Retail positions like sales associates at Tesco require a wide range of hours that may include evenings, weekends, holidays, overtime, and split shifts. Assure the interviewer that you can commit to a wide range of hours. If there is anything in your schedule that may hinder your availability, be sure to address this.
"I am happy to offer a flexible schedule and to work overtime as needed. I do take an evening college course on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so I would not be available those days after 5 PM."
"I understand that this role will include working evenings, weekends, and holidays. I am available to work anytime and am happy to work overtime as well."
Managers at Tesco work hard to ensure a healthy team, which starts with supporting individual associates. The interviewer wants to see that you are self-aware and understand the type of manager or employer that brings out the best in you. Some individuals prefer a close working relationship with a lot of accountability, while others prefer space and autonomy. If you are unsure of the management style of the interviewing company, try to leave your answer as open as possible.
"I have worked with a wide range of personalities and management styles with great success. If I could express a preference, I feel that I am best with a manager who allows me autonomy while still investing time in me through mentorship and training. Can you describe the management style here?"
"In the past, I have worked best with managers who are strong mentors but also offer autonomy when it comes to the tasks they know I am well-versed in."
The environment at Tesco is fast-paced; though supervisors have the best intentions, some information may fall through the cracks. Describe your communication preferences and tell the interviewer how you have handled interactions with supervisors in the past.
"Whenever I have had a supervisor who does not properly communicate with me, I try to learn their style of communication and emulate it. Sometimes you have to relate to others in their style to be understood."
"I have had great supervisors in my previous positions; however, if faced with a communication challenge like this, I would ask the supervisor how I could improve communication between us. Rather than placing blame, I believe it's always more effective to ask for growth recommendations."
When you work at Tesco, you are one part of a larger team. Your personality will play a part in whether the interviewer believes you would be a good fit for the Tesco team. Talk to the interviewer about your personality traits -- such as confident, introverted, or friendly -- as opposed to your character traits -- such as honest, hard-working, or reliable.
"I would describe my personality as approachable, light-hearted, and positive. I believe that, if asked, my colleagues and supervisor would say the same about me."
"I'm a confident communicator, and I'm really friendly! I love engaging new people in conversation. My last boss, Salim, always described me as a go-getter; I enjoy challenges and pushing myself to achieve new goals."
Your interview will help you determine if the work environment at Tesco is right for you. Are you pretty flexible in your ability to work in most environments? Have you experienced a position where the atmosphere wasn't conducive to your productivity? Make sure you're familiar with the environment at Tesco.
"I can be productive in most work environments, so long as the energy is positive and teamwork is encouraged. I cannot work in an environment that feels negative or toxic."
"I do best in a supportive environment where there is room to grow, the ability to ask questions, and healthy co-worker relationships."
Being a Tesco employee means being reliable and consistent. Make sure the interviewer knows that you respect your coworkers and managers enough to always show up for your assigned shifts. You can be honest about a time you missed work; be sure to mention that you followed all protocols for calling off of work.
"I know my coworkers and managers rely on every team-member to show up for their shifts on time and prepared to work -- if one person doesn't show up for their shift, that means everyone else has to work harder! I've never missed work without a good reason, and I always make sure to call in with plenty of advance notice so my coworkers and managers are prepared to cover the shift. I've never had an unexcused absence from work."
"I am very committed to my employer and am only absent in events of sickness or the odd family emergency. I do my best always to be available and present when expected. When I got the flu last year and had to miss three days of work, I made sure to inform my managers as soon as I could and bring a doctor's note with me when I returned to work."
A job search isn't just a one-sided hunt. You must also feel as though a job at Tesco is a good fit for you. Tell the interviewer about your ideal employer. Be specific and be sure to keep the conversation positive. Avoid speaking poorly of any previous managers or organizations.
"My ideal employer is one who brings charisma and passion to their work. I work best with organizations that encourage learning and promote their employees based on performance."
"My ideal employer is reliable, has a good reputation, and treats me like a unique individual versus just a number."
The management team at Tesco wants to know how best to motivate every member of their team. Talk to the interviewer about the variety of ways in which you find motivation on the job.
"I am best motivated through words of praise and recognition for a job well done. I like to know that my efforts are noticed. In my current position, we have a leader board -- I like that concept because it creates a healthy bit of personal competition for me as well."
"I am very much self-driven and self-motivated. As long as I am being treated with respect and feel appreciated, you will get the best work from me."
