Barnes and Noble Interview Questions & Tips

Hiring process information for an interview at Barnes And Noble

Landing a Job with Barnes & Noble

To gain interview consideration, applicants must either fill out hiring materials online through the company website or visit retail locations in person and physically hand in hiring documents, though most prospective job seekers utilized online means of submitting forms.

Response time spans about a week to hear back from the book store chain, although increased demand for workers and seasonal hiring may decrease wait times.

Response Times

1 to 3 week process
Between one and three weeks usually represents the amount of time needed to successfully complete all parts of the Barnes & Noble hiring process.

How Barnes and Noble Screens Applicants

Barnes & Noble job interviews run about 25 to 30 minutes in length and feature candid conversation on skill sets, favorite forms of entertainment, and experience in customer service-oriented job settings.

What They Screen For

Positions and corresponding desirable characteristics vary greatly for Barnes & Noble jobs. Most entry-level candidates, regardless of department, experience a single job interview to determine employment eligibility.

Coffee shop - Applicants looking for work at in-house coffee shops may need previous experience in food service.

Bookseller - Retail associates often need to exude exceptional customer service skills and personal interest in books, movies, TV, or other mediums.

Interview Questions

What questions do they ask?
Popular interview questions include:

  • What is your favorite book?
  • What is your favorite literary genre?
  • What is your favorite coffee drink?
  • How would you approach a customer looking for a recommendation?

Manager Job Interview

Barnes & Noble applicants looking for managerial positions go through as many as three interviews to obtain employment. Managerial interviews may run as long as 45 minutes to an hour. Phone screenings typically begin the hiring process for positions of leadership, followed by in-person, one-on-one interviews.

How to Dress

Candidates should prepare for Barnes & Noble interviews and wear professional and sensible clothing, such as khaki pants, dressier skirts, dress pants, button-down shirts, blouses, or semi-formal tops. Suits and ties or business-professional dresses may work to the advantage of managerial candidates.

How to Behave

Presentation plays a vital role in the overall business concepts implemented by Barnes & Noble. A nationwide chain, the bookstore competes with other big-box chains like Books-A-Million.

Willingness to help others
Barnes & Noble needs to hire workers who genuinely enjoy working with others and engaging with the general public. Outgoing, personable, and pleasant individuals should find no trouble navigating the Barnes & Noble interview process successfully.

When You'll Get the Job Offer

Sometimes, right away
Though somewhat intensive, the Barnes & Noble hiring process usually ends in very informal fashion, with a hiring manager extending an offer of employment during the final meeting. For entry-level jobs, applicants should expect job offers either at the conclusive meeting or within a day or two of the final session.

Managers may receive job offers via telephone due to the competitive nature of most leadership positions. Continue to show interest in the position by checking in periodically and expressing gratitude for the opportunity to participate in the Barnes & Noble interview process regardless of potential outcome.

Insider Tips

Video: we talk to former employees about working for Barnes & Noble.

Barnes & Noble Bookseller Interview Video

Video Transcript

Interviewer: Please describe your job title and primary duties.

Barners & Noble Bookseller: It was more like we switched on and off and you would look at the schedule to see what you worked that day. And so you would see, oh, Monday, I’m working at the cashier, or at the cash register, and then on say Tuesday, you would see that you’re working downstairs to stock books and that was basically the two main positions you would work. And sometimes you would work in processing but early on you wouldn’t been assigned there. Sometimes you’d be sat at the DVD counter or the online order window. So it basically was checking my schedule to see what you worked. But I mostly worked at cashier.

Interviewer: What was the work environment like?

Barners & Noble Bookseller: I guess it was just more people at the job than I was used to. So it was a lot of employees. It was a big store. So a lot of people there and basically kind of kept to themselves, I would say and try to find some people that you know. But other than that, it was basically just kind of doing your job, not many people to directly talk to since there’s so many employees doing so much at once.

Interviewer: What was your favorite part about working there?

Barners & Noble Bookseller: I like to read, so I liked working there because if it wasn’t busy, you could just sit and read pretty much, and kind of relax with a book and that’s why I applied there, is because I like to read, so that didn’t disappoint. It was nice to do that.

Interviewer: Please describe the application and interview process.

