Barnes and Noble is the largest retail bookseller in the US. It also deals in content, digital media, and educational products, making it a profitable entity.
This article will look at some of the questions you should expect if Barnes and Noble invites you for an interview. Let’s get started:
1. What Do You Know About Us?
What do you know about Barnes and Noble? You should always extensively research your potential employer before the interview in preparation for such questions. You can talk about their year of formation, product portfolio, places of operation, and any other factual information that you know.
You are the largest retail bookseller in the US. You also sell digital media, content, and educational products. You have over 600 bookstores in 59 states with headquarters in New York. ( You can also talk about its founders, William Barnes and Clifford Noble, or mention their several subsidiaries)
2. Tell Us About Yourself
This is usually an opening question in lots of interviews which helps the interviewer know more about you. There are lots of things to talk about, including your hobbies and interests. It would be best to focus more on your work-related experience and qualifications and less on your personal life. Make it brief.
I am Emmanuel G. White, a professional librarian, and customer care attendant. I am passionate about books and poetry. I spend lots of my time reading and writing stories… (You can go on and on, make sure that you offer accurate information about yourself. Remember, the interviewer has your CV and work resume and can countercheck if they want to)
3. Why Do You Want to Work for Us?
This is arguably one of the most critical opening questions in interviews. Your reasons will tell the interviewer whether you will be a good fit. You should focus more on what value you will bring to the workplace and less on what you stand to gain from it. Remember, Barnes and Noble deals with books, and therefore, your reasons should be along that line. Also, avoid giving reasons such as money or any other material benefits.
I love reading. I spend most of my time going through and reviewing books. Working here at Barnes and Noble will bring me closer to readers, making me feel at home and do my job well. I would also like to be your representative since I enjoy your products and services. I am ready to work hard and positively contribute to this entity if given the opportunity.
4. Why Should We Hire You?
This is where the interviewer expects you to argue your case. What makes you think that you deserve this position? How will Barnes and Noble benefit from your services? We advise you to look again at the job description and identify the needed skills and experience for the particular job. You should then match these skills to your skillset and reassure the interviewer that you have all it takes to deliver.
I am an avid reader who is passionate about books. I am, therefore, in a better position to make recommendations to customers and help them find whatever they are looking for. I have also used your services for a long time and therefore understand your processes, which will help me serve well in the organization.
5. How Did You Come Across this Job?
How did you know that there were vacancies at Barnes and Noble? Were you randomly looking for jobs, or have you always wanted to work here? Your answer should convince the interviewer that you have always wanted a chance at Barnes and Noble and did not just decide to apply after coming across a generic job board.
I was once informed about your job positions by a friend who had worked for you at some point. He kept on praising your working environment and unique policies. I then decided to learn more about Barnes and Noble and have been actively applying on your website for quite some time.
6. What Books are You Currently Reading
You should have in mind that to be employed at Barnes and Noble, you must show the hiring manager that you are passionate about books since those are their main products. You cab mention books of any genre or quality because Barnes and Noble has a variety of those. We also advise you to include one or two bestsellers in your list since most people buy them.
I am reading Crying in H. Mart by Michelle Zauner, People We Meet on Vacarion by Emily Henry, Gold Diggers by Sanjana Sathian, and a Crookes Tree by Harper.
7. Can You Tell Us About any Relevant Work Experience that You Have
Before freaking out, you should know that you don’t need to have any previous work experience to get a job at Barnes and Noble since the entity offers sufficient training for all its joining staff. However, any experience in retail or customer service will always be a plus in such jobs. You can mention your former employers and refer to a few responsibilities similar to what you will be doing at Barnes and Noble.
I worked as a customer care representative in a retail store during my years in college. I learned valuable lessons on handling different types of customers, including the difficult ones- some that have greatly helped me in my career.
8. Comment about Your Availability
When are you available? How many hours or days can you work? Most jobs at Barness and Noble are part-time. A big part of their workforce is college students and people who have other jobs, given that it pays minimum wage. You should have a clear schedule ready for the entire week and tell the interviewer when you can and cannot work. You can also convince them that you are flexible and willing to sacrifice for the job.
Being a student, I will mostly be available for evening or night shifts after I am done with my classes. I do not also have engagements during the weekends and can work any shift.
9. Have You Ever Had a Conflict with a Colleague? Tell Us About an Experience
Barnes and Noble embraces teamwork. You will work with other employees at all times, so you should know what to do whenever there is a conflict. We advise you to mention a situation that has a positive outcome. Show the hiring manager that you managed to stay composed and adequately solved the conflict. However, if this is your first job application, convince the interviewer that you can handle such situations.
This is my first job application. However, I understand that conflicts are inevitable in job settings and need to be managed well. I will strive to be attentive to the needs and feelings of my colleagues and responsibly undertake all my roles in the store. If a conflict ever occurs, I will listen carefully to the other party, understand their views and come to a solution devoid of emotions.
10. How Would You Handle a Scenario Where Several Customers Need Your Advice
The interviewer is testing your prioritization skill. Are you in a position to manage several tasks at a time, or will you panic and lose your focus? You can tell the interviewer that you will follow a specific system in your work or come up with a particular way of handling the customers.
