REI, registered as Recreational Equipment Inc., is one of the most renowned outdoor retail companies in the United States. It sells various outdoor and camping products, such as apparel, gear, and accessories. If you have considered working for them, you must be wondering about the types of questions asked in REI interviews. We have researched and compiled some of the common REI interview questions to satisfy your curiosity. Let’s help you prepare and ace your interview through the following questions:
1. Why Do You Want To Work For REI?
As someone enthusiastic about camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities, I find your dedication to facilitating and promoting outdoor recreation uplifting. I am confident I will blend in well here because this company shares my passion for nature. I will also be better positioned to help other outdoor activities enthusiasts find products that meet their needs and preferences. Lastly, I will get the chance to further my knowledge of camping and other outdoor activities by interacting with your customers and selling your apparel.
2. How Will You Handle Conflicts With Your Team Members Or Coworkers?
I understand that conflicts are sometimes inevitable in team settings owing to differences in attitudes, perspectives, and backgrounds. I intend to solve any arising conflicts constructively through active listening and open communication. I will allow my colleagues to explain their opinions and perspectives before voicing mine and then work with them to find common ground and a mutually beneficial solution. I may also involve the supervisor or manager to help put the matter to rest so we can resume work as fast as possible.
3. Have You Ever Dealt With An Upset Customer? Tell Us Your Experience
I once encountered a customer who was upset about an invoice error. She was overbilled due to an input error. When she came to our office and demanded to see the manager, I intervened and allowed them to voice their concerns without interruptions. After listening, I apologized for the inconvenience and engaged the team to identify and correct the error. As a goodwill gesture, I gave her a discount on the next purchase, subject to the company’s authorization. She left smiling and relieved despite being upset before.
4. Tell Us About Your Sales And Customer Service Experience
This is my tenth year working in the sales industry. I have dealt with several customers in my career, ranging from the politest to the rudest and most difficult- experiences that have made me a better salesperson. I have also worked in a number of settings, ranging from retail stores to restaurants. I can easily upsell and cross-sell products when necessary and ensure that customer needs and preferences are met, owing to my experience. I am confident that my sales and customer service experience will help me succeed in this job if given a chance.
5. Do You Have Any Experience With Inventory Management?
Yes. As mentioned, I have worked in several settings, picking up a few skills and abilities, including inventory management. I know how to effectively track stock levels, order new products, and organize and conduct regular audits. I can also use several inventory management software and adhere to best practices for accurate and organized inventory records.
6. Can You Prioritize Tasks When Faced With Several Deadlines?
Yes. Every salesperson understands the importance of task prioritization, especially when faced with several deadlines. I normally list my tasks and assess their importance and urgency in such a situation. I then prioritize them based on these two criteria and then develop a detailed plan for the timely completion of every task. If part of a team, I inform my team members to ensure we are all working towards a similar outcome.
7. Do You Have Any Experience With Outdoor Experience And Gear?
Yes. I have lots of experience with outdoor equipment and gear, which is one of the reasons I applied for this job. I learned how to handle fishing equipment at a young age, given that I would tag along on my dad’s fishing trips. After high school, I also took up camping, learning a lot about camping apparel and gear. I know what to look for in camping shoes, chairs, tents, and other products from experience. Lastly, I am curious and a great learner; therefore, I will find it easy to learn more about some of the products I don’t know about at the moment.
8. Do You Have Any Experience Working In Teasm Settings And Collaborating With Others On Projects?
Yes. I have been part of over twenty teams in my career. I have collaborated with others on countless projects since high school, giving my best in all of them. I can work with diverse teams thanks to my solid communication and interpersonal skills. I can also ensure that everyone is working towards a common goal thanks to the team experience I have obtained over the years.
9. How Do You Stay Updated With Sales And Customer Service Trends And Developments
I normally ensure I am at par with recent trends and developments by regularly attending seminars, conferences, and trade shows. I also read industry publications and network with other sales personnel. Additionally, I am normally on the lookout for professional development and training opportunities which have helped me stay updated on this industry’s developments and trends. I can assure you that nothing recent or trending easily gets past me.
10. We Need Problem Solvers On Our Team. How Do You Normally Go About Problem Resolution?
I understand the importance of problem-solving, especially in such a setting. Whenever I encounter a problem, I take time to discover as much as possible about it. I also engage the team to understand its genesis or root cause before developing a plan to fix it together. We may research alternate solutions and try potential fixes depending on the problem. Once the issue is resolved, I update the stakeholders to ensure everyone is at par.
11. Have You Ever Had To Adapt To A New Environment Or Situation?
Yes. Working in sales has taught me the importance of adapting to different environments or situations. At one point, I was transferred to a new department during a restructuring project which meant new responsibilities and workflows. Instead of sulking or taking time to communicate my displeasure, I swung into action by learning everything I could about the new role, consulting with members of the new department, and building rapport with my new colleagues. I managed to adapt quickly, avoiding weighing down the team’s efforts. I am confident I can do the same here if such a situation occurs.
12. Can You Market And Promote Products And Services?
Yes. Given my time in this industry, I have extensive experience in marketing and promoting products and services. I can easily develop marketing strategies, create clear and detailed marketing materials and execute or participate in marketing campaigns. On top of that, I can use several marketing channels, such as influencer marketing, email marketing, and social media, to help you reach existing and new customers.
13. What Would You Do If You Encountered Unexpected Changes Or Obstacles In A Marketing Campaign?
I normally maintain an open mind when executing or participating in marketing campaigns, knowing we may encounter unexpected challenges or changes. I would therefore remain flexible and adaptable in such an instance by carefully assessing the situation and determining the best course of action while considering project goals and timelines. I would also inform my team members and stakeholders of the changes or updates to help develop effective solutions and ensure everyone is at par.