Do some research to determine how you can expect to be compensated at Tesco, and use your current earnings to discuss your expectations. Be open and honest. Transparency is the best choice when salary based questions arise.
"I currently earn $15 per hour and generally work between 25 and 35 hours per week. I'm hoping to stay in that same range or slightly higher."
"I currently make minimum wage, and I'm happy to begin a position at Tesco in that same range. I'm hopeful that my hard work and dedication to the team will earn me a promotion or pay increase after some time. Does Tesco offer any merit-based bonuses or pay-scale increases?"
Performance incentives can be very motivating, and you may have opportunities to take advantage of such incentives at Tesco. Talk to the interviewer about your feelings regarding performance incentives.
"I think performance incentives are a great idea -- they keep me motivated to do a great job, and I like knowing that I'm contributing to our team staying on top of our KPIs. I'm extremely motivated by being rewarded for my successes."
"I've never worked in a position that offers performance incentives, but that's never stopped me from staying motivated. However, small perks are always nice to have!"
Sales associates at Tesco have the opportunity to learn a wide variety of skills. Share what you hope to get out of your experience at Tesco. Review the job description and information about related careers to help you get a better idea of what you have to look forward to. Discuss how this position will help you in your career.
"I am looking to lay the foundation for the rest of my career with this position. I hope to increase my already strong skills in sales as well as learn more about running a store -- someday, I would love to work my way up to becoming a store manager!"
"I hope to gain stronger skills in communication and customer service. I understand that retail can be challenging because of the multiple personalities you are faced with on a daily basis. I believe this will help my confidence to grow, and my sales skills as well."
If you are offered a position at Tesco, it's important that your managers can count on you to make it to work consistently and on time. Let the interviewer know about your transportation plans, whether that includes driving, walking, taking public transit, or biking.
"I have a well-maintained vehicle, and I am comfortable with the amount of travel required to get to the stoevery day."
"I take public transit and find it to be very reliable. I always plan for unexpected delays and take an earlier bus if I know it's a heavy-traffic day or if there's bad weather. I always make sure that I'm at least 5-10 minutes early for my shifts."
The management team at Tesco works hard to nurture a positive work environment and strong team, so they'll be sure to offer you feedback on your work as well as recognition of your achievements. Share with the interviewer how you would want credit for your hard work. Through gifts? Financial perks? Public recognition? Kind words? Title promotions?
"I am very much an over-achiever and find that the best way for me to be recognized for a job well done is through words of kindness and recognition. I am easily encouraged, and the best reward for me is to know that my hard work is noticed."
"As a sales professional, I am driven by a challenge with a financial perk. Sales contests, for example, are a great way to motivate me."
At Tesco, going above and beyond for your coworkers and customers is a great asset. Display to the interviewer that you can do more than the bare minimum. Show that you can react appropriately when you see that your employer has a need that goes beyond your usual day-to-day expectations.
"Last week I noticed that my manager had not completed the schedule for the following week. Some of the staff were complaining that they didn't have their work schedule yet. Rather than going to my manager with the complaint, I offered to take on some of her workload so that she would have the time to complete the schedule. We worked together for a couple of overtime hours that day and were able to catch her up on everything. It felt good to help but also benefited me by way of organization."
"Just yesterday I had a customer make a purchase, and I noticed that she was struggling with her belongings. She had a stroller, a couple of kids, and a lot of bags to carry. I offered to help her out to her car, and she gratefully accepted. It felt excellent to go above the call of duty that day."
Like most retail environments, Tesco competes with other companies in their industry -- which means that business can go down with one honest mistake. Discuss with the interviewer how you ensure that your customers receive the best service from you.
"I have a rule always to treat my customers how I would want treatment in a store or establishment. Customer service is vital to a company's success."
"I ensure that my customers' needs are met by actively listening to them and also asking the right questions. If I'm working on a task and a customer interrupts me with a question, I always stop and help them before returning to my task."
It's important that you understand the mission and aesthetic of Tesco. Spend some time on the Tesco website, take a look at their different departments and offerings, and get a feel for their brand. Interviewers will be impressed with any knowledge you have of their special promotions or ongoing events. What did you find in your research that made you excited to work for Tesco?
"I love shopping at Tesco -- it makes everything easy, and it's so affordable! I also recently found out about the Community Champions program and was so impressed. I would love to work for a company that works in their communities and empowers others to do the same."
