What has been your process, as a merchandiser, with promoting a brand?
The merchandiser is responsible for the presentation of a brand in a retail environment. They may be stocking shelves, talking to customers and taking inventory while making the brand stand out with a fully stocked appearance. With an eye to how the product looks as well as the number of items presented, the merchandiser is directly responsible for presenting the brand to the consumer. What to look for in an answer:
- Knowledge of branding importanance at retail
- Can transmit questions and information
- Able to make a compelling presentation to customers
Example: “I think the best presentation is what a manufacturer expects. Having worked for a major national brand, I realize that presentation is the first impression on a customer.”
Are you familiar with and have used planograms of different types?
The ability to read a planogram, the plan for display of the product, by the manufacturer or retail company, such as a department store, is sometimes needed. These plans specifically place merchandise in a particular area for display. Sometimes, the planogram does not exactly match the merchandise; in this case, the merchandiser must use their judgement to substitute one product for another. Look for planogram and POS display experience. What to look for in an answer:
- Ability to read planograms
- Willingness to learn to read and utilize them
- Able to take the manufacturer’s vision to retail
Example: “I have extensive experience using planograms and setting up display areas at retail. I understand the need to present the organized product to increase sales.”
Have you used devices, phones and tablets to communicate information?
Manufacturers and merchandising companies rely on information regarding inventory control that is sent back to them through a handheld device, computer, tablet or smartphone. The merchandiser often has to take clear photos of the completed display setup for transmission back to the company. In some cases, the merchandiser will be marking down products with action such as printing tags with a mobile printer or featuring new prices as in the case of markdowns. What to look for in an answer:
- Ability to use a POS handheld device
- Accuracy and efficiency in transmission
- Takes clear photos of shelves or products
Example: “My last job required me to do markdowns of products, photos of displays and daily communication via a handheld device. I was able to understand and utilize their system with no issues.”
As a merchandiser, have you interacted with customers while presenting the brand?
The merchandiser often has to answer questions from the public about the product they are stocking. They should have a knowledge of the product or be willing to learn. It is often the merchandiser who has to interact with store managers and personnel to ensure that the product is well-positioned and on time for a season if seasonal selling is important. Look for a person who is not afraid to interact. They should also be able to work as a team if that is part of the position requirements. What to look for in an answer:
- Ability to have rapport with store personnel
- Eagerness to help customers at retail
- Willingness to find answers about the product
Example: “I understand the merchandiser represents the brand, and effective communication with stores is imperative. I have helped customers as well,by helping them locate the correct product.”
How well do you prioritize merchandising requests and communication from the company?
Reading communication on a daily basis is important to the merchandiser position. They should be aware of policy changes that affect their organization and efficiency. Working with a team is often a part of the merchandiser position, so sharing knowledge is often important. Problem resolution is a key attribute of the merchandiser, so communication is a major part of the position as well as keeping proper inventory levels. What to look for in an answer:
- Ability to build displays of products by company standards
- Be able to place timely orders
- Compliance with company policies, procedures, and laws
Example: “My first priority was to read company communications at the beginning of every shift, in order to be aware of changes or new policies.”