17 Mystery Shopper Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a mystery shopper, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

Mystery shoppers are hired by companies to visit their stores and make reports on their experiences. They may also be asked to purchase items and evaluate the customer service they receive.

If you’re looking for a job as a mystery shopper, you’ll likely need to go through a job interview. During the interview, you’ll be asked questions about your experience, your knowledge of the company’s products, and your ability to follow instructions.

In this article, we’ll provide you with a list of questions that you may be asked during a mystery shopper job interview, as well as some sample answers. We’ll also provide tips on how to prepare for the interview.

Are you detail-oriented?

Mystery shoppers need to be detail-oriented because they are often observing and recording details about a business’s customer service. Employers ask this question to make sure you have the ability to pay attention to small details and record them accurately. In your answer, explain that you understand how important it is to pay attention to detail when mystery shopping. Explain that you know how to take notes on what you observe during your visits.

Example: “I am definitely detail-oriented. When I was in school, I always made sure to turn in my assignments on time. I would double-check all of my work before turning it in. This helped me get good grades in all of my classes. As a mystery shopper, I know that paying attention to detail can help me provide accurate information to my employer.”

What are your qualifications to be a mystery shopper?

Employers ask this question to make sure you have the skills and qualifications needed for the job. They want mystery shoppers who are honest, reliable and detail-oriented. When answering this question, list your relevant experience and education. If you don’t have any professional experience, focus on your personal qualities that will help you succeed in the role.

Example: “I am a trustworthy person with excellent communication skills. I am also highly organized and detail-oriented. These skills helped me get through my bachelor’s degree program where I learned how to research businesses and write reports about them. This knowledge has prepared me to be an effective mystery shopper.”

How would you conduct a mystery shop?

Interviewers may ask this question to assess your experience conducting mystery shops and how you would approach the task. To answer, you can describe a specific time when you conducted a shop or provide steps for how you would conduct one.

Example: “I have conducted many mystery shops in my career as a shopper. I usually start by researching the business I’m visiting beforehand so that I know what to look for during my visit. Then, I arrive at the location early enough to ensure I don’t rush through any of my observations. During my visit, I take notes on everything from customer service to product quality. Afterward, I submit my report.”

What is your experience with mystery shopping?

This question is an opportunity to show the interviewer your experience with mystery shopping and how you apply that knowledge in your work. If you have previous experience, describe a time when you successfully completed a mystery shop. If you don’t have any prior experience, explain what you know about mystery shopping and how you would complete one if given the opportunity.

Example: “I’ve never been hired as a mystery shopper before, but I am familiar with the process. In my last job, I was responsible for completing mystery shops on behalf of our company’s clients. I had to evaluate customer service at various locations and report back to my manager. I found this task very rewarding because it helped me understand how important good customer service is to businesses.”

Provide an example of a time you identified a problem during a shop.

Interviewers ask this question to learn more about your problem-solving skills. They want to know that you can identify a problem and find a solution quickly. In your answer, explain how you identified the issue and what steps you took to solve it.

Example: “When I was mystery shopping at a restaurant, I noticed that the server didn’t bring my friend’s food for 20 minutes after we ordered. When she finally brought our food, she forgot one of our meals entirely. I told her that we needed another meal because she forgot ours. She apologized and said she would take care of it right away. A few minutes later, she returned with our missing meal.”

If you encountered an employee who was unhelpful, how would you handle the situation?

Mystery shoppers often interact with employees in a variety of businesses. Employers ask this question to make sure you have the interpersonal skills necessary to handle challenging situations. In your answer, explain how you would politely and professionally address an employee who was unhelpful or rude.

Example: “I would first try to resolve the situation by speaking with them directly. If they were still unhelpful after that, I would report it to their manager. I would also mention my experience to the mystery shopping company so they could follow up on the issue.”

What would you do if you were unable to access a part of the business you were supposed to evaluate?

Mystery shoppers may encounter situations where they are unable to access a part of the business they were supposed to evaluate. An interviewer might ask this question to learn how you would handle such a situation and what steps you would take to complete your assignment. In your answer, explain that you would contact your client as soon as possible to let them know about the issue. You can also mention that you would try to find another way to access the business or provide an alternative report if needed.

Example: “If I couldn’t access a part of the business I was evaluating, I would immediately call my client to let them know. If it was during business hours, I would ask if there was any other way I could access the business. If not, I would offer to write up a partial report for the parts of the business I did get to see.”

How well do you follow written instructions?

Mystery shoppers often receive written instructions from their employer. Employers ask this question to make sure you can follow detailed directions and complete assignments on time. In your answer, explain that you are a highly organized person who is able to manage multiple tasks at once. Explain that you will take notes while reading the instructions so you don’t forget anything important.

Example: “I am very organized and detail-oriented, which makes me an excellent candidate for mystery shopping. I have always been good at following written instructions, and I pride myself in being able to read through lengthy documents and remember all of the information. When I get my assignment, I write down everything I need to do and when I need to do it by. This helps me stay on track and ensures I don’t miss any deadlines.”

