Staples is a multinational office supply retailer with over 1,300 stores in the United States alone. Therefore, the company is always on the lookout for new talents that will help them grow – but the selection process is more thorough. Hiring managers will pay attention to the way a candidate’s attitude, general appearance, and the way they answer common pre-defined Staples interview questions.
Therefore, preparing for your Staples interview means knowing a little about the company, the position, and the questions they may ask. Here’s the info you need, the most common questions you might encounter during an interview with Staples, and how to answer them.

Staples Company Info

Founded in Brighton, Massachusetts in 1986, Staples is the nation’s leader in office supplies and employs associates across the country. The chain, with has more than 79,000 employees in nearly 4,000 stores, is one of the largest employers in North America. In fact, you can find Staples stores throughout the United States, Canada, the U.S. Virgin Islands, South America, and Europe. The company operates stores under their original name, as well as subsidiaries. The company also works with enterprises, mainly in North America and Europe.

staples wide logo

Currently, Staples has job openings in their corporate offices, stores, field sales centers, and distribution centers all over the US. The company offers flexible schedules and complete benefits packages, not to mention the multiple opportunities for personal and professional growth.

You can find more about the benefits that come with working at Staples and how to make your Staples application stand out by looking over our guide to the Staples job application.

Staples Interview Tips

The interview process for Staples usually consists of a phone screening and an in-person interview. During your interview, which may either be a group or one-on-one meeting. You may meet with the store manager and any assistant managers as well. Be prepared to remain in the store for up to two hours for your interview.

Conduct Research on the Company & Job Opening

To prepare for your interview, do a little background research on the company first. Find out when they were founded, what products they sell and how they differ from the competition. It is helpful to know their operating hours, how the store is structured and the positions of the employees of the store(manager, assistant manager, print center associate, etc.)

Review Common Interview Questions and Prepare Answers

Read over a few common Staples interview questions and rehearse your answers. While you don’t want to just repeat a script to your interviewer, it pays to know what you are going to say beforehand.

Arrive on Time

Plan to arrive about 15 minutes before your scheduled time and dress professionally. For men, that means neat and ironed pants (no cargo or jeans). Wear a clean and pressed shirt and tie. For women, casual pants (not jeans) or a skirt is fine, with a knit top or sweater. Make sure your fingernails and shoes are clean and your hair is neat.

Staples Interview Questions & Answers

Staples Customer Service Associate Questions and Answers

Q. What customer service experience do you have?
A. In the past, I have worked as a customer service agent for major retailers. I worked as a cashier and sales clerk for Target, and I also worked as a customer service assistant at FedEx Office.

Q. What do you know about Staples products and services?
A. I know that Staples provides a full line of office products including small supplies, large machines, and electronics. Staples carries printers, desktop computers, laptops, and digital cameras. Staples also offers office furniture as well as copy and print services. I know that Staples also offers printing services like banner printing, presentation printing, and signs.

Q.What does it mean to be a team player?
A. I believe that being a team player means making the needs of the team and the organization a priority. It means working together with fellow members of the team in order to make sure we are serving the customer.

Q. Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer.
A. Once I had a customer who bought a laptop which didn’t have the Microsoft Office Suite installed on it. She thought that the software came with the computer, it did not. She was irate because she did not want to pay the additional fee for the software. I was able to first calm her down by letting her know that I was on her side, and by showing empathy to her. First, I told her that I understood how frustrating it must have been to drive all the way home and not have the software on the machine. Then, I showed her the products we had available and found a coupon that would allow her to get a discount on it. In the end, she wasn’t totally happy (because she had to pay extra), but she did get what she needed and she was happy with the level of service that I provided.

Q. Are you available to work nights, weekends and holidays?
A. Yes, I am available to work on nights, weekends and holidays.

Q. A customer insists that the register is ringing up the wrong price. You want to leave to check the tag on the shelf, but there is a long line of people waiting, and you are the only person at the registers. What do you do?
A. I would call the manager for assistance.

Staples Copy and Print Associate Questions and Answers

Q. What type of customer service systems have you used? What are you comfortable learning?
A. I have used standard cash registers, copy machines, fax machines, and scanners. I have also used handheld inventory devices, I can read a Plan-o-gram, and I know how to use pricing guns. The Internet is also useful for research. If there are any other systems that I need to use, I’m a quick learner.

Q. Sometimes it gets busy and multiple customers are asking for your help at the same time. How do you handle this?
A. I would help the customers in the order that they came into the department. I would apologize to the waiting customers for the wait and give them updates about how long it would be before I could help them.

Q. Why did you choose your major in college?
A. I chose to major in Marketing because I wanted to know why people buy the things that they do. I wanted to know what makes them make certain decisions.

Q. Are you looking for full or part-time work?
A. I am looking for a part-time position at this time, but my schedule is flexible.

Q. One of your co-workers has a friend come into the store to buy some items. You see the co-workers ringing up products for prices that are different from what is on the label and selling them to the friend at a discount. What do you do?
A. I would discreetly report the co-worker to my manager.

Staples Manager Questions and Answers

Q. Why do you want to work for Staples?
A. I want to work for Staples because it is the best store when it comes to office supplies. I love shopping here for my school supplies, and I bought my laptop from here two years ago.I know that Staples has a reputation for being the best and I want to be part of that as well.

Q. What is your biggest strength when it comes to working?
A. My biggest strength when it comes to work is being able to learn quickly. I love to read and research, so when I get new material about a product, I usually dig in and learn all I can about it. This helps me as a customer service agent. Because people will be constantly asking me questions, I am a huge asset when it comes to providing information instantly. I can also remember a lot of facts which also helps me in my work.

Q. What is your biggest weakness when it comes to working?
A. I often have a short attention span. I’m great at doing short tasks that require quick, intense bursts of energy, but not as good at tasks that require long periods of attention. I have worked on this weakness by breaking up my work into small tasks and rewarding myself for completing longer, more detailed tasks. I feel that I have improved greatly and my attention span is increasing every day.

Q. What is your experience with managing teams? What is your management style?
A. I managed a team of 211 associates at Target. I manage by asking for input from my team and making them feel valued.

Q. What do you like to do for fun?
A. In my free time, I like to take photos. I consider myself an amateur photographer. I take shots of landscapes and nature.

When it comes to acing your Staples interview, just remember to be honest and listen to the question thoroughly before you answer. Your Staples interview is only a part of the process. The interviewer likely called you in because he liked your application and thought you would be a good fit. By following these Staples interview tips, being prepared and practicing your answers in advance, you will have a better chance at landing the customer service job that you want.