Over 60% of job applicants get rejected on the basis of online aptitude tests! Pass your tests with our aptitude tests tips below!

The article below will give you insights to help you be among those who have made it and got a job at Sainsbury’s, first time. You will get a step-by-step overview of the most useful tips to successfully pass their recruitment and assessment process.

Sainsbury’s is the second largest chain of supermarkets in the United Kingdom, with almost 17% share of the supermarket sector in the UK. With its size comes excellent and varied opportunities for graduates and young professionals across many different departments. However, the competition is also fierce and so if you want to get a job at Sainsbury’s, you really do need to prepare well. This is why we prepared this article: to provide you with a step-by-step overview of the best tips to successfully pass

Sainsbury’s assessment process.

To simplify their assessment, Sainsbury’s have divided their recruitment into five stages.

  1. Sainsbury’s Online application
  2. Sainsbury’s Online aptitude tests
  3. Sainsbury’s First round interview
  4. Sainsbury’s Assessment centre
  5. Sainsbury’s Final interview


Online application

The online application form will be used for any future reference relating to your career experiences, main achievements and education. Make sure to fill in all the personal details accurately, and always double check your inputs.

Depending on the area you apply to, you might also be asked to answer a few motivational questions.

Tip 1: Always start by doing a lot of research about the company’s: current deals, structural changes it might be going through, and any exceptional awards it has received. Refer to these to show your interest in the company.

Tip 2: Apply as early as possible, as some applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Make written notes/copies of what you have put in the application. You may be asked for details during the interview.

Tip 3: The application form will provide a basis for any future references. Make written notes/copies of what you have put in the application. You may be asked for details during the interview.


Sainsbury’s assessments
Online aptitude tests

These will include Sainsbury’s

  • numerical reasoning test
  • verbal reasoning test

a. Sainsbury’s Numerical Reasoning Test

In this Sainsbury’s aptitude test, you will be presented with a few passages with tables, charts and other types of data presentation, and will be required to quickly analyse the information given and answer questions.

Do not worry if you have not done maths in a while! All you need is a quick recap of basic GCSE calculations, such as ratios, percentages and reading data off charts. Sainsbury’s numerical reasoning test is difficultnot because of the knowledge tested, but because of the time pressure and stress involved.

Tip 4: You need to manage your stress and time pressure. The most successful way to achieve this is through numerical test practice in a safe environment, before your real aptitude assessment. Most candidates fail because they cannot manage their time properly.

  • For more hints on how to pass a numerical reasoning test, visit GF’s Youtube channel.

Learn more about numerical reasoning tests and tips to pass them.

Sainsbury’s-style Numerical Reasoning Test Example

Sainsbury’s-style Numerical Reasoning Test Example

Sainsbury’s-style Numerical Reasoning Test Example

Check if you got the correct answer at the bottom of the page.

For more FREE QUESTIONS similar to Sainsbury’s assessment tests, register with Graduates First  and take your FREE numerical reasoning test now!

Sainsbury’s Verbal Reasoning Test

This test examines a candidate’s ability to accurately extract relevant information from a previously unseen passage of text; it involves critically analysing statements and deciding which of them are true, false – or whether this is impossible to say based on the information contained in the passage of text.

Verbal reasoning tests tend to be more difficult for non-native English speakers, but what we would recommend is that everyone practices verbal reasoning test questions as much as possible, as this allows them to understand the specific ways in which texts are structured – and precisely what the questions are asking for. The verbal reasoning test does not use logic in the same way that a numerical or logical test would. This is why practice is important.

Tip 5: Always read the whole passage before attempting the question. Do not jump to conclusions about whether the statement is true or false until you have carefully examined the statement, and found sufficient evidence in the passage to support your claims.

For more hints on how to pass a verbal reasoning test, visit our Youtube channel.

How to pass a verbal reasoning test video:

Learn more about verbal reasoning tests and tips to pass them.

In the real assessment, you will have around 45 seconds to answer questions like the following:

Sainsbury’s-style Verbal Reasoning Test Example

Sainsbury’s-style Verbal Reasoning Test Example

Sainsbury’s-style Verbal Reasoning Test Example

Got the answer? Check it out at the bottom of the page.

For more FREE QUESTIONS similar to Sainsbury’s online aptitude tests, register with Graduates First  and take your FREE verbal reasoning test now!


