Did you know that more than 60% of candidates get rejected solely on the basis of their psychometric test performance? In the article below, we provide you with expert tips, from our team of organisational psychologists and recruiters, for each stage of Marks and Spencer’s recruitment process.
Marks and Spencer plc, also known as M&S, is a major multinational retailer headquartered in London. It is the first British retailer to pass the threshold of pre-tax profit of over £1 billion: focusing on the sale of clothing and food products. M&S has almost 1,000 stores in the UK alone and employs around 90,000 people. For every job opening, there are dozens of applications received – the competition is very fierce, so make sure you perform your best at each stage of the recruitment process.
Marks and Spencer job applications and assessment process is divided into 5 stages:
At this stage, you will be asked fill in the online application form. Make sure you give all the necessary information, as this will form a basis for any future references. Do spend some extra time to make sure that this form will reflect both – you as a person, but also as an ideal candidate for Marks and Spencer.
You will be required to provide details of your education history, academic results and relevant work experience.
When it comes to submitting your completed application, earlier is always better – often candidates are assessed on a rolling basis, so submitting early increases your chances. Always double-check the application form for any mistakes before submission.
Make sure you have a copy of all the information you have provided. You may be asked for details during the interview. Also make sure you know your CV inside out. If the information in your application and information shared during the call are different, your application may be disregarded for future processing.
Throughout the application process try to refer to key principles and competencies sought after by Marks & Spencer recruiters – you can do this by showing your commitment to these values, linking competencies to jobs or projects you have completed before, or by giving examples of M&S’s corporate culture as your motivation for applying.
Marks and Spencer’s key values include:
Depending on the position you apply to, aptitude tests may include M&S’s:
Since working at Marks and Spencer might require you to use numerical skills and ability to interpret data from tables and charts, the M&S Numerical Reasoning Test will examine your ability to understand a previously unseen passage – as well as its data. You will be required to perform basic GCSE Maths calculations.
Do not worry if you have not done Maths in a while! The complexity of this does not lie in the knowledge tested but in the time pressure and stress involved. When taking your Numerical Reasoning Test, you will have less than a minute to read the question, analyse data provided and perform the necessary calculations.
The only way to succeed is to take practice tests beforehand. This way you familiarise yourself with the types of questions and become more confident. Learn how to manage your stress in a safe environment and you will not have to face rejection – just because you were unfamiliar with the process.
Learn more about Numerical Reasoning Tests
If you are looking for a M&S-style Numerical Reasoning Test with answers, worked-solutions and professional score reports including personalised tips based on your performance – then Graduates First has it covered.
Check if you got the correct answer at the bottom of the page.
For more FREE QUESTIONS similar to M&S assessment tests, register with Graduates First and take your FREE Numerical Reasoning Test now!
Marks & Spencer’s Verbal Reasoning Test strives to identify whether a candidate can accurately extract the relevant information from a previously unseen passage of text to analyse whether subsequent statements are true, false, or impossible to say based on the information contained in the passage of text.
Marks and Spencer’s Verbal Reasoning Test may be more difficult for non-native English speakers. However, by practicing Verbal Reasoning Test questions beforehand, you can begin to understand the specific way in which texts are built, and questions asked.
Learn more about Verbal Reasoning Tests
Remember, you will have around 45 seconds to answer questions like the following
Got the answer? Check it out at the bottom of the page.
For more FREE QUESTIONS similar to Marks and Spencer’s online aptitude tests, register with Graduates First and take your FREE Verbal Reasoning Test now!
Marks and Spencer’s Situational Judgement Test strives to assess your ability to deal with unfamiliar work-related situations that you are likely to encounter when working at M&S. This test will determine whether your values and decision-making reflect what M&S search for in their candidates.
There is no right or wrong answer, and a lot will depend on what M&S key values are. Remember that there are certain skills which are always sought after regardless of positions, such as: determination, integrity, passion and interest, and ability to work in a team – but also to take initiative and lead.
