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Top 15 Cashier Interview Questions & How To Answer Them

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The number of Cashier positions is declining, with projections indicating a 10% decrease in job opportunities from 2022 to 2032.

As a result, securing a job as a Cashier can be challenging, especially in popular areas or with well-known companies.

[Source: BLS]
This chart is interactive. Hover your mouse over different parts of the chart to see detailed data. 

To help you find a job in this competitive market, we prepared a set of questions to prepare you for your upcoming Cashier interview.

We categorized the questions into Skills and Experience, Customer Service and Situational/Behavioral, with concise explanations and illustrative example answers for each.

1. Cashier Interview Questions About Skills and Experience

Inquire about the applicant’s skills and experience working as a Cashier. An experienced Cashier will demonstrate smooth and efficient transactions while ensuring a high degree of customer service.

A picture showing cashier skills necessary for the preparation of Cashier interview questions

What do you think is the most important aspect of a Cashier’s job?

For employers: Assess the candidate’s understanding of the core responsibilities of a Cashier. Look for a candidate who demonstrates the importance of accuracy, experience with cash handling and the ability to maintain efficiency during busy periods.

For applicants: Focus on highlighting your experience as a Cashier. Highlight the key aspects of a Cashier’s role, such as accuracy in processing transactions and maintaining efficiency during busy periods.

Example answer: I think the most important aspect of a Cashier’s job is maintaining accuracy during transactions and making customers feel welcome. I warmly greet and welcome shoppers as they approach the checkout and offer them a positive experience at the counter. If they are paying with cash, I double-check that they received all their change. I make sure they leave with all the money in their pocket after providing them with a positive customer experience.

Have you ever been responsible for balancing cash drawers at the end of your shift? If so, can you explain your process to ensure accuracy?

For employers: Use this question to gauge the candidate’s ability to maintain accurate financial records at the end of their shift. Look for an individual who demonstrates proficiency in balancing cash drawers with accuracy.

For applicants: Focus on your experience in balancing cash drawers. Highlight your organizational ability and attention to detail.

Example answer: I have experience balancing the cash drawer at the end of my shifts. I start by counting the cash in the drawer and making sure that every penny is accounted for. I compare the totals against the POS system and make sure that there aren’t any discrepancies. In case there is an error, I trace the transactions back and try to identify where it might have occurred.

By doing this, I ensure the accurate balance at the end of my shift.

Can you describe your experience with point-of-sale (POS) systems?

As reported by 6sense, Square holds a notable 28.2% share of the POS systems market, closely followed by Toast at 24.6%.

[Source: 6sense]
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For employers: Assess the candidate’s experience with POS systems. Look for an individual who demonstrates experience with different POS systems and an ability to adapt to changing interfaces.

For applicants: Highlight your experience with POS systems and emphasize your ability to navigate different interfaces. Focus on how you accurately process transactions with a focus on accurate inventory management and reporting.

Example answer: I’ve worked with several platforms, such as Square and Clover. I have been trained to conduct transactions efficiently, from handling various payment methods to applying coupons and discounts.

Since I’ve used multiple interfaces, I can quickly adapt to a changing interface and ensure smooth operations at the checkout counter.

Are Cashier salaries keeping up with living costs in your area?

What methods do you use to maintain organized and tidy checkout areas, especially during peak hours?

For employers: Assess the candidate’s ability to remain organized during busy periods. Look for an individual who has implemented customer flow management strategies to ensure a tidy and efficient checkout counter.

For applicants: Focus on describing their methods for maintaining an organized and tidy checkout area. Demonstrate how you effectively prioritize tasks.

Example answer: During busy periods, I prioritize making sure that customers don’t wait for too long. This means ensuring that there is no clutter, such as empty baskets or bags, around the checkout or ensuring that all items are restocked.

I regularly communicate with my colleagues to coordinate tasks and ensure an optimal shopping experience for customers.

Have you received training on handling returns, exchanges and issuing refunds? If yes, can you elaborate on your experience with these tasks?

For employers: Evaluate the candidate’s experience in handling returns and exchanges. Look for an applicant who demonstrates an interest in store policies.

For applicants: Highlight any training and experience you have with handling exchanges and returns. Provide examples of how you handled such situations in the past.

Example answer: I have experience in handling returns, exchanges and issuing refunds. In such situations, I listen to the customer’s concerns, verify the issue with the product, and follow store procedures to resolve the issue effectively.

2. Cashier Interview Questions About Customer Service

A cashier’s job is to provide exceptional customer service to shoppers, contributing to a positive shopping experience. Use the questions below to assess the candidate’s ability to deliver superior customer service.

