your job title, and how long you were employed there. Add a sentence or two about what your job duties were in each role as well. Be sure to mention that you really enjoy this industry, and you look forward to continuing to work in retail industry roles. Here is an answer example: 32. If you could prepare and share a dinner with anyone, who would it be and what would you make? The interviewer wants to learn more about who you are as a person as well as what types of food etiquette you are accustomed to. Think about who would be fun to invite over for dinner. We recommend staying away from any political representatives in your responses. Simply share who you would invite over for dinner, and why you selected that person. Next, pick a dish, including dessert of course, that you would prepare! You might state, "I would have Michael Jordan over for dinner because I have always dreamed of meeting him and talking about basketball together. I would prepare a fresh salad, steaks made on the grill, and fresh fruit salad. I would serve gelato for dessert!" Here is an answer example: "I would have Michael Jordan over for dinner because I have always dreamed of meeting him and talking about basketball together. I would prepare a fresh salad, steaks made on the grill, and fresh fruit salad. I would serve gelato for dessert!"33. What is your favorite food at Whole Foods? This one should be easy! Does the thought of a fresh pineapple make you drool? Does the steak selection make your mouth water? Or, does the pure maple syrup make your Saturday morning pancakes so much more yummy? Be prepared to excitedly share what always ends up slipping into your basket at Whole Foods! Here is an answer example: 34. How would you handle an irate customer that has screamed at you for three minutes straight? Begin by telling the interviewer that thankfully the majority of customers are pleasant to work with, and the rude customer situations are typically few and far between. Next, tell the interviewer that you understand customer service means always having a smile on your face, cheerful attitude, and pleasant demeanor. Tell the interviewer that you would continue interacting with the customer in a positive manner even when they were being challenging. Share that you never know what type of day that customer has had, and you smiling and being pleasant might be just what they need to help them turn their day around! Here is an answer example: 35. Have you noticed our employees give excellent customer service, will you be able to do the same? Absolutely! The interviewer wants you to recognize that Whole Foods strives to offer great service and that you are prepared to offer great service to customers too. Start off by sharing that you have noticed that Whole Foods employees offer excellent service. Mention that they greet you with a good attitude and are always willing to answer any questions you might have. Next, share that you look forward to providing this same great service to customers as an employee. Here is an answer example: 36. Why should we not hire you? The interviewer is hoping to hear that there is no reason to not hire you! Simply tell the interviewer that you would be a great employee, and confidently share that there is no reason to not hire you! You might wrap it up by sharing that you are customer focused, have a proven employment record, and you really love Whole Foods! Here is an answer example: 37. How would you deal with an angry customer while you were busy completing tasks? The interviewer wants to hear that customers are your priority. Tell the interviewer that you would graciously stop what you were doing and start by genuinely listening to the customer. Next, share that you would apologize to the customer and take whatever corrective action was necessary. Be sure to mention that most challenging customers really do not take much time, and they really just want to know that their opinion is being heard. Finally, be sure to mention that once you have the customer on their way you would go back to working on your task. Here is an answer example: 38. 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 mentoring in these areas if possible to help you excel. The interviewer wants to hear that your weaknesses are not critical for the job you are applying to. Think of a couple of things you could improve upon that are not necessary for the job, and openly share them with the interviewer. You might even include some fun things that are not job-related. For example, you might state, "Painting is definitely a weakness for me! If you need someone to paint a poster, I'm probably not your guy!" The interviewer will think it's clever, and painting is not essential for a job at Whole Foods. Here is an answer example: "Painting is definitely a weakness for me! If you need someone to paint a poster, I'm probably not your guy!"39. How can I trust you not to steal? This one should be easy! Share with the interviewer that you have never stolen before and have a proven work record with a great reputation. Be sure to mention that you respect others and that you wouldn't steal from them. Here is an answer example:
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