Questions at Trader Joe's interviews

We analyzed 1,140 interview reviews for Trader Joe's from various job sites, social network groups and forums.

Here are the most frequent job interview questions asked by HR managers during initial phone or onsite interviews. This list does not include technical or factual questions.

12 frequent non-technical questions at Trader Joe's:

How would you handle a customer with difficult behavior?
What did you like or dislike about your last job?
Tell me about a time when you've resolved a problem for a frustrated customer
Tell me about yourself
How would you describe yourself?
Describe the most challenging work problem you faced in your last job
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
What would your previous coworkers or clients tell me about you?
Tell me about a difficult work situation and how you overcame it
What is your greatest weakness?
What is your favorite food?
What are your drivers? What motivates you?

According to our research, hiring managers at Trader Joe's ask soft skills interview questions 79% more than at other companies.

Trader Joe's interview question statistics

1. How would you handle a customer with difficult behavior?top question

How to answer

People skills are highly valued in every company, and even so much more so in a company that deals with difficult customers occasionally. It is important to show how you can manage difficult personalities.

  1. About Yourself

    Look back on your experience. Have you worked with a difficult or disruptive person? Remember how you diffused the situation and how you turned things around.

    • Do you have certain principles, or methodology, to deal with difficult people?
    • Do you have strong people skills, are you good at conflict resolution?
    • Are you high on emotional intelligence? Can you give an example?
  2. About The Company

    • What have you found about the company and its culture?
    • What have you learned about how the employees value each other?
    • How do they treat their customers?
    • Knowing their line of business or industry, what can be some examples of difficult customers?

    Do your research.

  3. About The Fit

    A question like this asked in an interview, may be an indication that difficult customers, or other difficult stakeholders, may indeed be something that you will probably encounter in this company, and it is important for the interviewer to know that you will be able to handle this challenge with good grace.

    If you can give an example of how you handled a difficult person in the past in a situation similar to what this company may require from you, this will strongly increase your chances of showing yourself as a good fit.

Get personalized insights

How do you demonstrate your Fit during the interview? Recruiters say, showing that your skills and qualifications are relevant to the company and job opening improves your chances of landing the job by 95%.

Doing company research and tailoring your answers towards what’s important can be an exhausting, time-consuming process. You may think: there is so much information out there, where should I look exactly? What is important for me, for my particular situation?

You are in the right place! Just choose the type of position you are applying for, enter the job description, and we’ll do the rest.

You will get a personalized guide on how to answer the interview questions at Trader Joe's based on your target position. The guide contains:

  • Key company highlights
  • How these highlights apply to you
  • How to build your interview answers to emphasize your relevance

To start, select the type of position you’re applying for:

Engineering

Managerial

Business Development / Sales

Other

Pro Tip

One methodology for diffusing a difficult situation is called “the triple A” approach:

  1. Acknowledge - what the other person is feeling,
  2. Apologize - for the way the other person is feeling,
  3. Admit - that there was an issue that you are working on to get it resolved.

If it is a customer, it would add that extra touch if you added another "A" to your approach by Asking for the customer's contact information so you can update them of any progress on their issue.

Statistics

This question is asked 94% more frequently at Trader Joe's than at other companies.

Take a quiz

Take a quick quiz and check if you’re ready to answer this question at your next job interview:

Pick the best answer:

AIf the customer is rude and obnoxious, answer in kind and show him that he cannot push you around.

BListen carefully to what the customer is saying to really understand their concerns then repeat back to them what you heard to be sure you have it right, before attempting to help them with the problem.

CTell the customer that he should have known that the sale is final and there is nothing he can do to renegotiate the terms of the deal.

2. What did you like or dislike about your last job?

How to answer

Your answer to this question will show the interviewer your overall perspective (positive or negative) of your prior role and your approach to what you liked (or didn’t like) about that aspect of your work. While answering such a question remember that diplomacy is the key to corporate success.

The answer you give to this question can say a lot about you, for example:

  • Can you handle situations professionally when you deal with pressure?
  • What strong qualities (your Key Selling Points) can you emphasize answering the question?
  • Are you a positive person, and not someone who complains, holds grudges or badmouths their co-workers or boss?
  • Do you exhibit loyalty, enthusiasm, dedication, and energy?
  • Are you easy to work with?
  1. About Yourself

    Reflect on yourself; stick to the facts and don’t go into emotions.

    List the things you were responsible for in your last job.

    • Which of them did you like most? Why?
    • What were the responsibilities you liked less? Why?
    • Was there anything you consider completely unacceptable?

