Softcat Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Softcat Interview Questions

Updated Jul 24, 2017
38 Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Graduate Account Executive Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Glasgow, Scotland (UK)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Softcat (Glasgow, Scotland (UK)) in July 2017.

    Interview

    The interview process was professional from the beginning until the end. It was an assessment day for the initial phase. I was then called to have a formal interview and having passed that phase I was then put forward to a 30 minute telephone interview with a Sales Director.

    Interview Questions

    • Why sales? What makes you good at sales? What does Softcat do?   Answer Question

  2.  

    Graduate Account Executive Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Leeds, England (UK)
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 6 days. I interviewed at Softcat (Leeds, England (UK)) in June 2017.

    Interview

    Good amount of information given beforehand and quite professional over email, but that's where the professionalism ended.
    The entire interview felt uncomfortable and like a "lads" meeting, with one portion dedicated entirely to the manager bragging about his trips abroad and not giving any incite into the company, whilst giving the odd inside joke to his younger counterpart.
    There was a math and literacy test but we were left on our own for most of that, and other interviewees got their phones out to complete this.
    One section was a holiday interview section, which was suitable if you were well travelled. Rather biased to the ones in the group who'd been on several holidays, leaving those who haven't been abroad to struggle severely for what to ask or suggest.
     Final stage was to present yourself infront of all the others on why you'd be good for sales, there was no one on one stage.

    The company promises to contact all interviewees regardless of outcome and offer feedback - they will not contact you unless you got the job. Unprofessional to offer such promises and not follow through.

    Interview Questions

  3.  

    Sales Graduate Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a staffing agency. I interviewed at Softcat.

    Interview

    First completed a phone interview, where you need to show that you understand the role and have the drive to stick out the long hours, as usual with interviews back up answers with actual examples.

    Then I was invited to an assessment centre where there were about 15 of us. We were given an English, Maths and intuition written test, basic stuff such as multiplication, identifying grammar issues, spotting the odd word out. We were given plenty of time, including between presentations and at the end, but nobody really needed this. Following this, we were given a little introduction from one of the HR team, very friendly. Then she asked to the room, "tell me everything you know about Softcat". In that there's a free for all, so make sure you've done your research, have little facts such as company revenue or names of big clients which are easy to express, and have the confidence to do so. If anything, it seems like a test of your confidence in the face of being overswamped, as well as your ability to research and retain information.

    Following this, we were given a couple of talks about training and being on the sales floor, including commission structure etc. so make sure you note these down. With these, questions are encouraged so again, make sure you ask a couple on each to make yourself noticeable. Odd icebreakers such as going around saying your favourite crisps are just to get you talking.

    Up to this point, it can feel quite difficult to stand out, as they're all group open activities where everyone is eager to show what they know and be noticed. The final two tasks are the most important ones, and probably the difference between proceeding to the next stage or not.

    First, you form a small group and interview one of the team members on their holiday needs. You're then given a couple of minutes to formulate a holiday package, and then have to give a two minute presentation of your idea to the group. This is your first chance to properly stand out, and given that you're cut off after the two minutes and usually are in groups of 4, it's vital you make the most of your 30 seconds or so of solo time.

    Finally, you're called individually to a separate room where you give a 1-2 min self presentation to all those who have presented to you and been pitched holidays, so roughly 6-8 in total. The timing is much less strict, but obviously it's important to show you can be concise. You're told to say why sales and why you. This is probably the most important part of the day. You then meet the original HR member who asks if anyone has any questions, then you're sent on your way. The day took about 3-4 hours.

    I received an email the next day asking to arrange an individual interview in the next week or so.

    Interview Questions


  4.  

    Sales Graduate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Manchester, England (UK)
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took a week. I interviewed at Softcat (Manchester, England (UK)) in February 2017.

    Interview

    I was contacted by a recruiter and attended a panel interview 3 days later. Upon arrival we were handed a few tests including a maths and English test which were fairly basic. We then had to introduce ourselves with something interesting we have done. Their member of HR introduced the company to us all and what the role basically entailed. Their interview process is designed for 10-15 people so that everyone has a chance to have their voice heard, my assessment centre had 23 people in attendance. This meant that despite having lots of questions when prompted, many people including myself didn't get a chance to have their voice heard. The same applies when asked what we knew about Softcat, there was no structure which led to everyone shouting out for the sake of being heard rather than actually saying anything worth any value. Following these introductions we took part in a mock sales pitch for a holiday. You have 5 minutes to ask questions and 5 minutes to prepare your 2 minute pitch. The final stage of the assessment centre is a 1 minute elevator pitch where you should talk about why you want to be in IT sales at Softcat. Following this there is a 3-1 interview and a phone call with one of the directors.

    Interview Questions


  5.  

    Graduate Account Executive Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Softcat (London, England (UK)) in February 2017.

    Interview

    Initial Application:
    I found the vacancy online and applied directly on the website, despite being contacted by a few recruiters on LinkedIn shortly after applying. I applied in Dec 2016 and a few days later I was contacted by an internal recruiter who called to book me in for a telephone interview which I scheduled for January. The telephone interview was very brief and more of a casual conversation around my cv and my interest for this role. The call lasted around 10-15 minutes and at the end I was told I had progressed to the next stage which was the assessment centre in February.