First-round interview

If you have successfully passed the online tests stage, you will be invited to a one-on-one interview with a HR professional from Sainsbury’s. This interview will most likely take the form of a telephone interview and will last approximately 30 minutes.

This interview will be competency based (CBI) and will be focused around your CV and personal motivations, so review your CV and prepare examples of situations where you demonstrated the key skills that Sainsbury’s look for. These include:

  • determination
  • integrity
  • independence
  • excellent teamwork skills
  • initiative
  • a proactive approach

Sainsbury’s telephone interview tip 6: Find a quiet space where you will not be disturbed. Leave a note in your sight to be reminded about the acronym STAR – Situation, Task, Action and Result. Every time you answer a question, make sure to talk precisely about each of these points. Make sure there is a logical flow between situations you describe under S, T, A, R.

Prepare projects you have previously worked on – whether they stem from your professional experiences, education, passions, sports or personal experiences. Use STAR model to describe them.

Examples of interview questions you might be asked:

  • Why do you wish to work at Sainsbury’s?
  • Why are you interested to work for this particular department?
  • Tell us about a team project you worked on with a difficult team member, and how you dealt with them.
  • Tell us about a time when you made a mistake and had to take responsibility for it.
  • Tell us about the hardest challenge you were faced with and what you learned from it.
  • Tell us about a time where you had an idea, and took measures to implement it into your work.
  • What key skills could you bring to Sainsbury’s?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

Learn more about the most common types of interview questions

Our proprietary tool will help you identify questions that are likely to come up during your interview. Check out our Question Identifier Tool (QIT).

Sainsbury’s Interview tip: Practice answers to the questions above in the mirror. Watch your body language. Record yourself on your phone and watch it later, so that you can review your performance. Identify body language improvements, language you use (look for unnecessary ‘filler words’ and remove), and then record yourself again. This exercise will help you with future interviews.


Assessment centre

Depending on your position and line of business, in this final stage of the Sainsbury’s assessment process, you might be asked to complete these two assessments.

A. Sainsbury’s group exercise

This exercise will examine your ability to work as part of a team. Throughout this task, various employees will observe you and how you solve problems when working with others under time pressure.

It is important that you are confident enough to share and argument your ideas, but also be ready to contribute to somebody else’s input. Most importantly: speak clearly and never interrupt anyone!

Tip 8: Try to persuade others towards your ideas and also ask critical though-provoking questions, but only do so when it feels natural. You need to appreciate that other people are just as important on the team.

Learn more about the Group Exercise

B. Sainsbury’s presentation

In this exercise, you will be provided with a candidate brief which will tell you what is required of you, including any relevant extra information you might need to use. You will then be given a strict time limit to review the information and prepare a presentation.

Tip 9:

  • Watch the time when you are presenting – it is your responsibility to not exceed your allocated time. Do not finish too early either – it implies that you had very little to say.
  • Ensure good body language and maintain relaxed eye contact. Speak clearly and vary your style, speed and tone. Try to stand still and remember that smiling always helps too.
  • Make sure to pick up any key facts from the information provided, and be confident to speak about it if you are asked questions.
  • Involve your assessor. At the end of a sub-topic or flipchart, you can ask your assessor if they have any questions. You can also start by asking if they would like to see anything specific in your presentation, other than what you’ve outlined in the agenda.

Learn more about the Presentation exercise


Final interview

This will be a one-on-one final round interview with an experienced senior member of staff at Sainsbury’s, or a HR specialist.

Sainsbury’s competency-based interview tip: Remember it is imperative that you refer to a variety of experiences from different areas of your life (professional, personal, community, etc.) – so do not get stuck on one project you previously worked as an example in all of your answers. Your goal here is to present your ability to act in different circumstances. Prepare a couple of examples before the interview, and draft your answers using the STAR model.

Tip 10: Prepare and write down a couple of projects or initiatives that you did exceptionally well in. The interviewer will be interested in understanding: how you approached the problem, what analysis you did, how you gathered data, insights and actions taken, results achieved and what your role was.

If you reach this stage of the recruitment process, you should already be aware of: the industry Sainsbury’s operates in, its competitors, the company structure and corporate culture, and any recent development/s that could be affecting the business. Be comfortable to discuss these and refer to your skills throughout the interview.

Do you want to pass your Sainsbury’s 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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Correct answers to example questions:

Numerical Reasoning Test – D

Verbal Reasoning Test – B



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