    If you feel that your answer will not be complete without a nod toward the negative aspects, then keep it focused on tasks, situations, or company structure, and not on people. The overall tone must be positive and friendly.

  2. About The Company

    • What does your research tell you about the company you are applying to?
    • Will there be situations like those in your former job you don't want to get into again?
    • What are the requirements for the position?
    • What challenges will you face there?
    • What responsibilities will you be tasked with?
  3. About The Fit

    Which of the responsibilities you liked will also be part of your future responsibilities in your new role? Don’t forget to show your excitement while telling about these.

    If there were responsibilities you disliked that are not part of the job description, don’t bring them up.

    By asking about your feelings toward a previous job the interviewers often aren’t that interested in the list of actual likes or dislikes you can provide. Rather, they’re trying to judge your character by listening to the tone and attitude with which you respond to a tricky question.

    However, details of your likes and dislikes can also reveal whether you'll be a good fit culturally at the company at hand. Showing excitement about responsibilities that will most likely be included in the role you are applying for can help strengthen your position as a fit.

    Mentioning that you are ready for more challenges and opportunities, that the position you are applying for is a great match for your skillset and that you feel you would be an asset to the company or department is often a safe way to show your excitement.

Get personalized insights

How do you demonstrate your Fit during the interview? Recruiters say, showing that your skills and qualifications are relevant to the company and job opening improves your chances of landing the job by 95%.

Doing company research and tailoring your answers towards what’s important can be an exhausting, time-consuming process. You may think: there is so much information out there, where should I look exactly? What is important for me, for my particular situation?

You are in the right place! Just choose the type of position you are applying for, enter the job description, and we’ll do the rest.

You will get a personalized guide on how to answer the interview questions at Trader Joe's based on your target position. The guide contains:

  • Key company highlights
  • How these highlights apply to you
  • How to build your interview answers to emphasize your relevance

To start, select the type of position you’re applying for:

Engineering

Managerial

Business Development / Sales

Other

Pro Tip

Telling your stories, use the “sandwich method”: start off by mentioning a positive, then mention the negative, and try to pivot back around to something positive.

You can do that by talking about how you managed the aspect you disliked, or by making a connection to the job you're interviewing for.

Statistics

This question is asked 9.7x more frequently at Trader Joe's than at other companies.

3. Tell me about a time when you've resolved a problem for a frustrated customer

How to answer

Customers are the lifeblood of any business. How you handle a disgruntled customer can make the difference between closing a sale and failing to do so. It takes good people skills to handle such situations, and this question is a good opportunity to demonstrate your people skills.

  1. About Yourself

    Think of a time when, as a customer, you had a problem with a company.

    • How did you feel?
    • How did you want to be treated?
    • How would the situation ideally be resolved?
    • If it were you on the serving side of the table, what would you do differently? Have you had such experiences in the past where you helped a frustrated customer?
    • What was the critical factor in a successful resolution of the situation?

    Try to define your principles or approach.

    For example, I know that people tend to be frustrated when they feel neglected and unimportant.

    Whenever possible, I try to meet in person and establish face-to-face contact with someone who feels disgruntled, so that I can fully focus on the situation. (And believe me, checking your phone while speaking with such a customer is definitely NOT a good idea).

    Of course, this may not always be possible in your line of business or profession, but I guess you see what I mean - showing full attention greatly improves your chances of mitigating the situation.

  2. About The Company

    Every company relies on customers.

    Research the company you are applying to and try to find out what their standards of customer relationship or service are, as well as try to find out some real cases where the customers complained about the company, and what the company did to mitigate the situations (a possible source might be Yelp! or another social media platform).

    Based on your research, how does the company treat customers? How do they resolve customer issues?

  3. About The Fit

    How can you make things better and WOW the customer? Give an example that demonstrates that your approach to resolving customer frustrations is in line with the company policies.

Get personalized insights

How do you demonstrate your Fit during the interview? Recruiters say, showing that your skills and qualifications are relevant to the company and job opening improves your chances of landing the job by 95%.

Doing company research and tailoring your answers towards what’s important can be an exhausting, time-consuming process. You may think: there is so much information out there, where should I look exactly? What is important for me, for my particular situation?

You are in the right place! Just choose the type of position you are applying for, enter the job description, and we’ll do the rest.

