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Talking To The Boss Of...The Supermarket Store

Where: Tesco Copdock, Ipswich
Who: Lynne Howe, Personnel Manager at Tesco

Lynne has worked for Tesco for 13 years, at Colchester Highwoods, Martlesham, Ipswich, and since 1998 at the new Copdock store. The store welcomes over 30,000 customers per week, and amongst its 460 employees are around 60 students, at any one time. Due to the fact that it runs a 24 hour service, this store has a policy of employing 16 year olds and over. Other stores may well employ younger students. You should enquire at your local store

How would I go about getting a Job with Tesco?

Well we advertise in a number of areas, 1) In store, 2) In job centres, 3) With the careers office. You're also welcome to apply in person

What important points should be noted when filling in an application form for your store?

Well, each job has a job number, you must quote that number on the form. You must also specify that you are seeking part time employment. The form is quite detailed and requires you to know your national insurance number, so find this out before you apply.

What are the main Do's and Don'ts when filling in an application form?

Read the guidelines before you fill in the form
, an incomplete or incorrectly filled in form means you won't be called for interview.                                                                    Think through the hours you are available for in advance, don't tick all the boxes just to ensure you get the job, we appreciate that you are students and will need to spend time on academic work, so should you. So be flexible and do give us some options (including weekends) but also be honest, it is no good over reaching yourself and then trying to alter hours after we have taken you on to work in our store.
Complete all sections, especially Questions 7 to 10 on the form, about where you go to school/college, and be prepared to write about your studies in a positive wa because at theinterview it gives our interviewers something to talk to you about.

In terms of work experience don't worry if this is your first job, you can write and talk about school based work experience too!                                                             Situations where you have had to show patience need to be outlined, this doesn't have to be a work based situation, be more imaginative.                                                                Also you will be asked to show how you have had to work hard to get something done on time, but be careful!! A description of how you had to slave to get a piece of coursework in on time because you hadn't planned out your work properly doesn't actually show you in a good light, does it?

Leave any gaps.                                                                       Hand in a damaged or scruffy form

So how do I get an interview?

We screen all forms to check that the answers on them match the job descriptions as advertised. If the answers on the forms are good then you will be called for interview.

So what would I expect at an interview for Tesco?

Well the interview follows a fixed pattern, we go through the following steps,
We give you information on the vacancy.
Tell you the benefits you can expect working for a large company such as Tesco.
Ask you questions based on what you have written on your application form.
We give you a number of situations and ask for your experiences/views etc.
We use the intro; "tell me about the time when..." and then ask you about a situation and how you dealt with it, this tells us something about your potential customer service skills.

At the interviews we are looking for people with,
initiative, self discipline, ability to get on with tasks, ability to accept direction, common sense.

What are the essential Do's and Don'ts at the interview?

Show that you take the job seriously.
Be clean and presentable.                                                       Prepare for the interview, think about what we might ask and what you might say.
Sell yourself, be positive open and friendly

Be nervous, we aren't trying to catch you out.
Lie to us or mislead us, be truthful about your availability.

What are the qualities you are looking for, in an employee at Tesco?

The qualities we look for are:

Positive attitude.
Communication with customers, the ability to relate to customers.
That you project a good store image, we expect you to be well turned out at all times,to be helpful, polite and knowledgeable.
Good team players

However we will definitely not tolerate:

Bad timekeeping.
Continued high absence rates

What kind of Jobs are available and for what rate of pay?

The Jobs on offer are the same as for adults,  they're for checkout, shelf filling and warehouse work. The hourly rate of pay is 3.12 at 16, rising to 3.55 at 17 with regular pay reviews. You are paid by 4 weekly credit into a bank, so you must have a bank account.

For more info on bank accounts why not check out ../finances/000923781517.html  our youth finance section...

What will you get from Tesco?

You will receive a full induction training package and detailed product training and you can expect a performance related review every 6 months, once you have completed your induction period. During your initial period, the store will also assign a "buddy" or mentor to you, to help you get settled in.

So Lynne what is your personal opinion of working at Tesco?

Don't under estimate the importance of working in a supermarket, 30,000 customers a week rely on us to provide this essential service, we fulfil a key role in everyone's lives. So remember to respect the job you do.

To us Image is very important, Tesco is a major "blue chip" company it's very organised, very successful and highly structured.

Everyone who works for Tesco is an ambassador for the company and helps to project our image. We hope that all our employees including our part timers will be able to help us project that image.

REMEMBER: Work is such a Culture Shock! Do prepare before you come. I hope these notes will help you to do that, and enable you to do your best both at interview and in the store.

- The Pupiline Team

©1999-2003 Pupiline Limited, 2003-2008 Creative Commons. For info email Oli Originally powered by KeConnect Internet, now powered by XCalibre and the Big Boost, recovered thanks to Warrick

©1999-2003 Pupiline Limited, 2003-2008 Creative Commons. For info email Oli Originally powered by KeConnect Internet, now powered by XCalibre and the Big Boost, recovered thanks to Warrick

©1999-2003 Pupiline Limited, 2003-2008 Creative Commons. For info email Oli Originally powered by KeConnect Internet, now powered by XCalibre and the Big Boost, recovered thanks to Warrick