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Nordstrom Sales Associate Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jul 22, 2014
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Interview Experience  

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Interview Difficulty  

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Sales Associate Interview

Sales Associate

Interviewed at Nordstrom

Interview Details – Applied online. Long questionnaire. One-on-one interview a week later with HR person. Then one week training with 2 other new hires. I got Women's Shoes with best commission in the store- 10%. Probably hardest job in the store though with all of the running around for indecisive women.

Interview Question – What makes you want to leave your current job for this one?   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Sales Associate Interview

Sales Associate

I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Nordstrom in June 2010.

Interview Details – I applied online for a retail position, but in no particular department. I received an e-mail within a few days to set up a phone interview within the week. The phone interview was with that stores HR Manager and about 15 minutes long consisting of generic retail questions - What is good customer service?, Why Nordstrom?, What do you like about retail? At the end of the call we set up a time to interview in person. I interviewed with the HR Manager at the Nordstrom I applied to. Very relaxed interview. a lot of the same type of questions: Best/Worst customer service experience? Do you follow fashion? What is your best/worst quality., Expand on your previous experience. At the end of that interview the HR Manager excused herself to see if the department manager was available (I was still not told at this time what department), she was not so we scheduled a second interview. At the second interview I met with the department manager, a lot of the same type of questions/getting to know you, and also a few regarding specifics to her department. I had previous experience with fitting suits, and outerwear so I was placed in Studio/Narrative and Coats (in season), though I did not apply for this specifically. During the interview the department manager did a role play exercise involving me trying to help/sell her a specific blouse. I honestly did terribly, but told her that I was a quick learn and would take and apply any sales advice. I left the interview not feeling exceptionally confident, but the department manager called me within several days offering me the position.

Interview Question – Role playing exercise trying to sell specific products.   View Answer

Negotiation Details – I did not negotiate. They offered me a high (for retail) base starting hourly salary because of my experience, and was told that it was expected that I would eventually be making more per hour with commission.

If your commission for the day figures out to be higher per hour than your base salary that will be your hourly salary for that day, if it lower then they use your base hourly salary - so you will never earn lower than your base salary per hour.


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Sales Associate Interview

Sales Associate

I applied online and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Nordstrom.

Interview Details – The process begins with an online application, if approved there is a phone interview and possible a second phone interview, the next step after this is an in person meeting with a Human Resources Manager, and finally an interview with the Department Manager of whom you are applying for.

Interview Question – What is the most difficult customer issue you have had and how did you handle this?   View Answer

Negotiation Details – No negotiation.


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Sales Associate Interview

Sales Associate

I applied online and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at Nordstrom.

Interview Details – Applied online - uploaded my resume, references, and other stuff. I got an email back the next day or two telling me to set up a phone interview online. I scheduled it, and waited for the day I'd get the call. On the day of the scheduled phone interview, the manager? interviewer? called about two hours late, so just make sure you're open two hours before and after your original time slot. The questions were pretty simple - Why Nordstrom? Give an example of good customer service? - and after that, the interviewer forwarded my information to the manager of the department I was applying to. She then set up a face to face interview, which was also pretty casual. It was one-on-one, and short (15 minutes max).

Interview Question – Selling scenario - pick an outfit for a specific occasion and sell it to the department manager. Because it was so spontaneous, it was somewhat difficult, but just stay calm and it should be good.   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Sales Associate Interview

Sales Associate
Austin, TX

I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Nordstrom in November 2013.

Interview Details – Very laid back, easy going and friendly. Arrived to Customer Experience and waited to be escorted to the back of Nordstrom. The manager arrived not long afterwards and led me back to a small room with a table and two chairs and we sat down and she asked me various questions about my experience.

Interview Question – Tell me about a time when you helped a disgruntled customer, how did you turn it around?   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – It was very relaxed and easy.


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Sales Associate Interview

Sales Associate

I applied online - interviewed at Nordstrom in June 2014.

