After completing the online application, I received a letter inviting me to attend a group interview at the regional head office in Darlington. When I arrived, there was about 16 of us. I'm pretty sure they left us so long in their reception to supervise how we were with the other candidates. Then we went into a room where we were given a questionnaire to fill in. This just asked basic questions like where i'd heard about the scheme, why I applied.
We were then given our first exercise- 2 minutes to prepare a 2 minute presentation on anything but ourselves, no less and no more. Some people really struggled with this. There were some awkward moments when people ran out of things to say, and the interviewee just stared at the person until the timer ran out. Those who talked about a hobby- and had a purpose/argument to their talk- did ok. 2 minutes constantly talking is longer than you think.
Then we were given two tests to complete in 6 minutes- a verbal reasoning test and a maths test. The maths was GCSE standard- but i know some who hadn't brushed up on their maths struggled a little.
We were then given a group negotiation exercise of being plane crash survivors. Firstly, we had to individually order a list of items in terms of their importance for survival and then as a group we had to compile a list. This is to look at how good you are at persuading and influencing others, because it was assessed on how different your list was from the group's. Everyone tries to shout over here and be the leader- but its more important to show that you are active (so make sure you say something) and persuasive, but you're not going to be a bull in a china shop as it were.
Then the interviewer talked more about the job, we were given an information booklet and were told more about aldi as a company. The group interview ended with a Q&A time, but we ended up going round all asking a couple of questions- by the time it got to the 12th person, candidates were frantically thinking of what else to ask and the questions got a bit silly- which the interviewer didn't really find funny.So my advice would be don't follow the crowd- if you don't have a genuine question, just say so.
The final stage was a one-to-one interview, again at the regional centre. This was a lot less formal (and scary) than the group interview, and was just more of a chat with the managing director. I had read before the interview, and expected, the questions to be quite personal- asking about where I lived, whether I had siblings, what my parents do for a living etc. However, he didn't really go into these questions like I expected.
All the contact I had with aldi was via letters and not by phone or email, so watch out for the letterbox. I put my home address on the application, and if it wasn't for my mum accidentally opening the letter whilst I was still at university it would have been missed. The letter also didn't give much away about what the interviews would consist of. I was disappointed that when I didn't get the job Aldi wouldn't give me any feedback on my interview performance, despite getting down to the final few.
Most difficult question
What makes you the most happy? What makes you upset?
Be confident in whatever you can do. Aldi want leaders who will go on to be directors within the company. I think where I fell down is that in the final interview I was very nervous and I think this showed through.
Aldi aren't secretive about the amount of work and hours the job involves, and you need to show that you are prepared to work hard. I've been told that the Darlington area managers tend to work 60-70 hours a week, whereas in other areas this differs, such as in the middleton where its 60-80 hours a week. Don't bother going through the process if you're only in it for the car and the salary; you won't get far.
In the group interview, you don't necessarily need to try and lead - its more important to show that you're getting on with doing the actual task in hand, and have the ability to justify your points and persuade others.
Finally, just be normal as it were. As well as emphasising their need for hard workers, throughout the interviewer just said they want friendly people who are good with others. Show your personality and people skills off- the more you interact with the other candidates the better. After all, the job is not just logistics and running of the store, its looking after Aldi's people too.
Experiences at the assessment centre
See description above. There was 16 of us, had 2 minutes to prepare a 2 minute presentation, had 6 minutes to do a maths and verbal reasoning test, had 6 minutes to order a list of objects in importance for survival, then 8 minutes to order a group of the same objects, then there was a Q&A session to finish the day.
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