Tilly’s Interview Questions & Tips

Casual Interview Process

Action sports clothing retailer Tilly's maintains strong retail teams by hiring talented, diligent workers. To evaluate potential hires, the company uses a casual interview process that takes into consideration personality, interests, and job skills. Interviews remain brief, and applicants often receive job offers within the same week of interviewing.

Typical Interview Questions

Applicants seeking sales associate jobs usually need to participate in group interviews. Two managers usually conduct group interviews, which take place at the back of the store and feature between five and ten candidates, in most cases. Interviewers usually start group interviews with personality-gauging questions like:

  • "If you could be an animal, what would you be and why?"
  • "What is your favorite memory?"
  • "If you worked at a circus, what part would you play?"
After the personality questions, managers ask behavioral questions regarding loss prevention and customer care. Some examples of interview questions related to behavioral traits include:
  • "Do you think theft is a problem in retail? Why?"
  • "What is your biggest accomplishment?"
  • "What is the difference between selling and customer service?"
Once questioning ends, applicants are then asked to pick out outfits and give mock sales pitches.

What Tilly's Looks for in an Employee

An edgy, action sports brand, Tilly's represents alternative lifestyles and activities like BMX, motocross, skating, and surfing, which applicants should show personal interest in or with some type of alternative culture. The retail chain looks for highly enthusiastic and energetic individuals. During the interview process, smile often and maintain an upbeat attitude. Customer service represents one of the most important qualities hiring managers look for in applicants. Express abilities in maximizing customer service.

Tips for a Successful Interview

The best way to demonstrate customer service skills is through anecdotes from past work experiences. Past experience isn't required for most jobs, but a history in retail or sales may give an applicant added hiring consideration. Proven abilities to reach sales goals especially impress hiring managers. Loss prevention is held as a top priority at Tilly's, and applicants should demonstrate honesty and strong morals during job interviews. The retailer also looks for workers with strong communication skills. Be sure to sit with good posture and speak intelligibly whenever responding to an inquiry.

Tilly’s Sales Associate Interview Video

Video Transcript

Interviewer: Please describe your job title and primary duties.
Tilly’s Sales Associate: I was a sales associate. I would help customers make sale decisions and also help them out at the cash register. If they had any problems, I would try to help them as much as I can. As well, I would help my supervisor with shipment that would come in and place it on the sales floor, stuff like that.

Interviewer: What was the work environment like?
Tilly’s Sales Associate: Everyone got along. It wasn’t stressful at all. You can talk to the manager if you had any problems.

Interviewer: How would you describe the application and interview process?
Tilly’s Sales Associate: For me, I actually applied because I saw it before the store actually opened. They had a website to go to and apply online. I applied online and a few months later, I got a call. Then they were saying that they were opening. I started off working before they actually opened like helping setting up the store and as the store opened, I work … I was a regular sales associate.

Interviewer: What was the interview like?
Tilly’s Sales Associate: We had group interviews actually. That went pretty well. I feel like it was more … it took a lot of tension off of me, a lot of nervousness off of me.

Interviewer: What questions did the interviewer ask during the job interview?
Tilly’s Sales Associate: They would ask questions like why would you like to work at the company and stuff like what do you think represents a good employee and what would be an ideal work environment, stuff like that.

Interviewer: What set you apart from other candidates?
Tilly’s Sales Associate: I told them that I was able to set apart my work life with my personal life as well as I enjoyed helping others. I feel like that was a position that I would enjoy.

Interviewer: What other advice would you give to a job seeker looking to gain employment?
Tilly’s Sales Associate: I would give them the advice of just being themselves because the workers they like, when you’re comfortable in your environment and you can work with others and stuff like that.

Tilly’s Sales Associate Interview Video

Video Transcript

Interviewer: Please describe your job title and primary duties.
Tilly’s Sales Associate: My job title there, starting out, I was just a basic Sales Associate. After about a year and a half, I had an evaluation and I was actually asked to be a Lead Salesmen there. Lead Salesmen, you’re actually kind of in charge of all the Sales Associates. You’re right under the – We had our store manager, our assistant manager and our visual managers and I was right under them, who can kind of ran all the sales associates. Kind of ran the cashier, the cashier duties. Just kind of roamed the store, make sure everything was running pretty smooth between all the associates.