How do you handle situations where customers have questions or concerns about pricing or product information?

For employers: Use this question to assess the candidate’s ability to calmly and efficiently address any customer’s concerns. Look for a candidate who demonstrates patience and product knowledge.

For applicants: Highlight your ability to listen and professionally offer assistance. Describe a past situation in which you effectively helped a customer and ensured they had a positive shopping experience.

Example answer: Whenever I am approached by a customer who requires additional information about pricing or products, I attentively listen to their needs. I get to the root of the issue and provide clear and accurate information that addresses any customer concerns.  I also approach them in a warm and friendly demeanor to provide them with a pleasant and positive shopping experience.

Can you describe a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer?

For employers: Assess the candidate’s ability to approach difficult customer interactions with empathy and professionalism. Look for a candidate who demonstrates strong conflict-resolution skills while maintaining composure.

For applicants: Highlight your ability to de-escalate situations and remain professional in all settings. Provide an example of how you successfully de-escalated a situation and resolved the customer’s issue.

Example answer: In my previous role, I had a customer complain about the wrong pricing at the checkout counter. The price featured on the shelf did not match the scanned price of the product. I listened to the customer and understood their frustration. I then apologized for the inconvenience and offered them the option to pay the advertised price for the product. The customer accepted and left the store satisfied.

What strategies do you use to greet and engage customers in a friendly and welcoming manner?

For employers: Assess the applicant’s approach to customer service and their ability to offer shoppers a positive experience. Look for a candidate who demonstrates warmth and the ability to make customers feel valued.

For applicants: Describe how you greet and welcome customers. Highlight your ability to create a welcoming atmosphere and effectively address any customer needs.

Example answer: I prioritize being friendly and approachable to customers. I try to make them feel welcome by smiling and greeting them with a welcoming tone. I also offer assistance should they need it and personalized recommendations based on their needs.

Have you ever gone above and beyond to assist a customer with their shopping experience? If so, can you provide an example?

For employers: Assess the candidate’s willingness to offer superior customer service. Look for an applicant who demonstrates initiative and resourcefulness.

For applicants: Share a specific example of how you went above and beyond to meet customer needs.

Example answer: In my previous role, a customer wanted to purchase an out-of-stock item. Instead of just informing them that we didn’t have the specific item, I checked our inventory system and found that a neighboring store had it. I offered the customer the option to place an order for pick up at their convenience.

The customer accepted and, two days later, came back satisfied to pick up the item they requested.

How do you prioritize tasks during busy periods to ensure that customers receive prompt and attentive service?

For employers: Evaluate the applicant’s time management skills. Look for an individual that demonstrates focus and an ability to adapt to changing priorities.

For applicants: Describe your prioritization skills and highlight any time-management strategies you’ve implemented in the past to ensure that the customers receive prompt and accurate service.

Example answer: During busy periods, I prioritize tasks that ensure the customers receive prompt and attentive service. I remain flexible and adjust my priorities as the need arises. For example, if there is a long line, I focus on efficiently processing transactions. I also remain polite and friendly, offering personalized assistance to each shopper.

3. Situational/Behavioral Cashier Interview Questions

Use the below set of questions to assess the candidate’s ability to adapt to real-life scenarios.  Look for a candidate who’s quick on their feet, manages to adapt to changing scenarios and demonstrates an ability to ensure successful operations in any situation.

How would you handle a situation where a customer is dissatisfied with a purchase and demands a refund, but store policy indicates that refunds are only issued for damaged or defective items?

For employers: Assess the candidate’s ability to resolve issues in which a customer’s expectations don’t align with the store’s policy. Look for an individual that demonstrates problem-solving and the ability to communicate respectfully.

For applicants: Describe your approach to handling a customer’s expectations. Emphasize your communication skills and offer alternatives to provide a satisfactory resolution to the customer.

Example answer: I would pay close attention to what issue the customer is facing. If the store’s policy doesn’t allow the issue to be resolved in the way that the customer desires, I would go over the store’s policy with the customer and try to find a satisfactory alternative. My goal would be to transform the shopper’s negative experience into a positive one. That is why I would approach the situation with respect and empathy, assisting them while we search for the best option.

Describe a time when you had to assist a customer who was experiencing difficulty using a self-checkout kiosk or technology-based payment system.

For employers: Evaluate the applicant’s ability to troubleshoot technical issues. Look for someone who demonstrates empathy and technical proficiency and can effectively communicate.

For applicants: Demonstrate your ability to assist a customer experiencing a technical issue. Highlight your ability to listen and provide assistance respectfully.