Barners & Noble Bookseller: I kind of had found it online actually. So I just sent them my resume and it was a one click apply type service and basically that’s all I did was just find it online and then sent them my resume and they called me back pretty soon for an interview.

Interviewer: What questions did the interviewer ask during the job interview?

Barners & Noble Bookseller: They kind of just asked me what my interests were and asked me if I like to read. They asked me what I was doing in school, and if I was in school. And asked me what my major was, what I was interested about that. If I was ready to work in a team environment and work in a big store. And that’s pretty much all they asked me.

Interviewer: How were you notified that you received the job?

Barners & Noble Bookseller: They contacted me later that day actually to make sure that I was available to work as soon as possible. And I started working within the next week.

Interviewer: What set you apart from other candidates?

Barners & Noble Bookseller: I think they liked that I was eager to learn what it was like, because it was my first job and they liked that I was ready to just jump right in and work. And I think they also liked that I was a minor in English and they liked that I enjoyed to read, and they liked that I was passionate about what they sell. And they enjoyed that I was just nice and friendly, I guess, for a cashier position. Yeah.

Interviewer: What other advice would you give to a job seeker looking to gain employment?

Barners & Noble Bookseller: I would just say interviewing well seemed important, I felt like I nailed the interview and I had a connection with the managers there. It was a two person interview. It didn’t throw me off for some reason, even though it was my first interview. I was really nervous going in, but you don’t have to be nervous, I think, because it’s just a, it’s a pretty relaxed job and it’s pretty much just straightforward what you’re going to do, so I think it’s pretty natural to just interview for something you would want to do.

Barnes & Noble Barista Interview Video

Video Transcript

Interviewer: Please describe your job title and primary duties.
Barnes & Noble Employee: I was a barista in the café. I would take drink orders, cashier, clean, organize. Then, I also worked on the book floor, so Id cashier, go do customer service, and organize or do go-backs with the books.

Interviewer: Please describe a typical day as an employee.
Barnes & Noble Employee: I was mostly in the café, so a typical day… if I were to open, I’d come in before the store opened. I would have to prepare all the foods, the soups that were going to be selling that day, prepare the bake case in the morning, do dishes – a lot of dishes all the time. Then, I’d usually do this by myself, which was a lot of work. Then, if I were closing – we’d do that by ourselves, as well. That was also very stressful. I would have to break down everything, do all the dishes, mop, sweep, put the chairs out. So, nobody liked closing. And that was it.

Interviewer: How would you describe the application and interview process?
Barnes & Noble Employee: I had to fill out a paper application, and I actually got my job through my sister who was working there for a few years before me and had just quit. She knew the manager pretty well, so she got me an interview.

Interviewer: What questions did the interviewer ask during the job interview?
Barnes & Noble Employee: They wanted to know my previous work experience. I had other food handling experience, so they wanted me in the café at first. And just my availability.

Interviewer: What other advice would you give to a job seeker looking to gain employment?
Barnes & Noble Employee: I’d say for the application process, give your application in person, and give it to a manager and introduce yourself. Or, they also have hiring fairs, where they would just do group interviews where they got most of their employees.

Barnes & Noble Bookseller Interview Video

Video Transcript

Interviewer: Please describe your job title and primary duties.
Barnes & Noble Bookseller: At Barnes & Noble I was a Book Seller. Basically what I did was I went on the shelf floor and I helped customers get their books, make sure they got what they needed and I told them any information they wanted to know. I also worked in backup like stock and inventory.

Interviewer: What was the work environment like?
Barnes & Noble Bookseller: It was pretty relaxed and honestly everyone was working together, making sure that we were a team and making sure that everything that needed to be done was done. It was actually pretty organized from other places that I worked at so I was pretty pleased about that.

Interviewer: How would you describe the application and interview process?
Barnes & Noble Bookseller: Basically I went in and I asked for a job application. They gave it to me, I filled it out. I heard back from them about two weeks or so later. They brought us in, did our interview, then afterwards they brought a whole bunch of us together to basically do orientation and talk to us about the company and make sure that we did everything right. After that they just put us on the shelf floor.

Interviewer: What questions did the interviewer ask during the job interview?
Barnes & Noble Bookseller: They asked me what was my goal and honestly I didn’t know at the time. What was the goal of the company, to make sure where you want to go.

