The first interview was a one way interview by Hirevue, where questions popped up on screen, you would get 30 seconds to prepare your answer and then give a three minute answer which was recorded.
Questions included things like "How does off price merchandising and buying differ from full price merchandising/buying?", "What is your understanding of the off-price business model?", "which of our stores have you visited recently and how do you think we allocate products to different stores?".
I was then invited to the assessment centre, where I had a one-on-one interview with one of the merchandisers that lasted around 40 minutes, where the questions included "Why have you applied to TKMaxx and the particular graduate scheme?" and then several situational judgement questions of the type "Describe a time you failed at something?", "Describe a time you took a risk and what the outcome was", "Describe a time you worked well in a team".
It was all very friendly, but it could be difficult to come up with good examples for some of the situational judgement questions.
Most difficult question
Describe a time where you disagreed with how things were run/done?
How do you think off price merchandising compares to full price?
Be well read, both about the company and the off price business model and how it differs from other companies. Be curious and personable.
Think about the presentation you will hold beforehand - you will only have the evening to prepare it, so it's good, even though you won't know the topic until the same day, to think of ways to make your presentation stand out in terms of structure and presentation .
Experiences at the assessment centre
At the assessment centre I had one interview, then a data analysis exercise which was about allocating stock to particular stores based on data about each store, then I held a presentation for one of the assessors, which I had gotten the chance to prepare the night before, then we had two group exercises, one about discussing the data analysis exercise that we had done individually at first and the second was about picking out two products that would be commercially viable in a TKMaxx store. We also got to shadow a current allocation analyst.
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