American Eagle Outfitters Inc., popularly known as American Eagle, is an American clothing, lifestyle, and accessories dealer/retailer. It is headquartered at SouthSide Works and employs several people to fill different positions. In case you are weeing a job at this haint retailer, here are some of the questions that you should expect:
1. What Do You Know About American Eagle?
The interviewer is assessing if you know about American Eagle Outfitters. You can mention many things about this corporation, including its products, services, employees, values, and work culture. However, do not come up with your own facts. Remain factual and only discuss valid information about the retailer.
American Eagle was launched in 1977 and has drastically risen to be a powerhouse, evidenced by its stores in China, Dubai, and Russia. It sells clothing and accessories to US customers and the international market, with the brand mainly targeting people between 15 to 25 years. ( You can also mention that its headquarters is in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania)
2. Why Do You Want to Work Here?
What excites you about American Eagle that makes you want to be part of the team? This is where you tell the interviewer the reasons behind your application. You can either praise the organization or mention what you intend to contribute to the workplace if given a chance.
I am passionate about the fashion industry. I love seeing people look good and crisp. I would love to work at American Eagles to pursue this passion and help customers become more confident through their clothing. I am also ready to work in such a rapidly changing environment since it will help me advance in my career.
3. Why Should We Hire You?
This is a chance to sell yourself. Therefore, use it wisely. Carefully go through the job description and identify some of the relevant skills for the job you are interviewing for. Make sure that they match those listed in the job. Assure the interviewer that you have all it takes to succeed in the job at hand and that you are the right fit.
I have vast experience in customer service, given that this is my tenth year as a customer care attendant. I, therefore, know how to handle customers and help them get whatever they need. I am also passionate about fashion and clothing, which will help me make sound recommendations that customers will appreciate. I am also a fast learner who can adapt well to changes.
4. Mention the Specific Skills Required in the Retail Industry
The interviewer wants to know if you understand what it takes to be good at your job. Mention some of the relevant skills that have seen you thrive in the retail industry. You should also prepare for any follow-up question by the interviewer to clarify more about a given skill. Talk confidently.
There are lots of skills required in the retail industry. These include problem-solving, customer management, practical vendor management skills, handling employee queries, effective team management, working under pressure, building stronger customer relations, and maintaining inventory.
5. Tell Us about this Gap in Your Resume
Interviewers will always want you to account for a ‘missing’ period in your resume. Where were you, or what were you doing at the time? State specific examples that will justify the career gap in your resume. Make sure that you are honest since the interviewer can easily find out.
After seven years, I found it wise to take a career break to attain more professional skills at work and start some personal projects. I traveled the world in search of knowledge and skills. I am glad to announce that my efforts paid off, as most of the individual projects I started are thriving. I was also able to build my professional skills.
6. What Working Hours Do You Prefer?
The interviewer wants to know about your availability hence the shifts you will prefer. Note that you should demonstrate flexibility to increase your chance of getting hired. If in college, convince the interviewer that you can manage work and school and not overfocus on one. You can also say that you will be available during the weekend.
I prefer working in the afternoon all through to the closing time since I have morning classes. I am also ready to work anytime during the weekends since I have no classes. I consider myself flexible and wouldn’t also mind stepping in during holidays provided that I am given adequate notice.
7. What is Your Definition of Excellent Customer Service
It would be best to keep in mind that American Eagle greatly values the customer service it extends to its customers. This is because the retail industry is highly competitive, and one small mistake may set you back heavily. Therefore, you must convince the interviewer that you know what excellent customer service entails and will be willing to extend it to customers.
Excellent customer service is making the customers a priority. It entails ensuring that customers receive all the products on time, resolving each customer’s queries, going the extra mile to satisfy customers, and showing empathy. Great customer service creates loyal customers.
8. How Would You Handle a Difficult Customer?.
This is a follow-up question if asked immediately after the former. The interviewer will always want to know if you can handle all types of customers. Your answer should exceed professionalism and tact. Remember, the customer is always right in the retail industry and should be treated as so.
I can handle difficult customers easily. I would listen carefully to the customer, empathize with them, and show that I care before using my problem-solving ability to resolve their issue effectively. However, if I cannot, I will call my immediate supervisor to help resolve the issue.
9. Mention a Strength that Makes You Viable for this Position
Do you have any strengths that will make you a perfect fit at American Eagles? You need to take a look at the job description and focus on specific work-related skills. Talk positively about your strengths to help you earn the role you are interviewing for. Make sure that whatever you mention will help you achieve your carer goals.
My biggest strength when it comes to such a work environment is my ability to interact well with others. I have reliable people skills that I am ready to put to work once I get this job. I can lead meaningful conversations and help customers find whatever they are looking for.
10. Mention Your Biggest Weakness
Most of the time, these two questions will follow one another. Whereas the former wants your strengths, the latter expects you to mention a shortcoming to the interviewer. You should always have a lot of your weaknesses and develop strategies for how to improve them. Remember, you can transform every flaw into a strength with the right approach. Desist from mentioning one that is critical to the job description.
My greatest weakness is my reluctance to ask for help, especially when I can manage. I am excessively confident in my ability and, at times, view asking for help as a weakness or an inadequacy. I may therefore work overtime provided that I do everything on my own. However, I am trying as much as possible to overcome it. I recently joined a group of fellow professionals where we raise questions and help one another.
