John Lewis Interview Questions in United Kingdom

Updated Apr 9, 2015
32 Interview Reviews

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32 Candidate Interview Reviews Back to all Interviews

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  1. Helpful (1)  

    Section Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in London, England (UK)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at John Lewis (London, England (UK)) in March 2015.

    Interview

    The first hour consisted of a group of 4 candidates being assessed by 4 managers to perform a task which we were given 15 minutes to prepare. Our task was to create an action plan for a big sales event taking place in store at the weekend and what opportunities and issues needed to be addressed in order to do this. It's important to say a lot and get really involved, bounce off other peoples ideas and make sure everyone is speaking- show consideration but also try and show leadership. After one hour we were given feedback and the managers left the room. Myself and another candidate were asked to leave the room where we were told we had made it through to the interview and the others would be sent home!! The interview was 2 managers (one asking most questions and one scribing) and were relatively normal, competency based questions and some technical questions regarding what I do would do in certain situations that may arise in the role I applied for.

    Interview Questions

    • Describe a situation where you have had to change your style of communication?   Answer Question
    • List three things that would be most important to you for this role   1 Answer
  2.  

    Project Manager ITL6 Interview

    Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online – interviewed at John Lewis (London, England (UK)) in March 2015.

    Interview

    One of the most incompetent HR departments I've ever had the misfortune to deal with!

    Why? The following is my John Lewis recruitment experience;

    1) filled out the application online for what is perceived to be a senior role within the company's IT function. Quite extensive, but what to expect for such roles.

    2) didn't hear anything back for weeks - out of the blue I receive an email stating that I've been successful and selected for interview.

    3) interview day arrives and I meet with a nice guy who explains the roles requirements and context within the business. This is more of an informal chat than anything else (took place in the cafeteria). Cut a long story short, I'm interested in proceeding and so is he. We agree to a 2nd interview and I'm told HR will be in touch.

    4) HR do indeed get in touch and we arrange the 2nd interview. I ask for the interview format to help me prepare: I'm told to read up on John Lewis Partnership values and to expect an email with the info I need (pretty standard interview criteria). I'm also told there will be a case study given to me on the day and I'll have 30 minutes to prepare for it. Naturally I probe for more info and I'm told I'll receive an email with everything I need - this is never sent!

    5) interview 2 day arrives....... HR send me an interview slot time of 9:45.......... and the hiring managers an interview slot time of 9:30. I arrive at reception to be told that one of the interviewers had come down to reception and was looking for me. I show the receptionist the email HR sent with the alotted time and she tells me 'don't worry, I'll notify your interviewers that you've arrived'.

    Roughly 5/10 minutes later I'm collected from reception and taken up to the interview room......... 1 minute later the interview is practically over by all accounts!

    I enter the room, exchange pleasantries, we laugh and roll our eyes that HR mixed up the times, then I'm told the interview format: the two interviewers (who are both really nice) will ask me a series of competency based questions around my skills/experience to determine how I fit within the Partnership's values and then I'll have 30mins to present my project plan based on the case study HR sent me.

    I pull a confused look and explain that HR didnt send me a case study, they didn't send me anything(!), but instead told me that I'd receive the case study at the interview. Cue a look of concern/worry between the two interviewers.

    We continue on with the first part of the interview and then they suggest I read over the case study and prepare whatever I can in 15 minutes while they grab a cup of coffee. I agree (what other choice do I have?!). The case study is comfortably manageable for a seasoned PM, but complex in terms of its intricies - it has quite a few considerations around risk/budget/estimation etc. Certainly too much to cover in 15 minutes (when it took almost 10 minutes to read & digest it). I scribble down what I can on the back of my passport photocopy (there was no writing materials provided as this scenario obviously wasn't expected).

