Top 20 Target Interview Questions (+ Example Answers Included)

By Mike Simpson

“Friendly, fun, and collaborative,” that’s how Target describes its culture. Sounds pretty sweet, right? But does that mean your Target interview will have the same tone? Not necessarily.

Target strives to maintain a great atmosphere, but it doesn’t want to cut corners when hiring. “We consistently set high expectations for everything we do.” That means hiring, too. The company even admits its goals are “challenging,” which is a bit intimidating. If you expect the Target interview questions to be a walk in the park, you’re probably in for a rude awakening.

Now, does that mean you shouldn’t go for it? Of course not. You just need to be ready to handle the rocky terrain the experience offers. So, get your hiking boots, day pack, and slather yourself in sunscreen. It’s time for a stroll through the interview wilderness.

How to Answer Target Interview Questions

Alright, now we could just hop off-trail and start going through random Target interview questions like we don’t have a care in the world. The problem is, that isn’t the smartest way to start.

Think of it this way, if you went out hiking, wouldn’t you want a handy dandy compass in your hand? Of course, you would. Having something that tells you which direction you need to head to get where you’re going is a good idea. The same goes for these tips.

With the right interview techniques and strategy, you’ll always know right where north is. You’ll be able to navigate the trickiest questions with greater ease, all because you took the time to pack your compass. So, let’s develop those skills now.

First, you need to do some research. Just like you would review any landmarks that help you stay on a forest trail, you need to go over the role’s responsibilities and key skills. Every job is different, including the different positions at Target.

Review the job description carefully. Look at the must-haves list and for any skills or qualities that are repeated. These are your north. They let you know exactly what the hiring manager is looking for, and that’s valuable information. Couple that with a thorough look at Target’s mission and values statements, and you’ll know a ton about what the company wants to find.

MIKE'S TIP: When you’re looking at company values statements, you’re usually lucky enough to see a list of characteristics that the organization finds important. That makes working them into your interview answers easy, as what you need to reference is right there in black and white. With mission statements, you might need to read between the lines. Consider what core traits allow a person to live up to that mission. Once you do, you can integrate those into your interview answers.

Now, when you create answers to the Target interview questions, you don’t just want to list your skills and traits. That’s about the dullest approach imaginable. Plus, you’re telling the hiring manager that you possess all that stuff, not showing them. In the end, that’s not going to be convincing.

You might be thinking, “How can I show the hiring manager I have what it takes?” Well, by giving them clear examples. Think back on your past experiences and identify moments where you deployed various skills or relied on specific traits. Then, make those part of your responses.

When you’re answering behavioral interview questions, it’s pretty easy to use that approach. Start off by using the STAR method. It allows you to turn your experiences into intriguing stories, making your answers more engaging and impactful.

Then, go further. Employ the Tailoring Method to really personalize your answers. Your responses will end up as relevant as possible, making them more impressive and meaningful to the hiring manager.

Top 3 Target Interview Questions

Now you know how to answer Target interview questions, so you’re all set, right?

Well, sort of.

Think of it this way, if you were going to backpack along the Pacific Trail, wouldn’t it be helpful to have a guide? Or at least some clear instruction from someone who’s done it before? Yeah, thought so.

Let us be your Sherpa. Here are the top three Target interview questions and example answers that can help you on your journey.

1. What would you do if an angry customer became verbally abusive?

While most disgruntled customers don’t become verbally abusive or overly aggressive, some do. A hiring manager might want to know how you (as a cashier for example) would handle a volatile situation, ensuring that you could take the right steps to ensure the safety of yourself and those around you.

EXAMPLE ANSWER:

“If a customer became aggressive, my first priority would be to remain calm. I don’t want to escalate the situation, so I would be mindful of my body language and speaking tone. My goal would be to remain kind and empathetic, listening to their concerns, rephrasing them and asking clarifying questions to ensure I understand, and trying to find a reasonable resolution. If I am either unable to calm the customer or find a solution, I would follow company policy and contact a supervisor or manager.”

2. If a customer is looking for a product, but is having trouble describing it, what would you do?

It isn’t uncommon for customers to have trouble remembering the names of various products. By asking this question, the hiring manager can find out how you would navigate this potentially challenging situation.