11. What Would You Do if You Spotted a Customer Stealing From the Store?
Even though you are expected to prioritize the customers’ needs, theft does not qualify. Assure the hiring manager that you will always keep your eyes open at work and appropriately deal with such occurrences. Remember, shoplifting is a serious issue that results in heavy losses. There is no room for emotion.
I do not condone theft regardless of the customer’s situation. I would immediately notify security to deal with the shoplifter (Do not suggest anything heroic since stopping a thief on your own is not part of your job description. Just make sure that you inform the relevant authority)
12. What Would You Do if You Saw a Customer in the Same Area as You Looking for Something?
The interviewer is assessing your attitude to work. Would you continue standing and watching the customer struggle, or will you help? You must convince the interview that you will show a proactive approach by going out of your way and helping the customer.
I would approach the customer with a smile, ask what they are looking for and help them obtain it. I would go out of my way to ensure that they love our services and become loyal customers. (You should always be ready to go above and beyond for a customer)
13. Tell Us about Your Previous Working Experience
This is a chance to tell the interviewer about some of the jobs you have held and any relevant experience in sales and retail. You can also talk positively about your former roles and colleagues. If you have no experience, assure the interviewer that you have carefully read the job description and know what is expected. He/she also needs to know that you can handle the job.
I do not have any tangible experience in this field, given that I am still a student. However, having gone through the job description, I understand what you expect from me. I am confident that I will handle the job well after the initial training since I have all the skills listed in the job description.
14. Tell Us About a Time When You Experienced Excellent Customer Service
The interviewer wants to know your definition of excellent customer service from your experience. It would be best if you talked about an incident from a retail store or a restaurant. Mention how the staff made you feel warm and valuable. The experience you mention should also be satisfying.
I once went to a Chinese restaurant in New York and loved everything from when I set foot at the door. I was warmly welcomed by a smiling waitress who led me to the table and took my order. I was told to feel comfortable and given a newspaper to read as I waited for my food. They didn’t take long, and soon I was feasting on one of the most delicious foods I’d ever eaten. The waitress stayed around to attend to my needs and gently cleared the table once I was done. I was escorted out after paying and urged to come back. I ended up being a regular customer.
15. Where Do You Shop? What Are Your Reasons?
Be careful when tackling such a question. American Eagle should be your first choice as no one will even consider giving you a job if you’ve been benefiting their competitors all along. Make sure that you also have a good explanation as to why you shop at American Eagle. Find something praiseworthy about the organization and dwell on it.
I mainly shop at American Eagles. I love your clothes, partly because I grew up wearing them. I also love your customer service and readiness to make people feel good about themselves. Some of your creations are pretty unique, which makes you outstanding. (You can also compare the store to some of its competitors and convince the interviewer that they have the edge over them)
16. Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?
Even though people don’t like being asked about their past engagements, this question is important to the interviewer as it acts as a background check. Be careful not to mention reasons such as low salary, failure to meet expectations, or dislike for your colleagues since they will immediately disqualify you. Alternatively, think about practical reasons or mention that you wanted to try something different. Do not also badmouth your former employer.
I loved my former job. It gave me a chance to grow in this field and build networks. However, it could no longer fit my school schedule anymore, so I had to leave. My employer was sad to see me go but understood that it was necessary.
17. Do You Know Our Values?
You must know the values of your potential hirers since they dictate all the activities that happen in the establishment. Therefore, always make sure that you research as much as possible about an organization before the interview. Please look at its mission and vision statements, values, and any other important information that may help you answer such questions well.
You have four central values that dictate your activities. They also happen to be values that I believe in. These are passion, integrity, innovation, and teamwork. (You don’t have to be detailed when answering this question. Just ensure that you get the values right)
18. When Did You Realise that You Wanted to Pursue a Career in Fashion?
What led to your career in fashion? We all have our stories for the things we do. Highlight your passion for the fashion industry and where it all began. Make sure that your answer is brief and straight to the point, even though you can draw on personal points.
I have been interested in fashion ever since I was a kid. I would create my ‘own’ outfits, dress my dolls, and even conduct fashion shows with my friends. I, therefore, grew up passionate about this industry.
19. What Do You Know about Our Strategic Plan?
The interviewer wants to know if you have done your due diligence and found out about the company’s business direction. Nobody expects you to delve into the specifics. Just show that you have a general understanding of where the company is headed. This should convince the interviewer that you are interested in the company.
From my research, I have discovered that American Eagle’s strategic plan targets the fortification of core brands, growth of North American presence, and transformation of American Eagle Outfitters to a unique, branded, and multichannel business that can compete globally.
20. What is Our Target Audience
Interviewers also ask this last question to determine what you know about the hiring company. Take some time and find out who American Eagle targets by their creations. It shouldn’t be hard to answer if you have been a regular shopper at American Eagle.
Based on your creations, I am positive that you mainly target people between 15-25 years. However, it is also true that your market mainly consists of fashion-loving teens. I hope that you will diversify further.
You should be prepared for these twenty questions before attending an American Eagle Outfitters interview. Ensure that you have all the answers and work on your interviewing skills and fort impression to increase your chances of landing the job.