REI Interview Questions & Tips

How to Get a Job at REI

REI, or Recreational Equipment Inc., often looks for passionate and experienced outdoor enthusiasts in the hiring process to join the teams of sales specialists, cashiers, bike techs, and sales managers. REI consistently opens new stores and posts job openings online accordingly. After submitting preliminary hiring forms, entry-level applicants, such as those looking for sales specialist positions, often participate in group interviews consisting of 10 to 20 other job candidates. Managerial and bike tech job seekers may encounter phone screenings before formal invitation to store locations for 1:1 or panel interviews with various REI higher-ups.

Group Interviews

The national sporting goods retailer interviews entry-level job candidates in groups almost exclusively because of the team-driven work atmosphere endorsed at REI. The group interviews usually conducted feature sales managers and a few other current employees. REI places the applicants in teams and asks the workers to perform various exercises like selling REI brands or creating innovative designs for new gear. Staff members watch and take note of chemistry, personality, communication skills, and aptitude for good customer service. Applicants who maintain friendly, energetic attitudes and express genuine interest in the outdoors generally perform well during REI group interviews. Successful candidates may receive an invitation for a second, smaller group interview.

Preparing for Your Interview

Prepping for the interview with some research of REI brands and values proves useful to candidates, as some hiring personnel ask about applicant knowledge of company history and products.

Questions to Expect During upper-Level Interviews

Upper-level candidates encounter basic interview questions during preliminary phone screening, like:

  • "What skills and experience do you have that qualify you for this job?"
During 1:1 or panel interviews, REI managerial applicants may come upon such inquiries as:
  • "Describe a time when you motivated subordinates to reach a difficult goal,"
  • "How would you handle a customer who demands a replacement on an item with an expired warranty?"
Highlight previous successes leading a team or providing exceptional customer service when given the opportunity. REI managerial interviews often end with salary details and negotiation.

What to Wear

Entry-level applicants should attend REI interviews in business-casual attire to set the right tone and give the right impression. Upper-level candidates ought to demonstrate professionalism by dressing in more business-formal attire.

Tips for Success

REI job hopefuls should communicate desire for the job as well as attentiveness and courteous attitudes. Hiring representatives who detect indifference may refrain from extending employment offers. Remain focused on each question or exercise during REI job interviews and thank any and all hiring representatives for their time after each meeting.


  • MM says:

    i am a male who doesn’t own anything business casual. What should I be looking for to look nice, but still fit in at REI?

  • Mel says:

    Do you need the membership to apply for a job at REI? It says you will not be penalized for not having the membership.. but do they genuinely mean it?

  • John smith says:

    Do they drug test?

    • Lisa LaRousse says:

      You can dress casual to a point Don’t wear shorts or flip flops. You could wear nice and clean clothes a shirt with a collar.

  • Average Joe says:

    does REI drug test new employees?

    • Lisa LaRousse says:

      No they don’t drug test unless you are applying for a warehouse job.

  • noname says:

    As far as I know, REI does not drug test.

    It is generally not necessary to dress business casual or your Sunday best. REI is an outdoor outfitter. Of course dress well, be presentable, but wearing nice outdoor or nice casual clothing is absolutely fine. Walk into any REI store, see what the staff is wearing? That type of clothing is fine. It is my opinion that if you over dress, it actually can hurt your interview. REI is not a stuffy store, but a real, down-to-earth kinda of retailer. 🙂

  • Chris says:

    They do not drug test

Worked Here Before? Tell Us About It!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please only comment if you have worked for this company before.