Everything You Need to Know About REI Interview Questions

Are you preparing for an interview with REI? Congratulations on taking the first step toward a potential job opportunity with one of the leading outdoor retail companies in the world. As with any interview, it’s important to be well-prepared and confident in your responses. In this article, we will discuss some common interview questions you may encounter during the REI hiring process and provide tips on how to answer them effectively.

Why Does REI Ask These Questions?

Before we dive into the specific interview questions, it’s important to understand why REI asks these questions in the first place. REI values employees who are passionate about the outdoors, customer-oriented, and have a strong work ethic. By asking these questions, REI aims to assess your fit with their company culture and determine if you have the necessary skills and experience for the position.

1. Tell Us About Yourself

This question is often asked at the beginning of an interview and serves as an icebreaker for both you and the interviewer. It’s an opportunity to give a brief overview of your background, experiences, and skills. When answering this question, focus on relevant information that showcases your qualifications for the position.

2. Why Are You Interested in Working for REI?

REI is known for its commitment to promoting outdoor activities and sustainability. This question allows the interviewer to gauge your level of interest in their company and values. Be sure to research REI beforehand and highlight specific aspects of the company that resonate with you. Discuss how your personal interests align with REI’s mission.

3. How Would You Handle a Difficult Customer?

Customer service is a crucial aspect of working at REI. This question assesses your ability to handle challenging situations and provide exceptional service. Prepare an example that demonstrates your problem-solving skills and ability to remain calm and professional under pressure. Emphasize your commitment to finding a resolution that satisfies the customer.

4. Can You Describe a Time When You Worked in a Team?

Collaboration is vital at REI, as employees often work together to assist customers and solve problems. Use this question as an opportunity to highlight your teamwork skills and provide a specific example of when you successfully collaborated with others to achieve a common goal. Discuss the roles you played in the team and the positive outcomes that resulted from your efforts.

5. How Do You Stay Motivated in a Fast-Paced Environment?

Working in retail can be fast-paced and demanding. REI wants to ensure that their employees can handle the challenges that come with a high-energy work environment. Share strategies you use to stay motivated, such as setting goals, prioritizing tasks, and maintaining a positive attitude. Provide examples of how you have thrived in similar situations in the past.

6. What Can You Contribute to the REI Team?

REI values employees who can make meaningful contributions to their team. This question allows you to showcase your skills, experiences, and unique qualities that would benefit the company. Talk about your specific strengths and how they align with the needs of the role you are applying for. Highlight any relevant achievements or accomplishments that demonstrate your ability to add value to the team.

7. How Would You Handle a Situation Where You Made a Mistake?

Everyone makes mistakes, and REI wants to ensure that their employees take responsibility and learn from them. Describe a time when you made a mistake, how you took ownership of it, and the steps you took to rectify the situation. Emphasize the lessons you learned and how you implemented changes to prevent similar mistakes in the future.

8. How Do You Stay Updated on Outdoor Gear and Activities?

Being knowledgeable about outdoor gear and activities is essential for working at REI. Show your passion for the outdoors by discussing how you stay up-to-date on the latest trends, technologies, and products. Mention any relevant certifications or training you have completed. Highlight your personal experiences in outdoor activities and how they have contributed to your understanding of the industry.

9. Tell Us About a Time When You Went Above and Beyond for a Customer

REI prides itself on providing exceptional customer service, and this question allows you to demonstrate your commitment to going the extra mile. Share a specific example of when you exceeded customer expectations and the positive impact it had on the customer’s experience. Highlight any recognition or feedback you received for your exceptional service.

10. How Would You Handle a Conflict with a Co-worker?

Conflict resolution is crucial in any work environment, and REI wants to ensure that their employees can handle conflicts professionally and effectively. Describe a time when you successfully resolved a conflict with a co-worker by using active listening, empathy, and open communication. Emphasize your ability to find common ground and work towards a resolution that benefits both parties.

