20 Publix Interview Questions and Answers

Prepare for the types of questions you are likely to be asked when interviewing for a position at Publix.

Publix is a grocery store chain with locations throughout the southeastern United States. If you’re applying for a job at Publix, you can expect to be asked some company-specific interview questions.

In this article, we’ll give you an overview of the company and some tips on how to answer Publix interview questions.

Publix Interview Process

The interview process at Publix can vary depending on the position you are applying for. However, most interviews will consist of questions about your experience, why you want to work for Publix, and how you would benefit the team. The difficulty of the questions will depend on the position you are applying for. For entry-level positions, the interviewer will try to tailor the questions to fit your status. Overall, the interview process is generally quick and easy.

1. How would you deal with an agitated customer?

This question can help interviewers assess your customer service skills. They want to know how you would react in a challenging situation and whether you have the necessary skills to resolve it quickly. In your answer, demonstrate that you are empathetic and willing to help customers with their concerns.

Example: “I once had a customer who was upset because they couldn’t find a specific type of bread on our shelves. I explained that we were out of stock but that we could order more for them if they wanted. The customer seemed satisfied with this response and said they would come back later to buy the bread when it arrived. As a result, I learned that sometimes there is nothing you can do about an issue and it’s best to offer a solution and move on.”

2. Can you tell me about a time when you went above and beyond for a customer?

This question is a great way to show your dedication and passion for customer service. When answering this question, it can be helpful to think of a specific situation where you went above and beyond for a customer or group of customers.

Example: “At my previous job, I had a regular customer who would come in every week to buy the same items. One day, she came into the store with her two young children and forgot one of her usual purchases. She was very stressed out about forgetting the item, but I offered to go back and get it for her so that she didn’t have to wait another week to get everything she needed. She was so grateful for my help and told me how much she appreciated our customer service.”

3. Why do you want to work at Publix?

This question is a great way for the interviewer to learn more about your interest in working at Publix. They want to know that you are passionate about their company and its values. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention specific aspects of the job or company that appeal to you.

Example: “I have always been impressed by Publix’s commitment to customer service. I love being able to help customers find what they need while also providing them with excellent service. I think my skills as a cashier would translate well into working here.”

4. What is your availability over the next couple weeks?

Employers ask this question to make sure you are available for the job. They want someone who can start right away, so they may not want to hire someone who is going on vacation or has other commitments that would prevent them from starting work soon. Make sure you let the employer know when you are free and clear of any obligations so they can schedule your interview at a time that works best for you.

Example: “I am completely free over the next two weeks. I have no family obligations or vacations planned during that time.”

5. Describe some experiences where you have worked in team environments.

Working in a team environment is an important skill for many positions at Publix. Employers ask this question to see if you have experience working with others and how well you work together as a group. Use your answer to explain what made the experience positive, such as teamwork or collaboration.

Example: “In my last position, I worked on a small team of three people who were responsible for creating weekly ads for our store. We all had different strengths that we used to help each other out when needed. For example, one person was great at coming up with new ideas while another was good at organizing information. My role was to create the ad designs based on the information provided by the other two members.”

6. Tell me about a time that you had to make decisions without consulting your manager first. Did they turn out well?

This question is a great way to learn more about your potential manager’s leadership style. It can also help you determine whether or not the company values independent thinking and problem-solving skills. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention that you were able to successfully complete the task without any negative consequences.

Example: “When I was working as an assistant manager at my previous job, there was one day where our store manager had to leave early for a family emergency. My team and I were left in charge of completing all closing tasks while still managing customers during our normal business hours. We decided to stay late to ensure everything got done. The next morning, we were able to open on time with no issues.”

7. Have you ever dealt with a difficult or rude customer? If so, how did you handle it?

This question can help interviewers learn more about your customer service skills. They want to know how you react in a challenging situation and whether you have the ability to diffuse it or solve it.

Example: “I once had a customer who was upset because they didn’t like their sandwich, so I offered them a new one for free. The customer refused and demanded that we give them money back instead. I explained that our policy doesn’t allow us to refund food items unless there is an issue with temperature or spoilage. The customer became increasingly angry, but I remained calm and polite. Eventually, the customer left without getting what they wanted.”

8. What do you think are the most important qualities for someone who works as a cashier?

This question can help the interviewer determine if you have the qualities they look for in a cashier. Use your answer to highlight any skills or personality traits that match those of Publix employees.

Example: “I think one of the most important qualities for someone who works as a cashier is patience. Cashiers often interact with customers who are in a rush, so it’s important to be able to remain calm and friendly while still completing transactions quickly. Another quality I think is important is accuracy. Cashiers need to make sure they enter all information correctly into the register, which requires attention to detail.”

9. Which shift are you available for?

This question is a way for the interviewer to learn more about your availability. They may also want to know if you have any scheduling preferences. When answering this question, be honest and clear about which shifts you are available for and whether or not you have any preferences.

Example: “I am available for all three of the current shifts at Publix. I prefer working the evening shift because it gives me time in the morning to get my kids ready for school and then work until they get home from school. However, I would be willing to switch to another shift if that’s what was needed.”

