1. #1
    High Overlord Landfall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009

    Advice for a job interview

    I've recived an invitation to an Assesment day at my local sainsburys for an internal trainee manager position.
    Ive worked for the company for two years on a couple of different departments and i feel that im ready for this position.
    Im 17, and will be 18 by the time i start the job if im sucsessfull.

    I just wondered if anyone had any advice in general for this type of thing?

    I've also prepared a few answers to questions i could be asked and it;d be ace if you could give me some feedback!

    Beware... Long passage inc.

    What can you bring to the table?

    I’m a very self motivated person, who is quick to pick up and understand new concepts which allow me to do my work to a high standard from the start. I strive to be the best I possibly can and I feel this is reflected by my work ethic as I often use my own time to complete tasks to the highest standard. I’m committed to completing my own goals that I set at the beginning of the shift so I’m accustomed to working long shifts which are sometimes a necessity in order to get results and achieve targets and goals. I’m a natural leader within team situations however I appreciate opinions of the colleagues I work with in order to get a good group consensus however I’m not afraid to make quick judgement calls independently if the situation arises.
    Communication is also one of my strong points as I feel it’s very important to keep the team I’m working with apprised of any changes. This also means that I can effectively lay out my ideas and help transfer them to other colleagues so that the highest standard of work is produced.
    Another aspect that I believe I can bring to the table is that I constantly analyse my own performance and try to find ways of improving it. I also ask questions that are relative to improving my performance and I actively seek feedback from my superiors. This aids me in my goal to be the best I can be.
    What motivates you?
    In short, results. At the start of each shift i set myself goals depending on what there is to do. I set a large overall goal which may be some like ‘To ensure there are no gaps on frozen foods to ensure that MAC is achieved’. I then set smaller goals that lead up to the main goal being achieved. For example ‘I aim to churn all of the frozen overs by 12.00’ This allows me to assess my progress towards my main aim so if a manager enquires what my progress is, I can provide a clear and accurate answer. Many of my goals are set to work toward corporate targets, however personal targets feature in my goals too. Setting targets for me is essential to achieve my best, otherwise there is no structure to the day and work isn’t completed effectively. This method allows me to be self motivated and aids me in analysing my own performance which in turn helps me to improve. The goals I set are challenging to achieve and this is one of the principles that allows me to achieve my best.

    Why do you want to become a manager?

    Since I joined the company 2 years ago I’ve worked to be the best I can. I enjoy taking on extra responsibilities around the store. This was one of the main motivations for me to change department away from checkouts. I enjoy being responsible for ensuring that my department is replenished and dressed to a high standard whilst providing excellent customer interaction. I’m also till trained so during busy periods I have to juggle these tasks which shows that I’m capable of managing several things at once. I want to become a manager to further my knowledge about the company and its practices and also increase my responsibility to work towards making Sainsbury’s a more successful company. I’ve recently decided that I don’t wish to further my formal education in a university environment. I aspire to become a store manager in the future and I believe this scheme is the best way to achieve that aspiration because it shows the fundamentals of management and provides an in depth knowledge of the departments across the store.
    Have you had prior experience in leading a team?

    During the duke of Edinburgh scheme I lead a team successfully through the welsh hills for 5 days. This involved day to day planning of routes and equipment with other responsibilities ranging from dealing with group conflict to making group decisions about issues that arose. During the expedition I built upon many important skills that are necessary for management such as effective communication, logical thinking, group harmony, evaluation of others performances .....?
    Is management just about managing people?
    I don’t believe it is, management is primarily about leadership and all of the associated responsibilities. Things such as time management, people skills, ability to work in a team and the willingness to take charge when necessary all contribute to being a successful leader, however in my opinion, the largest factor contributing to successful leadership is communication. It is essential for everyone in the team to be working of the same page in order to provide the best quality of service to the customer and to meet targets.

    You are considerably younger that the other applicants, how to you feel you age could cause conflicts within the working environment?

    The main issue that I can foresee with my age is that people could perceive that I have a lack of experience, leading for them not to trust my judgment. And yes, I may not have as much experience as other colleagues however I am a quick learner and I take an active interest with what goes on in store. I constantly observe things within the store and ask questions to try and expand upon my experience. Also, outside of work I discuss work related things with my friends that also work for the company so I have a good understanding of how the other departments work. Also at home, with both my Step mother and Dad having worked/working for the company discussion takes place and I’m constantly building on my experience. Having a young manager can also act as a role model to younger employees and provide them something to aspire towards if successful. When Sainsbury’s was the largest food retailer in the UK they recruited large numbers of younger people because they could be moulded into what the company needed. Young people often have no baggage to hold them down with regards to working hours such as families. By hiring younger people, your investing in the future of the company.

  2. #2
    The most important thing is confidence. Most of the words you use are simply a doorway by which you display your confidence and competence. You're selling yourself.
    It doesn't hurt to be concise. Some of the prepared answers you have might come off as well or better cut down by half for length.

  3. #3
    High Overlord Twiggy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Calgary, Canada
    I use a couple of rules for job interviews;

    Trying to find a balance between not being too cocky, but also not using the time during the interview to be humble. A delicate balance to strike.

    As much as you may want to.. The person interviewing you does not want to hear about how your last boss was an asshole.

    Have everything you need at arms reach!. Keep additional copies of your resume, reference sheet, SIN Card, ID card, a list of any days off you -need- off in the near future & the kitchen sink. Keep all of this and anything else you can think of on hand, preferably in a binder of sorts.

    When they ask if you have any questions for them, Don't think it will seem nice of you to pass up the opportunity. Grill them on benefits, wages, raises, days off, amount of hours.. and the requirements of all of these. Show that you have some interest in what they're offering to you.

    Turn off my freakin' cellphone. >_<

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