EXAMPLE ANSWER:

“If a customer couldn’t remember the name of a product they want to find, I would begin by asking them to describe it as well as they can. That alone may be enough to point me in the right direction. However, if it isn’t, I would then move on to clarifying questions. For example, I may ask them how they envision using the item or what task they are trying to accomplish. By learning about their goals, I could narrow down the options and potentially determine what they want to find. If it is still not clear, I would coordinate with my coworkers, especially if someone has expertise in the product category in question. However, I would stay with the customer to ensure their needs are met, seeking out additional assistance as necessary.”

3. Tell me about a time when you were innovative on the job.

Target encourages all of its employees to innovate. This question gives the hiring manager insights into your ability to think outside the box, be creative, and develop something that benefits the company, workplace, or team.

EXAMPLE ANSWER:

“In my last position, handling incoming inventory was cumbersome. Everything would arrive in a group of boxes, but the items weren’t always separated into departments. Initially, each box was handled individually. After confirming the contents were correct, the products would get dispersed. Then, the next box would be handled. I noticed that this was very inefficient, as it had people bouncing back and forth to the same sections repeatedly. I spoke with my manager and discussed a process that involved sorting all of the contents before bringing any of the new inventory to the floor. That way, an entire department would be handled in one trip, speeding up the entire process overall.”

17 More Target Interview Questions

Here are 17 more Target interview questions candidates may face:

      1. Why do you want to work for Target?
      2. What can you tell me about the Target company?
      3. How would you define customer service? What separates good customer service from bad?
      4. Which of your traits do you think would be your biggest asset if hired in this role?
      5. Tell me about a time when you chose to go above and beyond for a customer.
      6. Can you tell me about a mistake you made on the job? What did you do to correct it, and what did you learn from the experience?
      7. If you saw a coworker steal a quarter from a register, what would you do?
      8. In your opinion, what makes a good team member?
      9. If you were assisting one customer and a second customer came up demanding your attention, what would you do?
      10. Can you describe a time when you faced an ethical dilemma on the job? How did you handle it?
      11. If a customer was looking for a product that was out of stock, what would you do? What if the product was discontinued?
      12. Tell me about a time when you didn’t agree with a team member. What was the outcome?
      13. If two different managers gave you two conflicting priorities, how would you decide what to do?
      14. Describe a time when you received negative feedback from a manager. How did you handle it? What steps did you take after?
      15. If you were counting out your cash register at the end of a shift and discovered you were $2 short, what would you do?
      16. Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond to help a teammate?
      17. If you were in the middle of a high-priority task and noticed a safety issue that poses an immediate risk to customers or coworkers, what would you do?

5 Good Questions to Ask at the End of a Target Interview

Alright, you’ve reached the end of the interview. The hiring manager is done asking their questions, so there’s nothing left to do, right?

Wrong.

Before you’re through, you’re going to get a chance to ask some of your own questions, too. It’s an opportunity you shouldn’t ignore. You’ll be able to learn more about the job, environment, culture, or anything else you’d like to find out, so don’t waste this chance. (Plus you come across as uninterested and a “non self-starter” if you DON’T ask any questions.)

If you don’t know what to ask, here are some great options to tack on at the end of your Target interview:

      1. What training to employees receive when starting in this job?
      2. Once you started in your position, did you learn anything about Target that surprised you?
      3. What is the biggest challenge new hires need to overcome in this job?
      4. How would you describe a typical day in this role? What about the most extreme day?
      5. What traits do you think are essential for excelling in this position?

NOTE: In this day and age there’s a good chance your interview will be done online. If your is, check out our Zoom Interview Tips article as well as our Video Interview Tips post!

Putting It All Together

Sure, a Target interview isn’t a walk in the park. But that doesn’t mean you can’t nail it. Just let the tips above be your compass as you make your way through this interview wilderness. So, prepare for the trip, embrace the journey, and hit the trail. If you do, you’ll show the hiring manager that you’re the high-quality candidate you know yourself to be, increasing the odds that you’ll impress.

Good luck!

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Check out our other articles in our Company Specific Interview Series:

About The Author

Mike Simpson

Co-Founder and CEO of TheInterviewGuys.com. Mike is a job interview and career expert and the head writer at TheInterviewGuys.com. His advice and insights have been shared and featured by publications such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, CNBC and more as well as educational institutions such as the University of Michigan, Penn State, Northeastern and others. Learn more about The Interview Guys on our About Us page.