You will get a personalized guide on how to answer the interview questions at Trader Joe's based on your target position. The guide contains:

  • Key company highlights
  • How these highlights apply to you
  • How to build your interview answers to emphasize your relevance

To start, select the type of position you’re applying for:

Engineering

Managerial

Business Development / Sales

Other

Pro Tip

A disgruntled customer generally just needs someone to listen to them.

The three A’s of customer service can help diffuse the difficult situation:

  1. Acknowledge - what the other person is feeling,
  2. Apologize - for the way the other person is feeling,
  3. Admit - that there was an issue that you are working on to get it resolved.

Add the extra “A” - Ask for the customer's contact information so you can update them on any progress on their issue.

Statistics

This question is asked 81% more frequently at Trader Joe's than at other companies.

Take a quiz

Take a quick quiz and check if you’re ready to answer this question at your next job interview:

Customers are often frustrated by what they perceive as poor service especially when they are on the phone. Which one of the following answers do you consider to be good customer service?

APlacing the customer on hold for too long

BPaying close attention to the customer’s complaint in an attempt to solve their problem

CAsking the customer to repeat their complaint many times

DFailing to empathize with their problem

EDirecting the customer to your website instead of resolving the issue yourself

4. Tell me about yourself

How to answer

This question may sound vague, but it actually requires a matter of fact, concise and relevant answer. Here’s how you can approach it.

  1. About Yourself

    What is your current occupation? Define yourself professionally in one statement.

    Pick 3 key skills that make you great at your work (your Key Selling Points). How have you applied these skills?

    Try to give some numbers to support your statement.

  2. About The Company

    Research the company.

    Based on what you know about the company and the job description, why are you interested in the position you are applying for?

  3. About The Fit

    • Based on your Key Selling Points and your knowledge about the company, why do you think you are a good fit for this position?
    • Can you support your statement with relevant examples from your past experiences?

    Try to be concise and stay within 1-2 minutes.

Get personalized insights

How do you demonstrate your Fit during the interview? Recruiters say, showing that your skills and qualifications are relevant to the company and job opening improves your chances of landing the job by 95%.

Doing company research and tailoring your answers towards what’s important can be an exhausting, time-consuming process. You may think: there is so much information out there, where should I look exactly? What is important for me, for my particular situation?

You are in the right place! Just choose the type of position you are applying for, enter the job description, and we’ll do the rest.

You will get a personalized guide on how to answer the interview questions at Trader Joe's based on your target position. The guide contains:

  • Key company highlights
  • How these highlights apply to you
  • How to build your interview answers to emphasize your relevance

To start, select the type of position you’re applying for:

Engineering

Managerial

Business Development / Sales

Other

Pro Tip

You can also end with a question like:

Do you know what the current needs in the company/department are, where my skills and experience can help?"

That can help you learn more about the company and the job, turn the "interrogation" into a conversation and will allow you to relax some tension.

Read our blog post to learn more about how to answer this question.

Statistics

This question is asked 61% less frequently at Trader Joe's than at other companies.

Take a quiz

Take a quick quiz and check if you’re ready to answer this question at your next job interview:

Pick the best answer:

AMy name is Andrew Franklin, I am 28 years old, and I am looking for a job that pays well.

BHello, my name is Natalie Price. I have two children and I love playing billiards and travelling. I am 33 years old.

CHi Mr. Simon, my name is Stanley Clark and I am a certified Project Management professional known for completing projects on time and on budget. I am passionate about building agile work culture and delivering results.

DHi Mr. Simon, my name is Dorothy Hanson. I have previously worked as an accountant in retail, but currently I am trying to transition into the field of healthcare.

5. How would you describe yourself?

How to answer

This question is like the Tell me about yourself question usually asked at the beginning of an interview, but there are some subtle differences. It belongs to the family of reflective questions where the interviewer is assessing your cognitive abilities, as opposed to the more factual and matter-of-fact “Tell Me About Yourself” question.

  1. About Yourself

    Think of how your bosses and peers would describe you.

    Throughout your professional experience, you have probably heard them giving you some labels – try to remember the exact words they used.

    If you have received LinkedIn recommendations from someone, read those and think why people wrote them and what work situations prompted those descriptions. Remember the context of those situations and frame them as stories.

    Make a list of keywords, or short key phrases, that can describe you. Your Key Selling Points should definitely appear on this list, but try to also use some adjectives here, to add a positive emotional touch.

  2. About The Company

    Research the company's values, standards and policies. Make a list of keywords or short key phrases.

  3. About The Fit

    Which of your keywords correspond best with those of the company? Highlight 3-4 matches. Now try to imagine being a peer or a boss of yours and compile statements about yourself, in the 3rd person, mentioning these keywords. Remember to use adjectives, and don’t be afraid to mention real references from real people.

