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I moved with my family to enter university in Eastern Turkey from the west coast and I decided to try working in a place since I couldn't join the classes due to certain reasons. I first worked at a restaurant in mall X and had to leave due to haircut rules so I decided to try my chance on the consumer tech retail A in the same mall which I go to daily at evening to buy stuff from the supermarket which happens to be opposite to the tech retail A.

A guy works there which judging from his looks, seems to be from the west coast which is the more modern part of the country and-looking like me slightly- I wonder if I can try asking Him how I can work in the same tech shop he works since I know technology and technical stuff about consumer electronics and computers.

I once thought about going there and asking if the headphones I want written in my "things-to-buy" notepad page -which would actually be a paper on my notepad- which actually reads

Hello, I recently came to this city from the west coast for university and I am currently looking for a full-time job about technology. I can speak English and know about technology.

I would like to order you a coffee/lunch and talk about job opportunities if that wouldn't be an inconvenience for you

NUMBER -Nickname that sounds similar to my real first name

This way I thought I could spend some time with him and talk about what it takes to be a salesman and if where he works is a nice place to work at. In other words, less of a how to apply and more of a what the job is like and how to succeed in that job

I was told by a family member that I should walk into him head-on while he is on the job and ask "Hi I am new to this city and looking for a technological job. How can I work here?". The suggestion felt like a joke since it would make it look like what I am looking for is not a job but specifically a job where he works at.

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    I'm confused. You want to ask someone "how to apply for a job where he works at" but are afraid it'll sound like you're asking for "specifically a job where he works at"? That is what you want to ask for... right?
    – Sarov
    Jan 6 at 18:26
  • @Sarov what I specifically want is working as a tech retail salesman in that shop but I am bit afraid that it will sound like "I honestly don't give a single F about the job. All I want to do is spending time with you. The job is just a excuse for me to spend time with you" Jan 7 at 6:40
  • So, I see you got two answers already on 'how to apply to a specific store' (which are mostly what your family member suggested too), but I get the impression from your question (specifically the last sentence) that you don't want to know about how to apply to a specific store, but want to talk to this employee about their job to learn things like what qualifications may be needed for a job like theirs?
    – Tinkeringbell
    Jan 7 at 7:58
  • @Tinkeringbell yes that is correct. I could simply pass my CV to the cashiers desk and hope that the shop manager would call me (In fact I did and the cashier told me that he will pass my CV but that the manager comes once a week) but as opposed to simple job application. I thought it would be a nice idea to receive experience from someone that works in that shop in that position which is the position I want. Quite frankly I am really new to this city and don't know almost anyone so I thought that maybe spending some of my time drinking coffee and getting CITY 101 to this city. Jan 7 at 12:04
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I don't know if it is common in Turkey to ask an employee if you can work there, but I know that this would seem odd in the USA. For the most part, it is not the employee's job to handle applications and potential new hires. When I worked in retail, the default was to immediately defer to the manager when someone asked about it, or to tell them to come back when the manager would be in. This may be different in Turkey.

In the USA, what you would do is say something along the lines of "I am looking to apply for a job here. Could I speak with a manager?" Then you would find out whether they are hiring or not from the manager, who would also give you info on how to apply. No need to buy anyone lunch, unless it is a very difficult position to enter, and establishing a personal connection with the person that runs the place might help boost your chances. In general, for a retail position, just go in and ask who you would need to talk to about applying, and they will direct you accordingly.

I have done this to get my own retail job in the US, before I moved on from that industry, and it worked out well for me. This works well to get you to the manager, and once you have an interview that is where you can talk with the manager to boost your chances of getting the job by establishing yourself as a good fit.


Looking at your comments on the original question, it seems as though what you are really wanting to do is to get information about what the job is like, and how the job is actually performed, before you begin. You could always ask the employee that you mentioned something along the lines of: "What's it like working at a place like this? I'm interested in applying and was wondering if you might be able to share what your experience is like in the industry. Any pointers for someone that will be new to the field?" After the response you can gauge if the salesperson is really friendly or not on how to engage further.

For example, if they are very excitedly telling you many things about the position, maybe talk more about what got you interested in the field, and why you want to be in it. This can establish a good relationship and will make it easier to talk to the employee by making the engagement more casual. If this happens, then perhaps after you have applied and gotten the job, you can talk with them more during your training period, or set up a time to meet after work to talk about experiences. Setting up a time to meet outside of work, before you two are actually coworkers might be misconstrued, as you fear, as being interested in the person over the job.

When I was working retail, one of the overnight workers, that I only saw late at the end of my shift, was also working a job as a software developer (the job that I really wanted) during the day. At first, since I didn't know him well, it might have seemed odd for me to go up and ask him out of nowhere what his other job was like. It took a while, but after getting to know him a bit more, once the coworker relationship felt a bit more casual, I was able to ask him all about it, how to get started with it, and what to look out for. He even gave me a number to call after he got off work to talk some more about the different methods he had used to get the job he was in. Ultimately, he helped me get the confidence to move into the job that I have today, and I'll always have that connection for the future.