In this exercise, often all answers seem like appropriate options. They will all have some good qualities – in the end you need to use your own judgement. If something feels right to you, then this is the answer you should go for. This test is designed in such a way that if you manipulate answers and cheat, your responses will be flagged up – so remain honest with your responding!
Check out the M&S-style Situational Judgement exercise question below.
Learn more about Situational Judgement Tests
If you are interested in more SJT questions similar to a M&S-style Situational Judgment Test, we offer them as one of our packages.
This is another type of a psychometric test that examines your ability to fit into the specific role you applied to, as well as the work culture at Marks and Spencer. You will be presented with a number of statements, such as “I make new contacts easily” or “I am great at problem solving”, and will be required to choose the ones that describe you best. The trick is, that in all cases you will face a trade-off between many of the desirable qualities. You will not be able to state that you make new friends easily, like to learn languages, are determined and hard-working, and enjoy solving complex problems.
Do not manipulate your responses as these tests are designed to flag up any inconsistencies. Be honest with your answers, but remember that some of your qualities or skills might be more desirable than others for this specific position at M&S.
Learn more about what personality tests are like by clicking on this link
These occupational personality tests vary in their structure and design, but most of them will follow the format presented below.
GF offers a test similar to M&S’s Personality Test. We call it the Work Personality Questionnaire. You can check it out here.
If you have successfully passed the online tests stage, you will be invited to a one-on-one interview with a professional from Marks and Spencer. This interview will take the form of a telephone interview. This is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your interest and potential skills that make you suitable for the particular role that you applied to.
This interview will be competency based (CBI). It will be focused around your CV and personal motivations, so review your CV and prepare examples of situations where you demonstrated key skills of ideal candidates, such as: teamwork, determination, creativity, initiative, resistance, leadership, etc.
You should prepare some ideas of examples that you can use later during your interview based on the most common types of interview questions.
If you are expecting a telephone interview, make sure you find a quiet space where you will not be disturbed.
Want to know what questions could come up in your M&S interview? Graduates First can help with the Question Identifier Tool (QIT). You can find it here.
The next stage of the Marks and Spencer recruitment process is an Assessment Centre, during which you will be assessed by senior members of the relevant business areas across two exercises. These may take form of the:
This assessment examines your ability to communicate and reach conclusions as part of a team. Throughout this task you will be observed by M&S recruiters, so try to demonstrate your strengths; share and explain your ideas, but also be open to build on somebody else’s input and develop on their points. Try your best to persuade others towards your opinions and also ask thought-provoking questions. Above all – stay calm and speak in a confident and clear manner.
Learn more about Group Exercises
In this task you will be given around 5 minutes to read and analyse the information brief, after which you will be representing Marks & Spencer in an imaginary situation that you are likely to experience in your everyday work. In this task, you will need to demonstrate your negotiation skills, teamwork and analytical thinking.
Examples of situations you might expect are: assisting a customer in choosing the right product, dealing with customer complaints, trying to sell a certain item to the customer, dealing with a difficult co-worker, etc.
Congratulations – you’ve almost made it. The Final Interview is the last stage of the Marks & Spencer application process. You just need to focus on a few more things.
Learn as much as you can about Marks and Spencer and its corporate culture. You need to have a high level of understanding of M&S’s mission, any relevant recent big news and its future developments. Think about the retail industry as a whole too – do you see any structural changes that you could talk about?
The Final Interview at M&S is also your opportunity to find out more about the company and the team you might be working with. However, asking interesting questions in the interview is about so much more than this.
Come equipped with some thought-provoking questions, stand out from the competition and demonstrate your genuine motivation and enthusiasm to work for the company.
Do not be afraid to ask your interviewer about their personal experiences with the company, as well as their career path. They want to see your genuine interest to work for M&S, and not as just another ‘job seeker’. Your enthusiasm and interest may offset some of your shortcomings from the interview.
Do you want to pass your Marks and Spencer assessments first time? Sign up for tools offered by Graduates First, the only aptitude practice test experts that provide tests to over 70 UK universities and their students, and also across Asia and continental Europe.
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Answers to questions:
Numerical reasoning test: D
Verbal reasoning test: B
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