Debenhams Assessment Centre, Aptitude Test and Interview Preparation

Are you looking for a job with Debenhams? All jobs, including Debenhams graduate positions are advertised on the Debenhams website, making it the best place to start for any application. With over 150 stores nationwide, there are lots of jobs available, but there are many people applying for each one. In these pages we will discuss the different elements of the Debenhams recruitment process, and the resources available to help you improve your application throughout.
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There are two main recruitment processes with Debenhams, the retail selection process and head office recruitment process. The Debenhams graduate scheme, a collection of jobs across both areas designated for graduates also recruit according to these processes. The recruiters are looking to be impressed, so you need to create an application that can impress them at each stage to proceed through the process. Preparation is the key ingredient in your application process. Recruitment can vary for each job, but you will be told what is coming up ahead of each new assessment. In this article we set out some of the stages you will come across.

Debenhams place emphasis throughout the recruitment process on teamwork, and will be assessing you on your team working skills at each stage. Through teamwork they are looking for people who work together to deliver for the customer, and who believe in the brand of Debenhams.

Debenhams Recruitment processes may include:

Task Retail Selection Process Head Office Recruitment
Online application formYes Yes
Telephone interviewYes No
Face to face interviewYes Yes
Recruitment eventYes No
Assessment centreNo Yes
Second interviewYes No

Debenhams Application Form

Your starting point with Debenhams is to complete an online application form. The Debenhams application form is generally standardised, but some positions ask for additional information either before or during the application form. As well as providing information about your personal details, education and work experience, you also have to upload your CV and provide a supporting statement, and in some cases answer competency questions displaying your skills and suitability to work with Debenhams.

Your CV and supporting statement should be geared directly to Debenhams and the job you are applying for. The purpose of the supporting statement is for you to give your reasons for applying for this post, and for you to sell yourself to the recruiters, giving them the impression that they are the ones losing out if you are not put through to the next round. Your CV should back up the information you provide on the form, but should not duplicate it. In order to help you create a CV and supporting statement that stand out from the crowd, see our CV builder package.

Some Debenhams department’s application forms ask you to complete competency questions, or questions about your suitability for the role you are applying to. You may have to answer these questions before you start the application form itself, or during the form. Word or character limits are placed on your responses, so plan your answers in advance before filling it in, to ensure you include your most important points. And don’t forget to organise your answers around the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to make sure that you answer the question.

The type of questions you can expect on your application form include:

  • What do you believe the role of a Resourcing Assistant to involve? Describe what experience you have to match these requirements. (500 characters)
  • How do you think the role of a Resourcing Assistant contributes to Debenhams success? (1,000 characters)
  • Can you describe how you would build rapport with a new customer over the phone? (500 characters)

Debenhams Telephone Interview

Applicants to the retail selection process will next be invited to book in for a telephone interview. This interview lasts around 15 to 20 minutes. The interviewer will be asking you for more detail on the information in your CV. You have an opportunity to ask questions about the company and the role you are applying for.

In order to prepare for the phone interview, there are several things you should do: Don’t forget to reread your application form and refresh your memory; Prepare examples from your past when you have used certain skills; prepare answers for questions such as those below; research the company and prepare to use that knowledge in your answers. As well as this, practice your delivery to questions. A mock interview is the best way to really measure how well all the above preparation has come together before you have the final test. With JobTestPrep’s Skype based interviews you get practice and personal feedback on how you have done, and where you need to improve.

Debenhams telephone interview questions include:

  • What do you think the job of stock movement assistant entails?
  • Why do you want to work for Debenhams?
  • What do you see as being good customer service?
  • What qualities can you bring to the store?
  • Do you have any relevant experience?
  • Give an example where you have to plan and achieve goals.
  • Give an example where you have to integrate with your team members.
  • What is customer service?
  • What was your previous job and what did you learn from it?

Debenhams Interview

In any recruitment with Debenhams you will have some sort of face to face interview. For applicants to Head Office, this will generally follow on from the application form, for applicants to the retail track, the interview could be stand alone, or it could be part of a recruitment event day, or even a second interview after the recruitment event. The Debenhams interview generally takes place at the store or head office you have applied to. The questions in the face to face interview are similar to the ones in the telephone interview, but could also include more.

Preparation is key for this Debenhams interview, and is the first chance you have to meet some of the team you may work with in the future. Prepare to be better than at your last interview, including the telephone interview. The recruiters want to know about your career aspirations, and what you have done until now to achieve these aspirations. Prepare answers to questions and illustrate them with examples. And don’t forget to brush up on your interview skills with JobTestPrep’s online interview preparation package.

For those of you who have not yet had an interview with Debenhams, preparation is the same, but you may want to take part in a mock interview which will enable you to pull together all of your preparation in one go. JobTestPrep’s Skype based interviews are carried out by a trained assessor who can give you feedback in the best way to approach your Debenhams interview when it comes up.

Debenhams interview questions include:

  • Tell me about yourself?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • What have you done to improve customer service in your store?
  • What motivates you?
  • Name a time when team building was essential in something you have done.
  • What Debenhams brand would you be and why?
  • What could you personally bring to the company?

Debenhams Recruitment Event

Applicants for a retail position who are still progressing through the process will usually be invited to a recruitment event. The recruitment event is usually held at the store you have applied to, and involves a series of practical activities designed to assess whether you have the skills or competencies needed for the role you have applied to.

Activities at a Debenhams recruitment event include:

  • Team working activities such as working with a team to produce a poster setting out the services Debenhams provide, their competitors and advantages; or team games such as finding a word for each letter in “customer service”.
  • One to one discussions with another member of the group, for example about the company, or matching brands with their corresponding customer profiles.
  • Customer service activity - going down to the shop floor and either selling products to customers, or asking them questions about their preferences.
  • Role playing activities such as selling your favourite product to an assessor or the rest of the group.

You are not just being assessed on the outcomes of your activities, but on how you stand out in the team, how you work with the others in the group, listen to them and make valuable contributions. The recruitment event will test you on a number of skills. Preparation is key to ensuring that you have a plan for the day, and that you don’t get nervous. Some of the things to prepare are ways to address case studies, approaching group exercises, and giving presentations. Follow the links to see how JobTestPrep can help you with each.

Debenhams Assessment Centre

Applicants to Head Office will be invited to an assessment centre as part of their recruitment journey. The activities you are likely to face depend on the job you are applying to, but they could include the following:


For example on a retailer who impresses you, with questions at the end from the people you presented to. Prepare for giving presentations with JobTestPrep’s blog on presentations.


For some roles, the assessment centre will include an interview. See above for more information on Debenham’s interviews.

Aptitude tests

For some positions you will be asked to take an aptitude test. The most common test you are likely to come up against is the numerical reasoning test, but you may also be expected to sit a verbal reasoning test, situational judgement test or other. You will be told in advance what test to expect, so practice ahead of time with JobTestPrep’s dedicated preparation packs.

In Summary

Debenhams are looking for candidates like you who can demonstrate your strengths, aspirations and personality throughout the selection process. You need to express your talents, tell Debenhams who you are and why they should employ you. Team work is the name of the game at Debenhams, so you must be prepared to demonstrate your team working skills at every stage of the process. Debenhams also expect their candidates to be prepared. They expect you to do your research on the company and the products and the role you are applying for, and they expect you to practice your skills. In this article we have shown you just how you can do this. We hope you have found this article useful, and good luck.

We are always happy to hear from you, so please write any comments in the comment box below.

JobTestPrep also has preparation materials for the Assessment Centre of the following companies...

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