Barnes and Noble Interview Questions & Answers

Congratulations on getting an interview at Barnes and Noble! Now what? You might get ready for the interview portion of the process. Though many people might find an interview nerve-wracking, daunting, or even completely terrifying, it doesn’t have to be! With some knowledge about the company, possible questions you might encounter, and interview tips, you will have all the tools you need to be successful at a Barnes and Noble interview.

BARNES & NOBLE SECRETS | how to get hired, interview process tips (video)

Things to Know About Barnes And Noble Before Your Interview

Barnes and Noble are best known as a bookstore throughout the United States, with approximately 630 retail stores in 50 states. It started in 1886 as a bookstore named Arthur Hinds & Company and has changed owners and partnerships until it became the Barnes and Noble known and loved today.

Right before being an independent store, it used to be a small chain of bookstores called B. Dalton Bookseller, typically located in malls. They announced their liquidation of the chain to switch to large retail outlets in the 1990s when bookstores began failing and were forced out of business. Now, they stand alone as the largest national bookstore chain. 

What Can You Find In A Barnes And Noble Store?

At your local Barnes and Noble store, you will mostly find books, but they have other hidden treasures as well. 


Most locations have a café that serves Starbucks coffee, tea, snacks, and treats. The café usually has a sitting area perfect for chatting with friends over tea, reading a book, doing schoolwork, or any other work. All locations offer free WiFi to further enhance your experience and allow you to make the most of your time. 

Children’s Area

Many locations have a children’s section with children’s books, toys, and games, and some locations even offer story time and activities for children a couple of times per week. 

Reading Materials

Aside from books, they also offer magazines, newspapers, and graphic novels. 


Most Barnes and Noble locations sell DVDs, Blu Rays, gifts, games, music, and Nook e-readers and tablets.

Mock Questions and Answers With Answers

What Can You Tell Us About Yourself?

  • This is a good opportunity to share your accomplishments!
  • Share or highlight 2-3 specific accomplishments relevant to the job
  • Keep it concise, and do not go through your entire resume

What Can You Tell Us About Barnes And Noble?

Research about the company should be done ahead of time because you should know information about the company you potentially hope to work for.

  • Barnes and Noble is the biggest bookstore in the United States
  • They offer more than books: A children’s section, a DVD and Blu-ray section, a music section, a home and gifts section
  • They offer NOOK, which is the most advanced e-book reader

Why Do You Want To Work For Barnes And Noble?

Talk about your love of reading, and be ready to talk about a specific author or book. Speak about how you like the products and/or services you’ve received from them. Discuss how you would like to represent them and be a part of their company.

How Would You Deal With An Upset Customer?

Find out why the customer is upset and come up with possible solutions. Be ready to give an example, such as if there were a problem with a product, you could discuss warranty and/or replacement options with the customer.

How Would You Handle A Situation That Could Cause You To Be Late For Your Shift Or Miss Work?

Discuss how being prompt is important to you and that you hope it never happens. Talk about how you leave early for work to account for any mishaps, such as traffic jams or bad weather. Because some circumstances are unavoidable, you can discuss how you would handle those circumstances using common sense.
You can also talk about how you would keep the courtesy of others in mind by either finding someone to cover your shift or calling your supervisor to inform them about the situation.

What Are Your Greatest Strengths/Why should I hire you?

Describe your strengths Some helpful keywords or phrases are

  • Hard worker
  • Fast learner
  • Punctual
  • Passionate
  • Good at communication
  • Attention to detail
  • Flexibility
  • Organizational skills
  • Leadership skills

What Are Your Weaknesses?

You can turn this into a positive by talking about things that benefit your job. Here are a few examples of how to answer this question. Talk about how you are a workaholic and sometimes neglect friends or family because of it. You could discuss how you get caught up in work and forget to take time or yourself and your hobbies. You might also describe yourself as a perfectionist and explain how you strive to make sure things are done properly, even if it takes longer than you hoped for

Where Do You See Yourself In Five Years?

