Retail Graduate Application & Interview Tips

This page provides you with application and interview advice provided directly by graduates working in Retail

Application Advice: Be flexible with location and working patterns - if that's not possible, then the role is not right for you. Be honest and be yourself - Show passion for the company and the sector.
Interview Advice: Be prepared with competency based answers and experiences. Work as a team in exercises, how you get to the end is more important that the outcome of the task.
Trainee Store Manager , Health and Beauty at Boots
Application Advice: Be honest with your application as many of the questions are to test your personality traits and how this matches with the company ethos. Don't answer the questions with what you think the company wants but actually what is a genuine perception of you.
Interview Advice: Come prepared and be knowledgeable about boots-they pride themselves on their heritage therefore it is important to understand what our company truly stands for and what we market lead.
Store Manager, Manager at Boots
Application Advice: Research the company thoroughly. Make sure you understand the changes that are going on, and understand the rest of the retail environment. Also, definitely visit some Boots stores (I'd recommend going to different sized stores to get a good understanding). Have a good understanding of the different exclusive and own brands.
Interview Advice: Although experience is a bonus, Boots place a lot of emphasis on you as a person and look for your ability to be a future leader, so make sure you let your personality shine! Be confident and work as a team where possible. For the commercial scheme there are negotiation tasks as well as written tests and group tasks, so try and practice if possible.
Assistant Marketing Manager, Loyalty Marketing at Boots
Application Advice: Be honest and answer the questions using real examples. As long as you have completely explained your examples and can demonstrate the behaviours asked for in the question, you will have answered the question.
Interview Advice: Be yourself, which sounds cliche but is the best advice! Make sure you speak but also listen to others.
Buying Manager, Trading at Boots
Application Advice: Know the kind of person/leader you want to be. If you get through to assessment centre it is really informal and relaxed at times and this is to give you a real opportunity to just be yourself.
Interview Advice: Again just be yourself and remember to be conscious of others in your group and make sure you aren't trying to hard to look like a leader. This can sometimes be detremental to your performance.
Store Manager, at Boots
Application Advice: Be authentic, show your passion for retail and the customer, and take your time to do everything correctly.
Interview Advice: Be authentic, and work collaboratively with the other candidates. Make sure you do lots of research on the company, departments & strategy as well as focusing lots on the pre-interview tasks.
Assistant Manager, Trading at Boots
Application Advice: Just be yourself! The application was not as complicated as other companies I applied for so just be completely honest.
Interview Advice: Again, just be yourself! Boots hire on behaviours, so if you demonstrate a willingness to learn and an ability to connect and engage with people in an inspiring way then you are on the right track.
Assistant Manager, Commercial - Brand/Buying/Marketing at Boots
Application Advice: Go in with an open mind - always be prepared to learn something new
Interview Advice: Research the company and their culture - what do they stand for? Who does Boots represent?
Trainee Store Manager, East Berkshire at Boots
Application Advice: - Take your time, make a plan. The application requires a lot of writing about your skills and what you have done, so make sure you write in a structured way. - Don't be economical with the truth; if you haven't climbed mount Everest, don't say you have! - Make what you have done sound developmental; I had a job cleaning hotel rooms during uni and it was the most boring job I had ever done, but in my application I emphasised how important the team aspect was and how it really improved my attention to detail. -Don't panic or overthink it. There is the temptation to read over what you have written again and again and worry about it. Try not to - write what you want, proof read it once and then send it off. It will save you the stress and it will probably be better to read! - Don't worry about maths. They made us do a timed maths assessment online as part of the application. I am shocking at maths and could only answer a few questions, but I still got hired. Unless you're going for finance, maths isn't the be all and end all!
Interview Advice: - Be honest! I was very honest in my interview; I am of the opinion that if they don't like YOU then it's not the right company for you. Answer their questions without overthinking your answers - they are looking for genuine people who aren't answering the questions in the way they want to hear. If you can, try to make them laugh (worked for me!). - For the assessment day they will get you to do group work; they are looking for leadership skills, so do your best to guide the conversation, but try not to overpower it.
Stores Communications Assistant Manager, Stores Communications at Boots
Application Advice: This career will be for you if you want to learn applicable leadership skills to an extremely high standard. Like all companies, this only comes to those who apply themselves, however the graduate programme offers support, networking and some fantastic opportunities for those who do well. There is immediate exposure to some of the top senior leaders, who all have time to listen to what you have to say. If you can picture the future, want to grow as a leader and do so whilst building strong experience in a corporate company, this is certainly for you.
Interview Advice: Be yourself, speak your mind, and listen to what people have to say. First impressions are extremely important, so smile, but know that interviews only (usually) come once, so make the most of this great opportunity!
Trainee Store Manager, Stores, North Yorkshire at Boots