Mastering the REI Interview: Conquer Common Questions and Secure Your Dream Job

As an outdoor enthusiast seeking employment at Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), you’re likely eager to showcase your passion for adventure and expertise in the industry. REI, a leading retailer of outdoor gear and apparel, is renowned for its commitment to environmental sustainability and exceptional customer service. To stand out in the interview process, you must be prepared to demonstrate a deep understanding of the company’s values, products, and best practices.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore some of the most frequently asked REI interview questions, providing you with valuable insights and effective strategies to help you confidently tackle the interview and increase your chances of landing your dream job.

Understanding REI’s Hiring Process

Before delving into the interview questions, it’s essential to understand REI’s hiring process. The company typically starts with an online application, followed by a virtual interview using HireVue, where candidates record their responses to a set of questions. Successful candidates may then be invited for a phone or in-person interview with the hiring manager or a panel of interviewers.

Throughout the process, REI focuses on assessing candidates’ experience, skills, and alignment with the company’s values and culture. Clear communication and consistent feedback are crucial components of the hiring experience.

Common REI Interview Questions and Strategies

  1. How would you approach educating a customer on REI’s product offerings and helping them make an informed buying decision?

At the core of any retail job lies the ability to sell products effectively. REI values employees who can educate customers about their purchases and guide them towards informed decisions that align with their needs.


  • Demonstrate your knowledge of REI’s product line and your ability to actively listen to customers’ requirements.
  • Explain how you would tailor your recommendations based on their preferences, highlighting key features and benefits.
  • Emphasize the importance of building trust through honest advice and transparency, rather than pushy sales tactics.
  1. Describe your experience with outdoor equipment, including any personal hobbies or activities involving these products.

REI seeks employees who have first-hand experience with outdoor gear and share a genuine passion for outdoor activities. This passion translates into higher-quality customer service and informed recommendations.


  • Share your personal experiences with outdoor hobbies like hiking, camping, or rock climbing, and the equipment you’ve used.
  • Highlight instances where you’ve learned about or overcome challenges using particular gear, demonstrating problem-solving skills.
  • Express your excitement about sharing your knowledge and experiences with customers to enhance their outdoor adventures.
  1. How do you stay up-to-date on the latest trends and advancements within the outdoor retail industry?

Staying current with industry trends and advancements is crucial for providing relevant recommendations and anticipating customer needs.


  • Demonstrate your commitment to continuous learning by subscribing to industry publications, attending trade shows, or following influential bloggers and vloggers.
  • Highlight how you leverage customer feedback and online reviews to understand consumer preferences and emerging trends.
  • Showcase your enthusiasm for personal outdoor experiences and how they contribute to your industry knowledge.
  1. Can you provide an example of when you upsold a complementary product or service to a customer? What was your approach?

Upselling is a critical skill in the retail environment, demonstrating your ability to increase profits while meeting customers’ needs comprehensively.


  • Share a specific instance where you recognized a customer’s need and suggested an additional product or service to enhance their experience.
  • Explain how you communicated the benefits of the complementary item in relation to their needs, building trust and ensuring they received the best value.
  • Highlight your communication skills and ability to create a positive customer experience.
  1. Explain how you would handle a situation where a customer is dissatisfied with their purchase or overall shopping experience at REI.

Customer satisfaction is paramount, and REI values employees who can navigate challenging situations with professionalism and empathy.


  • Emphasize your commitment to customer satisfaction and active listening to understand the customer’s grievances.
  • Explain how you would investigate and validate their concerns, offer sincere apologies, and propose appropriate solutions, such as refunds or replacements.
  • Highlight any experiences where you successfully turned around a negative customer experience, preserving relationships and reinforcing REI’s commitment to exceptional service.
  1. How have you managed competing priorities in previous roles, such as sales targets, customer service, and store upkeep?

Balancing multiple responsibilities is a key aspect of any retail position, and REI seeks employees who can juggle these tasks efficiently.


  • Highlight your multitasking and organizational skills in prioritizing tasks based on urgency, importance, and impact on business goals.
  • Share specific instances where you successfully balanced sales targets with customer service and store upkeep, remaining calm under pressure.
  • Emphasize your ability to communicate effectively with your team and delegate tasks when necessary to ensure all areas are covered.
  1. Share an instance when you successfully resolved a conflict between two team members or customers.

Conflict resolution skills are vital in any team-based environment, and REI values employees who can maintain a positive work atmosphere and customer relationships.


  • Reflect on a situation where you handled a disagreement between team members or customers.
  • Explain how you listened to each side, facilitated communication or negotiation, and found a resolution that satisfied everyone involved.
  • Highlight your ability to remain calm, objective, and respectful throughout the process.
  1. How would you motivate a team member who is not meeting their individual performance goals?

Motivation and team dynamics are critical in any workplace, and REI seeks leaders who can foster a supportive environment and help others improve their skills.


  • Discuss your approach of understanding the team member’s challenges, setting clear expectations, providing developmental support, and recognizing improvements.
  • Emphasize the importance of positive reinforcement and leveraging the strengths of the entire team through collaboration and feedback.
  • Align your strategies with REI’s culture and values, such as teamwork and continuous learning.

Remember, the key to acing REI’s interview is to demonstrate your passion for outdoor adventures, your commitment to exceptional customer service, and your alignment with the company’s values of environmental stewardship and sustainability. By preparing thoroughly and showcasing your relevant skills and experiences, you’ll increase your chances of joining the REI team and embarking on an exciting career in the outdoor retail industry.

REI Interview


What questions are asked at REI store specialist interview?

Sales Specialist Interview questions at REI What type of outdoor experience either personal or professional do you have that would prepare you to work at REI? Why do you want to work here? Do you have favorite outdoor activities? What else do you do (hobbies)?

Is it hard to get hired at REI?

When asked in an Indeed survey about the difficulty of their interview at REI, most respondents said it was easy. Indeed’s survey asked over 228 respondents whether they felt that their interview at REI was a fair assessment of their skills. 83% said yes.

What is an REI interview like?

REI Hiring Process Throughout the process, interviewers focus on candidates’ experience, skills, and alignment with the company’s values and culture. However, some candidates have reported inconsistent communication and feedback from recruiters during the hiring process.

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