Potential employers are looking to see if you’re motivated and how this job would fit into your long-term plans.

  • Be honest
  • If you aren’t sure, it’s okay to say you’re still making up your mind
  • Keep it fairly general

Questions To Consider Asking Your Interviewer

Asking your interviewer questions after the interview can help you send the message that you are interested in the position and care. It’s also a way to ensure the position is right for you and your needs.

  • What is the best part about your job?
  • What does a typical workday entail?
  • How would you describe an ideal candidate?
  • Are there opportunities for advancement in the position?
  • Can you describe the culture of the company?

 Barnes & Noble Interview Tips

1. What To Wear

When applying for a job, your goal should be to dress for the job you want. Wear something professional yet sensible because while you want to dress nice, the job will probably require you to be on your feet for at least some of the time. Things like khaki pants, dressy skirts, dress pants, button-down shirts, and blouses are appropriate. You’ll want to consider shoes that are both comfortable and dressy, which will go with your outfit, but it’s important that you can stand in for long spans of time.

 2. Eye Contact

Maintaining good eye contact is important because it informs the interviewer you have confidence and that you are honest and genuine when answering questions. If you feel nervous and struggle to make eye contact, try looking at the interviewer’s forehead.

 3. Body Language

Good body posture is another way to show confidence because slouching can make you uninterested in what the interviewer has to say. It will also help keep you from mumbling. If you are unsure whether you have good posture, try sitting by a mirror and practice both slouching and sitting up straight so you can see and feel the difference. Try not to cross your arms because that can signify that you’re closed off, or not open to discussion.

 4. Speech

You want to aim for a medium-paced speech when you talk. If you talk too quickly, you may appear nervous, and if you talk too slowly, you could sound boring. A good tip is to practice speaking out loud and find your middle ground before the interview.

 5. Listening

Active listening is important because it shows the interviewer you are interested in what they have to say. Nodding and smiling are other ways of showing the interviewer you are engaged. It requires full concentration and understanding of what is being said to you.

 6. Arrival Time

It’s always best to arrive early. If you run late, not only will it suggest that you would be late to your shifts if you got the job, but running late can also make you feel frazzled, and you likely won’t perform your best. On the flip side, you shouldn’t arrive too early because that could show you are nervous or make the interviewer feel like they should rush to accommodate you. Approximately 10 minutes earlier than your interview time should do the trick.

 7. What To Bring

Even if you have already handed in your resume, bring an extra copy in case the interviewer doesn’t have it in front of them. Paper and pen are also good ideas because they show the interviewer you are prepared and ready to take notes or write down important information.

 8. Pay

Remember what you feel your pay should look like, especially for the position you applied for at Barnes and Noble. Things to think about are any relevant training, skills, education, and experience.

 9. Electronics

Turn all electronics off or don’t bring them at all. This goes for any other object that could make a noise and interrupt the interview

How Long It Takes To Get A Job At Barnes And Noble?

The Barnes and Noble interview process is a bit different from other companies. They are much more focused on the company culture than the skills of the candidate.

The first step in getting a job at Barnes and Noble is to fill out an application online. After that, you will be contacted for an initial phone interview. If you pass this phone interview, then you will be invited for an in-person interview with a hiring manager and HR representative. The interviews last about 45 minutes each and are more focused on assessing cultural fit than your skillset.


If you have an upcoming interview at Barnes and Noble, preparing beforehand can put you ahead of others competing for the same position. Knowing background information on the company in combination with having great answers to basic questions, will help the interview flow smoothly. All the tips discussed should help you remember what to do and how to act and allow you to get through a great interview seamlessly. Good luck!

Matthew R.

I'm the founder of Job Interview Advice. I have over 20 years of experience in HR and the hiring process. I've helped tens of thousands of people find their dream job, and now I want to help you!

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