The Next Fashion and Home Trainee scheme trains up buyers, merchandisers, technologists and designers whilst working at Next. Getting on to the scheme is as challenging as the work promises to be once you get there. Practice is key to ensuring that you impress the recruiters at every stage. Prepare with our sets of tailored resources. The information on this page is geared towards applicants for the Next Trainee scheme, but applicants to other jobs with Next will find parts of this page useful.
The first step to getting a traineeship with Next is to complete a Next online job application form. As well as the usual information about you and your education and experience, the application form also asks a series of questions designed to assess your interest in Next and technical knowledge for the role you are applying to. Depending on the role, this could also include numerical questions such as percentages calculations. The application form is considered by the recruitment team before they invite you to the next stage, the online ability tests.
If your application is progressed to the next stage, applicants to all trainee schemes are invited to take some online reasoning tests, provided by Cubiks. The tests you are asked to take will depend on the role you are applying to. For example, merchandising applicants will receive both a numerical and verbal reasoning test, whilst buyers will sit just a verbal test. Read more about these tests below.
Numerical reasoning tests are used to assess how well you can understand and use numerical information in your everyday work. This is a key skill for merchandisers in particular, so applicants to the traineeship will want to do well in this test. In this test you are given information in the form of spreadsheets, graphs, tables, or charts and asked questions on the information contained. You must be able to work out percentages, ratios or more in order to choose the correct answer from the list of choices. In total, there are 28 questions to answer in 25 minutes, so you need to be able to make these calculations quickly and accurately. Refresh your memory, sharpen your skills and prepare for this test with our tailored Cubiks-style numerical reasoning practice pack.
Verbal reasoning tests examine your language skills, and particularly how well you can understand and apply the information provided in a written text. You are given a short text to read and a question to answer as true, false, or cannot say based on what you have read. In this verbal reasoning test you have 20 minutes to answer 44 questions, so you have to be able to read, think and answer pretty quickly in order to answer all the questions in the test. Gain tips on how to approach these questions and that all important test practice with our Cubiks-style verbal reasoning practice pack.
If you are successful at the online testing stage, the next assessment is a video interview. In this interview you are asked to upload a video recording of you answering a set of preset questions. You have four minutes to answer three questions at this assessment. Questions are a mix of motivational and scenario questions, for example, why do you want this job? What would you do if all did not go to plan? What do you think of our ranges?
Ahead of the interview you will want to look at Next and why you want to work with the company. You may also want to consider what you can offer to the position, as well as the competencies for the job. Speaking into a camera is also an important skill in this interview, so you may want to consider our interview preparation package.
The next stage of the recruitment process is a telephone interview. This interview is a 30 minute call with a member of the department you have applied to work with. Like the other interviews, this interview is designed to assess how you would fit at Next and whether you have the skills and enthusiasm they are looking for. Ahead of the interview you may want to consider interview technique with our free guide to interview preparation.
Past telephone interview questions include:
The final stage of the Next Trainee recruitment process is the Next assessment centre. This is a half day event at Next’s head office in Leicestershire, with three exercises - a group activity, presentation and interview.
In this exercise you are given a task to complete with a group of candidates for the same role. You are given information at the start of the session and time to understand it before you launch into the discussion. Throughout the exercise you are being watched by a team of assessors who will be marking you on how you work with the team, and your contributions to the discussion. Gain tips on how to approach your group exercise with our group exercises pages.
Applicants to some trainee roles will be told ahead of the assessment day to prepare a 15 minute presentation to deliver to interviewers. The topic will be relevant to Next, and you are expected to research the company and area you are applying to thoroughly before creating your presentation. You are also assessed on how you communicate verbally, so preparing your delivery is important. Our presentation pages and blogs are packed with advice and guidance for preparing and delivering a presentation.
The final exercise at the assessment day is a face to face interview. The interviewers are interested in knowing about why you want to work with Next, what you know about the company and the challenges it faces. They may also ask questions about what you can add to the company, your skills and weaknesses and your experience and technical knowledge of the role. They may also ask you about what you think could be improved from their current ranges. Ahead of this interview you will want to review your application form and the questions and answers you gave earlier in the recruitment process. You may also want to rehearse your answers to common and other Next based questions; do so with our interview preparation package.
Next’s position on the High Street as well as the range of departments it offers ensures that there is a lot of competition for places on their traineeship. In order to progress through the recruitment process you need to be able to show that you are better than the other candidates.