The Tesco recruitment process for the graduate scheme, internship or school leavers scheme is thorough testing you on a full range of skills whilst maintaining a focus on customer service and leadership throughout. Competition for places is high with 24 people in the running for 4 jobs as late as the assessment centres at the end of the process. Preparation is key throughout the process in order to ensure that you are one of the lucky applicants to get one of the Tesco jobs.
You may have more than one interview throughout the process, including a phone interview and an interview at the assessment centre. The Tesco interview is a competency based interview, which means Tesco are looking to see if you possess certain skills, and they request that you demonstrate how you have used these skills in the past. This is usually around 45 minutes and you may be asked between three to six questions, depending on the role being applied for and the interviewer.
The competencies that Tesco are looking for in the interview include:
- Customer focus
- Managing decision making
- Managing performance
- Personal integrity
Preparation for the interview is key. Think of examples of that can be used to illustrate your answers to the above competencies or to common questions. Rehearse those answers, organising them around the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result). Review your application form to refresh your memory on what you wrote. Read up about Tesco, their values, and some of their recent innovations in the area you are applying to, any news or cases, so that you can use this knowledge to illustrate your answers.
The interviewers will ask follow up questions on your answers, so prepare to be challenged on some answers and think of follow up responses. For questions asking about previous mistakes or bad situations, they interviewers are also looking for explanations of what you have learnt from that event.
This interview is a two way session, an opportunity for both sides to decide whether you are the right fit for this job. Come prepared with questions to ask in the interview that will help you gather the information you need to know, but also do your research into the company, the job and the work itself before so that you can ask the questions that can’t be answered through your own research.
Tesco Interview Questions
The following questions are questions that have been asked in Tesco interviews before now. These questions will probably not come up in your Tesco interview, but they are a good place to start in your preparation.
- Why Tesco?
- Why this scheme?
- How do we stand out from our competitors?
- What challenges are we facing right now?
- Describe your personal qualities.
- What are your personal values?
- What do you think makes an effective team?
- What is the biggest professional achievement of your career?
- Tell us about a time when you overcame a challenge and three things you learnt from it.
- Tell me about yourself.
- How would you improve your local store?
- What are your strengths, and how will they help you in this role?
Some example competency questions asked in past interviews include:
- Customer Service: ‘Tell me about a time where you had to understand a customer’s personal circumstances very quickly; how did you go about doing this?’
- Drive: ‘Give me an example of a time you have had to work to meet a specific target; did you feel like you were struggling at any point?’
- Teamwork: ‘Describe a time where you worked as a team to a common goal; how did you contribute to the group effort?’
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Tesco Assessment Centre
If you have passed all the preceding stages of the Tesco recruitment process, the next and last stage for many is the Tesco assessment centre. This assessment centre is a whole day event, usually at the company’s head offices in Hertfordshire, or in a few locations around the country for store management applicants. During the day you will undergo many different assessments all of which are designed to assess a new set of skills. The focus of the recruitment team throughout the day will be on your leadership skills, and this will also be a key part of your interview.
The activities at the Tesco assessment centre will vary depending on the scheme you have applied to, but some of the exercises you can expect are listed below. You will usually be told what to expect and what to prepare in advance of the day. Your first activity of the day will be an icebreaker, introducing the group to each other and the assessors.
Tesco Recruitment Process
Tesco Aptitude Tests
You may be asked to take shorter versions of the online aptitude tests to confirm the results you got last time around. As it may be some time since you last took these tests, don’t forget to refresh your memory before your assessment centre.
you will be told in advance to prepare a short presentation to give to the group. The topic of the presentation will be given to you. A past example of a Tesco assessment centre presentation is of candidates discussing the risks and opportunities in the area you have applied to. In some rare cases, you may only be told you are giving a presentation on the day.
Tesco Role-play Exercise
In this exercise you have to take on a role as though you are already working at Tesco. Some people have experienced role-play exercises where they have had to persuade a difficult colleague to adopt a new practice.
Tesco Group Exercise
Page 1: Introduction
Tesco is the biggest private sector employer in the UK. The company has more than 360,000 employees worldwide. In the UK, Tesco stores range from small local Tesco Express sites to large Tesco Extras and superstores. Around 86% of all sales are from the UK.
Tesco also operates in 12 countries outside the UK, including China, Japan and Turkey. The company has recently opened stores in the United States. This international expansion is part of Tesco”s strategy to diversify and grow the business.
In its non-UK operations Tesco builds on the strengths it has developed as market leader in the UK supermarket sector. However, it also caters for local needs. In Thailand, for example, customers are used to shopping in 'wet markets' where the produce is not packaged. Tesco uses this approach in its Bangkok store rather than offering pre-packaged goods as it would in UK stores.
Tesco needs people across a wide range of both store-based and non-store jobs:
- In stores, it needs checkout staff, stock handlers, supervisors as well as many specialists, such as pharmacists and bakers.
- Its distribution depots require people skilled in stock management and logistics.
- Head office provides the infrastructure to run Tesco efficiently. Roles here include human resources, legal services, property management, marketing, accounting and information technology.
Tesco aims to ensure all roles work together to drive its business objectives. It needs to ensure it has the right number of people in the right jobs at the right time. To do this, it has a structured process for recruitment and selection to attract applicants for both managerial and operational roles.