Whole Foods Market Specialty Team Member Interview Questions

Updated Apr 13, 2015
12 Interview Reviews

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Specialty Team Member Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate in Elmhurst, IL
Accepted Offer
Positive Experience
Difficult Interview
Accepted Offer
Positive Experience
Difficult Interview

Application

I applied online. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Whole Foods Market (Elmhurst, IL) in April 2015.

Interview

I applied online to several positions for the yet-to-be built Whole Foods location in Elmhurst. I was lucky to get many responses (all except one were nos, concerning my application status).
The positive response was a request from the team lead for the considered area asking 4 fairly specific question in regards to the position. I responsed per the deadline and was asked to come in less than a week later for an inperson interview.
The first interview was between myself, the department head and the specialty/wine buyer. They were very friendly -super family feeling as other posts have mentioned- and asked more department specific questions:
        What would you pair with proscetto?
        What is the difference between champagne and sparkling wine?
        What would you do if you were busy at the cheese counter, wrapping a selection, when a customer approached you asking for help in another department?
       What are you passionate about?
       What is the difference between a Belgium Beer and a German Beer?
After a variety of questions like the ones before my interviewers asked a few more questions more geared to my responses. They then followed with some expectations in the role offered a Whole Foods. I was most impressed with their Anti-Layoff policy (meaning if there are not enough sales in your area they will transfer you to another department or local store instead of firing). After a few more comments they took a little time privately to discuss. I was informed I would be called over the next week per their decision.
Luckily I was called later that afternoon and asked to return the next day. Since then I have signed my hiring papers and am eagerly awaiting my first training day and the store's opening.

Interview Questions

  • Why Whole Foods? Why did you apply?
            What are you passionate about?
            What would you pair with proscetto?
            What is the difference between champagne and sparkling wine?
            What would you do if you were busy at the cheese counter, wrapping a selection, when a customer approached you asking for help in another department?
           What is the difference between a Belgium Beer and a German Beer?
           What area would you be most suited for: Beer, Wine, Cheese or charcuterie?
     
    Answer Question

Other Interview Reviews for Whole Foods Market

  1.  

    Specialty Team Member Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Whole Foods Market.

    Interview

    I submitted my resume and filled out an application online. Within a couple of days I received a phone call and did two interviews completely over the phone, with a third in-person. The first phone interview consisted of mostly logistical questions like what my availability was, why I was interested in the job, and my previous experience. The second interview was more difficult. I was asked specific questions about cheese, beer, and wine and asked about what I would do in hypothetical customer situations. During my third interview, which was in-person, I wasn't asked any further questions but did meet the store manager and was hired. It took about a month to begin working, because of background checks, but overall was very smooth.

    Interview Questions

    • "What is my favorite part about being a part of a team and why"   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    I was told what the starting hourly wage was and didn't negotiate - there wasn't really space to do so.

  2. Helpful (2)  

    Specialty Team Member Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Del Mar, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Whole Foods Market (Del Mar, CA) in August 2014.

    Interview

    I got a call to come in for an interview about a week after applying online. I interviewed with one associate team leader, it was very relaxed and as much a conversation as an interview. A week and a half or so later I got a call to come in for another interview with the team leader and the other associate team leader. This interview was a little harder but still not too hard and enjoyable enough. After they talked, they came in and said I was to interview with the store team leader briefly. I talked with the store team leader a bit and was basically given the job after that. The interview with the store team leader seemed like more of a formality. It did take a few days for the official offer to come over email.

    Interview Questions

    • What would you do if a customer asked for a cheese similar to ______ (some cheese I'd never heard of)?   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    They said pay started at $11/hr, I said that sounds just fine to me.

  3.  

    Specialty Team Member Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Whole Foods Market in August 2014.

    Interview

    Filled out the application online and 1 week later they called me for an interview(no prior experience in specialty). When I arrived at the interview it was a group interview similar to a career fair. I hate career fairs so that was a big turn off for me. However, the lady asked me a few question then sent me over to the cashier department to see if I had a better chance there.

    Interview Questions

    • How do you make mash potatoes?
      what the best meal to recommend to a customer?
      If you and another co-work was in a conflict, how would you handle the situation?
       
      1 Answer
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  5.  

    Specialty Team Member Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online – interviewed at Whole Foods Market.

    Interview

    The process was standard. First we did a short phone screen, then I was asked to come in for an in person interview. The one curve ball I got in the interview was that they asked me to provide an opening statement, like you would see in a courtroom.

    Interview Questions

    • I was asked how I would increase the business for the department I was interviewing for.   1 Answer
  6.  

    Specialty Team Member Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Easy Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1+ weekinterviewed at Whole Foods Market.

    Interview

    I originally applied for the bakery team member position. i applied online and one day when i was checking the status of the application, i noticed it was gone, not pending gone. like i never applied. so i went in to talk to someone at the store i applied to. so upon getting there and meeting with the pbs dept i had my interview that day. later i got a call from the team leader of the specialty department. i was a little unsure that i was actually hired until i asked. really just be yourself and be calm and fun.

