Buying & Merchandising Interview Questions

Viewing 1 - 8 of 8

  • Allocator

    3.4286/5 | Interview date: December 2015 | Job offer? Not yet |

    Was this helpful? Yes 0

    Sectors: Buying & Merchandising

    Difficulty rating 60.0 / 100

    Interview process

    My interview felt more like a conversation, rather than an interview. I didn't feel too much pressure, I felt like the interviewer really opened me up in terms of going over my CV and asking me about things I've done more in detail. She was conversing with me as opposed to asking blunt questions.

    Most difficult question

    When did you decide to become an Allocator?

    Because the truth is I am willing to start any graduate level job that comes with good career progression.

    Interview tips

    Always research the company's background, check the skills they are looking for in an individual. Thus allowing you to mention those skills in an interview and giving them what they are looking for. It would be great to back up your skills, by using examples in the past or how you developed this skill. Also, when they ask you why they should hire you try not to sound 'overconfident' as it isn't an attractive trait.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    The assessment centre will consist of a numerical test, if this is passed with an 80% then you will be progressed to one final interview. The numerical test is after being selected and passing a phone interview.

    Interview steps

    Interviews

    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

    • Assessment centre
    • Group excercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 3/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 4/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 4/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 3/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 3/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 4/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 3/5
  • Merchandising & Buying Graduate Scheme

    4.8571/5 | Interview date: November 2015 | Job offer? Yes |

    Was this helpful? Yes 3

    Sectors: Buying & Merchandising

    Difficulty rating 40.0 / 100

    Interview process

    Video interview consisted of 30 seconds to read each question and about 2 minutes to answer each one. There were six questions in total. Questions were about the company, in particular their off-price model and competency ones, such as 'Describe a time when...' Useful to have a pen and paper near by to make notes while you're reading the questions and to have a few examples prepared.

    The one on one interview at the assessment centre was very relaxed. It was in two parts: questions about the company and then competency based questions, followed by a general chat about the role and the company. I really enjoyed this and loved the opportunity to get to know a bit more about my assessor and what they thought about the company.

    Most difficult question

    Describe a time when something didn't go to plan or your way, and what the consequences were.

    Interview tips

    - Research the company; go to their stores, learn about the off-price model and values they deem important
    - Practice the online tests beforehand
    - Be prepared with examples for competency based questions

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    Although it was quite a long day, I thoroughly enjoyed it. First of all we had a data analysis exercise, which we later had to discuss with an assessor. I had never done one before but it was simple and I enjoyed it. Then we had our one to one interviews. These were relaxed and you also have the opportunity to chat with them after you've been asked all the questions. I'd recommend thoroughly researching the company, stores, their off-price model and have a few examples ready for competency based questions. Next we had a job shadow, which was really chilled and great to chat to someone about the role you'll be doing. Finally there were two group exercises. I found these the most difficult as it is hard to be heard whilst not shouting over people. My advice for these, and in general, is just to be yourself and try and make sure everyone has the opportunity to speak. The first one was quite fun; we were all on a 'desert island' and had to try and get on the boat but there were only 7 spaces. The second one was more difficult; we were given 6 products which you had to price and rate.

    Interview steps

    Interviews

    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

    • Assessment centre
    • Group excercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 4/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 5/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 5/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 5/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 5/5
  • Purchasing Graduate

    2.2857/5 | Interview date: January 2015 | Job offer? No |

    Was this helpful? Yes 4

    Sectors: Buying & Merchandising

    Difficulty rating 40.0 / 100

    Interview process

    The interviews were scattered throughout the day, mine was after the initial group exercise in the morning with the director of supply chain and the director of procurement. It was in a tiny box room with a small desk separating us - Very intimate. The questions were basically:
    Why buying?
    How would you negotiate?
    Why Skanska?
    The questions then went off on a tangent in relation to my answers/CV
    The interviewers were great and really put me at ease.
    The second interviewers later on however were, quite frank the worst interviewers I've ever had.

    Most difficult question

    How would you pursuade someone to do something they were reluctant to do?

    Interview tips

    Research all about Skanska's values, the 5 zeros and 'the Skanska way' and what projects they have been a part of I.e. - The Gherkin! The whole day was based on these from start to finish.

    Make sure construction is the industry you want to go in to, quite a lot of questions were based on the macho nature of the industry and how you could deal with that.

    You don't need to worry about numerical or psychometric tests, you have an ethical test instead, in which you are given an hour to answer 2 scenario based questions, a bit like an R.E exam to be honest! One was about sexual remarks in the construction industry and how to keep complaints to a minimum and the other was in reference to posting about Skanska in a negative way on Facebook.

    This is probably said a lot but genuinely be yourself and relax, after each activity there was a short break in the area outside the assessment rooms in which the assessors would sit with you and chat about you and it gave opportunity to probe them about Skanska etc.!