14. Customer Satisfaction And Service Are Our Top-Most Priorities. How Do You Intend To Prioritize Them?
Customer service and satisfaction are two issues close to my heart. I normally prioritize them by empathically listening to customer concerns and resolving issues as fast as possible. I am also ready to go above and beyond for customers at any time, given that I find lots of pride in touching customers’ lives and creating long-lasting relations with them. I am confident I can make your customers feel loved and valued for increased customer loyalty.
15. We May Occasionally Ask You To Lead A Team. Do You Have Any Leadership Experience That You Can Share With Us?
Given my love for taking on new responsibilities, I have several leadership experiences to share with you. During my last job, the supervisor failed to show up for work on time, an uncommon occurrence given that he was normally the first employee in the establishment. Seeing no signs of him coming to work twenty minutes later, I volunteered to be the shift supervisor for the rest of the day while still attending to my tasks as indicated in the duty roster. I successfully managed to coordinate with the other employees while balancing my jobs for a successful shift. The store manager even applauded my efforts.
16. Have You Ever Negotiated With A Vendor Or Supplier?
Yes. Working in the retail industry for over 2 decades has taken me through many experiences, such as negotiating with vendors. As a result, I have built excellent vendor management skills that I am willing to put to good use in this establishment. I once negotiated a contract with a vendor when my then company was releasing a new product. I had to research extensively and prepare an excellent presentation before the negotiation, which proved successful. The company enjoyed a profitable and successful partnership with the vendor afterward.
17. Do You Have Any Data Analysis And Reporting Experience?
Yes. I obtained quality data analysis and reporting experience as a data entry clerk in my first job. I can analyze and present data using tools such as Excel and Tableau. I also did a course on statistical analysis not so long ago and can, therefore, easily communicate data insights to different stakeholders by creating dashboards and reports.
18. We Are A Sustainable Company, As Evidenced By Our Products. Do You Have Any Sustainability Initiatives Or Practices’Experience?
I fancy myself an environmentally conscious person and have therefore participated in several sustainability initiatives and practices. I have been at the forefront of several afforestation campaigns in my neighborhood, urging residents to plant trees to increase vegetation cover. I also promote sustainable practices in my professional and personal life by conserving energy and resources, reducing waste, and implementing sustainable practices like riding a bicycle to work instead of options with huge carbon footprints like cars.
19. What Do You Normally Do When Under Pressure To Meet A Deadline?
I understand what it feels like to work under pressure to meet a deadline, which I am prepared for if given a chance to work here. I learned that the best way to go about such a situation is to prioritize work based on importance and urgency so that everything is done on time, communicate with team members to obtain their input and ensure they understand what is at stake, and ask for it help where necessary. I also ensure that I am as calm and composed as possible when under pressure through relaxation techniques such as box breathing.
20. What Is Your Take On Working Nights, Weekends, And Holidays?
I consider myself flexible, and since I have no other commitments at the moment, I don’t mind working nights and weekends. However, I would love to have a say on the nights and weekends I work since I also have other commitments outside work. For example, we normally meet at least once a month for a family dinner, which wouldn’t work if I get assigned to a night shift without prior information. As for holidays, I don’t mind coming to work if I have nothing planned.
21. How Would You Approach A Customer And Convince Them To Buy Our Products?
I understand that customer service is of utmost importance in such a setting, manifested in how someone approaches customers. I would politely and joyfully greet the customer when they enter the store and ask if they need something specific or would like help. If they are unsure of what they are looking for, I would find out more about their tastes, needs, and preferences, then apply my knowledge of your inventory to offer good suggestions. I would even escort them to specific locations and help them retrieve the items they need.
22. Have You Ever Gone Above And Beyond For A Customer?
Yes. I believe that as long as it is within the store’s policy, a good salesperson should always be willing to go above and beyond for a customer. While shopping at one of our outlets, a customer couldn’t find her child of roughly two years. On noticing her panicking, I walked up to her, calmed her down, and helped her locate the child. We found her at the ice cream stop five minutes later, unaware that the mother was looking for her. They reunited, and the customer was relieved. She left the store happy after thanking me. Such pure human interactions make me love what I do.
23. Can You Answer Phone Calls?
Yes. I would be okay answering phone calls if called upon. I worked as a clerk at some point in my career, one of my responsibilities being answering the phone. I can clearly communicate with callers, take notes and answer questions. I can also manage multiple phone lines, given that I am excellent at multitasking. I believe I will thrive if it is part of my work here.
24. What’s Your Take On Store Theft?
I believe in following the store’s policy to the fullest, which obviously bans store theft or other dishonest dealings. Therefore, I don’t condone theft and believe that it should be treated as a crime and a violation to store policy. I am willing and ready to work with the store manager, security, and other employees to ensure that the entity’s resources and products are always safe and protected.
25. Why Do You Think You Are The Most Qualified Person For This Role?
This is my fifteenth year in retail. I have obtained lots of retail and customer service experience that will be useful in this role. I know how to deal with different types of customers and manage various retail issues. I can work well with different teams and rally other employees toward achieving a common goal. Additionally, I have acquired several qualities and skills, such as patience, creativity, listening, communication, and problem-solving, needed for such a role. I am confident of my performance and will do an excellent job if given a chance.
Preparing for an REI interview doesn’t have to be challenging once you know what to expect. We have reviewed 25 common REI questions to make your work easier. Take some time to brainstorm excellent responses before your interview for great results. Also, showcase your customer service commitment and knowledge of outdoor gear during the interview. We wish you all the best.