Does anyone have any tips on getting a job at a book store?Does anyone have any tips on getting a job at a book store? Chloe #questionnaire
? but seriously, each manager/store will have their own applications and what they are looking for
If it’s a big box store, try and know at least a little bit about their business and promotional things. I was eavesdropping on a job fair interview for Chapters, and the person being interviewed didn’t like to read, had no idea they sold things other than books, and also didn’t know they have an awesome rewards program. It didn’t sound like it was going well.
Try to stand out on your resume but avoid volunteering at the library on your resume. Don’t assume the roles. Be creative with your transferable skills. That’s how I got my job.
I worked at bn for 5 years. Took several attempts. My suggestion is if they have a cafe get in there. Cafes tends to have more turn over. I then waited for an opening on the bookstore side and jumped at it. Since I was already working for them I was practically a shoe in.
@Heather I worked at BN for 3! The stories I have!
Know the product! B-U-T DON’T BLOW SMOKE!
Worked at BN for 3 years. Just be yourself, know books, talk about your favorites, but also remember it’s a business so don’t joke about wanting to read in the aisles or getting distracted by books! I mean, you can (and I did lol) just don’t bring it up at the interview
I worked at BN, and in my interview (back in 2010!) the manager asked me about the last book I read/am currently reading, and my favorite books. He then asked me some situational questions — a customer comes in looking for a book recommendation. They loved X and Y; what would you recommend, and why?
Pay attention to recent bestseller lists, and pay attention to what the store is promoting on their endcaps and display tables. Be cognizant of movie/TV tie-ins; people often come in looking for a book when the movie is about to hit. If you consider yourself an expert in a specific genre, mention it, but make sure you are aware of what’s popular in all the genres.
I had an interview at Chapters and at a book publisher. The interviewers at both didn’t seem very impressed when I said that I loved books. I mean, pretty much everyone who applies there likes to read.
@Melanie when someone comes in for an interview at the library “I like to read” is a red flag—people skills and energy is what will get you the job—I imagine it’s similar for a bookstore
@Rebekah Exactly! I could tell by their faces they were like “well duh”
I’m one of the hiring managers at a Barnes and Noble College (little different than BN Inc, but very similar application process). My biggest piece of advice is to have a solid answer for the question “Why do you want to work at Barnes and Noble?”. Everyone always says “because I love books!”, which is fine because we love books too but that shouldn’t be your only reasoning. It doesn’t help you stand out and it really falls flat when interviewing. Think about the fact that you will not be reading books at work, you will be working! Stocking shelves, ringing up customers, etc. and come up with an answer that is more realistic and customer service/retail oriented. Hope that helps!
@Mary i always read at work lol I would hide at the register in Kid’s and store a book in the drawer. I used to also hide from customers in the evening. It was the best job ever ? eventually I was promoted to cashier lead and then CRM, but those days as a bookseller, especially on a slow weekday night, were awesome
@Jenny yeah I suppose it depends on the Barnes and Noble, we don’t really allow reading on the clock because there’s always work that needs to be done, and if it’s slow enough that you can sit and read then we don’t need people on the clock and just send them home early!
@Mary I mean, no one knew I did ?
@Jenny that makes a lot more sense ???
Just apply and be personable and outgoing.
I worked in a bookstore in high school/college. You don’t need a degree or anything fancy, you just need to be open and engaging. Having a love of books helps ? Once you get in there, have a few standards recs in each category. Most people come in to a book store knowing what they’re looking for but having some favorites to share does help.
I work at B&N and I was hoping and praying I’d get an interview! I answered everything honestly with lots of enthusiasm and energy! I had also worked at CFA for like 7 yrs or more and so I knew the real key was giving the absolute best customer service and they LOVED hearing that.
I worked at Chapters for six years. I remember an alphabetization test being part of the interview ?
@Hilary omg I would love this so much. I have this neurotic love for alphabetized shelves.
Apply someplace that won’t go out of business too soon.
It does help to know the product. I work for a local indie bookstore that I was a regular customer at before. My boss hired me because she knew I knew my stuff. It also helped that I had pretty good relationship with everyone who worked there.
I wish we even had bookstores here anymore ?
According to Caroline Kepnes, you should try being a serial killer and a stalker. They become bookstore managers.
Won’t work for you, but I got my job because my brother was working at a book store and had to resign so that he could get his engineering work hours for his degree, so I went in with him when he handed in his resignation letter, and I handed in my CV right afterward and said, “I’m his replacement.”