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Bookstore Interview

25 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated August 22nd, 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 25
Are you a reliable person? Tell me about your punctuality and accountability on the job.
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How to Answer
Assure the interviewer that you are reliable and can be counted on to work in a non-traditional 9-5 work environment. Here is your chance to highlight your work ethic and show the value that you can offer.
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Are you a reliable person? Tell me about your punctuality and accountability on the job.
Assure the interviewer that you are reliable and can be counted on to work in a non-traditional 9-5 work environment. Here is your chance to highlight your work ethic and show the value that you can offer.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I pride myself on being reliable and going above and beyond in my role. I take personal accountability for my work and provide a great example to my coworkers."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I was raised to believe that you should be 10 minutes early for everything. My proactive nature typically leads me to arrive at work early to prepare for a successful day ahead. I am very reliable and punctual."
Anonymous Answer
"I always make sure to arrive 10 to 15 minutes to any places or meet ups. I am always prepared for any occasion as well. I take responsibility for all my work at home and school."
Rachelle's Answer
Try to expand on how you are always prepared for any occasion. That is a big statement that the interviewer would want to unpack.
"What makes me reliable is that I am always 10 minutes early for work or any situation where someone is relying on me. I take responsibility for my deadlines and will stay late to finish tasks. If I make an error, I will address the mistake, learn how to fix it, and see things through until they are correct."
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What do you know about our bookstore?
Before your job interview, make sure you are familiar with the company mission and values. You could visit the company website, read employee reviews or talk to anyone you know that works there. Learn as much as you can! Your interest in current seasonal promotions and ongoing events will show them how well you would integrate into this position.

Watch the videos on their website or social media and take note of the information on their careers page if one is available. Be prepared to talk about how much you appreciate their values such as doing book drives for the community schools. Whatever their mission is, you need to know it.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I come to your bookstore weekly! I'm passionate about reading and love that you do author readings each week showcasing new talent and promoting the lost art of hard copy reading material."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"As an avid reader, I often purchase gifts for my friends and family centered around books. I have checked out your website and followed you on Facebook and Instagram. You also have great reviews from your loyal customers on Yelp. All of these things make me excited to work here."
Anonymous Answer
"I followed you on Facebook and saw the pictures of your store. Your store seems to offer a great collection of books and a wide selection of games, movies, and music as well. I really like that you have a variety of options. It gets me excited about working here."
Rachelle's Answer
If possible, you should visit the location in person rather than simply following on social media. This shows extra effort and genuine interest.
"I have followed your bookstore on Facebook for a while now, which is where I saw your job ad, initially. I recently visited your shop and picked up a copy of 'Then She Was Gone,' a mystery novel one of your staff members recommended to me. I appreciate your vast collection of books, games, movies, and music. Your selection and excellent customer service training make me excited to work here."
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How often do you find yourself reading?
Your potential employer is interested in knowing that you are passionate about reading. Here is your opportunity to shine and share your love of reading. If you are a writer, be sure to share that information with the interviewer.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I try to read a significant novel each month. In between, I chip away at other special interest books. I like to be up to speed on current events, so often find myself doing further research after reading an article on a specific story."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I read every single day before I go to bed. I am an avid reader, and this practice also helps me to sleep better because it shuts my brain off from television and my phone."
Anonymous Answer
"I try to read as often as I can. I read at least one book a month. It helps me relax and escape the world for a long period of time."
Rachelle's Answer
Good response; however, you could build on it. Try to mention specifics on the genre you enjoy reading or the last book you read.
"I read every day if I can and complete at least one book per month. My favorite genre is mystery and thriller with the last book I finished being 'Guilt' by Amanda Robson."
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How often do you shop for books here?
Any store loves to hire people who are passionate about their company. Good customers are your best advocates, so it's a great idea to turn them into dedicated employees. Now is your opportunity to share any specific customer experiences you have had there. Be sure to tell the interviewer how frequently you shop at their bookstore.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I frequently shop for books for myself, and others, at your bookstore. I appreciate that you offer free coffee to keep me shopping for awhile and have the latest selection of books that interest me. Your gift section is great as well. I would say that I shop here at least twice per month."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I have shopped here many times before and am a big advocate for supporting local business. Every experience in your bookstore is positive which is why I am applying here. Your customer service is excellent, and your coffee shop makes the best macchiatos!"
Anonymous Answer
"This is actually my first time being here. I have heard great comments about this place and planned on coming in. I checked out your Facebook page first and saw the job post there, and thought that I should apply since I always wanted to work at a bookstore."
Rachelle's Answer
This response is okay if you are geographically too far away to visit the store. However; if you live nearby and state that you planned to come in, this response could work against you. Saying you 'planned to', along with 'always wanted to work in a bookstore' could be misinterpreted as traits of inaction.
"Your bookstore came highly recommended to me by a friend who comes here for poetry readings every week. I came by just a few days ago and was impressed with your selection as well as the literary knowledge your staff offered. I follow your social media accounts as well!"
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In your opinion, what separates us from the big box bookstores and popular websites?
This question offers you the opportunity to show off your love for local business! Focus on the sense of community and personal touch a local bookstore provides as opposed to a big-box corporation. What separates may include local events, customer care with a personal touch and community involvement.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Your store is one of the major attractions of this community. As a regular shopper here, the management is great, and your team does a fantastic job at making each customer experience memorable. This experience is not something you can find in a larger, corporate retail store or even when shopping online."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"A sense of community is an important value to me. This is not something that larger big-box stores, or e-commerce, can provide."
Anonymous Answer
"Your store provides a sense of community, which big book retailers can't provide."
Rachelle's Answer
Try to expand on this to show you have done your research. This answer is very general.
"Multiple factors set you apart from big box bookstores. The fact that you have an entire section dedicated to local authors is just one reason. Also, I see that you host many writers' workshops throughout the year and host very popular poetry jams. I look forward to joining a smaller business that offers such a strong sense of community."
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