Waterstone's Interview Questions | Glassdoor.co.uk

Waterstone's Interview Questions

Updated 5 Oct 2018
57 Interview Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)  

    Bookseller Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Waterstone's in October 2011.

    Interview

    Started with an online application with the standard questions one might expect for a retail position (working in a team, leadership, customer service etc.), then face-to-face interview in store from branch manager and assistant manager. They asked personality and competency-based questions, whilst they also asked about previous experience - essentially a follow-on from online application.

    Interview Questions


  2. Helpful (4)  

    Bookseller Interview

    Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1+ week. I interviewed at Waterstone's (London, England).

    Interview

    Applied for a Christmas temp position online. They got back to me within a week to set up an interview. Interview itself was with the Branch Manager and Assistant Manager. At least in my case, they told me before starting the interview questions that they want me to explain using concrete examples, so that is exactly what I did.

    Try to keep to specific examples (try to use different examples for different questions whenever possible). They want to concrete know-how rather than hypothetical action (i.e. answer "I did 'X' in situation 'Y' with 'Z' result" rather than "I would do X if Y happened).

    They got back to me in a couple days with an offer

    Interview Questions

    • Tell us about a situation where you disagreed with your superior and how you handled it.   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    The wage was the fixed rate that Waterstones gives temps in Central London. They were quite flexible about hours except for the couple BIG sale days they required.

  3. Helpful (1)  

    Bookseller Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Nottingham, England
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Waterstone's (Nottingham, England) in October 2010.

    Interview

    I think it may vary from store to store. Asked you basic competency questions about working in a team, working in busy environments, how you deal with difficult customers, but also was obviously expected to talk about my favourite authors. Was asked what I liked about the company and what I think could be done to improve the store.

    Interview Questions

    • I was expected after the end of the interview to choose one book from anywhere in the store, find a particular member of staff and tell him why I liked it and why he should read it.   Answer Question

  4. Helpful (1)  

    Bookseller Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Waterstone's.

    Interview

    Interview was quite relaxed and friendly. Questions included, "What do you think is important or what do you look for in a bookstore?" "What kind of experience have you had in face-to-face customer service?" "In your opinion, what are the current problems that bookstores face?" "What is your favorite genre?" "Would you have flexibility in working additional hours or at nearby locations?" "What kind of experience have you had in working autonomously, without direct supervision?"

    Interview Questions

    • "In your opinion, what are the current problems that bookstores face?"   Answer Question

  5.  

    Bookseller Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience

    Application

    I applied in-person. I interviewed at Waterstone's in September 2014.

    Interview

    Arrived 5 minutes early for interview. Manager, who was on the phone, ignored me for 15 minutes to complete his call to the Area Manager. His opening gambit was to proceed loudly swear about how great the sales were in "his shop". Spent another 5 minutes printing out forms for me to read. Explained that recently the interview system had changed to the effect that all interviewees would receive the same questions, be it for temporary bookseller or managerial positions. After typing a couple of my responses onto his computer he claimed that my answers, "wouldn't cut it" and that I would have to start again. Upon which I walked out.

    Interview Questions

    • Give an example of when you have used your initiative to exploit a commercial opportunity.   Answer Question

  6.  

    Bookseller Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Kingston upon Thames, England
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied in-person. The process took a week. I interviewed at Waterstone's (Kingston upon Thames, England) in September 2015.

    Interview

    Was given a question sheet to read over and answered them with a manager in a "what would you do if" interview while walking around the shop.
    Then you sat with the manager and answered questions about yourself and why you'd be a good bookseller. Was pretty simple if you actually like books.

    Interview Questions


  7.  

    Bookseller Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Marston Meysey, England
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied in-person. The process took 3 days. I interviewed at Waterstone's (Marston Meysey, England) in March 2013.

    Interview

    The interview process was simple and pleasant, I had two people interview me, a manager and a lead bookseller. They were both kind and friendly, making talking to them easy. As most interviews you'd have to expect to be kept for an hour but my interview lasted maybe twenty minutes.
    It's all quick and easy to answer, even for someone with no or limited previous experience like I was.

    Interview Questions

    • Can you give an example of a time when you feel you could have improved on your own customer service?   Answer Question
  8. Helpful (1)  

    Bookseller Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Wigan, England
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied in-person. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Waterstone's (Wigan, England) in July 2016.

    Interview

    I applied in person and they rang me a week later offering me an interview. I turned up 10 minutes early and was asked to look around the shop whilst I waited.
    I was interviewed by 2 people and it was all very informal and they made me feel very welcome and comfortable and the questions weren't difficult at all (probably because I actually like reading / books). I would recommend looking into how waterstones differs from online shops eg Amazon and how they advertise their books etc. because I got a bit stuck on those questions. They said they'd ring me back in a week so fingers crossed, overall a rly nice interview!!

    Interview Questions


  9. Helpful (3)  

    Bookseller Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Waterstone's.

    Interview

    I applied through an advert placed in the shop window. The process involved me emailing my CV/cover letter to the manager. They came back within a day and asked me to an interview which was about a week after I applied. It's been a few days since the interview and I haven't heard back yet as they were having more interviews over the weekend (but I did think the interview went really well; fingers crossed!)

    The interview was one-on-one with the manager in a back office. She was very friendly and welcoming. Here are the two most important things I took away from the experience, which I think could be helpful:

    - It was clear that you absolutely had to UNDERSTAND good customer service. She opened by asking me to keep using real life examples. Things is, I had no experience as such. If this is you, I suggest having a good think about what is needed from a Waterstones employee (i.e. why would friendly, helpful staff be important to Waterstones in particular? Think competition from Amazon. Actually if you ever get stuck Amazon is probably going to be a good way out; mouth off about Amazon and they will probably dig it.) So I just discussed what good customer service is with her. She seemed happy that I recognised it as important and was willing to think carefully about it, so I would suggest you try to get across that this is important to you. That's probably the next best thing if you don't have concrete experience. Oh and try to use examples of non-customer service in your life that still show the same skills. For example I had to do some acting (haven't done any before except 10 years prior) and had to film with a crew of strangers, so I used that to show I can make friends easily and work under pressure.

    - They wanted someone friendly, enthusiastic and capable of directing oneself. She straight up told me that a lot of the time I would need to find my own work unsupervised and that there was very little down time. Friendly is important, but you also need to come across as level-headed and capable.

    Interview Questions

    • What is good customer service?   1 Answer

  10. Helpful (3)  

    Bookseller Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Interview

    standard one on one interview in store round the back, lasted approx 30 mins. Introduced to store manager at start, told to get a book to recommend during the interview, asked around 7 or 8 questions

    Interview Questions


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