Very Difficult Interview
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Whole Foods Market in April 2011.
Interview Details – this can be an extensive process. You are required to visit each store and tour it, as well meet with each Store Team Leader and discuss the role and store. Then, the actual interview is in front of an 8-10 person panel including all store team leaders, executive coordinator of operations, regional vp and hr representative. Questions are behavioral based.
Interview Question – They ask you to rank each store and leader based on your visits to the entire room of leaders. View Answer
Negotiation Details – there is no negotiation, salary and position is what it is
I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Whole Foods Market.
Interview Details – Submitted online application. Received a email requesting that I answer 4 questions. Submitted my reply and was then invited to interview one on one with HR rep. Then was invited to panel interview were there were approx 10 Store Team Leaders. They went around the table asking me questions various questions.
Interview Question – I had mentioned that in preparation for my panel interview, that I had visited several stores. I was asked what some of the display signs said. Answer Question
I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Whole Foods Market in October 2011.
Interview Details – I applied online and a month or so later was called by HR to set up a phone screen a couple days later. The phone screen lasted about 40 minutes and was pretty standard get-to-know you type stuff as well as my experience and knowledge of WF and their culture. Was then contacted by a store manager to set up an in-person interview two weeks from that date. The interview would be held 4 hours from home, about 250 miles 1-way.
I was then emailed a schedule for that day to include the names of the other people who were also interviewing. Three were current WF employees and one was not. Was I supposed to get the names of those also interviewing? About a week prior to my interview, HR called to find out if I was able to get the information I needed in order to prepare. She gave me names of people to contact I guess to “study” for the big day. One store manager that I spoke to was very brief and seemed that he didn’t want to be bothered. I spoke with another for about 40 minutes who was very informative, told me to be myself and that they are just trying to get to know if I am the right fit for their culture.
Day of the interview, again I DRIVE 4 HOURS AND 250 MILES. It’s a panel interview of about 10 people ranging from HR, various store managers and an extremely arrogant VP. I knew that WF was very casual, but because this was an interview I wore a suit. I wish they would have invited me to dress business casual as participating in a panel interview is nerve-wracking enough, it was uncomfortable when I’m in a suit and others are wearing shorts and nose rings.
Normally I interview very well. In a standard interview there is conversation back and forth and you know what to expect and can actually be yourself. However this panel interview was more of an inquisition with questions being fired off to me with no rhyme or reason or order. What do you regret? Tell us of a time that you reprimanded an employee, etc. Then the VP wanted to ROLE PLAY with me being a manager and him being a customer complaining about the meat. He then asked me to explain how WF meat differs from their competitors. I did a lot research but didn't quite get that deep into the differences of their individual products. I hope that would be something that I would learn once there. Instead of getting to know me, it felt more that the VP was trying to stump or corner me. There was no way I could relax, be myself and answer these questions professionally. How can they possibly get a feel for someone and if they fit in their culture by putting them in an extremely uncomfortable situation?
When I walked out, they warmly greeted the next person – an obvious current employee. He was dressed in cargo pants and an untucked dirty white shirt. At this point I knew that it was not a good interview however I still wanted the job as I have heard many great things about the company. When I got home 4 HOURS AND ANOTHER 250 MILES LATER, I emailed each person individually to thank them.
Not one of the 10 people I emailed even responded with a thanks or good luck. Since it has been 2 weeks and well past the 24-72 hour window which they indicated that a decision would be made, I am going to assume that I was not the right candidate for the job. As probably most people who apply and are lucky enough to land an interview with Whole Foods, I was enthusiastic about the possibility of joining a company who respect their customers, understand that empowering their "team-members" is highly effective and being active in both the local and global community is an important part of their mission.
Throughout my career, I have interviewed many people myself. The applicants have ranged from hourly dishwashers to management candidates. I can tell you with 100% certainty that I've always extended the courtesy of either a phone call or at the minimum an email to let them know that we had selected a more qualified candidate. In light of the fact that I drove 500+ miles and have not received a phone call, email or a text, tells me that no, I am not a good fit for their culture. So thank you, Whole Foods for not extending me the professional courtesy of a phone call or an email to let me know that you've moved on. You have saved me the disappointment I would have felt had you done so. Instead, I am able to see that no amount of purported core values, mission statements, panel interviews or role-playing can supersede the adage that actions speak louder than words. Your lack of professionalism speaks volumes.
Our Motto Our motto — Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet — emphasizes that our vision reaches beyond food retailing. In fact, our deepest purpose as an organization is helping support the health, well-being, and… — Full Overview
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