20 REI Interview Questions and Answers

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

REI is a company that is all about the great outdoors. From camping and hiking to biking and skiing, REI has everything you need to enjoy the outdoors. But before you can start working at REI, you need to go through the interview process.

REI is known for asking unique interview questions that are specific to the company. This can make the interview process a bit daunting, but it’s important to remember that the interviewer is just trying to get to know you and see if you’re a good fit for the company.

To help you prepare, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common REI interview questions. With a little preparation, you’ll be able to ace your interview and get one step closer to your dream job.

REI Interview Process

The interview process at REI can vary depending on the position you are applying for. For some positions, like Sales Associate or Customer Service Specialist, the process may be as simple as a phone call or online video interview. For other positions, like Software Engineer or Retail Sales Associate, the process may be more involved, with multiple interviews and a take-home coding assignment. Overall, the interview process is generally positive, with interviewers being friendly and professional. However, some candidates have found the process to be slow and unresponsive, especially when applying for positions in the corporate marketing department.

1. What is your experience with working in a team environment?

Teamwork is an important skill to have when working at REI. The company has a strong culture of teamwork, and employees are encouraged to work together to solve problems and find solutions. Your answer should show that you understand the importance of teamwork and how it can help you succeed in your role.

Example: “In my previous position as a sales associate, I worked with a team of five other associates who were all focused on selling products and helping customers. We had weekly meetings where we discussed our goals for the week and shared ideas about how to improve our performance. This helped us learn from each other and develop new strategies for selling more products.”

2. Describe 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 describe the specific actions you took that helped solve the problem or made the experience more positive for the customer.

Example: “When I worked at my previous job, we had a customer who was looking for a specific type of hiking boot. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any in stock, but I offered to call other stores within driving distance to see if they had any available. After calling several locations, I found one store with a pair of boots in her size. I drove out of my way to pick them up so she could try them on and make sure they were comfortable.”

3. Tell me about your level of expertise regarding the products we sell here at REI.

This question is a great way for the interviewer to gauge your knowledge of their products and how you would use that knowledge in your role. When answering this question, it can be helpful to list specific brands or types of products you’re familiar with and explain why they are important.

Example: “I have been an avid outdoorsman my entire life, so I am very knowledgeable about all things REI. For example, I know that the North Face brand has some of the best cold-weather gear on the market. I also understand that Patagonia makes quality outdoor clothing and equipment at affordable prices. These two brands are definitely brands I would recommend to customers looking for high-quality items.”

4. Do you have any experience managing a group of people?

This question can help the interviewer determine if you have any experience working with a team and how well you work with others. If you do not have previous management experience, you can talk about your ability to lead a group of people or delegate tasks effectively.

Example: “In my last position as an outdoor adventure guide, I led a small group of five people on a hiking trip through the mountains. We had to navigate challenging terrain while carrying our backpacks, so I made sure everyone was prepared for the hike by giving them instructions before we left. During the hike, I would check in with each person to make sure they were doing okay and offer encouragement when needed.”

5. What was the last major purchase you made, how did you go about making that decision?

This question is a great way to learn more about the candidate’s decision-making process. It can also help you determine how they might approach making decisions at work, such as which products are most popular or what new items should be added to the store.

Example: “The last major purchase I made was a new laptop for school. I did some research online and read reviews from other customers before deciding on one model in particular. I then compared prices between different retailers and found that REI had the best price. I placed my order through your website and received it within two days.”

6. If hired, what would be your approach to selling merchandise in our store?

This question is an opportunity to show your sales skills and how you would approach selling products in a retail environment. Your answer should include examples of how you have sold merchandise before, including the steps you took to make sure customers were satisfied with their purchases.

Example: “I believe that customer service is one of the most important aspects of selling merchandise at REI. I would first greet each customer as they enter the store and ask them if they are looking for anything specific or if they need help finding something. If they do not know what they want, I would offer suggestions based on my knowledge of the store’s inventory. I would also be willing to take them to the location of the item so they can see it in person.”

7. How do you feel about working nights, weekends and holidays?

The retail industry is often open late at night and on weekends. Many employers ask this question to make sure you’re willing to work these hours if necessary. If you have a family, it’s important to mention that you would only be available for certain shifts.

Example: “I’m happy to work nights and weekends as long as I can choose which ones. My husband works the day shift, so we’d prefer not to both be working opposite schedules. However, if there are no other options, I am more than happy to do what’s best for the company.”

8. Provide an example of a time when you had to deal with an upset customer.

An interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your customer service skills. They want to know how you would handle a situation like this and if you have any experience doing so in the past. When answering, try to focus on what steps you took to resolve the issue or calm the customer down.

Example: “At my previous job, I had an upset customer who was returning a pair of shoes that they had purchased online. The customer said that the shoes were too small for them, but when we looked at the size chart, it seemed as though they should fit. We tried to explain that sometimes sizes can vary between brands, but the customer insisted that they ordered the right size. In the end, we offered to exchange the shoes for another pair of the same shoe.”

9. Would you be comfortable answering phone calls?

This question is a way for the interviewer to assess your customer service skills. They want to know if you can answer phone calls and provide excellent customer service while working at REI. Your answer should show that you are willing to help customers over the phone, even if it’s not something you’ve done before.

Example: “Yes, I would be comfortable answering phones. In my previous role as an outdoor guide, I was responsible for leading groups of people on hikes and other activities. One of my responsibilities was answering questions about our itinerary or any concerns they had during the trip. I found this part of my job very rewarding because I got to connect with the group members and make sure everyone was having fun.”

