Tesco Interview Questions & Answers

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Difficulty rating 5 / 10

Interview experience

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  • Store Management Graduate Scheme

    4.8571/5 | Interview date: March 2018 | Job offer? Yes |

    Was this helpful? Yes 0

    Sectors: Retail

    Difficulty rating 40.0 / 100

    Interview process

    There are 3 stages pre-assessment centre:
    1. Online application form, including competency questions. Tailor your answers to Tesco!
    2. SHL verbal, numerical & situation tests. Standard schamdard.
    3. Video interview: motivation & competency. You get a whole week to record and re-record, so be a perfectionist!

    Most difficult question

    Describe a time when you stuck to your beliefs, even though it was unpopular.

    Interview tips

    1. Unseen presentation.

    There are a few things you need to do. You're marked on them all. Firstly, stay calm, confident and hold your nerve under questioning. It helped me to think of the assessors as colleagues rather than examiners. Second, answer the question! Explicitly root what you're saying in all of the task's objectives and information, and in the company's values. Third, you'll need to think innovatively beyond the information you've been given. This is where understanding the industry and reading Tesco's yearly report will help! Fourth, know beforehand the general structure of a presentation. Don't forget to acknowledge the pros of the options you didn't take, and tackle the cons of the options and choices you did!

    2. Group exercise

    Half the marks here come from working with people well. That means you've got to put your points across and argue them out. Have opinions on each project and articulate them. Be willing to compromise. If you disagree with someone, remember to start your rebuttal by fairly summarising the person's viewpoint. Secondly, you need to draw everyone in. Ask each person for their opinion at some point. Ask or feedback on your ideas. Be positive, generous, let others speak. If someone's being unclear, ask them what they mean.

    The other half of the marks come from saying intelligent things. Stay unswervingly focused on the objective, the criteria, the company's values. Keep those front, central, and explicit. But also make imaginative moves with the information you've been given. As with the presentation, that's much easier to do when you know about the industry.

    3. Interview

    Pretty standard competency and motivation questions. If you look these up and practice lots then you shouldn't be surprised by anything.

    4. 3DCV

    Tesco's not quiet about its own values, its passions, its style with colleagues and shoppers -- so make sure your attributes match theirs.

    Also, they ask you to get creative. The easiest thing is to bring some objects and use them as talking points: the shoes you used to climb Kilmanjiro for charity (trying to make the world a better place), the boots you play football in (teamwork), the shoes you wore during an eye-opening summer placement (passionate & driven) etc. That works just fine.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    The day was very relaxed. The assessors were fine and the graduate scheme coordinators are lovely. There were 3 (maybe 4) parts.

    1. Unseen presentation. 40 minutes to prepare; 10 minute presentation; 15-20 minutes of questions afterwards. I was given a pack of information on three projects. My task was to pick one of three projects for the company to focus on, to explain why that one best aligned with the company's values and objectives (e.g. innovativeness, customer experience, turning a profit). I then had to outline how I'd implement the project practically.

    2. Group exercise. 30 minutes to prepare alone; 30 minutes discussing in a group. This was very similar to the presentation. We were given a pack with information about six projects, and had to pick three of them according to some criteria and the company's values.

    3. Interview. Motivation questions (why Tesco? why stores?) and competency questions.

    4. 3DCV. A 10 minute presentation at the start of the interview. They ask you to talk about who you are, your achievements, strengths, values, passions, and style of interacting with others.

    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? 4/5
    • 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
  • Software Engineer

    3.0/5 | Interview date: June 2017 | Job offer? No |

    Was this helpful? Yes 0

    Sectors: Computing & IT

    Difficulty rating 40.0 / 100

    Interview process

    There were three interviews, one primary phone interview with a recruiter, a technical phone interview then a 3D CV and personality interview at the assessment day.

    None of these were particularly hard, the phone interview was with an engineer so you cant blag your way through this one! The 3D CV was with one of many assessors inside tesco who work in IT.

    Most difficult question

    The technical question provided was the most difficult which asked about why, how and the considerations required for Tesco moving their IT services to the cloud.

    Interview tips

    If going for a techncial role make sure to find out definites such as languages you may be required to know and accurate details. Also make sure to prepare more for the technical question than the 3D CV.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    I recently applied to Tesco's graduate software engineer scheme and was unsuccessful but this is not the focus of my complaint. My complaint is with regard to the recruitment process, how it was handled and the feedback provided.

    First, I was scheduled for a phone interview, I rescheduled my work and day around the interview but never received a phone call or email. I left a message for the recruiter and attempted to call her multiple times over the following days to no avail and only received contact back via email the next week (4-5 days after the scheduled date).

    Second, after being sucessful in the telephone interviews I was given less than 48 hours notice that I was to attend an assessment day, leaving me no time to prepare anything as I was out for the whole day when I recieved the email and working the day before the assessment day. When I got to the assessment day I found everyone else had at least a week to prepare.

    Third, I was told during the phone interviews that I could carry out the programming task in a language of my choosing (C#), when I got to the assessment day I was told to use a different language (Java) that I had never used before and a different editor, so I was immediately at a huge disadvantage to the other participants who had used the language before or were told the language they would be using. This fact was also not reflected in the feedback which stated that I required a lot of help with syntax and the editor, which is to be expected when I am using a different language in a different editor.

