Area Manager - Aldi
3.9 / 5
added 8 February 2015
I received an email in December 2014 from Aldi telling me I was successful with their initial CV check, and was asked to attend a group interview with their at their North-West headquarters in Neston. I arrived with plenty of time to spare and slowly more and more people filtered into the waiting room. Eventually the twelve of us were invited through into a board room - very corporate looking - and we sat round a table waiting for our interviewer, who ended up being their managing director of that region.
When he arrived he seemed relatively laid back and informal. He began by asking us to go round, each briefly telling him our name, where we are at university (if we were), when our degree will be completed, and to explain in 30 seconds why we had applied for this role. This seemed simple enough, giving us an opportunity to speak directly with him, and I found the more relaxed speakers came across the best. Some people seemed very wooden and rehearsed which was surprising.
After this brief introduction he explained that this would be not be a conventional assessment centre, and the interview would proceed with him asking some questions about the company, before giving us a chance to ask questions and invoke discussion.
He asked simple things like the history of the company, whether it is privately or publicly owned, how the company is split (Aldi North and Aldi South), and about the produce they supply to the customers, etc. These question were fairly simple for those who had done their research, but it also meant that those who weren't sure on some answers weren't caught out given they were open questions to the group, and plenty of people were fighting to get their voices heard.
This took 45 minutes to an hour, before asking if we had any questions. He explained that this was a tough job and we need to ask our questions now so each person can assess whether Aldi is right for them, as well as whether they are right for Aldi. This process took another hour (so 2 hours in total) and those people who were calm, collected and asked good, honest questions appeared to be the most applicable for the job.
I heard back within a few weeks and was asked back for a second, 1-on-1 interview with the same manager. This process began, however, with a 15 minute assessment on basic mathematical reasoning, verbal reasoning and logical deduction. For example there were questions which followed the structure 'in a museum, if exhibition A is on a floor above exhibition B, and exhibition C is above exhibition D, but C is below A, and if exhibition E was moved from above B to below C, then what exhibition is on the 4th level?' They were basic questions, and if one used a piece of scrap paper then all the questions were deducible and answerable.
I was then lead upstairs to the interview room and met with the managing director once again. This interview was more personal, and it felt somewhat relaxed as he simply wanted to get to know me. He began by asking me to run him from the age of 0 up to the age of 21. So this was easy, telling him about my family, where I grew up, went to school, etc. Adding in relevant things about my work experience, etc.
He would ask question as I went through, and asked me questions at the end. None about the company, just personal questions which were easy to answer. Once again he finished by asking if I had any questions for him. There was an emphasis on making sure I knew everything I needed to know, so ask as many questions as you can think of!
I received an email the next day telling me I had been unsuccessful, but they declined to give any feedback which seemed odd given I had met this man twice already.
Overall the interview process was wide-ranging, giving you and them the best chance to get to know each other.
Most difficult question
No classic interview questions.
Simple business questions like 'Why might it be better to be a privately owned business than a publicly owned one?'
The position appeals to a lot of people for the money and the perks, but as I reached the latter stages of the process I realised the job may only suit a select few. So go ahead with the process but be aware that the position at the end of it will be extremely hard work, and don't expect to have your hand held. I realised when I was eventually rejected that I was relieved.
The company is all about efficiency, and that is what you ought to expect; an efficient, corporate organisation. This may not suit everybody.
Experiences at the assessment centre
The assessment centre was termed an 'assessment centre', but in fact it was a basic question and answer scenario; not at all what I was expecting.
Group / Panel ✔
Verbal reasoning ✔
Assessment centre ✔
Competency based questions
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