Interview Details – Created account on the website and then applied online for a position. Got an email the next day asking me to chose a phone interview time. I scheduled the next open slot which was about a week later. I scheduled it for 4pm but they only called around 4:45, keep a two hour slot open for your phone interview. The phone interview lasted about 10-15 minutes. They asked about 5-7 questions but nothing hard. Then the lady told me she would like to schedule a in store interview with a manager and asked me what department I was interested in. The in store interview was scheduled for about 4 days later and there was a group of us waiting. Then one by one we each were taking to a different area by the manager or assistant manager of the department we wanted to work in. Then the interview lasted about a half hour.

Interview Questions

  • Why do you want to work at Nordstorms?   Answer Question
  • Why do you want to work in whatever particular department you applied for?   Answer Question
  • What was a time when you experienced really high expectations and how did you handle it?   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Sales Associate Interview

Sales Associate
Pittsburgh, PA

I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Nordstrom in February 2013.

Interview Details – I got a call within 2 days of applying. We talked on the phone briefly and then did a quick face to face interview. They talk a lot about working off commission. It helps if you have before. They are all about customer service. The job you apply for online isn't always the job they have for you when you are in the interview. After the find a fit department, they take you down to meet the manager and the manager makes you sell an item in the department. It can either be super fun or nerve wracking! I got a call and was hired within the next 2-3 days!

Interview Question – Honestly the most difficult question which isn't difficult at all is When have you had an unhappy customer and how did you handle the situation.   View Answer

Negotiation Details – No negotiation, you work off commission.


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Sales Associate Interview

Sales Associate

I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Nordstrom in May 2014.

Interview Details – I applied in April as soon as they posted openings for the seasonal sales associates and I scheduled a phone interview a week later. The phone interview was really short, she just asked why I wanted to work at Nordstrom, an example of a time I went above and beyond to achieve a goal, and a couple other questions. I was still at school so she told me to come in on their next interviewing day and that I would be able to choose the department I wanted to work in (based on what would still be available since some previous seasonal employees would be coming back).
For the in-person interview, I was extremely nervous going into it and was expecting a pretty formal interview. However, I arrived 15 minutes early and right after I got there, a woman came to lead us over to the interview room where they had multiple interviews going on at the same time at tables spread out around the room. My interviewer was really nice and laid back, which made me feel much more comfortable. During the interview, she was summarizing my answers and writing them down but it was pretty low pressure--we even got off topic a couple of times so it eliminated most of my nerves. However, a couple of questions I wasn't expecting but as long as you come prepared with a few specific examples of times you have been successful or have reached a goal etc. you should be fine. Also, you don't have to have retail experience to answer the behavioral questions, you can use any examples from your life.
After she finished the questions she talked to me more about the job and then showed me around the department. She asked me a few questions about how familiar I was with the department (brands I could name and trends that were in style this season). Then she gave me a simple scenario where she was a customer and I had to pick out a few items I thought she would like. She asked me what I should do if the customer wanted to buy everything I picked out and I didn't really know so she told me that you want to try to build relationships so you should ask the customer how to contact them if there is a sale or event going on. Finally, she gave me her business card and I e-mailed her the next day to thank her and then she called me back that same day to say I got the job!

Interview Question – 1. Example of successful teamwork, 2. Example of competitive situation, 3. Example of a time someone expected too much out of you, 4. Example of working hard to achieve a goal, 5. How will you reach your sales goals?, 6. Why are you interested in *specific department*?, 7. Come prepared with questions to ask them   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Sales Associate Interview

Sales Associate
Salt Lake City, UT

I applied in-person and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Nordstrom.

Interview Details – On line applications. If you have previous experience in sales You need to go in after you apply. Talk with the manager or managers. Get noticed. A lot of people apply.

Interview Question – Most questions deal with how you can show excellent customer service.   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Easy Interview

Sales Associate Interview

Sales Associate
Seattle, WA

I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Nordstrom in May 2010.

Interview Details – Applied online, was invited in for the interview (it was seasonal, for their anniversary sale). The interview took place in a big open conference room, and a lot of other people were being interviewed as well. There was a waiting room and you had to wait until your name was called. Was hired after the first interview. I sent them an old fashioned thank you card after the interview.

Interview Question – "Sell me your purse"   View Answer

Negotiation Details – They offered me a base hourly rate with a 6.7% commission. If your commission doesn't meet the base rate, they will pay you the base rate.

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