The Interview Process at Boots the Chemist Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

The Interview Process at Boots the Chemist

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So you're going for a job interview at Boots the Chemist1? Good for you. They offer you a competitive salary2, a staff discount, and snappy uniforms3. You'd probably appreciate knowing what they're going to ask you, wouldn't you? Sure you would, so here it is.

The Store Walkabout

This will probably be the first phase of your interview. In the store walkabout4 you will be given a list of around 30 things to find, and you will walk your interviewer round the store, finding them. You are not expected to find all of the items (you will only have a limited amount of time) and they are all relatively straightforward (what is the offer of the month, where can you apply for a Boots advantage card etc...) but ten or 15 minutes spent scouting the store beforehand will make you look that bit smarter. Also, the interviewer will fire one or two questions at you as you walk around, so if you already know where you are going it will help you to focus more on what they are asking, rather than trying to find three buy-one-get-one-free offers (since you already know where they all are). That was part one, now...onward.

The Selling Scenario

This is relatively self-explanatory. You will be given about ten cards which outline details of customer requests, and you will be given about 15 minutes to wander around the store (again) and find a couple of items you can recommend to the customer in order to meet their request. You will also be invited to suggest additional information that you might have requested from the customer had they been real, rather than just a piece of card. Again, a general wander around the store in advance will do you no harm, especially for things that you didn't realise Boots sold, like electrical equipment, beauty products and baby stuff. If they don't mention it, you might consider making suggestions to cater to a variety of budgets, and then asking how much the customer wishes to spend as a supplementary question. Another key tip is to make sure you 'link sell'. Boots, in common with more or less everyone else, love you to enlarge on the customer's original request by suggesting other, related, items that they might like to buy. For example, if your store scenario invites you to find a last-minute travel hairdryer, you might consider what other hasty holiday buys might be appropriate. Coming back with armfuls of insect repellant, aeroplane earplugs and suntan lotion will impress your interviewer with how many Boots products you can hang on the back of one innocent request.

Additional Guidance

This is just the basic interview format. They may well have additional questions, depending on the job you are applying for. If you are a consultant you will probably be asked about 'shrink'. This is Boots' word for 'losing stuff' which happens, as you would expect, through theft5, stuff falling down the back of the shelves6 and stock counts not being done properly. If you are not asked about it, casually mention 'model day'. This is the structure that the Boots stock staff are supposed to adhere to, laying out the amount of time allotted for restocking their shelves, counting the stock, and 'pulling forward7. If you adhere to this, so goes the theory, all will be well8. Mention all of these things, in addition to making yourself aware of all the other stuff you've already read.

1Not to be confused with Boots the Opticians Limited, who are sort of the same, but for eyes.2That's what Boots say, you can make up your own mind.3Boots didn't say that. Actually, neither has anybody else - until now.4This phrase is currently two words, but in line with the Boots word reduction policy (in store, for example, becomes 'instore') storewalkabout may be one word soon.5Which is combatted by tagging, and by looking accusingly at suspicious people.6Tell them you will check down the back of your shelves.7Which means tidying the shelves.8Unless you're a scruffy, illiterate, idle, ill-qualified wastrel. In that case there's nothing anyone can do for you, you're on your own.

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