11. How Do You Prioritize Tasks and Manage Your Time?

Working at REI requires excellent time management skills to juggle multiple tasks and responsibilities. Explain your approach to prioritizing tasks, such as using to-do lists, setting deadlines, and understanding the urgency of different tasks. Provide examples of how you have successfully managed your time in previous roles and the positive outcomes that resulted from your efficiency.

12. Can You Describe a Time When You Received Constructive Feedback? How Did You Respond?

REI values employees who are open to feedback and are willing to learn and grow. Share a specific example of when you received constructive feedback, how you reacted to it, and the steps you took to improve. Emphasize your ability to accept feedback gracefully and your commitment to continuous self-improvement.

13. How Would You Handle a Situation Where You Couldn’t Answer a Customer’s Question?

There may be times when you encounter a customer question that you don’t know the answer to. REI wants employees who can handle these situations with professionalism and resourcefulness. Describe how you would approach such a situation by actively listening to the customer, acknowledging your lack of knowledge, and offering alternative solutions, such as seeking assistance from a more knowledgeable colleague or conducting research to provide an accurate response.

14. Tell Us About a Time When You Had to Adapt to Change

Change is inevitable, and REI wants employees who can adapt and thrive in a dynamic work environment. Share a specific example of when you had to adapt to a significant change, such as a new system or process, and how you navigated through it successfully. Emphasize your flexibility, resilience, and ability to quickly learn and adjust.

15. How Would You Handle a Difficult Manager?

Interactions with managers play a crucial role in job satisfaction and performance. REI wants to ensure that their employees can handle challenging relationships with managers professionally and constructively. Describe a time when you had a difficult manager and how you managed the situation by maintaining open communication, seeking clarification when needed, and finding common ground to work towards mutual goals.

16. Why Should We Hire You?

This question gives you the opportunity to summarize why you are the best candidate for the position. Highlight your relevant skills, experiences, and achievements that make you a strong fit for the role. Discuss your passion for the outdoors and how it aligns with REI’s mission and values.

17. Do You Have Any Questions for Us?

At the end of every interview, the interviewer will give you an opportunity to ask questions. Prepare a few thoughtful questions that demonstrate your interest in the company and the position. Ask about the company culture, growth opportunities, or any specific projects or initiatives that the team is currently working on.

Final Thoughts

Preparing for an interview with REI requires research, practice, and self-reflection. By familiarizing yourself with these common interview questions and crafting thoughtful responses, you can increase your chances of success. Remember to be authentic, showcase your passion for the outdoors, and demonstrate how you can contribute to the REI team.

  • Research REI: Take the time to learn about REI’s history, values, and mission. This will help you tailor your answers to align with the company’s culture.
  • Practice: Rehearse your responses to these interview questions with a friend or family member. This will help you feel more confident and articulate during the actual interview.
  • Showcase Your Passion: REI values employees who are genuinely passionate about the outdoors. Use examples from your personal experiences to demonstrate your love for outdoor activities.
  • Highlight Your Skills and Experiences: Tailor your responses to showcase your relevant skills and experiences that make you a strong fit for the position.
  • Be Authentic: Be yourself during the interview and let your personality shine through. REI values authenticity and wants to hire individuals who will contribute positively to their team.
  • Follow-Up: After the interview, send a thank-you note or email to express your appreciation for the opportunity. This small gesture can leave a lasting impression on the interviewer.


Preparing for an interview with REI can be both excitingand nerve-wracking. However, with the right preparation and mindset, you can showcase your skills and passion for the outdoors effectively. By answering these common interview questions thoughtfully and authentically, you can increase your chances of landing a job at REI.

Remember to research the company, practice your responses, and highlight your relevant experiences. Showcasing your passion for the outdoors and your commitment to customer service will set you apart from other candidates. Additionally, being prepared with thoughtful questions to ask the interviewer will demonstrate your interest in the company and the position.

Good luck with your REI interview! With careful preparation and a positive attitude, you can make a strong impression and potentially secure a job with one of the most reputable outdoor retail companies in the world.

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