"I've been a Tesco customer for years and have always appreciated the excellent customer service; I would love to be a part of a team that treats its customers so well. I also love that Tesco has partnered with the British Red Cross."
As a Tesco employee, you will come across customers who want to argue with store policy. Assure the interviewer that you can handle a situation like this with poise while making the customer happy and keeping the needs of the company in mind as well.
"Return policies are meant to be followed; however, there may be some exceptions allowed from time to time. I feel that having a satisfied customer is most important and sometimes refusing a return is not worth the bad word of mouth or risk of negative online review. There is a fine balance between being accommodating and being a pushover. If I were unsure of the best decision, I would ask my supervisor for clarification."
"Return policies exist for a reason, and being a good team member means abiding by all of the rules and policies of the company. I've been in situations in the past where customers were angry with me about a policy I had no control over. When this happens, I just have to listen patiently, not take their criticism personally, and work with them to find a solution to their problem that aligns with company policies."
Tesco takes loss prevention and employee theft very seriously. Loss prevention initiatives are an important part of ensuring that Tesco stays competitive in their market. Discuss with the interviewer how you would handle a situation surrounding employee theft.
"My reaction to employee theft would differ if I were a retail associate or a retail manager. If I were a manager and caught an employee stealing, I would terminate them immediately. If I were an associate, I would report the incident according to company protocol. I would avoid approaching the employee as I would not want to make it a personal issue."
"I once had a coworker who asked me to help him steal, and it was so uncomfortable! I would never steal something for any reason, so it was easy to say no to him. Even though it was hard to go to my manager and know that my coworker would probably be fired, I knew I had to do the right thing. What is the process for those kinds of situations at Tesco?"
Strong math skills will be an asset in your position at Tesco. Assure the interviewer that you are comfortable with the skills associated with math-related tasks.
"I did very well in math during high school and am comfortable with the math required to accept cash, balance a cash float, and perform inventory-related tasks."
"My math skills are strong, and I am confident that I can meet your expectations when it comes to accepting payment from customers."
At Tesco, it's important for customers to know who they can turn to if they have a question about a product or need help finding an item -- and uniforms help accomplish that task. Talk to the interviewer about any times that you have been required to wear a uniform. What are your thoughts on this? Be sure to keep your answer positive and avoid speaking poorly of the practice surrounding uniforms.
"I have worn a uniform for work at restaurant XYZ and when I was a retail manager for company ABC. I have seen the uniforms worn by the retail employees at Tesco and see that it adds a strong level of professionalism."
"I think that uniforms are a great way to provide a feeling of unity in the workplace, and they make getting ready for work that much easier! May I see what your uniforms look like?"
If offered a position at Tesco, you may be asked to contribute to the design or construction of store displays. Do you have examples of displays that you have created? Do you have unique ideas that you can share with Tesco in regards to their current merchandising? Let the interviewer know if you're interested in creating displays or if you have any special skills to contribute to their design or construction.
"I have a strong creative flair and enjoy creating attractive displays. I think I have enough experience in retail to understand what attracts a customer and what prompts them to purchase, and I'm eager to learn more! The displays I have seen in your stores are fascinating, and I would love to be a part of those creative projects."
"I believe that with some training, I could very easily create some attractive displays. I have a natural flair for the creative and look forward to exercising that."
Many season or entry-level sales employees at Tesco go on to explore other career options such as store management, district level leadership and even corporate opportunities. Talk to the interviewer about any interest you have in gaining a leadership role down the road.
"I would be very excited about obtaining a role in leadership within Tesco in the future. I'm confident that my hard work, attention to detail, and excellent communication skills will make me well-suited for a leadership position in the future as you feel I'm ready to take on more responsibility."
"I have been in an unofficial leadership role for the past three years of my career, so I think that a management role with Tesco would be a great next step in my career."
Before your interview, take some time to find out more about what Tesco looks for in an employee, and find ways to honestly demonstrate how you meet these needs. For instance, Tesco customer associates must 'get to know your customers, greet them with a smile, and serve them with pride' and 'be passionate and knowledgeable about our products and services.' Describe how you are uniquely suited for some of the job requirements.
"Jelisa, my team leader at my former job, recently told me how much she appreciated my hard work and willingness to do tasks that other team-members weren't excited about, like taking out the trash or volunteering for early-morning inventory shifts. I have a generally sunny disposition, and I love meeting new people -- so connecting with customers would come naturally to me!"