Interviewer: What was the work environment like?
Tilly’s Sales Associate: The work environment was … It was a really kind of laid back job. It wasn’t hard at all. You really, you don’t need a lot of work experience to work there. That was my first job and it was definitely kind of an eye opener to the real world just seeing how like how I’m now getting paid for skills that I have. I would just walk around. I would fold anything that was unfolded. I would just do anything my Visual Managers or Assistant Managers would ask me. Nothing, usually, too big. It was very easy, general questions they would ask me to do and pretty easy task. I could manage.

Interviewer: How would you describe the application and interview process?
Tilly’s Sales Associate: Yeah, the application. I actually applied there October of 2012 and I was offered an interview about three weeks later. I came in for the interview. They just kind of took us all back – It was a group interview, there was about eight of us. They took us back to the back, to the back storage room and asked everybody certain questions. “Why Tilly’s?” You know, just stuff like that. The interview went really well. I could tell I was definitely – I stood out in the interview. After the interview, she told everybody that if you received a call a week or so after, then congratulations. If not, just to reapply. About a week or so after, I got a call saying that I was offered a position as a sales associate. It was really cool. Definitely that was a great experience and it was really … Yeah.

Interviewer: What should an applicant wear to the interview?
Tilly’s Sales Associate: What I wore? I wore a, like a long sleeved buttoned down polo. Even though they don’t sell Polo, it’s still standard like interview attire. I had a long sleeved polo on, I had some jeans, and I had boat shoes. Boat shoes, which Tilly’s sells, and jeans, which Tilly’s sells. Even though they don’t sell Polo, it still looked dressy and still looked somewhat in Tilly’s style. And so I definitely thought I stood out a lot, too, from what I wore in the interview.

Interviewer: What other advice would you give to a job seeker looking to gain employment?
Tilly’s Sales Associate: Really just go in there and be yourself in the interview. They’re very, very straight forward questions. You can’t beat around the bush on any of them. You really just have to give them your straight, honest opinion. Really that’s about it. It’s not the hardest job to attain. But it is, once you do get the job, it is a fun job and it’s a very easy, laid back job.


  • Diana says:

    I’m wondering what I should wear to my interview. Usually you’re supposed to dress formal but its tilly’s and that’s not their style so what would be something good to wear?

  • tania says:

    Whats the youngest age you can apply?

  • Eduardo Angeles says:

    If you ever get call for a interview at Tilly’s and wondering what to wear, usually something that represents you in a nice manner but, yet try not to wear as many brand logos. They will let you know that in the interview as it goes on. Also always ask question that you need to know or not sure of.

  • jenn says:

    Depending where your from will determine the age requirement. Usually its 16 though. When going to an interview at Tilly’s you should dress as if you were going to work there. Meaning something fashinable for girls and something skaterish for guys. Guys tend to wear more logos, girls just keep it cute and simple. They like for girls to be accesorise. Do not wear shorts or flip flops to the interview. You will know if you got the position when asked to come to a second interview. If they tell you at any point they will call you, it means you didn’t get the job.

  • miles says:

    do they drug test you?

  • Trinity says:

    I had my interview today ,.. and it went very well considering I have retail experience. At the end of the interview the hiring manager said he would give me and the girl I interviewed with a call back within the next two weeks and that she had to talk to the other manager about us and to see what she thinks. Is that a good thing? Does it really take the long to respond back? or is she just saying that to get rid of us? The interview was a little over an hr long so I think it went well.

  • keshia says:

    which tilly’s did you apply for? the one in fresno?

  • Emma says:

    What kind of questions are asked in the interview? Please give examples, I have an interview tomorrow.

  • jason says:

    So I interviewed with Tillys for an assistant manager during the week with the store manager and she liked me and showed me the store and such.. Had a second interview today with the DM and I thought it went good, she did point out that they wouldnt be able to pay me as much as my previous job and I said I was aware but was open for the right company.. I have about 3-4 yrs of management experience.. She said that she and the Store manager would make a decision by weds..does that mean I didn’t get the job??