If the coworker seems very uninterested in talking to you at first, then you may need to, like I did in the situation above, wait a little while to build up a coworker relationship with them before they are willing to share their experiences. This is O.K. After all, if you really would like to work in the field, waiting a bit to learn more about it shouldn't be a problem. You'll be working it for a while, after all!

Ultimately, it would be easiest to learn about the job by actually getting the job, and asking about it while you are being trained. This is when you are supposed to be learning about it, and you will be able to ask questions (and get answers) about the job even from a coworker that wouldn't even dream of helping you out if you were a random guy that walked into the store off the street.

Introduce yourself, ask a broad question to start, and if you like what you hear, apply for the job and get all the information you'll ever need while you work it. You might even make a new friend that you can hang out with, and talk to about things unrelated to work! (you'll be able to get your "City 101" as you say in your comment, and perhaps even more.) After all, you'll be spending most all of your days with them, and that can make establishing a relationship quickly, easier.

Some of the best friends we make are the ones we make at work. Good luck!

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  • Thanks for the edit although I would suggest you to make a comment to my question because SE doesn't notify me about answer edits :) Jan 7 at 16:06
  • @DeltaOscarUniform Did I make the answer a little more relevant to what you were asking? Hopefully you can update the question with some good news in the future! :)
    – Flats
    Jan 7 at 16:54
  • @Flats yup. sorry for bit mixed question. What I wanted to do was less of an "How do I apply" and more of an "I am thinking about applying here. What can you tell me about this store and being a salesman in general? If you'd like I can order you a coffee and talk about things in a relaxed environment as opposed to your boss evasdropping on you :)" Thank you. Even if I won't get the job I will be grateful to learn someone new and who knows maybe he or his friends know some business with an empty spot Jan 7 at 16:57
  • @Flats Perfect, thanks a lot!
    – Tinkeringbell
    Jan 8 at 13:21
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As in many countries I know or have worked in, in Europe or USA, when you want to ask/apply for a job, you often follow the same "business protocol" and job hunting rules:

  1. You apply through the regular channels: website, recruiter, agencies...etc

  2. You go to the store and you ask at the counter/cashier/manager if and where you can give your resume. There's nothing weird in doing that, good companies, small businesses, local stores, often receive direct requests and they're used to handling such requests.

As a student, I used to do that and got some calls/emails back. Most of the time, you may just send a follow-up email or call, but don't expect much unless they're really searching for extra help or if your profile catches the manager's eyes.

My best advice would be to have a nicely crafted resume and cover letter, simply ask, give them, be nice and sell yourself with a few words, show enthusiasm, but don't push too hard.

Don't bother the person you're asking to, it's not their job to help you with that unless they're the manager. Simply ask for the information you need to find what you need, as you would do with something they sell. Thanks, and move on. Most of the time, in my experience, it's the best you can do. Don't annoy some future colleagues :)


After comments and edits, it seems like you want to ask someone from the store what it's like working in there. It's not modifying the heart and first part of my answer. Regarding your will to discuss about the job with an employee, I've never liked doing that and never did, as most answers wouldn't be helpful. I have read a lot about that, about badmouthing sometimes from employees or simply because they don't want to tell the truth, or think it's none of your business, and so on... But if you want to ask, I'd recommend reading some helpful links at TWP, and then be quite evasive, kind of: "what is it like working here?" or "I want to apply for a job here, any recommandation maybe?" kind of simple question. You don't want to put people in a position where they either lie or feel uncomfortable.

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I disagree with the other answers. If the person you are speaking with is willing to answer your questions then that is fine. You are not being rude by not speaking to a manager. Often times the manager may not even be available in person.

I recommend having this conversation when the store is not busy.

It's not necessary to offer to buy them coffee but you can if you like. Again, it's not rude to buy someone coffee.

My answer is based on the fact that I have worked in retail.

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  • Not only OP is asking for a way to ask (which you don't answer BTW) but none of the previous answers says it's rude to not talk to a manager or to talk to an employee (like you mention or suggest). The only different (and helpful ?) part is your advice in the second paragraph. Maybe you could just expand on that.
    – OldPadawan
    Jan 12 at 11:23
  • What would be a non-busy time? whenever I go to the market opposite to the retail. Almost nobody is buying stuff. Is 2.5 hours before mall closes (22:00) decent time? Jan 12 at 13:42
  • @DeltaOscarUniform this will vary by location. You'll have to go to the store yourself and see when the store is least busy and you have time to chat, I would say that a few hours before close is a good bet though
    – Flats
    Jan 12 at 16:18
  • @DeltaOscarUniform whenever there are not many people in the store. Yes 2.5 hours before store closes is fine.
    – slackliner
    Jan 13 at 9:55

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