3/12/13

Target's Secret Interview Questions

Target uses 'Behavioral Interviews', not your Old Fashioned Interview which can be relatively predictable and simply asks where you worked and for how long. You probably have researched Target and are prepared for questions as "Tell me about yourself" and "Where do you see yourself in five years?" but at Target you need to prepare for a different sort of interview.

The theory behind a behavioral interview is that a candidate’s past experience is a good barometer of future success. Employers believe that asking job candidates to discuss specific challenges they’ve faced at their job is more telling and realistic of a candidate’s qualifications than their rehearsed replies. 

The questions tend to be open-ended and start with "Tell me about…" or "Describe a situation where…." Here is a chance for you to highlight your strengths and attributes more strongly than with generic statements like "I’m a good problem solver." 

You may be able to recite your résumé word for word, but are you prepared to explain how you got things done?  Go into the interview armed with stories of your past accomplishments, especially those that reveal leadership and problem-solving skills.  Some job candidates trip on such simple open ended questions as found below.

The questions used at Target are a reflection of the Disney culture.  In the early days Target copied a lot of the Disneyland concepts (such as calling 'customers' guests) including their HR procedures. 

These questions are not unique to Target, and in fact are in no way 'Secret', many firms now use them and you can find out more by taking a look at various internet sites, many of which simply list the below questions or variations of them.


Interviewer Questions for Executive Team Leader or Team Leader

1) Tell me about a time when you exerted extra effort to help a guest.
2) Describe how you think that product out of stocks can be proactively prevented in the store.
3) Tell me about the last time you missed a deadline and why.
4) Tell me about a time when you were asked to do something with little help or direction from others.
5) Tell me about a time when you were asked to do something unexpected or on short notice.
6) Tell me about a time when you had to learn a new skill that was important for your job.
7) Tell me what you think is the significance or importance of maintaining the Target store image.
8) Tell me about a time when you were dissatisfied with the appearance of your work area and what you did to improve it?


Interviewer Questions for Executive Team Leader Human Resources

1) Tell me about a time that you were part of a group that did not work together as well as it should have.
2) Tell me about a time when you went all out to make your store, or work area, look presentable.
3) Tell me about a time when you had to shift attention between multiple activities that competed for your time.
4) Tell me about a work program or project that was not running well and what you did about it.
5) Tell me about a time when you had to shift attention between multiple activities that competed for your time.
6) Tell me about a time when you addressed a safety concern.
7) Tell me about the last time you had too much to do and too little time to do it.
8) Tell me about a time you investigated your work area for possible improvements.
9) Describe a time when you had to deal with a difficult guest or co-worker.

Interviewer Questions for Store Team Leader

1) Tell me about a time when you executed a plan in a timely manner.
2) Tell me about a time when you were unable to help someone.
3) What do you view as the biggest challenge regarding in-stocks in a Target store?
4) Tell me about a time when you asked for feedback that would improve your performance.
5) Tell me about a time when you had to drive a change that was not well received by others.
6) Tell me about the last time you took a project that was a stretch of your skill set.
7) Tell me about a time when you had to introduce yourself to someone new and how you handled this situation?
8) Describe a situation when your planning led to a favorable outcome.


Thanks to Dave K for providing this info. If you have confidential Tarbut info send it to me for publication.

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Here are a few other questions FYI:

  1. Describe yourself
  2. Why do you want to work for Target
  3. Tell me about a time you worked on a project
  4. Tell me about a time you lead a team. What worked well
  5. Tell me about your past accomplishments (school or work)
  6. Tell me about a goal you didn’t achieve
  7. Tell me about a time you were stressed and how you handled it
  8. Tell me about a time you had to adjust to a situation quickly
  9. Tell me about a time you had to make a difficult decision
  10. Tell me about a time you had to motivate a team member
  11. Tell me about a time you had a problem with a co-worker and how did you resolve it
  12. Tell me about a time your leadership skills led you to make a bad decision
  13. If you’re not selected as an Intern, what are some positive takeaways

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