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If you’ve ever been on the hunt for great clothing or gifts at reduced prices, chances are you’ve wandered into a T.J. Maxx. If you’re also looking for a job, this retailer can be a good option for those willing to work hard as a team in a fun environment. You can apply online or in the store, and once you receive word that you’ve scored an interview, it’s time to prep.
About T.J. Maxx
T.J. Maxx began in 1977 with two locations opening in Massachusetts. The company started as a small East Coast brand and now have over 4000 stores in nine countries. Their key to success has been their ability to offer brand name clothing at deeply reduced prices ranging between 20% to 60% off normal retail prices.
If you’ve been inside a T.J. Maxx, you know their inventory changes quickly, and they offer a wide variety of different styles, so everyone can find something that appeals to them. They have a wide selection spanning many categories including:
- Women’s fashion
- Handbags and luggage
- Fashion and fine jewelry
- Home goods
- Bed and bath
- Gourmet foods
- Kids apparel
- Men’s fashion
The retailer offers gift cards for purchase and has their own credit card you can apply for.
T.J. Maxx Interview Questions
Any interview can be intimidating. When you’re interviewing for a store you enjoy, it can be even more so. Be ready to speak to your personal experiences while shopping at T.J. Maxx. The interviewer may ask you specific questions such as what you like about the store, what you most like shopping for, and what your service experiences have been like. Keep it positive.
If there are sections you never visit in the store, tell them you’re impressed with the number of choices they offer, and while you rarely visit the men’s section, it’s good to know it’s there if you ever need a gift for someone. That’s better than saying there is a section you never go to.
Before you go to your interview, take another spin around the store and make a note of the energy level, aspects you like, and how the other customers are shopping. It can only help, and you may just find the perfect interviewing outfit while you’re there. You’ll want to prep for the other general interview questions they may ask you.
Why Do You Want to Work Here?
This is a great opportunity for you to explain what you love about the store. Whether you want to be around the rapidly changing fashion, working around great clothes, working with a team, or wanting to move up in the company—talk about your reasons for picking T.J. Maxx. Even if you’ve applied to other stores, talk about what sets this one apart for you. It’s important for them to know you’re not just there to grab a paycheck.
Tell Me about Yourself
This seems straightforward, but can be a trap. They want to know you can focus your thoughts and pick out the highlights without rambling. They also want to know you are passionate about something. Talk about your hobbies and, if you’re in school, what you’re studying.
Having an affinity for animals, kids, cars, sports… anything can be a great conversation starter, but give a highlight about what you do with your hobby. Try saying something like: “I love dogs. I have three and dog-sit for my friends and family when I can. I took a canine first aid class and have my eye on those cute chihuahua pajamas you have right now.” It’s to the point, shows a depth of interest, and ties it to the store.
Because T.J. Maxx has so many things to choose from, you can tie almost any hobby back to something you’ve seen in the store. The interviewer should be impressed by that.
What Are Your Greatest Strengths?
You’ll get this in just about every interview you’ll ever do. It’s important to tie what you’re good at with what the job description says it wants in a candidate. If you’re super chatty, say you’re a great communicator. If you are a neat-freak, you can say you have great organizational skills and like to keep your workspace clean and clutter free. Your best traits get highlighted here, and it’s important you can speak to them in an organized and enthusiastic way.
What Are Your Greatest Weaknesses?
This is one of the most dreaded questions in an interview. The key is to be ready for it. Interviewers aren’t impressed if someone stammers and comes up with nothing. Nobody is perfect and being unable to spot your weaknesses spells trouble for a potential employer. It’s also not great if you bring out a laundry list of weaknesses. Focus on one and have another in your back pocket if they ask.
Try saying you will often take on too many tasks at once, and while you are an excellent multi-tasker, you understand the need for delegation. Let them know you have made improvements in this area and will continue to work on it. These sorts of “weaknesses” show you’re introspective and a problem solver.
How Long Do You Plan to Work Here?
In a business like retail, employee turnover is high. They want to know you’re not just there to make a few paychecks and then cut out. You may want to say you would like to make a career there by working your way up. You could also say you are looking for a stable job and there is no foreseeable reason you would leave the company. If you’re in school and will go away after graduation, be honest about that.
How Do You Handle an Upset Customer?
This happens in every business. They want to know you can make the customer happy. Tell the hiring manager you are in customer service because you love to make customers happy and you are good at it, and if a customer is unhappy, you will do anything you can to resolve the situation. Let the hiring manager know the steps you would take to resolve the problem. There are a few key steps to solving customers’ issues:
- Listen without interruption
- Apologize sincerely
- Do what you can to make it right
- Get a manager involved if it’s beyond your scope or they want to speak to a manager
- Thank them for the opportunity to fix the problem
What Would You Do if You Saw an Employee Stealing?
This is a two-fold question. In one answer they’ll be able to know your opinion about stealing, and whether you will put the company above a friendship you may have with another employee. Tell the hiring manager stealing is never ok, and that you would immediately report what you’ve seen.
Because interviewing is stressful, being prepared will give you the best shot at winning the interviewer over.
Foremost, be early to the interview. Many interviewers won’t even talk to you if you show up late. This is your opportunity to show the hiring manager you are punctual and reliable. Arriving 15 minutes early is a good guideline.
What to Wear
Because you’re about to work in a clothing store, you can be trendy. Keep it professional, but there’s no need to throw on a suit—unless that is your style. If you wear a skirt, make sure it’s not too short. Dark jeans should be fine. You want to convey your personality with your outfit—go colorful!
Be energetic in your interview. This is a fun brand looking for energetic, fun associates to work there. Be sure to smile. Put your nervous habits in check: bouncing legs, pen tapping, and hand-wringing can be distracting. Don’t chew gum or have candy in your mouth. Take deep breaths when you’re there to keep your nerves at bay and blood flowing to your brain.
It’s ok to admit you’re nervous. It shows you’re excited at the opportunity to work at T.J. Maxx. You may even get bonus points for wanting the job so much you have nerves.
What to Bring
It’s always a good idea to come with two extra copies of your resume. If you have letters of recommendation or any pertinent training certificates, bring copies of those with you. Bring a notepad and a few pens to take notes—it’s always better to be over-prepared than under.
One note you always want to take is the email address of the person you interviewed with. Send them a follow-up email the day after the interview thanking them for their time—this will leave another great impression.
If you’re looking for a job in a fast-paced, fun environment, T.J. Maxx is a great place to be. Once you’ve landed the interview, you’re more than halfway there. After you’ve done the preparation and they see your personality, you’ll be a shoe in. There are countless opportunities inside the organization, so your first job can be the stepping stone to a great career. Best of luck at your interview!