I usually believe in a first-come, first-serve basis. I will therefore offer help depending on who wanted my services first. I may also inquire about specific needs and offer guidance to save time instead of dealing with every customer personally.
11. What Do You Normally Imagine When You Hear Someone Mentioning Barnes and Noble?
What comes to mind when someone mentions Barnes and Noble? What do you imagine the place to be or look like? Even though this seems like a straightforward question, and you may love to be honest with the interviewer, we advise you to think of an answer that praises the entity or its stores. We all want to be told good things about ourselves, and so does Barnes and Noble.
I imagine the unique smell of books and coffee whenever I hear someone mention Barnes and Noble. I spend a lot of my time reading and therefore whenever I imagine a place with books I instantly imagine that fantastic smell.
12. What Do You Hope to Learn from this Job?
Barnes and Noble helps its employees learn lots of skills, thanks to its good training programs. You should therefore enter the workplace ready to learn. Share with the interviewer some of the things you hope to come out with from this giant retailer.
I hope to lay the foundation for my career with this job. I am pretty skilled, but I hope it will allow me to improve on them and learn more about sales. I plan to become a store manager later in life, and therefore, I am ready to learn how to operate a store.
13. How Good are Your Mathematical Skills?
You may be expected to handle customer transactions when working at Barnes and Noble. Strong mathematical skills will therefore come in handy and increase your chances of landing the job. Convince the interviewer that you can effectively handle math-related tasks.
I love Math and did exceptionally well in high school. I can therefore accept cash, balance cash float, and handle inventory-related tasks thanks to my perfect Mathematical understanding and comprehension. I am confident that I will meet your expectations.
14. We Believe that You Must Have a Given Personality to be Part of Us. Could You Please Describe Yours
Your personality tells the interviewer if you will be a good fit for the team and organization in general. We advise you to should focus more on your personality traits and not on your character traits. Personality traits include being energetic, confident, and so on, whereas character traits are honesty, hard work, or reliability. Also, try and mention personality traits that relate to the job.
I am an approachable, light-hearted and positive person. I see the good in others and believe that we can achieve many things if we come together. I am also pretty confident in my interactions and can effectively pass information.
15. Why Do You Think You Deserve this Position Out of all the Candidates?
This is not a chance to badmouth other candidates but to convince the interviewer of your outstanding skills and capability. You should have a deep knowledge of this institution’s core values which will help you convince the interviewer that you deserve the job out of all the applicants.
Since my college days, I have been shopping at Barnes and Noble, which shows just how loyal I am to the entity. I want to spread the love that I have always received to other shoppers and help them find whatever they want. I also have vast experience in customer service and can handle different tasks thanks to the years I have spent in retail. Therefore, I will not require lots of training, saving you time and resources.
16. How Will You Handle a Situation Where a Communicator Does not Properly Put across Information
Proper communication is vital in work settings. You should ensure that you get instructions and clearly put across information as you go about your work. Therefore, assure the interviewer that you know what to do in such a situation. You should ask questions and seek clarification if the supervisor is not clear enough.
I understand the importance of effective communication in work settings. Therefore, if a supervisor does not properly communicate information to me, I will seek clarification by asking questions. I may also ask them to repeat whatever they have said or ask my team managers if they understood the supervisor.
17. Mention Some of the Qualities You Possess that Makes You a Good Fit for Our Team
Every job or workplace has its requisite qualities. You should therefore have a deep understanding of Barnes and Noble to answer this question well. What do they offer? How is the work environment? What do you need to survive in such a work environment? Mention some of the qualities that will make you a good employee. Be ready for any follow-up questions from the interviewer.
This is a retail entity. I believe that my ability to handle different customers, patience, and passion are essential qualities. I am also an outgoing and social person, which is vital for jobs that involve dealing with customers.
18. What Type of Manager Do You Like?
What type of manager brings out the best in you? This is a chance to tell the interviewer the kind of manager or supervisor you prefer working with. Mention someone who can positively influence you to perform. Be honest since the interviewer may use your response to pair you with the right person.
My best type of manager is one who nurtures instead of barking commands. I believe in a style of leadership that inspires and not threatens. However, that does not mean that they should not be strict. Even though I usually try my best to ensure that I perform all my duties on time, the manager should always keep me on my toes.
19. What is Your Greatest Strength?
This is a common general question the interviewer asks to know more about a candidate and determine if he will contribute to value addition in the workplace. Mention a strength that makes you worthy of the position. Therefore ensure that you understand the job description and whatever is needed to succeed in the particular job.
I believe that my affinity for new information is my greatest strength. This explains why I love reading and learning about new things, which will significantly help me in this job. I can also interact well with people and persuade them to take the initiative.
20. What is Your Greatest Weakness?
Be careful when answering this question since giving a wrong answer may make you lose an opportunity. We advise you not to mention a weakness that renders you incompetent or is detrimental to the job description. Give a general weakness that does not relate to the job.
I overindulgence in my passions. For example, I can read for several hours, leaving me with only a few hours to focus on other activities. However, this is not a problem when working since my primary focus is always on my job.
These are some of the questions that you should expect when interviewing at Barnes and Noble. Kindly go through them once more and ensure that you are in a position to answer all of them when asked.