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    First there was a group exercise in which we had to build a bridge with certain materials and within a budget.
    During the task the assesors would change the criteria which would then throw everybody off. Good exercise all in all.

    Interview steps

    Interviews

    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

    • Assessment centre
    • Group excercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 2/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 2/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 3/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 2/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 1/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 1/5
  • Merchandising Administration Assistant

    4.7143/5 | Interview date: January 2015 | Job offer? No |

    Was this helpful? Yes 13

    Sectors: Buying & Merchandising

    Difficulty rating 20.0 / 100

    Interview process

    I was asked about my previous experience & my course, how they were relevant to the job I was applying too, and also what I knew about the job I was applying for, what was I expecting. In addition to being asked 3 questions: to give an example of working as part of a team? An example of where you have had to make a difficult decision & how you made you decision, if you think you made the right decision? A Challenge you have faced, how you dealt with it. There was a short maths test, not too hard & also a task where you had to do a merchandising exercise looking at the data & allocating stock to 3 different stores using the information provided. you were also required to prepare a Swot analysis of the arcadia group, specifically looking at the merchandising side of things, you then have to present your Swot analysis to your assessor. This is just the first stage assessment if you pass this you move into the 'talent pool' where you will need further interviews. I had 3 more.

    Most difficult question

    The three questions where you had to give specific examples of your experience, you were told to prepare for these but you aren't told exactly what will be asked, so I found this quite hard to prepare for, just be honest show a certain level of critical thinking, & try and give an example of something a bit unusual that the assessor with remember to help you stand out in your answers, you get feed back & apparently I gave really good stand out answers.

    Interview tips

    This was a very long process, time consuming process, with about 9 stages the final 3 of which you will need to prepare presentations for, in total it took over about 3 months. I missed out in the end but only at the final stage which was bitterly disappointing. I think you need to be over the top yourself to impress enough & make enough of an impression to get the job, it is highly competitive & there are a lot of hoops to jump through, I would have loved this job & after 9 stages being so close was absolutely gutted. I would probably still consider reapplying however.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    First you have to do your presentation, which should last 10 minutes. It needs to focus on merchandising. This was just one on one with your assessor so wasn't as scary as I thought. I was then given a 10 minute math test on my own, this wasn't too difficult a calculator is provided. Then a 20 minute merchandising allocation task where using the information provided you had to allocate 6 different garments to 3 stores, you where given some information about sales figures, weather etc. You receive no feedback on the day.

    Interview steps

    Interviews

    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

    • Assessment centre
    • Group excercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 5/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 4/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 5/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 4/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 5/5
  • Graduate merchandiser

    3.4286/5 | Interview date: July 2014 | Job offer? Yes but declined |

    Was this helpful? Yes 4

    Sectors: Buying & Merchandising

    Difficulty rating 60.0 / 100

    Interview process

    The first step was a telephone interview which lasted about 20 minutes, and asked about my university experience, work experience, and why I wanted to work in merchandising. They were basically checking at this point that you're articulate and enthusiastic, as well as explaining more about the role. The next stage was an assessment centre with about 6 other people, and then a one-to-one interview. In the interview (with a recruiter and area manager) I was asked a series of questions including more about me as a person and how I would cope in this demanding job. I had to draw on a variety of situations from my work experience where I was a leader, showed an eye for detail, worked alone or as a team, or was tough and resilient. I was grilled on why I didn't boast my first class honours degree to the group (I didn't mention it), and I still don't see why that mattered! I was asked about my future aspirations and how that would fit into a career with Henkel. For example, where do I want to be in 5 years or 10 years?

    Most difficult question

    'Who in this assessment centre stands out to you as competition/the best candidate for the job?'. You really need to have listened carefully to everyone else and their names.

    Interview tips

    Think of the most unusual questions you could be asked! Note all the different aspects of your personality and strengths down so that you can quickly apply these to the unusual questions, but you also want to sound spontaneous. Research merchandising roles well, and consider how your experience would enable you to succeed in this role. The Henkel presentation is informative but the information was all easy to find beforehand. Try to find out something that isn't immediately available on the Henkel website, and ask questions about this. Be chatty and enthusiastic.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    There were about 6 other people at the assessment centre. We had to introduce ourselves to the group and say two interesting facts about ourselves that were non-university related. Then we were asked a series of unusual questions, such as 'if you were an animal, what would you be'?, 'if you were a brand, what would you be and why'. We were also asked normal questions such as 'why merchandising' or 'why Henkel?'. We had to close our eyes and put our hand into a bag to take out a random object (e.g. Pritt Stick or a plug) and describe it to everybody else. We were then given cards that we weren't allowed to turn over until it was our turn to speak - they had questions on such as 'describe one of the toughest challenges you had to overcome at university' and other questions on a variety of topics. In between tasks we took maths and verbal reasoning tests, plus situational judgement, and we also watched a presentation on Henkel and its values. There wasn't really any group work, it was more talking in front of a group and listening.

