The first stage of the application process was an online application, which included academic qualifications, employment history and some general questions.
I then was invited to an group interview/ assessment center day. There were approx 12 of us on the day, overlooked by two senior members of Aldi. We had to give a timed, 2 min presentation introducing ourselves to the group. We were then given a problem solving scenario and split into groups to debate the outcome under timed conditions, and then report back our decision and why. We had to give a second 2 min presentation on a topic of interest, followed by paper-based, maths, verbal and logical reasoning tests. It all lasted around 2 hours.
I think the key here is to strike a good balance between being able to lead a team but also still be part of the team/ not be too overbearing.
I received a letter about a month later inviting me for a one-on-one interview with the Regional Director, and to complete an online personality test prior to the interview. This interview was more focused on me as a person: what I could bring to the company; how my degree was relevant; hardest decision I've ever had to make; where do I see myself in 10 years? Etc. I was also asked to complete a 10 min task to chronologically order the stages involved arranging a meeting (I presume to test my organisational/reasoning skills).
I received a letter about a week later offering me the job :)
Most difficult question
"How does your degree equip you for working in a discount-retail environment?"
We were told on multiple occasions at the assessment center that the company looks for a very specific 'type' of person; that they know exactly what they are looking for and it's 'very niche'. So it's hard to say really what they're looking for. The best advice I can give is to be confident and approachable, but also remember that a manager is a team player, as well as a team leader, so try not to be overly domineering in group tasks.
Neither the assessment day or the one-on-one interviews were particularly intimidating, everyone was very friendly. So embrace the experience, and just give it your all.
Experiences at the assessment centre
There were about 12 of us at the assessment center, overlooked by two senior members of Aldi.
- We first had to give a 2 min presentation introducing ourselves. This was timed, which was important as here they want to see not only how confident you are in addressing an audience, but also that you are able to sustain the audience for a relative period of time and that you have a fair idea about timings. Also be sure to pay good attention to other people, because the position is all about being able to work well with others (i.e being interested and listening to what they have to say.)
- We were then split into two groups for a problem solving exercise. The scenario was that we had a life raft which could only fit 5 out of the 6 of us, and so our task was to decide who to leave behind. We were each assigned a character whose personality we had to assume. This again was timed. I think the key here was to be able to give a reasoned argument as to your ideas and be subtly persuasive, but not overbearing. (Try to strike a balance between giving your ideas and encouraging others/ listening to their ideas). I was outnumbered, but it was important that I noticed this and compromised with the group.
- We had to give a second 2 min presentation (which we had a minute to prepare for) on something we were passionate about. This again was testing the same skills as the first presentation. Try and talk about something that someone else is not likely to talk about- perhaps a hobby, a sport etc as it will keep people engaged. But stick to something you know plenty about, because this will help your confidence. I'd advise using the minute to plan, to focus on a structure to what you're going to say, so that the presentation is clear.
- There were then three short, paper-based, tests we had to complete. A maths, verbal reasoning and a logical reasoning test. Each was about 10-15 questions and timed at approx 5 mins each. These were fairly basic, but you can't use a calculator so brush up on basic maths (i.e. fractions/percentages/ratios/basic multiplication etc)
- Finally we were given the opportunity to ask any questions. Try to go prepared with 3/4 questions, just in case someone else beats you to it. Be careful to do your research; don't ask things which you could find the answer to yourself on google. But do try and ask something, as this gets you noticed and shows your enthusiasm for the company.
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