Sears, Softline MCA Job Review and Interview
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Sears Softline MCA, in Bartlesville, Oklahoma
Softline MCA's at Sears are in charge of a lot of the behind the scenes work while also being responsible for store presentation.
Softline MCA Job Description
A typical day as a Softline MCA at Sears usually depends on what day of the week it is. MCA stands for Merchandising and Cashier Associate. This means that, not only are MCA’s in charge of how the products are presented on the sales floor, they are also there to offer assistance to customers and other employees, especially cashiers. There are two different kinds of MCA’s, softlines and hardlines. Softline MCA’s work in the clothing and shoes, while Hardline MCA’s work either in hardware or appliances and technology.
In smaller stores, usually Mondays through Thursdays are fairly slow. These are the days in which a lot of work can be accomplished. There are a few major categories MCA’s are in charge of: signing, freight, and organization. The first one, signing, is pretty self explanatory. Any sign you see by a product, hanging by a wall or from the ceiling, or outside the entrance, was placed by an MCA. There are schedules for when certain signs need to be put up or taken down, how they need to be placed, as well as following all regulations for how close to the ceiling they are or how close to the ground they are. As far as pricing signs goes (the ones placed next to the merchandise) MCA’s must make sure that every sign is placed with the correct merchandise, and that it is labeled with the correct price. Every sign has an expiration date, and MCA’s must make sure that when signs expire, new ones go up in their place. Most price signing occurs on Sunday mornings and must be finished before the store opens, but some signing occurs on Fridays also, or when the store is having a special sale. The “aesthetic signing,” or the signs hanging from ceilings or near walls, are also done on Sundays or Fridays, and must also be finished before the store opens as to not endanger customers. Some hanging signs will require a ladder to reach the ceiling, so if you are afraid of heights steer clear of hanging certain signs.
Next, when freight (or new merchandise) comes in on Fridays, it is the MCA’s responsibility to sort through it and decide what should be put on out the sales floor and what should be backstocked, or kept in the stockroom in a specific location. If the freight needs to go out on the floor, the MCA must merchandise it in the correct position and make sure that it has a price sign. Freight usually needs to be finished within three days.
Last, MCA’s are in charge of organization. They need to keep the store looking tidy and presentable; this includes checking the fitting rooms. On busy days, not much “MCA” work will get finished because there are more customers needing help and more cashiers needing an MCA’s assistance.
Sears Interview Questions
For my interview, there were two separate parts. I was first interviewed by a Human Resources Representative. She asked questions pertaining to:
- What would do in (specific) situations?
- What is your schedule like?
- How many hours do you want to work per week?
- What pay rate do you desire?
After the HR representative interview, I was passed on to a Sears Assistant Manager. She asked me many of the same questions, but more of them were pertaining to specific job duties rather than my personal schedule. The interviews with them were my two first interviews I had ever had, so obviously I was nervous. However, looking back I realize that I was very comfortable in the interview and they were very easy going; on a scale of one to ten, ten being the worst, the interview was probably a two. I wore black slacks and a blue polo shirt as I figured that was typical Sears attire. Most other people I have seen in interviews with them wore basically the same attire: black or khaki dress pants with either a blue, white, or black dress/polo shirt. I’ve only seen one candidate wear jeans and a t-shirt, but during interviews they are usually not very picky and are more focused on if you fit their needs, not what you’re wearing.
Salary and Benefits
Salary - Sears, Softline MCA is $7/Hourly.
There are other benefits available but I did not personally have any.
I felt very safe while working at Sears. Nobody else ever put me in a risk of danger or harassed me. I got along with all the managers very well and they are very fun people to be around. I considered the work easy because to me it was basically common sense. They give you all the tools you need to perform your job and you will not be scolded if you can not finish something or if you need help. There was only one other employee I did not get along with, but he was spoken to by the managers when I told them the issue.
I feel there is a good balance between camaraderie and management. The only thing I would have done to improve the work environment was to make sure other people in different departments were actually doing their job. It is frustrating when I would be working very hard at my job while other employees seem to be standing around doing absolutely nothing, but so are the ways of an MCA. MCA’s are very “behind the scenes” in which a lot of their work goes unnoticed by other employees who are not MCA’s.
There was some heavy lifting required, but I was never forced to lift anything I didn't think I could carry. The employees who work in the stockroom are always willing to help you lift anything you can not carry. On busy days you are on your feet a lot but you can always take a break if it gets to be too much. Also, your back will only hurt if you refuse to ask for help with lifting something. If you only do what you know you can do and simply ask for help, you will not hurt yourself as an MCA.
Other Sears Job Information
I would recommend filling out an application at a store kiosk or in the store, not online from your home computer. It seems to take them longer to reach your application if you do it from home.