SUPERVALU Interview Questions & Reviews
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Programmer Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 days - interviewed at SUPERVALU in April 2009.
Interview Details – I was working closely with them when I went in for an interview.
- why i wanted to do what i interviewed for. Would I fit in. How much experience and what did i know about the job. View Answer
- Would I fit in View Answer
Negotiation Details – check on the life of the position being offered.
Senior Manager - Analytics Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 5+ weeks - interviewed at SUPERVALU in April 2010.
Interview Details – I applied it online for the job.
The first round was with the recruiter. She set aside more than 1 hr to talk in detail about my current position (I'm employed but was just looking for good opportunities). She asked me in detail about all the bullet points in my resume particularly my post-MBA experience. I did considerable work in strategy and analytics and so I could explain how it is.
After the interview, she sent another email asking me to write answers to 2 qns about a project where I needed to communicate with merchants and explain advanced analytics in a simple manner, yet convicing them to change the assortment. I had to answer 2 questions and wait for more than a week, before she got back to me saying that the hiring manager wanted to talk with me. The interesting thing about SuperValu is that they sent me a document explaining the behavioral questions - that will be asked and the format they expect me to answer them also. That document helped me to tailor my answers (though I practiced a couple of years ago during B-school). The interview was with the hiring manager over the phone - an hour long interview. The hiring manager asked me in detail about my work and the reason I'm looking for a job change. The person went to the depth of analytics and asked me to take up an example and explain how I did, what I did and also how I communicated with the merchants, marketing folks and other cross functional folks around. The most important was - not just doing analytics using statistics but explaining to the folks around who don't understand advanced statistics and how to derive solid conclusions and persenting to senior management. This is the key responsibility of the job. Also, it has 2 direct reports and so some questions ranged around mentoring and coaching folks. The hiring manager ended up even asking me the version of SPSS, I used.
After a week - 10 days, the recruiter calls me and says that they wanted me to fly to Minneapolis for 1:1 interview. I had 5 1:1 interviews including a VP. It is a pretty complex matrix organization. I had folks from different groups. Some asked me pointed questions, but others did not ask me anything and they probably wanted to check how I will steer the interview. Realizing the opportunity, I tailored my answers and told the interviewers what I wanted to communicate with them. I initiated the conversations and highlighted the parts of my resume, which I wanted to talk most. The following questions were based on the parts I stressed.
They had many questions around testing my personality and my attitude for some questions and tried to see how I reacted in my past experiences. Having worked in larger corporations in very complex cross-functional teams, the questions were alright and didn't have to work hard to answer them.
The recruiter got back to me after 1 week, asking me what I thought about the whole interview process. I told them positive news. She told me everyone liked me and that she will get back to me later. It took more than 2 more weeks, before they got back to me with an offer. Hiring manager called me and told me that they would like to give me an offer and that I've 4 - 5 days (including a weekend) to decide on the offer. I declined it because they were offering me the same amount I'm making and I was not ready to have a lateral move in all senses.
Overall, they knew what they wanted, they were very particular about skillsets.
Interview Question – Tell me specific examples when you have to convince merchants and other senior folks with your data analysis.
It is a huge matrix organization and most of the questions I was asked revolved around the communication skills and seeking 'buy-in' from senior management. Answer Question
Reason for Declining – Georgraphic location and the pay package was not upto what I expected to move from my current job.
Project Manager Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at SUPERVALU in August 2009.
Interview Details – I applied online and followed up. Through my follow up process, I discovered that I knew the recruiter. I did the phone interview with her.
Interview Question – She asked for additional employment history. View Answer
Buyer Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 days - interviewed at SUPERVALU in October 2009.
Interview Details – The first interview is cake, it really consists of just walking a hr generalist through your resume and answering a few situational (STAR type) questions - this portion is on the phone. The second interview was all situational questions and then an opportunity to ask questions about the company.
Interview Question – Please give me an example where you excelled as a buyer? View Answer
Reason for Declining – The response from SuperVALU took forever and I had moved on to another company. Impossible to get through to their hr unless they are trying to reach out to you.
Business Systems Analyst Interview (Neutral Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at SUPERVALU in October 2009.
