About Marks and Spencer

Marks and Spencer is one of the biggest retailers in the UK, with over 700 stores across the UK and with around 80,000 employees serving them. They recruit at many different levels and for a wide variety of jobs. The Marks and Spencer graduate careers scheme has an annual intake of 200 with many varied positions. The recruitment process depends on the role you are applying to.

Marks & Spencer Recruitment Processes

Marks and Spencer offers a wide range of positions, each with different recruitment processes. In the table below we have captured the process for the Marks and Spencer graduate scheme, Marks and Spencer internship, management scheme for school leavers, as well as customer assistants, and some of the management positions. Other applicants may find they have a mix of these assessments and that the information on this page is useful.

M&S Graduate Scheme/Business Placements/School Leaver Programme Customer Assistants Retail Management Commercial/ Store Management
Online application Online application Online application Online application
Online screening tests Online screening tests Online test  
Assessment centre and interview Online screening tests Telephone interview Telephone interview
    Assessment centre Assessment centre and interview

Marks & Spencer Principles & Competencies

Throughout your application process you are assessed against a set of desirable competencies. These can be split into two parts: guiding principles and competencies.

M&S Guiding Principles

  • Inspiration - generating new ideas that excite our customers, enthuse our people and enhance our business.
  • Innovation - focusing on continuous improvement, pushing boundaries and encouraging experimentation.
  • Integrity - doing the right thing, not the easy thing; building trust and reinforcing our reputation.
  • In Touch - understanding what’s important to our customers, the communities in which we work and our colleagues.

Marks and Spencer Competencies

  • Teamwork achievements
  • Crystal clear communication skills
  • Sharp problem solving abilities
  • Business awareness

The Marks and Spencer Application Form

The M&S application form is fairly straightforward. You are given the opportunity to upload your CV as well as other supporting documentation. Ensure that these documents enhance the information included on your application form, rather than just repeating it.

Depending on the position applied for, you may be given a set of questions relating to the job. Make sure that you really understand what position you have applied for in order to tailor your answers to the questions. In addition, there are a number of key competencies that you will need to demonstrate throughout your evaluation in order to show that you are the right person for the job.

The Marks and Spencer Online Tests

The Marks and Spencer online tests usually accompany the M&S application forms. These tests are provided by CEB’s SHL. The tests you will take depend on the application you are completing, but the table below shows some of the common tests and the applicants who may take each test. This list is not definitive, applicants for other jobs may be asked to take some of these tests as well.

Verbal reasoning test M&S Graduate Scheme/
Business Placements/
School Leaver Programme
Numerical reasoning test M&S Graduate Scheme/
Business Placements/
School Leaver Programme
Situational judgement test
(Talent Screen test)
M&S Graduate Scheme/
Business Placements/
School Leaver Programme
Customer Assistants
Retail Managers
Personality test Customer Assistants
Retail Managers

M&S Verbal Reasoning Test

This test assesses your ability to understand and use written information. This test, known as the SHL Verify Test, contains 30 multiple choice questions to answer in 19 minutes. The verbal reasoning test involves reading a short text (in all there are 10 of them in the test), and answering three questions based on what you have read. The questions involve a statement which you have to classify as true, false, or you cannot say based on the information in the text. The tight time limit (just over a minute and a half for each set of three questions) places pressure on you to try to read texts too quickly, or to answer questions in haste. Learn about how you can manage your time in these tests better and prepare practice tests with our SHL-style practice test pack.

Marks and Spencer Numerical Reasoning Test

This test examines your ability to use information provided in a numerical format. This test, also from the SHL, involves answering 18 multiple choice questions in 25 minutes. Information is presented in a table, chart or graph, and you need to be able to calculate the answers in order to choose the correct answer. You may use a calculator to help you with the various calculations. Working out answers can take a while, but doing practice tests will help you increase your speed, and allow you to answer more questions in the test. Prepare for this test with our JobTestPrep SHL-style numerical practice packs.

Marks & Spencer Talent Screener Test

This test is one of the most commonly taken tests. It is part of the application form for many store based roles. The talent screener or situational judgement test is used to get a look at how well you will perform with M&S. The questions on this test are based on scenarios you could find yourself in as an employee of Marks and Spencer. This test is not timed, so you have plenty of time to think about each scenario without rushing. You can prepare for this test by reviewing the M&S competencies, including those set out in your application form. Our situational judgement test practice pack helps you familiarise with this type of test and develop strategies for identifying the most appropriate choice.

Marks and Spencer Personality Test

Applicants to in-store jobs will also receive a personality test as part of their application. The aim of this test is to establish how well your values fit in with the company’s values as set out in your job description. The SHL occupational personality test (OPQ) will test you against 32 different workplace characteristics. Familiarise yourself with the personality test with our personality test practice pack. Prepare for your in store online tests with our personality test pack.

Once you have passed your online tests you will move on to the face to face assessments. Find out more about Marks and Spencers interviews and assessment centres on the following page.