    For example, if you are applying for a position that requires good people skills, and your boss at your previous job called you a “conflict resolution guru,” don’t be shy to mention this reference, and provide a brief context that caused your boss’s praise. Use the STAR method to craft your story.

    Don’t limit yourself with just one keyword. If you are concise and don’t ramble with your answer, your interviewer will probably want to hear more than one. Just be observant and watch the interviewer’s reaction. You want to keep them interested.

Get personalized insights

How do you demonstrate your Fit during the interview? Recruiters say, showing that your skills and qualifications are relevant to the company and job opening improves your chances of landing the job by 95%.

Doing company research and tailoring your answers towards what’s important can be an exhausting, time-consuming process. You may think: there is so much information out there, where should I look exactly? What is important for me, for my particular situation?

You are in the right place! Just choose the type of position you are applying for, enter the job description, and we’ll do the rest.

You will get a personalized guide on how to answer the interview questions at Trader Joe's based on your target position. The guide contains:

  • Key company highlights
  • How these highlights apply to you
  • How to build your interview answers to emphasize your relevance

To start, select the type of position you’re applying for:

Engineering

Managerial

Business Development / Sales

Other

Pro Tip

If you haven’t yet received any LinkedIn recommendations, try to obtain them. Also, offer to write your own recommendations for them - both received and given recommendations will be visible in your profile and will tell the interviewer exactly what you want to be known about your values, your attitude towards work and relationships.

Statistics

This question is asked 2.5x more frequently at Trader Joe's than at other companies.

6. Describe the most challenging work problem you faced in your last job

How to answer

Everyone faces problems in the workplace, it’s how we deal with them that matters most.

The problems you faced in your previous workplace actually tell future employers a lot about your problem-solving strategies and abilities.

You can expect that some employers – especially those that consider themselves high stress or those that are replacing someone that struggled with problem-solving – are going to ask you questions about workplace problems to learn more about how you reacted.

It’s a complicated question to answer because different people handle challenges in different ways.

  1. About Yourself

    So, how should you talk about your strategy to approach tough situations?

    Try to think about the actual most challenging thing you did, or just pick something that was really difficult, but you succeed at it in the end.

    The situation should be real. Perhaps you went above and beyond to meet a tight deadline while taking over the responsibilities of a coworker who was out sick? Or you took a course, completed an online training, or attended seminars on a topic that was new for you, but necessary to match your qualifications to the position's requirements?

    Make sure your story isn't boring: interesting is a keyword here. Use the STAR method to demonstrate your positive approach to problem-solving.

  2. About The Company

    Take a moment to consider the role and the daily tasks you’d be engaged with.

    • What kind of problems might come about?
    • What difficulties can you possibly encounter because you will be working directly with clients or in a big team?
    • Do you have to communicate a lot, or would problems be more technical in nature?

    Do your research.

  3. About The Fit

    Your answer is an opportunity to highlight your fit for the role and the work environment.

    This question allows the interviewer to reflect on how you handled past challenges and use this to make predictions about your future capabilities. It might help them to realize you’re a good fit.

    When employers ask such questions, they are looking for some specific details relevant to the job.

    For example, if you are interviewing for a customer service role, highlight how you’ve managed to deal with a difficult situation in customer service.

    On the other hand, if your future role would be very technical, you might talk about a technical challenge you’ve overcome.

Get personalized insights

How do you demonstrate your Fit during the interview? Recruiters say, showing that your skills and qualifications are relevant to the company and job opening improves your chances of landing the job by 95%.

Doing company research and tailoring your answers towards what’s important can be an exhausting, time-consuming process. You may think: there is so much information out there, where should I look exactly? What is important for me, for my particular situation?

You are in the right place! Just choose the type of position you are applying for, enter the job description, and we’ll do the rest.

You will get a personalized guide on how to answer the interview questions at Trader Joe's based on your target position. The guide contains:

  • Key company highlights
  • How these highlights apply to you
  • How to build your interview answers to emphasize your relevance

To start, select the type of position you’re applying for:

Engineering

Managerial

Business Development / Sales

Other

Pro Tip

Sometimes it is hard to come up with “Big” challenges but that does not mean you never had to face down a problem.

I’m sure that you have solved problems in the past, you might just have to dig deep to come up with a few that you resolved to make your point.

Statistics

This question is asked 5.6x more frequently at Trader Joe's than at other companies.

