Marks & Spencer
Marks & Spencer Interview Questions & Reviews
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Customer Assistant Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Marks & Spencer in July 2014.
Interview Details The whole process took just over a week.I applied online and passed the online assessment which took about half an hour to complete. I was then immediately told I was successful and offered an assessment/interview slot a week later. I was told after the interview that I would find out after 3 days if I'd be offered a position, but they rang and offered me a role the day after... albeit with slightly different hours than the one I'd applied for. Apparently, they had a number of other candidates to interview over the next three days, and the people who get the highest scores in the assessment and interview get offered jobs to fill the vacancies!
The assessment/interview took about an hour. Two members of the recruitment team took me into the training room and immediately went into explaining how the role play assessment would work, i.e. the next time they came into the room, one of them would be playing the part of the customer, the other would be the assessor. My role play exercise was about the "customer" in the fictional store having a dinner party for family that evening, in a rush and needing certain ingredients to cook a main course of chicken, parma ham and red peppers. In the accompanying literature and role-play cards, I was aware that parma ham and red peppers were out of stock, and there were other suggested alternatives listed, some of which were deemed to be more/less suitable and more/less expensive. Also included was info about a new range of entertaining ready-prepared starters/mains/desserts etc., which had a promotion "Save £5 if you spend £30", info about the fictional store's ordering service, including "order online before 7pm and get free nominated day delivery. I had 5 mins to assimilate all this info before the "customer" came into the room.
My advice would be to try and mention/suggest EVERYTHING which is listed as an alternative or different option... you have to throw yourself into the role-play (put aside any embarrassment) and do lots of attentive nodding, agreeing, smiling - go over the top with trying to satisfy the "customer". You can refer to the role-play cards during the exercise & the staff member playing the "customer" was clearly trying to help in a way, by leading her responses to mine in a positive way and helping me to move onto the next suggestion.
After this, they both left the room, leaving me with a form to complete with three sections "what went well, what could have gone better, what would you do differently next time?" - one of them then came to collect this form and left the room again for about 10 mins. It seems clear to me that during this time they were "marking & scoring" my role play and the form I'd completed against their required criteria.
One of them came back in along with a manager who I was introduced to. I was then left with the manager who did a brief, standard interview (following her script) lasting about 10 mins e.g. "what is you previous retail/customer experience/why do you want to work for M & S etc...." She then told me immediately that I'd passed the interview and I would hear back soon if I was successful in being fitted into one of their vacancies.
The other two then came back n the room, told me I'd also passed the role play assessment, then went on to fill in more forms, this time with all my personal details, bank account number for pay etc and took photocopies I'd brought of my proof of NI number, address and right to work in UK (as explained on interview email).
As explained above, they told me I would find out three days later when all the other candidates had been interviewed, but in actual fact I received a phone call the next day offering me a position, which I accepted.
Interview Question – There were no unexpected questions in my opinion, however like other candidates have suggested, I would advise researching the company a little beforehand in order to be prepared for questions like "why do you want to work for M & S"; "What do you think the Customer Assistant role will entail on a day-to-day basis?" - my advice would be to give answers focusing on the positive aspects of the company, not about what the job will give you (e.g. the hours suit me etc).... View Answer
Negotiation Details – There was no negotiation
Customer Assistant Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Marks & Spencer in June 2014.
Interview Details After doing the online quizzes, I could select a date and time on the website to be interviewed. For the interview you had to dress in smart-casual, and I believe you had to bring a passport and proof of address. It might also be worth bringing along a copy of your CV.
The interview was split into two parts: roleplay and general questions. For the roleplay I had to sell vegetarian food to a customer as a customer assistant. In it, I mentioned that the customer could use the fictional company's online service as well as delivery, and really tried to sell more to the customer with some related suggestions. It may also help to add a bit of personality in there- I said I was 'vegetarian' (true!) which was relatable in the roleplay. Before the roleplay began, you had 5 minutes to prepare, reading through several sheets. I suggest it would be a good idea to learn more about the company's history, and get a quick look at what they sell and the different categories.
Once the roleplay was over, you spoke to a manager from one of the departments. I suggest you shake hands with them and try to refer to them by name at least once. They ask questions like "Tell me about yourself" and "Why choose M&S?" When answering the questions, try to fit in things M&S uniquely does, such as Plan A.
Interview Question – What made M&S more preferable to you than our competition? Answer Question
IT Specialist Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at Marks & Spencer in August 2012.
Interview Details 2 face to face interviews
Nothing of interest to add, it was a basic chat, they don't do competency based interviews, it was a lesurely stroll through my CV, description of role, and then asked to relate some of my experience to role, and to expland on my ideas of what I would do in the role.
Negotiation Details – Was not able to negotiate, was a fixed contract.
Customer Assistant Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Marks & Spencer in October 2010.
Interview Details Online Test and then interview
Interview Question – No question - had to do a role play, where the interviewer played a customer with a problem Answer Question
Negotiation Details – None
Customer Assistant Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Marks & Spencer in November 2013.
Interview Details Application process is online questionnaire based, common sense answers abound. Hint: (This is obviously a customer service role so everything you do or say will need to involve helping the customer directly!!! i.e. Stopping in the middle of something to help and keeping them happy.).
After that, if you got enough of the questions right you'll be asked to select an interview time slot, they'll send you an email to confirm and requests you bring things like a passport, NI number and proof of address.
