How to Pass Store Approval
In order to pass store approval, store research is by far the most important part of the preparation; arriving to any form of store approval unprepared and unknowledgeable can damage your chances of passing. Here are some tips on how to pass store approval and land yourself that perfect job.
Know The Store History
Interviewers always want to know why you want to work for them. The easiest way to answer this question, whilst also impressing your interviewer, is to mix a few honest reasons with the store’s history. For example, combine any awards the store has won with what you feel you can bring to the store and what you know of the store.
Know The Brand
The store’s floor manager might also want to know why you have chosen the specific brand you’re being approved for. Again, research is everything; find out how long the brand has been present at the store and research the brand's customer base so you can explain how that correlates with the store's demographics.
Most importantly the interviewer will want to know about you and what you can bring to the business. Why should they pick you for their store? Yes, you’re representing the brand but also their store, so your values must fit. A common question that also comes up frequently is, “tell me a time you have gone beyond a customer’s expectations?” use your previous experience within retail to highlight the extensive level of customer service you have shown in a previous role. Perhaps use an example where you have managed to secure a very high sales figure, delivered items to a customer or even kept in contact with a customer to ensure future sales. All the above will show that you are equipped with the necessary skills to work within the store.
Dress Code & Grooming
Regardless what department you will be working in, you need to remember you are also representing their department store, so what you wear and how you wear it is key to exude confidence and professionalism. This is not the time to show off your fashion prowess, but to look smart and stylish.
Attire - Womenswear
• Full black matching suit with a white plain crisp and clean shirt or a smart black knee length dress with black tights.
• Footwear - polished smart black shoes, such as a brogue or loafer or black court heels. Avoid ballet pumps.
• Make up - Must be minimal; avoid heavy lipstick or eyeshadow at the interview stage.
• Nails - Must be a classic colour, either French, clear or red and definitely not chipped.
• Jewellery - Minimalistic, we advise to only wear one stud in each ear.
Attire - Menswear
• Full black matching suit, plain, crisp, clean (and ironed) white shirt, a black plain tie and black polished shoes.
• Grooming:- Clean shaven, hair styled neatly. No jewellery.
On The Day
Below are a few tips on how to prepare in the few hours before:
• Prior to your interview, plan your journey to ensure you arrive on time. Freedom recommends the app Citymapper for planning your journey https://citymapper.com/london/
• Arrive at least 15 minutes early to your assessment; this shows both good time keeping skills, as well as giving you time to relax and prepare beforehand. Even better, aim to arrive an hour early and take time to look around the store
• Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, being nervous (which is normal) often causes you to become dehydrated in intense situations, so plenty of water beforehand will help with any dry mouth you might experience.
• Do not smoke before the interview. Chewing gum doesn’t always help and this gives off an immediate bad impression which is hard to forget.
• Go to the toilet before the interview. You don’t want to allow for any distractions during the interview.
The Approval Itself
When in the assessment, this really is your time to shine. Store approvals are usually in a group session and this is a great chance to show how unique you are, however do not become the centre of attention for the wrong reasons.
• Whilst speaking, remain calm and clear; speaking very quietly or muffling your words could give off the impression you’re not confident, which is an imperative skill within retail.
• Remember to listen to other people’s point of view. Do not interrupt other people when they are speaking; remain engaged and interested in what they say.
• It is likely a group task may be set during the process of your approval; whilst it is important to be confident and show your skills during this piece, do not allow yourself to become unprofessional.
• Keep eye contact whilst talking. This shows how confident you will be when engaging with a customer.
• It is important to be polite; greet everyone professionally and at the end of your interview, let your interviewer know it was a pleasure to meet them.
• Always remain passionate and really show them why you want to be a part of the store.
When It Has Finished
After the approval, don’t contact the store directly, contact your consultant for feedback.
If you’re looking for temporary opportunities within the retail sector, send an email with your CV attached to firstname.lastname@example.org, who will be in touch shortly. Alternatively, you can view our live roles here.