Interview Details – I already worked for the company, it was another internal position. I applied and waited for a call for an interview. I had a 30 min phone interview and was offered the position about 3 weeks later.
Interview Question – I was asked about my salary expectations. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – It was a promotion for me at the time so there was no real negotiation since it was a 22% increase on my salary.
Brand Manager Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at SUPERVALU in July 2008.
Interview Details – pretty simple process - I applied directly to the SV website and was soon contact by an internal recruiter. First interview was an hour long, four people and the second interview was also a panel, hour long, with four people.
Simple, straight forward questions - I used the STAR technique - all and all an easy process.
Interview Question – I can't remember any specific questions -nothing out of the norm - lots of questions on team relationships Answer Question
Negotiation Details – salary offer was fair as well as the bonus (not that we ever get a bonus) - only downside was it took 2-3 months to be eligible for heathcare
Very Easy Interview
Associate Brand Manager Interview (Positive Experience; Very Easy Interview)
The process took 5 days - interviewed at SUPERVALU in October 2009.
Interview Details – Communication initiated by company through email. A phone interview was arranged over the course of 4-5 emails. There was significant confusion. Before phone interview, in-person interview was arranged at career fair. Phone interview consisted of a few housekeeping questions circulating around ability to work in US and the job being interviewed for. Phone interview was abrupt and somewhat awkward. In-person interview with brand manager was mostly behavioral questions and was extremely pleasant.
Interview Question – Describe a time when you went above and beyond for a customer. Answer Question
Category Merchandiser Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at SUPERVALU in April 2007.
Interview Details – The use SBO. Situational, Behavior, Outcome. Some of the questions are good, but some are really off the wall and do not make sense. "Name a time that you gave false information?" I would hope no one would ever do that.... So it is an okay process, but it does not really gauge a person very well. It will really depend on the interviewer and what additional prbing questions they ask.
Interview Question – Tell me about a time that you gave false information. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – DId not negotiate. Company is cheap so they will go to the next person.
Brand Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
The process took 2 weeks - interviewed at SUPERVALU in February 2007.
Interview Details – They are extremely committed to the STAR interview process - Situation, Task, Action, Results - and this applies to internal and external candidates. As an internal candidate I had an initial 1:1 with the hiring manager and a second 2:1 with HR and the hiring manager. I believe for external candidates it's bit more thorough and includes an initial phone interview or 2, as well as additional 1:1 interviews with cross functional managers the applicant would be working along side or dealing with frequently. The 2:1 may also be as many as 4:1 if superiors of the hiring manager choose to be involved...likely this is dependent on the level and responsibility of the position one is applying to.
Regarding STAR, be prepared for 3 or 4 potential "Situational" questions to be asked, such as, "Tell us about a time when a project you had worked on for some time was nearing its conclusion and a Sr. stakeholder decided it would not work"...or something along those lines. They will want to see how you manage conflict and obstacles, how you manage other individuals (directly or indirectly), how well you delegate and, very important, how you're able to navigate corporate structure and politics.
Interview Question – "Tell me about your biggest professional failure, how you handled it and what the ultimate outcome was" I still think this is the toughest question to answer appropriately and still differentiate yourself. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – There is some flexibility. Pay scales are on a 1-5 matrix. One being salaried, non-management employees, 2 'front line' managers, 3 functional directors, 4 VPs (VP, Sr. VP, Group VP, Exec VP) and 5 Presidents and CEO.
Each scale has a low end and a high end and a candidate should be able to negotiate within that range.
Vacation and benefits are fairly set in stone, I believe.
Retail Assisntant Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied in-person and the process took 1 week - interviewed at SUPERVALU in November 2012.
Interview Details – In store job application form with straight forward questions, short informal interview with the management team. On the job training then followed with good health and safety training followed by mediocre IT training. Fresh food training and company ethos and values training was interesting if very short and could have been built on
Interview Question – How can you add to the overall objectives of the business Answer Question
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Pros: “Good if you want to remain in one position and there is a lack any upward or lateral movement Will pay for your education if you remain there one year after last class is completed 99% of…” “Good if you want to remain in one position and there is a lack any upward or lateral movement Will pay for your education if you remain there one year after last class is completed 99% of the people were good people to work with on a daily basis” – Full Review