7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

How to answer

This question belongs to a family of behavioral, or even more precisely, reflective questions.

The interviewer wants to see whether you are reflective about yourself, whether you are ambitious and strive to grow as a professional, whether you like to learn and develop your skills.

They are also looking for your ambitions to fit the career path opportunities related to the position you are applying for.

  1. About Yourself

    Presumably, you are interested to grow professionally.

    Think about the possibilities that may lie ahead for you: take a personality test (I recommend 16Personalities which is based on Myers-Briggs test), research the internet on what career paths are possible with your skills and current job.

    What challenges do you like overcoming?

    For example, if you are applying for a software tester position, you may find it fascinating to master automated testing in full and eventually become a software engineer, or you may be a natural trainer and love coaching other people which may lead you to become a QA team or department lead, or you may be more interested in understanding business aspects of requirements which may logically lead you into a Business Analyst position.

    However, if you are happy just where you are and want to further your current skills, that is also fine as long as there is a growth path for you that can be imagined and described.

  2. About The Company

    Research the company to learn what career opportunities may be available in the department you are applying to, and what the trends are in the company in general.

    • Is the business expanding, are they opening new locations, or starting new projects?
    • Or are they heavily automating and cutting staff?

    Let’s say you are applying for a UX designer position for a brand-new product.

    In the future, if the product becomes a success - which is what the company hopes for - the company will hire more designers and you may become a lead designer, or you may become a product manager.

    On a side note: If you train your mind to be open to opportunities you will be amazed at how much this world has to offer to you!

  3. About The Fit

    And, of course, try to see where the perfect fit lies between your own potential and aspirations, and the company’s trends and hopes.

    However, beware of the risk of showing too much excitement for future opportunities compared to your attitude towards the current position.

    If you aren’t really excited about the position you are applying for and you demonstrate this lack of enthusiasm, the interviewer may conclude that you are not a good fit for the current position.

    Try to find a source of excitement in the current position as well, otherwise, you may be doing yourself a disservice by applying to a position you will find boring in 2-3 months.

Get personalized insights

How do you demonstrate your Fit during the interview? Recruiters say, showing that your skills and qualifications are relevant to the company and job opening improves your chances of landing the job by 95%.

Doing company research and tailoring your answers towards what’s important can be an exhausting, time-consuming process. You may think: there is so much information out there, where should I look exactly? What is important for me, for my particular situation?

You are in the right place! Just choose the type of position you are applying for, enter the job description, and we’ll do the rest.

You will get a personalized guide on how to answer the interview questions at Trader Joe's based on your target position. The guide contains:

  • Key company highlights
  • How these highlights apply to you
  • How to build your interview answers to emphasize your relevance

To start, select the type of position you’re applying for:

Engineering

Managerial

Business Development / Sales

Other

Pro Tip

This question gives you a good opportunity to showcase your Key Selling Points (e.g. “As I am very good at delegating tasks, I can easily see myself leading a team of software testers in the future…”), and end your statement by asking about current initiatives and goals at the company.

It is generally NOT a good idea to say something like:

“Oh, I cannot imagine what happens to me tomorrow, let alone in 5 years”.

This will show you as a person who is unimaginative and not forward-thinking enough to grow with and be a good fit for the company.

Statistics

This question is asked 47% less frequently at Trader Joe's than at other companies.

8. What would your previous coworkers or clients tell me about you?

How to answer

This question is another way of saying, “Tell me about yourself” but from another person’s point of view.

Most prospective employers ask this interview question to compare your self-assessment to how your references might describe you and to assess your soft skills to determine how well you’d fit into their group dynamic and company culture.

  1. About Yourself

    Spend some time reflecting on how others perceive you so that you can speak smoothly without overinflating or undervaluing yourself.

    Recall conversations with coworkers or managers in which you received acknowledgment or feedback.

    It is an opportunity for you to share your best traits (your Key Selling Points).

    • Would your coworkers and clients say that you are dependable, trustworthy, flexible, honest?
    • Do you always show up to meetings on time and promptly reply to emails?
    • Would your coworkers say you are punctual and responsive?

    If you frequently lend a hand when co-workers or customers struggle, your colleagues, clients and managers would highly likely say that you are helpful.

  2. About The Company

    Research the company to learn what the employer or interviewer values.

    Compare their values with your qualities that you think would be a good fit and carefully read the job description.

    The employer's job posting is a great guide for what employers want to see in candidates.

  3. About The Fit

    Use the question as an opportunity to emphasize your strengths.