Interviewer: What set you apart from other candidates?
Barnes & Noble Bookseller: Basically my background of customer service and making sure that … Getting what the customer wants and just communication skills.

Interviewer: What should an applicant wear to the job interview?
Barnes & Noble Bookseller: I wore just business casual. Just slacks and a button up. I’ve seen people go in there with khakis and polos and it worked out fine. Just make sure that you look professional.

Interviewer: How were you notified that you received the job?
Barnes & Noble Bookseller: They gave me a phone call in it was just about two weeks or so, and they just said hey, we’d like to bring you in to do orientation, is that okay, and I just said yes.

Interviewer: What other advice would you give to a job seeker looking to gain employment?
Barnes & Noble Bookseller: I would definitely work on just speaking to people because you’re going to be doing it all day, and if you’re comfortable with that then that’s pretty much the job.

20 user comments:

  1. kayla

    What should I wear to a Barnes & Noble job interview?

  2. Alisha

    Acceptable dress clothes and shoes. Cover up tatoos, don’t chew gum, pretty straight forward really.

  3. J Tilman

    My best interview tip for Barnes and Noble is to show a great interest in books and make sure that you understand that there are several sections to the store. If you worked in a library that might be helpful. Also make sure that you do not show up in messy clothes. Remember they deal with people so make sure you are friendly.

  4. pete

    can we wear jeans to an interview?

  5. Anthony

    no, wear slacks and a dress shirt of some kind. I wore a simple black and white wool suit when I interviewed, but one that looked casual enough. Remember, you want to look professional and in dress clothes, WHILE looking casual and friendly in appearance and manner, that’s the key. Definitely some dress shoes look nice.

  6. claire

    im muslim
    can i wear a headscarf to an interview

  7. KJ

    I don’t think a headscarf would be a problem, provided it’s professional looking. …though I’ve never seen someone wear a dirty or ratty looking headscarf, so I think you should be fine.

  8. Esmeralda

    What education level (high school or college) is required?

  9. sara

    what is the highest age they hire?

  10. kristie

    does working for Barnes and Noble require a resume, if so then what main points should I point out or put in my resume?

  11. Derek

    What clothes should I wear for the interview and job and if I work there can I get the books free or I have to pay the books i want to buy.

  12. Raisa

    Hello. I just applied. So if I do get called for the interview. Stuttering on words is a no-no? right? lets see if u are nervous and u stutter on a word? would they mark for that? I m super friendly and i love books and worked at a library. WHAT kind of questions do they ask?

  13. Michelle

    I have an interview on next Monday and I was trying to figure out what to wear. Would a nice blouse and black slacks with healed boots be okay?

    1. Jen

      For women’s clothes I would go with a cage gray pants and a nice polo shirt or a black dress pants with a white bottom down dress shirt and shoes (nice clean tennis shoes) I would go all white or a black dress shoes keep it simple .
      For jewelry you can go with a head band or a simple plane neckless or earring.
      *you never want to wear a lot of jewelry to a interview, that’s just wrong * keep it simple and keep it clean and laides you can wear a simple business jacket too.

      Mens clothes – suit or a button down white t-shirt.
      Pants – black cage pants *(NO JEANS !!*) polo shirts ok.
      Jewelry man -watch a must

      Go with black for polo shirts both lady/ mans too

      I hopened thid help


  14. Chelsea

    What type of questions are asked during the Barnes and Noble job interview?

  15. Crystal

    im 17 but im wondering if theyll hire me because im young and dont have much work experience and also can i ask for an application in the store or do i have to download it off of here

  16. Damaen

    Do they not like piercings? How much does Barnes & Noble pay?

  17. Christina

    If you people really need advice on how to dress for an interview, that is a problem. Common sense you do NOT EVER show up wearing torn clothes and looking dirty, overly done makeup and perfume. COMMON SENSE!

  18. Stefanie Granados

    I’m currently a senior in High school, could i still get a part-time job at Barnes And nobles?

  19. Rosa

    I learned that an interviewee isn’t supposed to ask how much a job pays. To let the interviewer bring that issue up. Secondly, about receiving discounts and products? Again, I would let the interviewer bring that up. If they don’t, if the interviewee got a second interview, it would be OK to bring it up. This is my first time on the site and I will recommend it to other members of my clubhouse in Detroit, Michigan.


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