    My 2 interviewers come back into the room, dismiss my 'presentation' efforts as its not fair that I only have 15 minutes to prepare for the case study, while other candidates will have had days (they hope!) to present their plan. I'm told they checked with HR regarding my claim I never received the case study, HR confirmed they never sent it, then I'm told my application for the role will not be taken any further because I dont have the required experience working with their retail platform technology. However would I be interested in a more junior role? I obviously challenge the retail platform reasoning and point out that if this was the case, I probably should have been told this at the first interview and it should be listed as a 'requirement' and not 'desirable' in the job spec. We briefly go over the more junior role, I tell them I like to keep my options open and request further info. The senior interviewer leaves to go a meeting (obviously deciding theres nothing more to be done here and HR did send the wrong times after all), I discuss the junior role and company IT structure with the remaining interviewer and I'm told they hope I put myself forward and they'll be in touch.

    6) HR contact me again, I am now being passed to a different person in their department (probably because it's a different role). I tell them the new role is of interest and ask for next steps.

    --------------

    I never hear from anyone in John Lewis HR ever again!

    3 weeks later I receive an email stating my application for the new role was unsuccessful.

    I ask for feedback as to why the sudden change....... NOTHING!

    Conclusion: Hours of my time wasted, money spent on transport lost and a resolve never to shop with John Lewis ever again.

    Interview Questions

    • Standard compentancy based questions (Google the most common questions asked and you'll not go too far wrong)   1 Answer
  3.  

    Customer Service Advisor Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online – interviewed at John Lewis.

    Interview

    Assessment Process both group and individual over a period of two hours as informal as they could possibly be but very professional. Tried to make all attendees as at ease as possible. Gave a great deal of information about the company but felt they dis not delve as deep as they could with the applicants.

    Interview Questions

    • Give an example of constructive criticism and how you adapted to handle this   1 Answer
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  5.  

    Graduate Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Interview

    Filled in the online application, completed the online tests (there is a lot of practice questions for them, so I suggest to do them before you start), then came the online interview, which was perhaps the hardest bit. The questions were flashed on the screen and you had to record your answers. I did not do particularly well, because I did not practice enough.

    Interview Questions

  6.  

    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at John Lewis in January 2015.

    Interview

    Applied online, did numeracy, situational judgement and literacy tests, followed by a detailed application form. They didn't tell us we had to finish the application form within 2 days initially, and only sent us an email a week after telling us we have a few more days to finish it. After that there was a lot of waiting around - about a month and a half. Was asked to do a video interview on 31 december in four days time - which I thought was a bit harsh. Interview was difficult and awkward. I felt the two questions on John Lewis Partnership was similar and could not answer the second one because I was not well prepared enough! Some of the competency questions were also unexpected. Make sure you know what it means to be a Partner.

    Interview Questions

    • Give an example of a time that you received feedback or was giving feedback.   Answer Question
  7.  

    Catering Assistant Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Stratford, London, England (UK)
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took a dayinterviewed at John Lewis (Stratford, London, England (UK)) in January 2015.

    Interview

    Candidates divided into 2 group for team brainstorming and presentation. Then individual interview.

    Before getting the interview, had to answer 40 situation questions on their website. Several candidates have no experience for the position they applied for. Strongly believe that the chosen one is selected before. Another waste of time as rushing answer at the group presentation then long wait for 1-on-1 interview.

    Interview Questions

    • Working experience   1 Answer
    • What do you know about John Lewis?   1 Answer
    • Why do you apply for John Lewis?   1 Answer
  8. Helpful (1)  

    Head Office Role Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Average Interview
    No Offer
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online – interviewed at John Lewis in August 2014.

    Interview

    Online application followed by group assessment and one on one interview.
    Group assessment involved a read case study and discussion around key issues, all the while under observation.

    One to one interview standard competency based interview based round JL's key competences.

    Nice people, very poor organisation. Waitrose and John Lewis recruitment moved from separate functions to a single service and appears to be creaking under the strain.

    Timelines and communication very poor. Left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. Very poor customer journey and customer experience.

