Retail Sales Associate Job Descriptions, Average Salary, Interview Questions

What Does a Retail Sales Associate Do?

Retail sales associates are the face of the retail store and the direct line to the customer. They are responsible for greeting customers, helping resolve minor issues or needs, building rapport, ringing up sales, and more.

These associates are responsible for keeping a clean and organized store. They stock shelves, clean up messes, return orders, direct and assist customers, and close sales. Individuals in this role can also encourage customers to join rewards programs, offer advice or recommendations, and assist with the delivery or pick-up of goods. 

A retail sales associate should have an excellent understanding of the POS systems the company uses as well as strong communication skills, both written and verbal. Additionally, they will be expected to have a flexible schedule, the ability to upsell, and maintain a positive attitude.

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National Average Salary

Retail sales associate salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site

The average U.S. salary for a Retail Sales Associate is:


Retail Sales Associate Job Descriptions

Example 1

This position includes implementing store promotions, displaying sale and informational signage, and coordinating events.


  • Ensure customers receive outstanding service & have a commitment to service excellence and customer satisfaction
  • Generate sales and merchandise product
  • Be positive and friendly at all times to your coworkers and especially to our customers
  • Execute the daily operational, day-to-day goals and priorities assigned by store management
  • Participate in the stocking of new shipments and help the team to keep the receiving and back stock area clean and organized
  • Uphold merchandising, inventory, and store cleanliness standards and procedures
  • Maintain well-stocked, well-organized department, and back-stock area
  • Be responsive to safety issues and be conscious of shoplifting activity
  • Solicit customers to open (Store) rewards membership
  • Be proactive about learning everything you can about our customers, our products, and our business
  • Assist in training and mentoring of your peers
  • Uphold Attendance policies
  • Other duties may be assigned


  • Strong product knowledge in Hardware related products, gardening, plumbing, electrical, paint, construction, tools, or other hardware-related area required
  • Education/Training: High School diploma, some college preferred
  • Prior retail experience preferred, not required
  • Knowledge of retail computer systems, MS word, and other computer systems (computer literate)
  • A commitment to service excellence and customer satisfaction
  • Solid team player with excellent interpersonal and problem-solving skills
  • Excellent communication skills, exceptional organizational ability, high attention to detail and ability to multitask
  • Ability and willingness to work flexible hours including evenings

Physical demands

  • Able to lift up to 40 pounds frequently
  • Able to stand for long periods of time
  • Able to move and handle boxes of merchandise and fixtures throughout the store, which entails lifting and perform all functions as set forth.

Example 2

The purpose of this job is to consistently achieve individual sales goals to support the store’s sales and profit objectives, while providing superior customer service.

  • Generate sales to exceed personal sales goals
  • Promote the Music and Arts lesson program
  • Create business by networking with teachers/schools, churches, and community organizations
  • Develop customer relationships and provide compelling sales presentations based on sales training
  • Demonstrate outstanding customer service to each and every customer
  • Promote customer loyalty
  • Participate in all areas of store’s operation including merchandising, displays, and maintenance
  • Additional duties as assigned.

Minimum experience, knowledge and skills

  • 1 year of relevant work experience
  • Intermediate knowledge of musical instruments and written music
  • Must be able to read, write, speak, and comprehend English.
  • Must be able to lift and/or move up to 20 pounds
  • Must be able to work a flexible schedule including evenings, weekends, and some holidays


  • 2 years of relevant work experience
  • Skilled knowledge of musical instruments and written music

Special attributes

  • The ability to work as part of a team and also independently
  • Good communication and ‘people’ skills
  • A strong commitment to customer service
  • The ability to work under pressure and handle challenging situations
  • Confidence, drive and enthusiasm
  • Decision-making ability and a sense of responsibility
  • Ability to work as a team in a sales presentation to overcome customers’ objections and close additional sales
  • The ability to multitask with customers in store and on the phone

Example 3

The Sales Associate is expected to engage customers to determine their needs and direct them to the appropriate merchandise while providing product knowledge and offering additional goods and services. In this role you will be expected to meet sales and productivity goals and you will work directly as a consultant to customers who want to create wedding and gift registries.

Key responsibilities

  • Engage customers in a courteous, helpful, and respectful manner, promptly and politely responds to customer inquiries and customer requests for support
  • Escort customers to appropriate merchandise
  • Explain basic features of merchandise to customers
  • Resolve customer issues and escalates issues as necessary to ensure customer satisfaction
  • Organize and straighten merchandise areas on the sales floor
  • Process customer transactions through the register as required
  • Execute activities related to store initiatives to offer customers additional products and services (e.g., special sale items, credit card applications)
  • Assist customers in creating registries, as needed
  • Execute price changes and sign changes as needed
  • Perform additional, sometimes specialized duties as required by business needs including, but not limited to, stocking, freight processing, fulfillment, and price changes, cart retrieval, and cashiering

Education, experience, and qualifications

  • High School diploma or equivalent
  • 1 year of retail experience desired
  • Effective communication and customer service skills
  • Readily adjusts schedule, tasks, and priorities when necessary to meet business needs

Sample Interview Questions

  • What is your previous retail sales experience?
  • What is your approach to engaging a customer when they enter the store?
  • When making product recommendations, how do you assess a customer’s needs?
  • When it comes to maintaining the appearance of the store, what steps do you take to ensure that shelves are well stocked and displays are well arranged?
  • To provide customers with the best recommendations, how do you keep up with new product releases and inventory changes?
  • What steps do you take to ensure customers have a positive shopping experience in your store, and how do you address any problems that may arise?
  • When you had a high volume of customers, how did you manage your time and prioritize their needs?
  • In order to ensure accuracy and prevent errors, how do you handle cash and credit card transactions?
  • When have you collaborated with other team members toward a common goal, such as completing a large sale or restocking a specific item?
  • Can you tell me about a time when you dealt with a difficult customer, and how you handled it?

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