    It’s important to highlight how well you communicate and how well your personality and work style will match the company and team culture.

    Using the STAR method, describe a successful team project from your previous job mentioning how well you interacted with your colleagues.

    For example:

    My past coworkers have told me that I am highly organized and quite good at time management. During one specific project, my team members gave me praise for developing and sticking to a timeline for all the different aspects of the project. We ended up successfully completing the project ahead of time, and it went really well! I’d love to have a similar relationship with my team members in this position.

    If by chance you didn’t get along well with your coworkers at your last job or your coworkers would be likely to note that you didn’t fit in, it could mean that the company culture wasn’t a good fit for you.

    Make sure that if the job you are interviewing for has a similar company culture, or you may not be deemed a good fit for that either.

Get personalized insights

How do you demonstrate your Fit during the interview? Recruiters say, showing that your skills and qualifications are relevant to the company and job opening improves your chances of landing the job by 95%.

Doing company research and tailoring your answers towards what’s important can be an exhausting, time-consuming process. You may think: there is so much information out there, where should I look exactly? What is important for me, for my particular situation?

You are in the right place! Just choose the type of position you are applying for, enter the job description, and we’ll do the rest.

You will get a personalized guide on how to answer the interview questions at Trader Joe's based on your target position. The guide contains:

  • Key company highlights
  • How these highlights apply to you
  • How to build your interview answers to emphasize your relevance

To start, select the type of position you’re applying for:

Engineering

Managerial

Business Development / Sales

Other

Pro Tip

A potential hiring manager may check your references, so it’s important to be honest and consistent with the feedback you give the interviewer, and the feedback the former manager or colleagues will give to you.

Statistics

This question is asked 10.4x more frequently at Trader Joe's than at other companies.

9. Tell me about a difficult work situation and how you overcame it

How to answer

Everyone faces some awkward, difficult, and possibly even dangerous situations on the job once in a while.

The interviewers aren’t asking you this question to remind you about any stress you have experienced in the past or so that you can complain about your old job. They are asking you this question to see how you handled the situation.

It says a lot about you as an employee and as a person. They want to know how you will deal with an unprepared situation that might arise during your work tenure.

  1. About Yourself

    Try to think of a time when outside forces created a stressful situation.

    • What was the context?
    • What was the challenge?
    • Did you step in?
    • Were you able to create a solution that could make everyone happy?
    • What did you learn from that situation?
    • How would you handle this situation should it happen again in the future?

    Avoid examples that make you seem indecisive or uncertain, and keep your answer positive.

    This is your chance to show that you have problem-solving skills. Showcase these skills using the STAR method, which will help you effectively organize your response when answering this type of question.

  2. About The Company

    Do your research about the company. What challenges and kinds of situations may you face in your new role?

    Read carefully the job description and the list of responsibilities required.

  3. About The Fit

    Do your best to ensure your interviewer that you are a person who can identify, isolate, and solve problems.

    Ultimately, it doesn't matter how big of a difficulty you had with any particular project. What really matters is the process of how you overcame that difficulty and whether you are capable of handling difficult situations in the future.

    Choose your example wisely: if you're looking at a team leader or manager role, it might be better to talk about a people issue rather than technical.

    If you're looking at a developer or architect role, then highlight something more technical.

    Name your soft skills as well, such as project management, dealing with difficult people, pushing back requirements that were inadequate, etc. Talk only about your fits which are relevant to the job you want to get.

Get personalized insights

How do you demonstrate your Fit during the interview? Recruiters say, showing that your skills and qualifications are relevant to the company and job opening improves your chances of landing the job by 95%.

Doing company research and tailoring your answers towards what’s important can be an exhausting, time-consuming process. You may think: there is so much information out there, where should I look exactly? What is important for me, for my particular situation?

You are in the right place! Just choose the type of position you are applying for, enter the job description, and we’ll do the rest.

You will get a personalized guide on how to answer the interview questions at Trader Joe's based on your target position. The guide contains:

  • Key company highlights
  • How these highlights apply to you
  • How to build your interview answers to emphasize your relevance

To start, select the type of position you’re applying for:

Engineering

Managerial

Business Development / Sales

Other

Pro Tip

Any company would prefer to hire a mature person, capable of rising above complex situations.

Therefore, make it a point to describe a situation in which you utilized your strong personal and professional skills. Emphasize how the situation helped you grow in different aspects of life.

Statistics

This question is asked 3.5x more frequently at Trader Joe's than at other companies.