  • Elizabeth says:

    do u have to make an appointment for an interview?

  • sherMdawgG says:

    I’m not a pot head or anything, but do they drug test the day interviewd??

  • Jake says:

    How often do they hire 16 year olds and if I get an interview, what should I wear?

  • Michelle says:

    I turned in an application for Tilly’s in the Los Angeles area. I had called the store a week later after turning in the application, store managers told me to call back to speak to the hiring manager at that store. I followed up on their leads and would call back on the days and times the store managers told me to call back on. To my dismay the hiring manager was never available. I would call at least once a week. After speaking to one of the managers asking if they were doing job interviews, the manager told me that I call too much and to stop calling… It seems to me they are giving people actually looking for work and want to work the run around…

  • Judith says:

    So I have an interview tomorrow at Tillys and I have a resume and a few awards ive recieved.
    But I DONT KNOW what to wear, should I dress casual or is jeans and a dress shirt good enough?

  • Jenna says:

    Does anyone know how old you have to be to work at Tilly’s in New York? I wanted to apply but I’m not sure because NY is usually strict about hiring minors in the mall.

  • Monica says:

    when you apply:Printout the application fill it out. Start off as seasonal, if they like you they keep you.
    When you turn in your app: talk to a manager ask about the dates of interviews they should schedule an solo/group interview with you.
    The best time to apply is before a busy season for example: for summer apply april *may* june, for winter apply september *october* november
    *month*=best month to apply
    When it comes to what you wear, dress as if you already work there. Trendy, cute, unique. Visit the website for outfit ideas.
    Goodluck !

  • jpcelyn munoz says:

    How old do you have to be to work here?

  • sarah says:

    do they need a high school diploma for you to apply ?

  • sally says:

    In California you must be 16 with a workers permit to work at Tillys. They do not drug test but will if you are under suspicion of drug use. It’s best not to ask in the interview as well as they will not hire you. Wear clothes that Tillys sells, what you think is fashion forward or trendy. Do not go over dressed. They ask general retail questions, Google some for an idea.

  • Adam says:

    Tillys will have a group interview so make sure you have knowledge to the questions and you don’t always have to be the first one to answer but never be the last. Rule of thumb, always be confident and funny during the interview. They will notice that and always sweeten the moment if the interviewer comments on your joke by replying with a funny story or experience. They’ll also have you chose clothes from the store and make a sales pitch. I recommend giving information about the brand and saying something like “buy 3 get the 4th free”, “you need this item because everyone has it and you don’t. Lastly, if they tell you they’ll call you when the first interview is over or say you can go while the rest can stay because they need to revise your application that means you didn’t get the job.

  • Kelly says:

    Today I was interviewed. First job, no previous experience other than babysitting, and I got it. Here’s how it went down.
    First we were all (there were 4 of us) brought into the back and asked generic questions about our schedule, if we have our own cars to be able to drive to work, etc. etc. Then we were asked what animal we would be if we could be any. Then we were asked what we like about ourselves the most, and after that we were asked what our biggest weakness was. We then roleplayed interacting with customers, suggesting things that match what they’re looking for, etc. Then after the chatty part of the interview we were sent out into the store to put together an outfit to fit a certain theme (ours was going to the movies) and then we had to come back and try to sell it to the interviewers. After all was said and done the interviewers told us that they’d call all of us by Wednesday. When everyone was getting up to leave, the other girl who got hired and I were asked to stay back because they had a “question about our application.” They had no question, they were just being sneaky so that the other people weren’t disappointed that they didn’t get hired. We were then given all the paper work and the employee handbook, scheduled orientation, etc etc. If you’re not asked to stay behind, you didn’t get the job.
    If I had any advice for an interview here is just smile a lot, eye contact (I probably had direct eye contact with 1 of the interviewers for at least 75% of the time, that’s how I knew I was doing good), and try to appear confident and fun. Also practice trying to sell an outfit with a family member or something.

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