    Interview Questions

    • there were no real difficult questions. but apparently when asked "why do you want to work at whole foods?" a lot of people say "because starting pay is $10 p/hr" ...dont say that.   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    stick to your guns and if you know what you want dont be afraid to ask for it.

  7. Helpful (2)  

    Specialty Team Member Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 5 daysinterviewed at Whole Foods Market (Seattle, WA) in September 2013.

    Interview

    I applied for the position via the WFM website on a thursday. I received a phone screening interview on that friday evening and the TL scheduled an interview with the ASTL and himself for the following monday. We sat in one of the cafe/bar areas (it's a very large store) and chatted for about 45 minutes.

    Both of the guys were awesomely friendly and my nerves were gone by the second question. I have 10+ years grocery experience (6+ in gourmet/specialty/cooperative grocery industry) as well as kitchen and management experience. I was worried that I would be considered over-qualified, which is something I encountered a lot when I last went for employment at WFM, but these guys were really excited to talk to me and kept apologizing for making me answer so many questions (the ASTL said they were all mandatory). No real surprises, really.

    The TL told me that he really liked that I was already familiar with WFM and their philosophy and that it was nice that he could tell that I was genuinely passionate about natural and organic foods and the culture that WFM operates in (rather than just having read about it online and regurgitating it in an interview). The TL and ASTL stepped aside and then the TL came back and sat down and offered me the job! I was totally pumped, because I have never had a job offer AT the interview.

    Interview Questions

    • "Here at WFM, we talk a lot about "Shared-Fate". What do you think "Shared-Fate" means, and how do you think it applies to the way we do things here at WFM?" (or something to that effect)   1 Answer
    • "As you may know, we here at WFM have 8 Core Values. What are some of your Core Values that you have in common with WFM?" (paraphrased heavily)   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    I didn't negotiate, as the TL offered me $12.50/hr and I was expecting $10.

  8. Helpful (1)  

    Specialty Team Member Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online – interviewed at Whole Foods Market in November 2012.

    Interview

    Received a call from department ATL and she conducted a brief phone interview. Was called back within the next couple days to schedule a in-person interview. Was told it would be a quick informal interview, but ended up getting a more in depth interview with the STL instead of the TL. Part of the interview involved a walk around the store, which he led at a very quick pace, clearly seeing if I could keep up with his pace.

    Interview Questions

    • Asked to "Role-Play" He pretended to be a customer and asked if I could recommend a "white cheese" for him. Thought this was very vague since most cheese is white.   1 Answer
  9. Helpful (1)  

    Specialty Team Member Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Phoenix, AZ
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Whole Foods Market (Phoenix, AZ) in December 2011.

    Interview

    Applied on-line at Whole Foods and forgot about it. Sometime later, someone got in touch with me to see if I was still interested in the job. I said yes and we set up a 1-to-1 interview at the store location. Went in, very casual and laid back atmosphere. I had interviewed with them previously at other locations for different positions so I sort of knew what to expect. Whole Foods like "real people" so to speak. Jeans, tennis shoes, tattoos, piercings are all ok. In fact, I got the impression that the more individualistic one was, the greater the hiring chances were. Needless to say, I dressed down for the occasion this time around. My future manager came out and proceeded with the interview. Asked me about my experiences and background, work scenarios and some general work related questions. I seemed to have pass this introductory session because I soon found myself with round two immediately afterwards. This time it was with his department supervisor who in turn asked me pretty much the same questions. I again passed and was then promptly scheduled to return the next day for yet a third and final interview with store director and an assistant department head. Before I left, my future manager gave me a heads up. He related that I should really brush up on some items found on the website that would ensure a favorable nod from his supervisor the next day. So, I did what I was asked and went into the interview fully prepared. Questions were the same but more in depth, job specific. Needless to say, I wowed them both and soon found myself being scheduled to meet with the in-house HR representative to start my paperwork. Nice! Fast-forward about one week for all my paperwork and background checks to come through and there you have it.

    Interview Questions

    • Nothing in particular that stands out. Just be yourself.   Answer Question

    Reasons for Declining

    I acepted the position and worked three days. Whole Foods is really big on training which to me was wonderful. I am used to OJT only but Whole Foods wants you really prepared so in addtion to that, there are on-line as well a actual classes/meetings one can attend. Everything seems to be pretty structured and for a green work enviorment they are overly weighted down with paperwork/handouts. I would have been really happy there except for the fact that I did not like the job that I was hiredd for. It did not fit me. I would have prefered another department but I would have had to wait another six months before I could have transfered. I was not going to do that! So the first 30 days of employment is like a feeling out process for both the member and the employer. Either side can end the business relationship at any time.

  10.  

    Specialty Team Member Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Atlanta, GA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Whole Foods Market (Atlanta, GA) in May 2011.

    Interview

    The interview process was fairly laid back and expected for an entry level position. You were given a call if your application was a good match for the available position. You can fill out an application online or in the store. I had an interview with the store leader and the leader of the department I was interviewing for. Was given a tour of the store and then offered the position before I left.

    Interview Questions

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