10. What is your greatest weakness?

How to answer

This question ranks as the most challenging for many people. Fortunately, Mr. Simon is here to help!

Interviewers ask this question to gauge your level of self-awareness, your honesty and openness, and your capability for self-improvement.

  1. About Yourself

    No one is perfect and your interviewer doesn't expect you to be perfect either.

    While it is good to be honest and open, it will not help you to put yourself down.

    What's important is to find a weakness that you have overcome or something that is not related to the position for which you are applying.

    For example, one of our clients admitted that he is not very good at public speaking and that he has recently become a member of Toastmasters International to improve. What a respectful answer and approach, in my view!

  2. About The Company

    Research the company (website, social media, etc) to learn about the company culture.

    What personal and professional qualities do they value?

  3. About The Fit

    It is important that the weakness you decide to talk about is not one that will prevent you from performing the job for which you're applying.

    For example, if you're applying for a front-end developer position, do not talk about how you are struggling to understand HTML code.

Get personalized insights

How do you demonstrate your Fit during the interview? Recruiters say, showing that your skills and qualifications are relevant to the company and job opening improves your chances of landing the job by 95%.

Doing company research and tailoring your answers towards what’s important can be an exhausting, time-consuming process. You may think: there is so much information out there, where should I look exactly? What is important for me, for my particular situation?

You are in the right place! Just choose the type of position you are applying for, enter the job description, and we’ll do the rest.

You will get a personalized guide on how to answer the interview questions at Trader Joe's based on your target position. The guide contains:

  • Key company highlights
  • How these highlights apply to you
  • How to build your interview answers to emphasize your relevance

To start, select the type of position you’re applying for:

Engineering

Managerial

Business Development / Sales

Other

Pro Tip

Use this question to sell yourself!

It's important to show how well you've overcome a weakness by motivating yourself and learning a new skill to grow professionally.

Statistics

This question is asked 58% less frequently at Trader Joe's than at other companies.

Take a quiz

Take a quick quiz and check if you’re ready to answer this question at your next job interview:

Which of the following would be the best answer:

ASometimes I just work too hard

BI have trouble saying “no” when a colleague asks for help and I have my own work to finish

CI am a perfectionist

DI cannot think of a single thing

11. What is your favorite food?

How to answer

This question, at first glance, seems to have nothing to do with a job interview. Then why do interviewers ask it?

Is it a trick question just meant to throw you off or is there another reason?

Questions like this are asked to see how you respond to unusual situations and how well you think on your feet.

  1. About Yourself

    The right thing to do when you think about an answer is to be yourself.

    Can you come up with an articulate answer when faced with an unexpected question? If you can, you’ll make a good impression.

    Remember, it’s not really about food, so don’t get hung up on whether you’re a Vegan or follow a Paleo diet.

  2. About The Company

    Do your research about the company. If it manufactures vegan meals, and you are a lover of steak and spare-ribs, you might not be a good fit.

    Read carefully the “About Us” page of their website, it might tell you something about the charities and causes it supports.

    Do they line up with your own social preferences?

  3. About The Fit

    Give an honest, straight-forward answer.

    There is no trick to this question, so simply tell the interviewer what you like to eat and why.

    Here is an example of how this question might be answered:

    “My favorite food is anything Italian. I love a large number of shapes and sizes of pasta, there must be 100s of them and they’re all great. Although red sauce is my favorite, I enjoy many of the other variety of dishes available in any good Italian restaurant.”

Get personalized insights

How do you demonstrate your Fit during the interview? Recruiters say, showing that your skills and qualifications are relevant to the company and job opening improves your chances of landing the job by 95%.

Doing company research and tailoring your answers towards what’s important can be an exhausting, time-consuming process. You may think: there is so much information out there, where should I look exactly? What is important for me, for my particular situation?

You are in the right place! Just choose the type of position you are applying for, enter the job description, and we’ll do the rest.

You will get a personalized guide on how to answer the interview questions at Trader Joe's based on your target position. The guide contains:

  • Key company highlights
  • How these highlights apply to you
  • How to build your interview answers to emphasize your relevance

To start, select the type of position you’re applying for:

Engineering

Managerial

Business Development / Sales

Other

Pro Tip

As stated earlier, the interviewer wants to see how easily you can take on a question that is slightly out of the left field and provide a simple, straightforward answer.

Remember to Be Yourself!

Statistics

This question is asked 24.9x more frequently at Trader Joe's than at other companies.

12. What are your drivers? What motivates you?

How to answer

Motivation is what we use to drive ourselves forward to complete tasks and bring results.