    Assessment centre:
    There were 14 of us at the assessment day and we initially begun with an icebreaker of introducing ourselves, what we are currently studying and a fun fact. Following this the internal recruiter for Softcat gave a brief presentation on the company and explained the agenda for the day. We were then given a test to complete individually consisting of a numerical and verbal reasoning section (Which was basic Maths and English) followed by a grammar check and sequencing task to complete in the breaks. Then a sales manager (who was previously a graduate) accompanied by a rookie (new grad from her team who had joined last year) came in to explain more about the role, their experiences and answer any questions we had; Not only did they both appear to be very arrogant and relatively negative when answering questions, it was clear they did not want to be there and I their attitude made me question the culture in the organisation. This immediately changed my view of the company and I was surprised a sales manager firstly had this attitude and secondly didn't appear to be selling the company in a positive manner, aside from the free holidays- which was not relevant when we wanted to find out more about the day to day responsibilities and progression. For the next task we were divided into groups of 3/4 and had 5 minutes to interview an employee and ask them questions leading to their dream holiday. We then had 5 minutes as a group to collate the answers and build a holiday package for them based on their requirements and pitch this to the group. Finally we were called into a separate room for an individual presentation which was to the internal recruiter and 3 members of staff. We were asked to speak about what interested us in the role, why softcat and what we are passionate about. Following this we had an opportunity to ask any questions we had outstanding and were free to leave.

    The day lasted approximately 4 hours and to my surprise we were not offered a drink throughout the whole process. Despite reading mixed reviews online I decided to have my own experience and go into the assessment centre with an open mind however I realised this is not the environment I want to work in and I felt the culture was not right for me. In addition to this half the other candidates were given an agenda and preparation before the day while the other half were not. We were told different salaries and I felt overall the communication and organisation of the day was relatively poor.

    I didn't get a job offer as they felt my answers were too generic and I needed to demonstrate more of a passion for the role however I felt my passion and interest had gone down throughout the day.

    Interview Questions


  6.  

    Graduate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Marlow, England (UK)
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through a staffing agency. The process took 1+ week. I interviewed at Softcat (Marlow, England (UK)) in February 2017.

    Interview

    It was a very simple process... but you were largely forgotten about. Everyone was put into a room together and left alone for probably a total of 1 hour. The HR were lovely and they brought you into the office, and offered you drinks. Then you got given mini lectures by the current sales team - which were largely not useful and a bit of a waste of time. Then you had to do a pitch for a product of your choice through a mock cold call and then a pitch about yourself. The whole process took about 5 hours when it was said to have taken 2-3, many people then had to sit in traffic. Afterwards we were escorted out and didn't get to really have a networking opportunity - which many people were hoping would happen.

    Interview Questions


  7.  

    Sales Executive Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Glasgow, Scotland (UK)
    Declined Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Softcat (Glasgow, Scotland (UK)) in January 2017.

    Interview

    Brief telephone interview with very casual questions about myself and previous experience. Then onto assessment centre which involved basic numerical and verbal tests, a group exercise to assess your client communication and then a presentation on why you wanted the job.

    Interview Questions

  8.  

    Graduate Account Executive Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Bristol, England (UK)
    Declined Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Softcat (Bristol, England (UK)) in November 2016.

    Interview

    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.

    Interview Questions


  9.  

    Business Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Marlow, England (UK)
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at Softcat (Marlow, England (UK)).

    Interview

    Telephone interview went well and got me to stage 2.
    I met the HR representative first - "you will fit in here very well" .
    Met with the project team next and thought it went well.....they told me i would hear within a week.

    A month later - Result
    I' don't know...They didn't have the decency to let me know...........Not even two letters "NO".
    They promote their values as being the driving force behind the business but they mean nothing to me........... ..

    Interview Questions


  10. Helpful (5)  

    Account Executive Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in London, England (UK)
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Softcat (London, England (UK)) in October 2016.

    Interview

    Started off with a brief phone interview which lasted around 5-10 minutes. Very basic, testing understanding of the role, during which I was invited straight to an assessment day a couple of weeks later.
    Assessment day lasted 3.5 hours, starting with a minute of introducing yourself to the whole group, followed by the HR member talking about Softcat and what the role would entail. Then a Sales Manager came in and went into further depth about Softcat and the role with more specifics into the commission and the day to day schedule. They are really looking for people who ask lots of questions, not just any questions but intelligent ones related to what has been said. So key is to sit near the front so you can fire away and be noticed. The next slot was divided into groups, where the aim was to find out as much as possible about the member of staff your group was interviewing in 5 minutes, trying to come up with the perfect holiday for them. This was then pitched as a group to the audience and members of staff. Finally, there was a 1 minute pitch where you basically have to sell yourself to everyone and the members of staff. Important to be concise as if you have too much to say and ramble they cut you off. This was all done alongside a very basic maths and grammar test which you were asked to complete in the breaks.
    Next stage was a 1 hour panel interview, where 3 sales managers asked questions about your motivation, Softcat and went through you CV. Not too much to worry about. Important to show enthusiasm for the role and Softcat.
    Final stage was a phone interview with a sales director. Got off to a bad start as I was kept waiting for half an hour as the person interviewing me was running late. Would have been nice to have had a little bit of contact beforehand. Again, asked about my motivation for the role and Softcat. Told to "Sell me Softcat in 45 seconds". This is the key part of the interview I feel as he gets an idea of how confident you are speaking to people over the phone as well as your sales technique. Important to be concise and get as much information out about Softcat. Felt I got asked a few intrusive questions, I assume he was trying to throw me off but I didn't think they were relevant to the application at all. The sales director was very cold and distant over the phone, and I wonder how he has managed to be so successful in the sales industry himself as he didn't particularly impress me! (especially after all the emphasis on building rapport)
    Didn't get the offer after this interview as I feel I didn't show off enough of how much I knew about Softcat, which was a shame as this was the 3rd time of doing it in the process. Didn't really hit it off with the sales director quite like I had with the others in the previous stages. Felt each step was quite repetitive, however, all in all I feel it was a good recruitment process and good experience going on as you get to practice selling yourself at every possible moment.

    Interview Questions

    • What other jobs have you applied to?
      Sell me Softcat in 45 seconds!   Answer Question

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