Example answer: I was once approached by a customer who experienced issues operating a self-checkout kiosk. Some of the items weren’t being scanned, so the customer got flustered and confused about how to proceed.

I approached them with respect and, in a friendly way, demonstrated how to scan the items and offered to finish the process for them. The shopper accepted, thanked me for help and went on with their day, having learned how to operate a self-checkout kiosk.

Can you provide an example of a time when you had to collaborate with a team member to address a customer’s concern?

For employers: Assess the applicant’s ability to work in a team. Look for an individual who demonstrates communication and collaboration skills.

For applicants: Share a specific example of how you work well within a team.

Example answer: I was once approached by a customer who was trying to locate an item that wasn’t available on the sales floor. At the time, another colleague was doing inventory management. To promptly address the issue, I contacted a colleague who had more inventory management experience. While my colleague went to look for the item, I remained with the customer to reassure them and keep them updated on the process. In the end, my colleague quickly found the item the customer requested, and I offered more assistance if needed. We managed to resolve a potential issue quickly and the customer left the store satisfied.

How do you maintain composure and professionalism when dealing with a high volume of customers or during particularly stressful situations, such as a technical issue with a POS system?

For employers: Assess the candidate’s ability to remain calm under pressure. Look for an applicant who’s able to remain professional in stressful situations.

For applicants: Describe strategies for managing stress. Emphasize your ability to remain composed and professional in all situations.

Example answer: When faced with a POS system malfunction during a busy period, I try to remain composed and offer exceptional service to customers. I prioritize tasks in a way that minimizes the customer’s waiting time and try to adjust my priorities to changing customer needs. Additionally, if the situation becomes too stressful or overwhelming, I am not afraid to seek out help from a colleague so that we can offer speedy and efficient service to all customers.

Should establishments provide bonuses or shared profits with employees?

Describe a situation in which you disagreed with a colleague or supervisor about a store policy or procedure. How did you handle the situation?

For employers: Assess the applicant’s ability to navigate a conflict and effectively communicate. Look for an individual who demonstrates diplomacy, communication and problem-solving skills.

For applicants: Share a specific disagreement with a colleague or a superior and how you resolved the issue.

Example answer: I ran into a disagreement once with a colleague regarding a new policy for returns without a receipt. The colleague wanted to be more lenient, whereas I tried to uphold the store’s policy and maintain fairness and integrity since we always required a receipt for returns.  I initiated a constructive dialogue and pointed out the potential impact of deviating from the store’s policy. We talked and agreed that we should not compromise the store’s guidelines. We managed to resolve the conflict without any lingering negative feelings and continued with the smooth operations of the store.

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How To Become a Cashier?

As an entry-level position, there aren’t that many formal and educational requirements to become a Cashier.

[Source: O*NET]

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However, there are plenty cash register training courses that you can take to gain advantage over your competition.

Such courses include:

You can check our Cashier Job Description guide to learn more about Cashier responsibilities and requirements.

How To Prepare for a Cashier Interview

Preparing for a Cashier interview involves focusing on key aspects relevant to both candidates and interviewers.

As a candidate:

  • Research the company where you’re interviewing. Familiarize yourself with their products, services and any unique policies they have. This understanding showcases your genuine interest in their business and your readiness to contribute to their team.
  • Highlight your cashiering skills and experiences during the interview. Prepare examples of efficient transaction processing, excellent customer service and problem-solving abilities. Demonstrating your ability to handle various cashiering tasks effectively will set you apart as a capable candidate.
  • Be prepared to discuss how you handle difficult customers or resolve conflicts at the checkout. Employers value candidates who can remain calm and professional under pressure, ensuring a positive shopping experience for customers.

As an interviewer:

  • Familiarize yourself with the specific responsibilities and requirements of the Cashier role within your organization. Tailor your questions to assess candidates’ abilities in areas such as transaction accuracy and cash handling procedures.
  • Develop a list of interview questions designed to evaluate candidates’ customer service skills and ability to handle various scenarios at the checkout. Inquire about their experience with different payment methods and their approach to resolving disputes or errors.
  • Pay attention to candidates’ communication skills during the interview. Assess their ability to communicate effectively with customers, colleagues and supervisors. Look for candidates who demonstrate clear and friendly communication, enhancing the overall customer experience.

Are Cashiers Paid Well?

According to BLS, the average base salary for Cashiers is $30,710 per year.

As an entry-level position, Cashier salaries may not always be the highest, many employers provide additional benefits such as flexible scheduling, employee discounts and opportunities for advancement.

See the breakdown of annual Cashier salaries across the U.S. states below:

[BLS]

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