Why do hiring managers ask this question?

They want to get a sense of your personality. But more importantly, they want to see your resiliency and determination.

They do not want to hire someone who will quit when encountering difficulties, whose focus will be elsewhere, or who will just waste their time.

Enthusiasm ranks very high on the list of qualities employers are looking for in a candidate.

If you can demonstrate that you are genuinely passionate about your profession and interested in the position you are applying for, your chances of getting hired will improve significantly.

  1. About Yourself

    This question requires serious self-examination; you should be asking it yourself long before the interviewer does.

    Look back on everything you’ve done in your life, job, and career so far.

    • What was it about your best days that made them the best?
    • Can you take those feelings and apply them to specific moments from your life and past work experiences?
    • Are you ready for tough projects or for being asked to do something that isn’t quite on your job description, or for having to stay at work till late instead of another team member?
    • Will meeting deadlines, learning new things, finding a way to solve problems or overcoming a challenge inspire you and make you want even more?
    • What gives you a sense of accomplishment when you can look back on and say "I achieved that"?

    Look deep inside.

    Analyze your experience by types of tasks, by type of environment, type of feedback, level of responsibility and stakes? Do you prefer independence, or being part of a team?

    1. Task type: if you were given a whole day or even week at work to focus on just one of your tasks, without interruptions or multitasking, which one would that be? Why?
    2. Environment: do you feel motivated in a dynamic environment with lots of action, communications, deadlines? Or would you rather disconnect from the outside world and immerse into a single task, with your headphones on?
    3. Feedback: are you better motivated by positive feedback, or by healthy criticism? Or maybe by customers’ smiles and “Thank you” messages?
    4. Responsibility and stakes: are you motivated to do your best when you know that the stakes are high and your contribution will make a great impact on the bottom line? Or do you feel better in a more safe and relaxed environment when someone else is responsible for making big decisions?
    5. Financials: what is the salary range that makes you feel comfortable and respect yourself? Let’s be realistic, this is one (although definitely shouldn’t be the first) of the drivers.

    Be creative, this list is not exhaustive.

  2. About The Company

    Take a long look at the job you’re applying for.

    • What kinds of tasks will you be responsible for?
    • What will the environment be?
    • What do you know about the possible kinds of feedback you will be receiving?
    • What is the level of stakes in this role?
    • What do you know about the salary they can possibly offer?
  3. About The Fit

    How comfortable are you with the drivers the company can offer, comparing to those of your own? Pick those that have a match and give some examples.

    For instance, if you’re applying for a software engineer job, describe how you are motivated by solving complex technical challenges.

    If the job involves teamwork, give an example showing that you love collaborating and accomplishing big things as a part of a team.

    That is what drives you to do your best each day. You can say you enjoy meaningful work creating products that change people’s lives, if this is relevant to the company.

Get personalized insights

How do you demonstrate your Fit during the interview? Recruiters say, showing that your skills and qualifications are relevant to the company and job opening improves your chances of landing the job by 95%.

Doing company research and tailoring your answers towards what’s important can be an exhausting, time-consuming process. You may think: there is so much information out there, where should I look exactly? What is important for me, for my particular situation?

You are in the right place! Just choose the type of position you are applying for, enter the job description, and we’ll do the rest.

You will get a personalized guide on how to answer the interview questions at Trader Joe's based on your target position. The guide contains:

  • Key company highlights
  • How these highlights apply to you
  • How to build your interview answers to emphasize your relevance

To start, select the type of position you’re applying for:

Engineering

Managerial

Business Development / Sales

Other

Pro Tip

Be enthusiastic. The more enthusiasm you have for what motivates you, the more enthusiasm the interviewer will have for you!

Statistics

This question is asked 3.5x more frequently at Trader Joe's than at other companies.

You don't have to be alone in your job search!

Mr. Simon invites you to join the Work Search Buddy Network that supports both individuals seeking their next job role and working professionals. Members of our network come together to learn and practice new skills and network with others through our regular interactive events where they establish meaningful connections and have a chance to promote their personal brand and stand out in the marketplace.

Join our Work Search Buddy Network Meetup Group to become part of our growing and supportive community!


This page has been updated on February 2, 2021.

You can practice answering this question, as well as over 160 other common job interview questions from Trader Joe's by engaging in a mock interview with Mr. Simon. As an artificial being, his undeniable benefits include:

24/7 availability24/7 availability
He will never make you feel intimidatedHe will never make you feel intimidated
The current version is freeThe current version is free

Worth a try?