    Fourth, when I replied to the recruiter, telling her my thoughts on the feedback she provided more verbal feedback which said: "completed the task in java which he had a knowledge of". This is untrue, I have never used Java before the assessment day and having to complete a task in another language and editor no matter the similarities is unfair. Which also makes it seem like some of the feedback provided is false or blanket statements as her verbal feedback stated I had a knowledge when I made it clear to the assessor that I had no knowledge or experience with it at all.

    It is fair to say the entire process has been nothing but hassle, wasting my time and providing no helpful feedback to improve myself.

    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? 1/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 3/5
    • 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? 4/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 2/5
  • Graduate Trainee - Sales

    4.4286/5 | Interview date: November 2013 | Job offer? Yes |

    Was this helpful? Yes 2

    Sectors: Sales

    Difficulty rating 40.0 / 100

    Interview process

    The application process began with an array of competency questions which judged what I would do in given situations. The next step was an online testing platform which included numerical, pyschometric and verbal reasoning tests. The following stage was a telephone interview, this involved the interviewer getting an idea of my motivations as well as an understanding of what knowledge i had gained on the company. Other factors were tested including competency questions including what best motivates myself and give a situation where leadership and other qualities were expressed.
    The next and final stage was a two day assessment centre. The first day was an opportunity to meet the other candidates and was not assessed. We were greeted by our recruitment manager who took us through a presentation on the company successes and what would be featured in the roles that we had applied for.

    Most difficult question

    Get to know the organisation, how they operate, where and how. Search the internet for environmental influences and threats in their market as this was one area that i was recommended to look up after my telephone interview.

    Be positive, confident and address each person you are presenting to and keep your presentation to the point and factual.

    Try to contain your nerves, it helped to be relaxed in almost all of the exercises and I found taking an mp3 player while preparing for each exercise to be useful which was advised prior to the assessment day by the organisation.

    Interview tips

    try and think up as many potential questions as possible and think of answers, so you are prepared as much as you can be.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    The assessment centre was an extremely pressurised experience. It involved 4 exercises including a face to face interview, a presentation which i had 45 minutes to absorb a large amount of information and then present for 20 minutes relating to it, I had a role play where I was required to adopt the role of a member of staff at the organisation convincing another colleague who was difficult to influence to adopt new practices and then a group exercise at the end of the day.

    It was an intense experience where i had to draw on many capabilities that i have gained and put into practise while at university and I was particularly tested on my communication ability.

    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? 4/5
    • 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? 4/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 5/5
  • Retail Operations Graduate Programme

    4.7143/5 | Interview date: June 2013 | Job offer? No |

    Was this helpful? Yes 2

    Sectors: Retail

    Difficulty rating 60.0 / 100

    Interview process

    My Interview was very relaxed and was entirely competency based. It was very similar to the telephone interview and lasted about half an hour. The questions I was asked were the ones you would expect in a competency based interview e.g. why Tesco? why the scheme? tell me a time when. . .This was quite easy for me as I had done many of these before. Nothing to worry about just be yourself!

    Most difficult question

    One of the more difficult questions was tell me a time when you have had to change your course of action due to unforeseen circumstances. This wasn't as easy for me as I hadn't prepared an answer for this so had to make it up on the spot.

    Interview tips

    Try to Relax and listen carefully to the questions asked.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    The assessment centre was a good experience and very professional but the main problem was Tesco made candidates share a room with another candidate the night before the assessment day. They say it is to 'get to know your potential future colleagues' but to me it was about saving money. It doesn't help you relax before the big 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? 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
  • Finance Grad Scheme

    3.7143/5 | Interview date: June 2013 | Job offer? Yes but declined |

    Was this helpful? Yes 2

    Sectors: Finance

    Difficulty rating 60.0 / 100

    Interview process

    The first phone interview was pretty standard as far as I can tell. The usual competency questions about various achievements you have had so far and what skills and lessons you had learnt on the way. After this there was an preliminary assessment centre where Tesco Finance Management gave presentations on why it was such a good place to work and what you could expect from the programme. The day was ended with a one to one interview, similar to the phone one, but more in depth. This focussed a lot on what your motivations where for applying for this role and what you hoped to achieve. The final assessment centre started with a dinner the night before and followed by a day of group exorcises as well as individual ones, testing problem solving, team work, general initiative, logic and presentation skills. This ended with an interview with two people which was more a feedback session for you to give your views on the day.

    Most difficult question

    What has been your biggest failing? Are there any ways you have tried to overcome this?

    Interview tips

    They are looking for people that match there world view. Make sure you have researched the company's position on various issues.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    Generally a reasonably fun day, but at the same time quite draining. The day was divided into six sections with an activity in each. These mostly consisted of working in a group, discussing some information presented to you along with a problem you had to solve. The group would then have to present its decisions to the assessors. There was also individual presentation tasks which followed a similar pattern, but you presented your ideas on a one to one basis.

    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? 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? 3/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 4/5

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