About John Lewis Patnership (JLP)

Every job at the John Lewis Partnership (JLP) is different, and as such there is no “standard” recruitment process. What you can be sure about is that this process is tough and testing, and that competition is fierce. Preparation is the key element to ensuring that you progress through the John Lewis and Waitrose recruitment processes.

Recruitment at the JLP comes in three levels: Experienced hires (John Lewis, Waitrose and Head Office), John Lewis graduates (with six different strands), and John Lewis industrial placements which can take place in either Retail Management or Head Office.

Whilst some of the details may vary, the different elements of the John Lewis interview process are as follows:

Experienced Hires
(assessments from the following list)
Graduates Industrial Placements
Application form Online testing Online testing
Online testing Application form Application form
Telephone interview    
Video interview Video interview (may be telephone in some cases)  
Assessment Centre Assessment Centre Assessment Centre
Interviews Final interview (Waitrose Leadership Scheme) Interviews

JLP place great emphasis on the company’s values and ethics throughout the recruitment process. In order to be successful, you have to demonstrate your fit with these JLP competencies at every assessment.

The six key competencies the John Lewis Partnership are looking for in each employee are: about me, delivering results, leading and developing, passionate retailer, team player, and vision and creativity.

John Lewis Partnership Online Aptitude Tests

JLP make extensive use of online aptitude tests at the start of their recruitment processes. For applicants to the John Lewis Graduate Scheme (including the Waitrose Graduate Leadership scheme), and John Lewis Industrial Placements, you must first pass the online tests before you are asked to complete the application form.

The John Lewis Partnership recruitment process assessments are provided by CEB’s SHL. Applicants may have to take up to five different tests.

Scheme Specific Multiple-Choice Questions

These tests are designed to reduce the number of applicants progressing to the next stage by up to 50%. Your best way of making sure that you are able to move on to the next stage is preparation for each test.

Prepare for all your John Lewis Partnership online tests.

John Lewis Partnership Values Based Questionnaire

This questionnaire is untimed and you are given some different situations and asked to write a response in under 200 words. When writing these responses it is important to try and show that you have the motivation as well as the skills to answer them in the manner that John Lewis wants.

John Lewis Partnership Situational Judgement Test (SJT)

The situational judgement test and management judgement test assesses how you respond to situations in the workplace. You are presented with a number of different scenarios relating to the position you have applied for. The tests are job appropriate, so you could have managerial based scenarios or store assistant role examples. This test is untimed but should take no longer than 30 minutes to complete.

An example scenario as follows: You are working behind the till and someone comes up to you with a complaint about a purchase he has just made. He feels that he has been overcharged. What do you do? You are presented with a number of different options relating to your response. You have to select which one you are most and least likely to do.

Prepare for your situational judgement test with our SJT package which enables you to understand the types of questions and some of the reasoning behind basic answer choices. You are also encouraged to think about some past situations you have been in, and how you responded to them. And whilst preparing, bear in mind the John Lewis competencies as they are a clue as to how they want you to behave.

John Lewis Numerical Reasoning Test

The JLP numerical reasoning test examines your ability to utilise numerical information in your work. On this multiple-choice test, you are presented with numerical data in the form of tables, graphs, charts, and ratios. Your task is to extract the correct information from these data sets and make the relevant calculations (basic maths, percentages, ratios) in order to answer a series of questions.

These tests are timed, you have 20 minutes to answer 20 questions, and you may use a calculator in these tests. The time limit and number of calculations needed to answer each question creates pressure on you to answer quickly and accurately. Preparation is key to ensuring that you are familiar with the types of questions and the calculations needed, so that you can work through the test faster and with more confidence, ultimately leading to a higher score. Our SHL-style preparation pack gives you just the practice you need for your SHL-style Numerical Reasoning Test.

John Lewis Verbal Reasoning Test

The verbal reasoning test is an assessment of your English language skills. You are presented with a paragraph of information about certain, often abstract ideas and you will be asked some questions on it. SHL-style verbal reasoning tests have two types of questions: in the first you are asked to determine whether a statement is true, false, or you cannot say based on the information in the text; in the second you are given a statement such as “the author of the text believes that…” and asked to choose the correct answer from a series of options. This test is also timed, and it is challenging to answer all the questions in the relatively short time allocation. Taking practice tests ahead of time can help you increase your analytical reading speed as well as pick out the key words in the text to help you answer the questions.

Scheme Specific Multiple-Choice Questions

This test is specifically for applicants to any of the JLP graduate schemes. The aim is to enable the recruiters to assess your fit with the area you have applied to. Ensure that you have read up everything that you can find on your scheme ahead of taking this test.

John Lewis Application Form

The John Lewis online application form is the first opportunity for you to tell the recruitment team about yourself. This form is fairly long and detailed asking for details of your qualifications and relevant work experience. As well as this, you will need to answer some questions relating to the job. Some example questions are:

  • Describe how you view John Lewis or Waitrose as an employer.
  • Describe what customer service means to you.
  • Please provide some examples when you have taken responsibility, built relationships, and grown as a person.
  • Have you ever worked as part of a team? Describe what you did.
  • Tell us why you are a good candidate for John Lewis or Waitrose.

Answering these questions can be quite daunting but the correct way to view them is as an opportunity to showcase your skills. Learn about the STAR method in order to answer these questions properly, the way the John Lewis Partnership wants you to. As an experienced hire, if you do well enough in this part of the application you will be asked to take the John Lewis online tests. Applicants for John Lewis graduate schemes or the John Lewis industrial placements will move on to the telephone or video interview.