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The job description of a cashier may initially seem like a simple one, as much of what he does is cut and dried: smile, take the customer's money and give correct change. However, a cashier must possess certain qualities. Whether you're on the job hunt looking for a cashier position or a manager looking to hire, there are several key things to watch for.
A good cashier should be naturally sociable and a "people person." If he doesn't like working with the public, then any attempts at amiable behavior may come across as scripted. Plus, when things get stressful, his true introvert colors may shine through and customer service will be the first thing to wane. He should like being around people, and treating them with courtesy should ideally not be a learned behavior (see Reference 2).
Whenever large sums of money are handled, professionalism is a must. Basic math knowledge and familiarity with accounting are important as well since money handling mistakes should be kept to a minimum. Also, knowledge about the entire store is paramount, as the cashier is often the one that customers come to for store or product information (see Reference 1).
For the duplicitous, many ways exist in which to skim funds from the company, so honesty is not only a good quality to have, it's an essential one. Many times, a cashier's job description entails more than mere cash register work. Oftentimes, it involves counting tills, making money drops and organizing deposits. Plus, if an honest mistake is made, it's important that he be honest enough to report it, as covering it up for fear of punishment will make him look suspicious (see Reference 1).
Ability to Multitask
During peak business hours, a good cashier will be able to effectively take on many duties at once. For example, he may have a long line of customers to ring while other patrons are approaching him for information about products or their location in the store. Occasional glitches may happen, such as an item not scanning or a customer requesting a complex refund. He should, ideally, be able to handle all these things at once.
A good cashier will be able to both see and solve problems before they arise. He won't wait until a situation has blown up to the point that it's out of control. For example, if a grocery store cashier working the express lane sees a customer entering with many more items that the established limit, he should let the customer through and check him out promptly, but politely let him know that for future reference he should opt for another line (see Reference 3).
Dave Stanley has covered sports, music and hard news since 2000. He has been published on CBSSports.com and various other websites. Stanley is also a feature writer for "WhatsUp!" magazine in Bellingham, Wash. He studied journalism at the University of Memphis.