Do you have experience using video recording equipment?

Video recording is a common practice for mystery shoppers. Employers ask this question to make sure you have experience using video equipment and are comfortable with it. If you don’t have any experience, consider taking a class or practicing on your own before the interview.

Example: “I do have some experience using video recording equipment. I used it in my previous job as a sales associate at an electronics store. We had to record our interactions with customers so we could show management how we were performing. I found that I was pretty comfortable with it right away. It’s something I can do without thinking about it.”

When reviewing your performance, how do you determine if you met the business’s standards?

Interviewers may ask this question to learn more about your ability to self-evaluate and determine if you are able to meet the company’s standards. When answering, it can be helpful to provide an example of how you would evaluate yourself in a situation where you were responsible for meeting certain standards.

Example: “When reviewing my performance, I look at several factors including whether or not I was able to complete all assignments on time, if I followed instructions correctly and if I met any deadlines. If I am unable to meet these standards, I will try to find out why and make adjustments so that I can improve my performance next time.”

We want to ensure our customers feel comfortable during a shop. How would you start a conversation with an unfamiliar customer?

Mystery shoppers often interact with customers, so employers want to make sure you can do this in a way that makes the customer feel comfortable. They also want to know how you would handle any challenging situations that might arise during your shop.

Example: “I find it helpful to start conversations by introducing myself and explaining what I’m doing there. If they’re curious about my job, I’ll explain more about mystery shopping and how we help businesses improve their service. I’ve found that most people are happy to talk about their experiences at a business, so I try to ask them questions about why they chose the business or what they like about it.”

Describe your process for taking notes during a shop.

Interviewers may ask this question to understand how you approach a mystery shop and what your process is for taking notes. They want to know that you are organized, detail-oriented and able to follow instructions. In your answer, describe the steps you take when conducting a shop and provide an example of how you would write down your observations.

Example: “I always start by reading through the assignment sheet to make sure I understand all of the parameters. Then, I go into the store and begin my shopping experience. While I’m in the store, I am looking for specific things like customer service, cleanliness and product availability. After I’ve shopped, I return home and type up my notes on my laptop or tablet. I include details about the date, time and location of the shop as well as any additional information they provided me with.”

What makes you an ideal candidate for mystery shopping?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications for the job. They want someone who is organized, detail-oriented and able to work independently. When you answer this question, highlight your relevant skills and abilities that make you a good fit for mystery shopping.

Example: “I am an excellent communicator, which makes me well-suited for mystery shopping. I enjoy interacting with people, so I find it easy to strike up conversations with strangers. I also have a background in customer service, so I know how to provide great service to customers. These skills help me get along with others and perform my duties as a mystery shopper.”

Which industries do you have the most experience in?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your experience level and how it relates to the job you’re applying for. Before your interview, make a list of industries you’ve worked in and write down what kind of work you did in each one. Use this information to answer this question by describing which industries you have experience in and why you would be a good fit for the mystery shopper position.

Example: “I have experience working as a mystery shopper in both retail and hospitality. I find that my outgoing personality and friendly demeanor are great assets when interacting with customers and coworkers. In my previous positions, I was always able to build rapport with others quickly and get them to open up to me.”

What do you think is the most important aspect of mystery shopping?

This question is your opportunity to show the interviewer that you understand what mystery shopping entails. You can answer this question by explaining which aspects of mystery shopping are most important to you and why.

Example: “I think the most important aspect of mystery shopping is being able to accurately report on a business’s customer service. I’ve been in situations where businesses have gone out of their way to make sure I was satisfied, even though it wasn’t required of them. It’s nice when companies go above and beyond for their customers, so I always try to give these businesses high marks. However, if I’m not treated well at all, then I will also be honest about my experience.”

How often do you typically complete mystery shops?

Mystery shoppers may be asked to complete shops at different frequencies depending on the company. Interviewers ask this question to determine how often you might work and if your schedule would fit with their needs. In your answer, explain what factors influence how frequently you complete mystery shops. Consider mentioning any scheduling or time management skills that help you meet deadlines.

Example: “I typically complete one shop per week, but I am flexible. If a client has a tight deadline, I can usually accommodate them as long as they let me know in advance. My flexibility is due to my strong time management skills. I always plan out my days so I can stay ahead of my deadlines. This helps me avoid last-minute stress and ensures I can get all of my assignments done.”

There is a new manager who you have never worked with before. How would you introduce yourself and explain the shop?

This question is a great way to show your communication skills and how you can work with new people. When answering this question, it’s important to be respectful of the manager and their position while also showing that you are confident in your own abilities.

Example: “I would introduce myself as the mystery shopper who has been working at the shop for over two years now. I have worked with many different managers during my time here, so I know how important it is to respect them. I would explain that I am very familiar with the shop and its employees, which makes me an excellent resource for the manager. I would also mention that I have never had any issues with any of the other managers, so I hope we can continue that trend.”


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