10. Are you able to work independently and meet deadlines without direct supervision?

The interviewer may ask this question to assess your ability to work independently and meet deadlines. This is an important skill for retail employees, as they often have to complete tasks on their own without direct supervision from managers or supervisors. Your answer should show that you are able to work independently and can meet deadlines.

Example: “Yes, I am able to work independently and meet deadlines. In my previous role, I was responsible for completing all of my daily tasks without direct supervision. I would check in with my manager once a week to discuss any challenges I faced during the week and how I overcame them.”

11. What are some ways you can use social media as a recruitment strategy?

Social media is a popular way to connect with potential candidates. Your answer should show the interviewer that you understand how social media can be used as a recruitment strategy and how it can benefit REI.

Example: “Social media is an excellent platform for connecting with people who are passionate about outdoor activities. I have found that many of my friends on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter follow outdoor blogs and publications. This makes them more likely to be interested in working at REI because they already enjoy content produced by our company. I also use social media to share information about job openings and events where we’re hiring.”

12. Have you worked in a fast-paced retail or sales environment before?

This question can help the interviewer get a better idea of how you might fit in with their company. If you have experience working in a fast-paced environment, share some examples of how you handled it and what your responsibilities were.

Example: “I worked at a busy restaurant for three years while I was in college. We had to work quickly to keep up with the rush during dinner time, but we also needed to make sure our customers received excellent service. I learned that it’s important to balance speed with quality so that both the customer and the business are happy.”

13. What makes a good leader?

An interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your leadership skills and how you would apply them in a work environment. When answering, it can be helpful to think of specific examples from previous roles that show your ability to lead others.

Example: “A good leader is someone who has the confidence to make decisions for their team while also being open to feedback. I believe leaders should have a strong moral compass and always act with integrity. They should also be empathetic and compassionate toward those they’re leading because it’s important to understand what each person on the team needs to succeed.”

14. Describe a time where you and a co-worker didn’t see eye to eye on something. How did you handle it?

An interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your interpersonal skills and how you handle conflict. This is also a great opportunity for you to show that you can be honest with others while still maintaining strong relationships.

Example: “I once worked with a co-worker who was very detail oriented, which I appreciated because it helped me stay organized. However, sometimes she would get upset if I didn’t do something exactly as she wanted it done. One day, we were working on a project together when she asked me to organize some files in a specific way. When I finished organizing them the way she requested, she told me they weren’t quite right. She then proceeded to reorganize them herself without asking my opinion or input. I calmly approached her after she left work and explained that I understood why she did what she did but that I needed to feel like my opinions mattered too.”

15. What do you think are the most important qualities for someone who works in retail?

This question is an opportunity to show the interviewer that you have experience working in retail and can apply your skills to this position. Use examples from your previous work experience to explain what qualities are important for a retail employee, such as customer service, communication or problem-solving skills.

Example: “I think one of the most important qualities for someone who works in retail is patience. Working with customers all day long requires a lot of patience because there will be times when they’re not happy with their purchase or something else about the store. I’ve always been patient with my customers, even when they were upset, which has helped me resolve many situations before they got out of hand.”

16. When applying for jobs, what kind of company culture are you looking for?

Employers ask this question to see if you would be a good fit for their company culture. They want employees who are passionate about the outdoors and enjoy working with others. When answering, make sure to mention something specific about REI’s company culture that attracted you to apply in the first place.

Example: “I am looking for a company where I can work hard but also have fun. I love how active everyone is at REI, whether it’s going on hikes or playing volleyball. It seems like there is always something fun going on here. I think my outgoing personality would fit right in.”

17. Our company values diversity, tell us why you chose to apply to REI.

This question is a great way for employers to learn more about your values and how they align with the company’s. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention one or two specific things you admire about REI and why you think those qualities are important.

Example: “REI has always been my favorite outdoor retailer because of its commitment to diversity. I’ve seen many companies make efforts in recent years to diversify their workforces, but I feel like REI was ahead of the curve on that front. In fact, I remember reading an article about REI hiring a blind man as a climbing instructor when I was in high school. That story really inspired me to pursue a career in the outdoors.”

18. What sets you apart from other candidates?

This question is an opportunity to show the interviewer that you have unique skills and abilities. You can answer this question by describing a skill or trait that makes you stand out from other candidates.

Example: “I am highly organized, which helps me stay on top of my work. I also have excellent communication skills, so I’m able to clearly explain complex ideas to others. These skills help me be successful in my current role as a sales associate at ABC Store.”

19. Why do you want to work at REI?

This question is a great way for the interviewer to learn more about your interest in working at REI. They want to know that you are passionate about their company and its mission. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention something specific about the company or what drew you to apply.

Example: “REI has such an amazing reputation as a leader in outdoor recreation. I have always been interested in the outdoors, so I was thrilled when I saw there was a place where I could work while enjoying nature. I also love how committed REI is to environmental conservation. It’s important to me to work somewhere that shares my values.”

20. What is your favorite outdoor activity?

This question is a great way to learn more about your potential new coworker. It can also help you determine if the person will fit in with the rest of the team. When answering this question, try to choose an outdoor activity that most people enjoy. This can make it easier for others to relate to you and understand why you enjoy it so much.

Example: “My favorite outdoor activity is hiking. I love being able to get away from everything and just take in nature. There’s something so calming about walking through the woods or along a mountain trail. I find that when I’m out on a hike, I can clear my mind and focus on what’s important.”


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