10. Would you be willing to work overtime if needed?

Working overtime is a common practice in the retail industry. Employers ask this question to make sure you’re willing to work extra hours when they need them. In your answer, explain that you are committed to doing whatever it takes to help the company succeed. Explain that you understand working overtime can be challenging, but you would do what you could to ensure you meet all of your responsibilities.

Example: “I am happy to work overtime if needed. I know that sometimes there are unexpected situations where we have to stay late or come in early. I’m committed to making sure I always give my best effort and complete all of my tasks on time. If I ever find myself unable to finish everything by the end of the day, I will stay until everything is done.”

11. Are you comfortable using a knife?

This question is a way for the interviewer to assess your knife skills. It’s important that you show them that you have experience using knives and can use one safely. If you don’t have any experience, it’s okay to say so, but you should also explain how you would learn to use one if hired.

Example: “I’ve used a knife in my previous job as a cashier at a restaurant. I was responsible for cutting customers’ food into smaller pieces when they ordered steak or chicken. I’m comfortable using a knife because of this experience.”

12. Do you have any experience working in a fast-paced environment?

Working in a grocery store can be hectic at times. Employers ask this question to make sure you’re comfortable working in an environment where you have to multitask and prioritize your tasks quickly. In your answer, explain how you handle stress and stay organized when you’re under pressure.

Example: “I’ve worked in a fast-paced environment for the past five years. I started as a cashier, but now I’m a manager. Working in retail is definitely different than being a manager because there are so many things going on at once. However, I am used to prioritizing my tasks and delegating them to other employees. I also know that sometimes it’s necessary to take a step back and let others do their jobs.”

13. Do you have experience handling food products?

This question is a way for the interviewer to assess your experience with handling food products and how you handle them. If you have no experience, you can talk about what you would do if faced with this situation.

Example: “I worked in a bakery before where I had to make sure all of our baked goods were safe to eat. We used temperature gauges to ensure that everything was at the right temperature and we disposed of any items that weren’t up to standard. This helped me develop my skills when it comes to handling food.”

14. Provide an example of a time when you made a mistake while dealing with customers. How did you handle it?

Interviewers ask this question to see how you respond to mistakes and learn from them. They want to know that you can take responsibility for your actions, apologize and improve your customer service skills in the future.

Example: “When I first started working at my previous job, I was so excited to help customers find what they needed. One day, a customer asked me where we kept our produce bags. I told her that we didn’t have any bags of produce because it would be too much waste. She seemed upset by my answer and left without buying anything else. After work, I researched ways to reduce food waste and found some reusable bags that we could use instead of plastic ones.”

15. What training or certifications do you have related to working with food products?

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your experience and qualifications. Publix requires all employees to complete a food safety training program, so if you have any related certifications or training, be sure to mention them in your answer.

Example: “I completed the ServSafe certification course when I first started working as a server at my current job. The course taught me how to properly handle and store food products, which is especially important for working with fresh produce. In addition, I also took a refresher course every year to stay up-to-date on new regulations.”

16. What do you know about Publix’s core values?

This question is a great way to test your knowledge of the company’s values and how you can apply them in your work. Publix asks this question because they want employees who are committed to their core values, which include:

Honesty and integrity
Customer service
Respect for others
Example: “I know that Publix places a lot of importance on customer service, so I would make it my top priority to provide excellent service to every customer I interact with. I also understand that teamwork is important at Publix, so I would do everything I could to support my coworkers and help them achieve their goals.”

17. How long do you plan on staying with us?

This question is a great way for employers to learn about your long-term goals. It also helps them understand how you might fit into their company culture. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention some of the things that have motivated you in previous roles. This can help show an employer what you value and why you are looking for a new job.

Example: “I am hoping to stay with Publix for many years. I love working here, and I feel like there is so much more I can do. I would love to continue growing my career as a cashier and eventually become a manager. I know that Publix offers amazing training programs, and I hope to take advantage of those opportunities.”

18. Give us an example of when you were faced with a problem but didn’t have enough information to solve it. What did you do?

This question is a great way to test your problem-solving skills. It also allows the interviewer to see how you handle uncertainty and whether or not you can rely on your own judgment.

Example: “When I was working as a cashier, we were short-staffed one day. The manager asked me to cover another register for an hour while they found someone to fill in. I agreed because I didn’t want to inconvenience anyone else. However, after about 20 minutes of being at the new register, I realized that I wasn’t comfortable with the system there. I told my manager, who understood and moved me back to my original register.”

19. How would you describe your customer service style?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you would interact with customers in a retail environment. Describe your customer service style and explain why it’s effective.

Example: “I believe that providing excellent customer service is all about making sure my customers feel valued. I always greet customers with a smile, make eye contact and introduce myself if they’re new to the store. I listen carefully to their needs and try to provide them with solutions or answers to their questions. If I don’t know an answer right away, I promise to find out and get back to them as soon as possible.”

20. How would you respond to a customer asking for specific ingredients used in one of our salads?

This question can help the interviewer assess your customer service skills and ability to think on your feet. In your answer, try to highlight your problem-solving abilities and willingness to go above and beyond for customers.

Example: “I would first ask them which salad they’re looking for ingredients for. Then I’d look up the recipe online so that I could tell them exactly what ingredients are used in it. If there’s a specific ingredient they want but isn’t included in the salad, I’d offer to make the salad with that ingredient for them if we have the ingredients available.”


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