Interview is 1 on 1 where firstly they go through your details, then ask you to do a role play where you help the interviewer who is taking the role of a customer and you, the assistant. You are presented with a briefing sheet on a fictional scenario in a pretend company (NOT M&S). You then get 5 mins to prepare and take notes about what is listed as out of stock and what is an adequate replacement, Don't worry you can always refer to the briefing sheet during the role play itself, you can hold it during if you want.
You'll probably never look at your notes anyway.
The scenario is something easy, I only had to sell chicken! It practically sells itself!
After that, you fill in a form about how well you think you did, what was good and what could be better.
Then you are interviewed by a manager and they ask you fairly standard questions like what experience of customer service you have, why do you want work for M&S and what ambition you have. You are then asked what your preferred department to is if you have not already applied specifically. Then the interview draws to a close when you can ask them any questions you want and you give them your clothes sizes.
Then just sit back, relax, and wait for the phone call the next day that will tell you if you have been successful or not. If you don't get the phone call the next day then ring them ASAP.
If successful, then you will get forms in the post to fill in and bring to your induction day.
Interview Question – Why do you want to work at M&S rather than [Other retailer] Answer Question
Very Easy Interview
Sales Assistant Interview (Positive Experience; Very Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 days - interviewed at Marks & Spencer.
Interview Details I passed the online assessment and was able to book my interview date online. Got a call the next day from the company to confirm my attendance. I got an email asking me to prepare for role play and photocopy of documents.
On the day there are 2 interviewers, first interviewer which you will be doing role play with and the second asked formal questions.
Role play consists of interviewer acting the role as customer. You are given 5 minutes to prepare. You get a sheet with jacket, promotions and shoes. You don't need to memorise the sheet as it can be used as prop during role play.
Interviewer walks in asking for certain jacket which was out of stock. Remember to smile! Suggest an alternative! Also remember the promotions on the sheet?! Sell sell sell! Interviewer wants to see if you are going to mention this, I can't stress enough it is very important! Other stuff is common sense, if you can't think of how to reply then the role isn't right for you.
After the interviewer leaves the room again giving you a form to fill out listing what you did well, what went less well and what would you have done differently next time. Yet again common sense.
I think at this point if you fail you don't get to second stage. The second interviewer will just ask the normal questions, why you want to work for them, and sell yourself to them. Why should they hire you?! Just answer as honestly as possible.
After this you are left to wait then you get called in and find out if successful or not. Interview was very easy overall.
Interview Question – There wasn't any, i was fully prepared. Just remember research their company, why you like to work for them and answers to why should they hire you. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – I was asked if I would be flexible for the job. It was all very simple and explained very well.
Customer Assistant In the Restaurant Interview (Negative Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 5 days - interviewed at Marks & Spencer in May 2013.
Interview Details Online application, quiz and interactive assessment on work situations i.e a customer had complained would you a, b, c or d etc.
At end of assessment if you have passed you can book an interview date there and then
I went for interview - formal
1st: Knowledge based quiz e.g. what chopping board used for fish etc similar to online application quiz
2nd: Interview with manager and supervisor- questions based on experiencing i.e how did you provide excellent customer service in your previous job, how did you deal with a complaint and so on.
3rd: Role play - did not make it to this stage apparently i was 2 marks off on the 2nd part. Not sure what that meant. No explanation of how it was being marked. Interview was confusing as seemed very informal one minute ( discussing icecream :S ) and then very formal the next.
Cannot apply again for 6 months (think this is ridiculous)
Interview Question – Can't remember exactly
Examples of customer service, complaint, team work etc. Answer Question
Sales Assistant Interview (Neutral Experience)
Interviewed at Marks & Spencer
Interview Details Quite straight forward
Reason for Declining – No definition of hours to be worked as it varies from week to week therefore child are would be nightmare. Also heard staff complaining about the conditions and way they were being treated .
Customer Assistant Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and interviewed at Marks & Spencer.
Interview Details ok so i passed the online assesment with m&s then booked a slot time for interview/assesment got to m&s a lady form the clothing department explained that she was doing the role play with me she left the room and i had 5 minutes to read the information, i was playing the role of an assistant a customer came in the store with a jacket she bought for an interview it was too big and needed to exchange it but there wasn't the size she was after i had to find a solution. anyway finished that part was sent out with a sheet asking what i thought went well and what didn't, next i had the interview with the manager basically she had a sheet with 10 questions on and i had to explain in detail mostly about retail but some about m&s. once that was over i was sent back out to wait while the manager and the lady discussed my interview i was called back in and told by the lady not the manager id passed very pleased until i was told id be put into a system and compared to the 2 top interviews they had by a point scoring system and if my points were higher i would get one of the two positions available!!. Ok i thought wait a minute you never said anything about this at the beginning then i noticed the two she was talking about must have already got the jobs because on the side i see there signed contracts. she explained she would do it and if i got the job she would ring me if i never then because i passed everything i would get a phone call for the christmas vacancy!!. i was shocked to say the least why interview me for jobs that had already been taken. anyway the way they went about it all was so unprofessional.
Interview Question – i was asked 10 questions. Answer Question
M&S.com Graduate Schemee Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online - interviewed at Marks & Spencer in February 2013.
Interview Details Very thorough process, including preparing a presentation / case-study. One on one interview, group exercise and analyical case. Calm
Interview Question – What would you say was your biggest failure? Answer Question
Interviews for Top Jobs at Marks & Spencer