    Lack of information prompting multiple contacts via email and phone which must further lead to a strain on service. Poor engagement with clients and key information omitted from the recruitment process.

    Must stress, people on the day all very nice, relaxed atmosphere. People, process or systems or a combination letting the organisation down. They seem to struggle with basics.

    Interview Questions

  9.  

    Export Assistant - Oxford Street Interview

    Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at John Lewis (London, England (UK)) in August 2014.

    Interview

    Passed online of application process. I then got an email to go for interview which was changed four times from group assessment to one on one to group assessment to one on one. Went to interview waited 25 minutes before anyone came to take me to interview, not very good first impression. Had 25 minutes in room with two customers on pieces of paper and what type of product they wanted and then had to choose product for them but none of the products met there every need. Manager acted out as customer and I told them which product I thought was best, was challenged on why certain requirements couldn't meet there needs. Had one to one after asking basic questions. Was told after if i got it I would be starting by the end of the next week which was around 7 days away. They told me they wouldn't keep me hanging and I would find out asap. Well long and behold I waited long over 3 weeks to find out.

    Interview Questions

  10.  

    Head Office Role Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Reading, England (UK)
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a staffing agency. The process took 4 weeksinterviewed at John Lewis (Reading, England (UK)) in July 2014.

    Interview

    This was the longest and most in-depth interview process I have ever been through! Phone call screening followed by half day assessment day.
    Four hours worth of assessment; including a group exercise, individual exercise, presentation with Q & A followed by an interview.
    Be prepared to be on your A game, but even then that might not be enough!

    I was incredibly disappointed and shocked that after giving them over fours of my time in the assessment day, I was given not a single shred of feedback as to why I was rejected. Given the reputation of the company I find this to be appaulling, after such thorough assessment, there should be some kind of feedback that is constructive. Without feedback you end up taking the rejection quite personally and all you can do is speculate over what you could possibly have done differently.

    Interview Questions

    • Very intense and serious assessment centre structure, constantly being watched and judged   Answer Question
  11.  

    Section Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online – interviewed at John Lewis (London, England (UK)) in July 2014.

    Interview

    I applied online and completed a questionaire. I was later informed of an interview date to be held at their store in Oxford Street, London. I was told to get their at least 15 minutes early and learn all about the partnership, neither of which were necessary as they were running late and I was never asked anything about the partnership.

    I was taken upstairs with some other candidates and informed the interview was to be in two parts. The first part consisted of a one to one interview with a manager and the second would be a group task.

    The one to one interview was supposed to last half an hour but actually only lasted 20 minutes as he disappeared for 10 minutes to copy my passport. The interview questions were very basic and I was asked about my career to date. I don't think he had looked at my CV or even considered my experience and skills before the interview.

    The second part of the interview was with other candidates, about 6 in total, to work out, discuss and come up with an action plan. The task was about an event which was to be held in the store over a weekend and we were managers discussing the best way to action the event. Unfortuately, in group interviews/tasks such as this, there always seems to be one person that is louder than the rest and insists on trying to control the task. He was totally obnoxious and no one could get a word in. We were being scored by our contribution to the discussion but this guy was stealing all the points and not letting me get my point across. The group task was not a fair assessment, so be prepared.

    In conclusion, the interviewers seemed very indifferent and didn't seem very interested in me and we're just looking at the candidates as numbers to be processed.

    After 2 weeks I was informed by email that my application had been unsuccessful and that my application would not be taken any further. No surprise there really! I had gone into the interview full of hope and had taken days to prepare learning all about the JL Partnership and difficult interview questions, none of which were dealt with at the interview.

    Furthernore, I was asked on the rejection email if I would like feedback of the interview, to which I replied, Yes I would like a reply please. I chased this up with a further request for feedback and I have still not received any feedback or a reply from them.

    Interview Questions

    • There were no difficult questions and the interviewer failed to asked more probing questions from his original questions.   1 Answer

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