In a service-focused job like a position at Tesco, you will likely encounter customers who make your job less than pleasant. Retail and customer service-based roles will often require diplomacy when it comes to working with the public. Discuss with the interviewer how you would handle an aggressive customer.
"If I had a customer who was being aggressive and disrespectful, I would calmly but firmly ask them to calm down. If security needed to be called, I would do so. Everyone needs to remain respectful, and I would not hesitate to ask a customer to offer that respect in return."
"I know that customers are just people like the rest of us -- sometimes we all have bad days! If a customer was upset, I would be sure that they felt heard and understood, and then I would let them know that I would do everything I could to address their concerns. Sometimes people just need to know that their problems are important to someone else. I would be sure to maintain my cheerful disposition and positive attitude about the problem."
Employees at Tesco must be adaptable and flexible. Assure the interviewer that you are a team player and would be happy to step in if your manager needed a shift covered at the last minute.
"I am more than willing to cover a shift for a co-worker if I am able. I don't mind accepting overtime hours, and I consider myself to be a team player."
Honesty is incredibly important when you are working in a retail environment like Tesco, where employees handle a multitude of cash transactions. Assure the interviewer that you can be trusted by speaking about your character. Draw on the opinion of others to solidify your answer.
"I would never steal from any store, especially my place of work! I know how important it is that my managers and coworkers can trust me to treat the store, merchandise, and cash with respect. During my exit interview at my last job, my manager, Jamal, told me that he found me extremely trustworthy and would hire me again if I ever wanted to return to the company."
"My most recent team-leader, Padma, told me multiple times that she considered me a person of integrity and honesty, which is feedback I really appreciate. I always want to be a person who my coworkers and employers can trust."
Having a deep knowledge of the Tesco brand and customer is incredibly important -- any information you know about the company's values will set you apart from other candidates. Spend some time exploring the Tesco website and becoming familiar with their core values and mission statement: 'To serve Britain's shoppers a little better everyday.'
"I have researched your core values online and appreciate that you put your customers first while empowering your employees at the same time. I think that I would be the best person for this job because I have a great appreciation for what Tesco is achieving in the retail marketplace."
"I've been a long-time shopper at Tesco, and I always appreciate the attention and positive attitudes of the helpful customer associates. I love to serve people and make them feel special and important, so I think I would fit right in to the team at Tesco."
At Tesco, customer service comes first. If you have experience in the retail industry, walk the interviewer through your past job and highlight your favorite and most challenging positions. If you don't have retail experience, that's okay! Apply the skills you learned in previous jobs to the skills required in this position at Tesco, and let the interviewer know that you're excited to make the transition to retail.
"I have worked in retail for the past eight years. My most challenging position was with Company ABC. I found it so challenging because it was a different industry than I was accustomed. I learned a great deal during that time. This position was also my favorite because it was such a great challenge. I like to be pushed beyond my boundaries. It keeps me motivated to be better."
"While I haven't yet worked in a retail position, I'm really excited to get started! I love learning new things, especially when it comes to working with and serving other people. In college, I worked in a writing lab where I helped younger students correct essays and prepare for English exams. It was a challenging job, but I learned so much about listening, practicing patience, and helping frustrated students feel more at ease. I think that experience set me up for success in the retail world."
Promptness is an important quality for Tesco employees to have. Make sure that the interviewer knows that you plan for bad weather, traffic, and any other situation that could make you late for your shift. Your interviewer is looking to see that you are proactive and that you can handle the stress of unexpected situations that can arise.
"I hate being late and always do everything I can to avoid it -- if I'm not five minutes early, I feel like I'm already late! Winters here can make travel hard, so I always make sure to give myself extra time when there's snow or ice."
"I hope never to be late! When I started working at a restaurant at sixteen years old, we were taught the adage of 'if you're on time, you're late,' so I've worked to implement that into my life. I always try to arrive 15 minutes early, but unforeseen circumstances sometimes arise. I handle surprises using common sense and keeping courtesy to others in mind."
Tesco PLC is a British multinational grocery and general merchandise retailer headquartered in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, England, United Kingdom. It is the second-largest retailer in the world measured by profits (after Wal-Mart) and second-largest retailer in the world measured by revenues (after Wal-Mart). It has stores in 12 countries across Asia, Europe and North America and is the grocery market leader in the UK (where it has a market share of around 30%), Malaysia, the Republic of Ireland and Thailand.