Cracking the Big Lots Interview: 20 Common Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

Preparing for an interview can be nerve-wracking, especially when it comes to big retail companies like Big Lots. However, with the right preparation and knowledge of the common interview questions, you can confidently walk into your Big Lots interview and increase your chances of landing the job. In this article, we will explore 20 common interview questions asked during Big Lots interviews and provide you with tips on how to answer them effectively.

What to Expect in a Big Lots Interview

Before we dive into the specific interview questions, it’s important to understand what to expect in a Big Lots interview. Typically, the interview process consists of multiple rounds, including a phone or video interview and an in-person interview. The interviewers may include store managers, district managers, and human resources personnel. They will evaluate your skills, experience, and personality to determine if you are the right fit for the company. Now, let’s take a look at the 20 common interview questions for Big Lots.

20 Common Interview Questions for Big Lots

1. Tell me about yourself.

This is often the first question asked in an interview and serves as an opportunity for you to introduce yourself. Keep your response concise and focus on relevant information such as your education, work experience, and skills. Highlight any experience in the retail industry or customer service roles.

2. Why do you want to work at Big Lots?

When answering this question, emphasize your interest in the company and its values. Mention specific aspects of Big Lots that align with your career goals, such as its commitment to customer satisfaction or its opportunities for growth and development.

3. How would you handle a difficult customer?

Customer service is crucial in the retail industry, and Big Lots is no exception. Demonstrate your ability to remain calm and professional in challenging situations. Provide an example of a time when you successfully resolved a customer issue and explain the steps you took to ensure customer satisfaction.

4. How do you prioritize your tasks?

Working in a retail environment requires excellent time management skills. Explain how you prioritize your tasks by assessing deadlines, urgency, and importance. Provide an example of a situation where you successfully managed multiple tasks and met deadlines.

5. Can you work in a fast-paced environment?

Big Lots stores can get busy, especially during peak hours or sale events. Assure the interviewer that you thrive in fast-paced environments and can handle high-pressure situations. Highlight any previous experience in fast-paced work environments, such as retail or hospitality.

6. How do you handle teamwork?

Collaboration and teamwork are essential for success in any workplace. Share an example of a time when you worked effectively in a team, highlighting your communication and problem-solving skills. Emphasize your ability to contribute to a positive and productive team dynamic.

7. Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond for a customer.

Big Lots values exceptional customer service, so it’s important to showcase instances where you exceeded customer expectations. Share a specific example of a time when you went the extra mile to ensure customer satisfaction. Explain the actions you took and the positive outcome that resulted.

8. How do you stay motivated in a repetitive job?

Working in a retail environment can sometimes involve repetitive tasks. Demonstrate your ability to stay motivated by discussing how you find ways to keep the job interesting and challenging. Highlight any instances where you took initiative to improve processes or learned new skills to enhance your job performance.

9. How do you handle difficult coworkers or conflicts?

Conflict can arise in any workplace, and it’s important to show that you can handle difficult situations professionally. Explain how you approach conflicts by actively listening, seeking to understand different perspectives, and finding mutually beneficial solutions. Provide an example of a time when you successfully resolved a conflict with a coworker.

10. What would you do if you caught a coworker stealing?

Integrity is highly valued in the retail industry, and addressing theft is essential. Describe how you would handle the situation by following company protocols, notifying a supervisor or manager, and maintaining professionalism throughout the process. Emphasize your commitment to upholding ethical standards.

11. How do you handle stressful situations?

Retail environments can be stressful at times, especially during busy periods or unexpected challenges. Discuss your coping mechanisms for managing stress, such as taking short breaks, practicing deep breathing exercises, or seeking support from colleagues. Highlight your ability to remain calm and focused under pressure.

12. Describe a time when you had to meet a tight deadline.

Meeting deadlines is crucial in the retail industry, especially when it comes to inventory management or promotional campaigns. Share an example of a time when you successfully met a tight deadline. Discuss the strategies you employed to manage your time effectively and any obstacles you overcame.

13. How do you handle feedback and criticism?

Receiving feedback is an important part of personal and professional growth. Show that you are open to constructive criticism by explaining how you actively seek feedback, listen attentively, and use it to improve your skills and performance. Share an example of a time when you applied feedback to enhance your work.

14. How do you stay updated on industry trends?

Big Lots values employees who are knowledgeable about the retail industry. Discuss how you stay informed about industry trends, such as reading industry publications, attending conferences or webinars, or participating in online forums. Highlight your enthusiasm for continuous learning.

15. Tell me about a time when you had to handle a dissatisfied customer.

Dealing with dissatisfied customers is a common occurrence in the retail industry. Share a specific example of a time when you successfully resolved a customer complaint. Explain your approach, the steps you took to address the issue, and the positive outcome that resulted.

16. How do you handle multiple tasks with competing deadlines?

Prioritization and time management skills are crucial when juggling multiple tasks. Describe your process for managing competing deadlines, such as creating a to-do list, breaking tasks into smaller manageable chunks, and seeking assistance or delegating when necessary. Highlight your ability to deliver high-quality work under pressure.

17. How do you handle a situation where a customer is upset with a store policy?

Store policies are in place to ensure consistency and fairness, but they may not always align with a customer’s expectations. Demonstrate your ability to handle such situations by explaining how you would empathize with the customer, calmly explain the policy, and offer alternative solutions whenever possible.

18. How would you handle a situation where a coworker is not pulling their weight?

Working as a team requires everyone to contribute their fair share. Describe how you would handle a situation where a coworker is not fulfilling their responsibilities. Discuss your approach to addressing the issue professionally, such as having a private conversation, offering support, or involving a supervisor if necessary.

19. How do you handle repetitive tasks?

Repetitive tasks are a common part of many retail jobs. Demonstrate your ability to handle repetitive tasks by explaining how you maintain focus and attention to detail. Discuss any strategies you have used to stay motivated and ensure accuracy while performing repetitive tasks.

20. Do you have any questions for us?

Always come prepared with questions to ask the interviewer. This demonstrates your interest in the role and the company. Ask about the company culture, opportunities for growth, or any specific concerns or clarifications you may have regarding the role.

Tips for a Successful Big Lots Interview

  • Research the company: Familiarize yourself with Big Lots’ history, values, and mission to showcase your enthusiasm and dedication.
  • Practice your answers: Rehearse your responses to the common interview questions to ensure you can deliver them confidently and concisely.
  • Dress professionally: Choose appropriate attire that aligns with Big Lots’ dress code and presents you as a polished and professional candidate.
  • Show enthusiasm: Display your excitement for the role and the company throughout the interview by maintaining eye contact, smiling, and using positive body language.
  • Ask thoughtful questions: Prepare a list of questions to ask the interviewer that demonstrate your interest in the role and your desire to contribute to the company’s success.
  • Follow up: Send a thank-you email or note to the interviewer(s) after the interview to express your appreciation for the opportunity and reiterate your interest in the position.


Cracking the Big Lots interview requires preparation, confidence, and a thorough understanding of the common interview questions. By familiarizing yourself with these questions and practicing your answers, you can increase your chances of impressing the interviewers and landing the job. Remember to stay calm, be yourself, and showcase your skills and experience effectively. Good luck!

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