- Work/Life Balance
- Culture & Values
- Career Opportunities
- Comp & Benefits
- Senior Management
I have been working at Softcat full-time (More than a year)
- Straightforward progression to management
- Excellent earning potential
- One of the leading companies in reseller market
- Lots of incentives and perks
- Classic sales pressure to hit targets
- Very competitive
- Low basic salary
Advice to Management
Company has been doing for so long now, have complete faith in management. Whatever you're doing, it's working!
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I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Softcat (Bristol, England) in November 2016.
I found Softcat online instead of going through a recruiter and was called for an incredibly brief telephone screening relating to my interest in sales and what I knew about the company. I was then invited to the assessment day in Bristol along with only three others.
The Assessment Day
During the day, Softcat's HR person did well making us feel relaxed and comfortable about the process and we had a chance with her to get to know more about the company and show the extent of our research.
All aspects of the assessment day were detailed in an email to me (except for the 'IQ test', which I'll come back to) but my peers hadn't received the same information from their recruitment agencies. After chatting as a 5, we introduced ourselves properly in turn. The first task was to interview a Softcat employee for 5 minutes about his (they're nearly all men) ideal holiday in order to prepare an appealing package for him with your partner during another 5 minute spell. Of course, the staff try to make it difficult by not giving direct answers to all questions but your ability to question is being assessed as the clock ticks down. Both of us had to decide on a location based on what we'd gathered. I had a very fixed idea but didn't want to dominate the next stage at the expense of my partner who knew nothing about Budapest. Both pairs put forward their ideas well enough and the poor suffering staff members were able to return to their desks.
Next, Bristol's main man told us more about the company and his experience. I liked his demeanor and attitude a lot and began to feel more invested in the idea of working with Softcat. He in fact is not a graduate but has certainly made things work for himself during his 10 years at the company.
The next stage was a 2 minute verbal presentation to some of the same guys who'd been on hand for the holiday task. Your focus should be 1) why you want to work for Softcat and 2) why Softcat should choose you. The timing didn't seem to be kept to because the first person rambled on for a fair while. I ballsed up by forgetting to talk about Softcat at all and was sure my fate was sealed.
The 'IQ test' consisted of a spelling and grammar email checking exercise, number sequences, maths questions and vocabulary testing (which word is most similar to x, which is the opposite of x). This was easy enough and we were given plenty of time, yet it turned out to be pointless because we were told we'd passed the assessment before we even handed out answers back.
The Panel Interview
Only 6 days later I found myself at the Softcat office again (no parking, even for staff). Three more senior members of the team made up the panel with one who was very definitely in charge. Perhaps intentionally, the whole tone of the interview was pretty obnoxious for the most part and this is where my Softcat journey ended in my mind. After questions about why I'd be good at the job and plenty of other, more personal questions, I was asked to tell a joke. Telling the joke was the only part of the interview which allowed me to raise a smile, despite thinking it's a pretty strange request. I also got asked if I'd ever 'majorly screwed up'. The final part of the interview before questions I had (lost interest really by this point) was a scenario whereby I was a pen salesman and I had to sell to the top three employees of a company that has only ever used pencils and not even computers. You're supposed to ask as many questions as you can to find out why they only use pencils, I'll admit the scenario was so naff and so difficult to take seriously that I lost sight of the task. However, I argued my case for pens as best I could they evaluated my performance in front of me after. Here's a clue, the word 'sheet' was used.
I was frankly staggered to find out that I'd received 'really positive feedback' and that I was invited to the final stage of the process which is the 30 min phone interview with Softcat's Sales Director. I didn't want to see it through.
From what I've gleaned from the process, you have official office hours but the best times to ring companies are outside of those hours e.g. 7:30am because the people you need to speak to will be busy all day. The salary and the prospect of being on the phone at a desk with no fresh air or face-to-face interactions put me off, not to mention the sour taste in my mouth after leaving the interview.
Softcat have been rated the best place to work in the UK which is all credit to them, but the 6th form common room style fun area is not enough to make up for everything else, in my opinion.
Overall, the experiences of the two stages were so different that I can't give a positive or a negative rating.
Note: Any strange words were used to bypass Glassdoor's overly prudish profanity policy.