    Interview steps

    Interviews

    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

    • Assessment centre
    • Group excercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 2/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 4/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 4/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 3/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 4/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 4/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 3/5
  • Tk Maxx - Merchandising & Buying Graduate Programme, Watford

    4.7143/5 | Interview date: January 2014 | Job offer? Not yet |

    Was this helpful? Yes 19

    Sectors: Buying & Merchandising

    Difficulty rating 40.0 / 100

    Interview process

    The first couple of stages included a mixed numerical and verbal test, and through success in this led onto a one way video interview which was very nerve racking as you are given 30 seconds to prepare for each question then 3 minutes to present your answer. After this stage I was invited to the Assessment centre at Head Office in Watford. The individual interview at the assessment centre was very friendly and the assessors made you feel very comfort able and not under pressure at all. It was competency based but also included questions testing on your knowledge of TJX.

    Most difficult question

    Describe a time where you veer away from the status quo.

    Interview tips

    Be prepared to give a professional presentation in a laid back environment in order to not come across in too much of a casual sense. Do your research into the company before attending.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    We were split into two groups of 6 but the only time we used these groups was in the group exercises, all the other stages were on an individual basis.The assessment day included an interview with two assesors, one from buying, one merchandising; a previously prepared presentation on stores and trends again to two assessors; an individual data analysis exercise;a group discussion exercise and job shadowing of someone who is currently on the graduate scheme. Over the day was very beneficially to get an idea of the type of company you would be working in and the head office environment. The environment here was very laid back and they made you feel very comfortable in each stage of the process. I was very impressed at the organisation of the day but also the work ethics among all employees I came across.

    Interview steps

    Interviews

    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

    • Assessment centre
    • Group excercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 4/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 4/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 5/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 5/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 5/5
  • Coding and Tenders Executive

    4.1429/5 | Interview date: August 2013 | Job offer? Yes but declined |

    Was this helpful? Yes 6

    Sectors: Buying & Merchandising

    Difficulty rating 60.0 / 100

    Interview process

    First there was an interview with the Coding and Tenders Manager and the Corporate Procurement Controller. It was a fairly intense interview involving lots of competency questions, which lasted for about 45 minutes.
    Then I was invited back for a second interview which began with three tests.
    This interview was with the original panel of two, plus another member of the department. More competency questions were asked, and a lot of general ones to see how good a fit I would be for the department on a social level. Altogether I was in the final stage interview including the tests for nearly 2 hours.

    Most difficult question

    On a scale of 'intense to laid back', where would you put yourself?

    Interview tips

    Research the company fully. Not just the organisation you are applying for but the parent company as well.

    Make sure you know yourself well, have lots of examples for competency question answers, and be ready to spin any challenges on potential weaknesses into positive attributes.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    The calculation and 'checking' (matching codes) tests were the only non-interview assessments, performed at the 3663 site. There was a basic mathematics test under a strict time constraint (17 seconds per question down to 14 seconds as it progressed if I recall correctly). Secondly, a test designed to specifically test the speed at which you recognise codes- you had from 7 down to 4 seconds to recognise and match each one from a list. And finally an Excel test, including general formatting of cells, SUM, and IF functions.

    Interview steps

    Interviews

    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

    • Assessment centre
    • Group excercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 3/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 4/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 4/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 4/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 5/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 4/5
  • Nissan Graduate Scheme

    4.4286/5 | Interview date: June 2013 | Job offer? Not yet |

    Was this helpful? Yes 17

    Sectors: Buying & Merchandising

    Difficulty rating 60.0 / 100

    Interview process

    I had to give a 5 minute presentation on a topical news issue of my choice. I then had a panel interview with the head of HR and 2 manages from the buying department.
    The interview was more relaxed than I thought it would be, we all made a few jokes and I wasn't too nervous.
    They asked me competency based questions, questions about Nissan, my personality and hobbies, how I would cope with certain scenarios and difficult people, and whether I was willing to travel and relocate.

    Most difficult question

    What is your biggest weakness?

    Interview tips

    Prepare answers to obvious questions, research the company.
    Be relaxed (although not too relaxed). Remember the interviewers are human! They might have kids, they have feelings and worries too, and they probably go down the pub on a Friday night.
    Be confident. Don't be worried to tell them about your achievements and what you like about yourself. If you are confident you will be great in the role, they are likely to believe it too.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    We had to take part in 3 group activities and discussions. We had to make a group decision, place items in order of value, and lastly we were each given a fictional candidate for a job and had to persuade the rest of our group that our candidate was the best for the role.

    Interview steps

    Interviews

    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

    • Assessment centre
    • Group excercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 3/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 4/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 5/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 5/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 4/5

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