Tesco Assessment Centre Exercises and Interview Preparation

Are you expecting to attend a Tesco assessment centre or interview? For many job positions, this is the final step in your application process. If you do well, then you can be fairly certain of being offered a job. Here we will go through the various stages that take place at the Tesco assessment centre.

Tesco Assessment Centre Practice
  • 2 Full case studies
  • 2 Group exercise tests
  • 2 Full in-tray exercises
  • 1 Role-play exercise test
  • Interview preparation 
  • Study guides and tips

The Tesco recruitment process for the graduate scheme, internship or school leaver scheme includes thorough testing of a wide array of skills while maintaining a focus on customer service and leadership throughout.

With only 4 positions available and 24 applicants making it through the first stage in most cases, competition for spots in each of Tesco's programmes is high. Prior preparation is key to improve your chances throughout the process and ensure that you end up being one of the lucky applicants to be selected for an available role.

Tesco Interview

If you have been invited to participate in the Tesco recruitment process, you should expect several types of interviews including a phone interview and an interview at the assessment centre.

The Tesco interview is a competency-based interview, which means Tesco is looking to see if you possess certain skills, requesting that you demonstrate how you have used these skills in the past. The sit-down interview usually lasts around 45 minutes and consists of around three to six questions, depending on the interviewer and the role being applied for.

The competencies that Tesco is looking for during the interview include:

  • Customer focus
  • Drive
  • Teamwork
  • Managing decision making
  • Managing performance
  • Personal integrity


Tesco Interview Tips

The best way to convey each of the competencies you possess is to practice for your interviews beforehand. Below you will find some tips for passing your Tesco interviews:

  1. Review your application and CV to refresh your memory in anticipation of possible interview questions.
  2. Read up on Tesco, their values and their recent innovations in the area you are applying. You can also benefit from reading up on any recent developments in the news.
  3. Try to think of examples you can use to illustrate your answers according to the competencies listed above. You should also think about examples to any follow up questions your interviewer may have (e.g. past mistakes/negative workplace situations and what you took away from them).
  4. Since Tesco uses competency-based interviews, it’s best to organise your answers according to the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result).
  5. Due to Tesco interviews generally being a two-way street, you should also come prepared with questions to ask your interviewer. To prepare you should do research into the company, the position and its duties. That way, you will be able to ask new questions regarding topics you were unable to find information for on your own.

Continue reading to find out more regarding the types of questions you can expect to be asked during the Tesco interview process.

Tesco Interview Questions

The following set of questions have been asked to Tesco applicants in the past. They are a good place to start in preparing for your interview(s):

  • Why Tesco?
  • Why this scheme?
  • How do we stand out from our competitors?
  • What challenges are we facing right now?
  • Describe your personal qualities.
  • What are your personal values?
  • What do you think makes an effective team?
  • What is the biggest professional achievement of your career?
  • Tell us about a time when you overcame a challenge and three things you learned from it.
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • How would you improve your local store?
  • What are your strengths, and how will they help you in this role?

Some example competency questions asked in past interviews include:

  • Customer Service: ‘Tell me about a time where you had to understand a customer’s personal circumstances very quickly; how did you go about doing this?’
  • Drive: ‘Give me an example of a time you have had to work to meet a specific target; did you feel like you were struggling at any point?’
  • Teamwork: ‘Describe a time where you worked as a team to a common goal; how did you contribute to the group effort?’


Tesco Assessment Centre

If you have passed all the preceding stages of the Tesco recruitment process, the next and last stage for many is the Tesco assessment centre. This assessment centre is a whole day event, usually at the company’s head offices in Hertfordshire (or in other locations around the country for store management applicants).

During the day you will undergo many different assessments designed to evaluate various sets of skills. Note: the focus of the recruitment team throughout the day will be on your leadership skills, and this will also be a key part of your interview.

The activities at the Tesco assessment centre will vary depending on the scheme you have applied to. Your first activity of the day will be an icebreaker, introducing the group to each other and the assessors.

Tesco Recruitment Process

Tesco Aptitude Tests

You may be asked to take shorter versions of the online aptitude tests to confirm the results you got last time around. As it may be some time since you last took these tests, don’t forget to refresh your memory before your assessment centre.

Tesco Presentation

You will be told in advance to prepare a short presentation to give to the group at which time the topic of the presentation will be given to you. A past example of a Tesco assessment centre presentation is of candidates discussing the risks and opportunities in the area you have applied to. In some rare cases, you may only be told you are giving a presentation on the day. 

Tesco Role-play Exercise

In this exercise you have to take on a role as though you are already working at Tesco. Some people have experienced role-play exercises where they have had to persuade a difficult colleague to adopt a new practice.

Tesco Group Exercise

There is likely to be more than one group exercise during the day. One activity that has repeatedly come up at Tesco assessment centres is to build a structure out of paper and sellotape. Another group exercise that has been used is to create and present a sales pitch in your group.

In some cases, pitches will be put up against each other and the group needs to decide whose pitch is the best. In all the group exercises you need to work as a group. You as an individual need to ensure that you are on board with the group and that you are working with the group to achieve the overall objective whilst also providing original and helpful suggestions.

Tesco In-Tray Exercise

You may be expected to take an in-tray exercise. The purpose of this test is to show how you manage your workload, assess priorities and handle competing demands on your time. 

Tesco Written Exercises

Some assessment centres involve written exercises. Past examples of exercises include a number of tasks from choosing the location for a new restaurant to identifying the best and worst sellers from a list of products. 

Tesco Interview

This is either a one-to-one or a panel interview. Depending on the type of interview you may have had previously, this interview could be a competency interview or a more informal interview asking you about your motivations in joining Tesco, and why you have chosen this specific role. You may also be asked to list your values and ambitions with the company.


Boost Your Chances of Success in Your Tesco Interview & Assessment Centre

Landing one of the available Tesco jobs comes down to how you have prepared. By using our specialised Tesco PrepPack™, you will gain access to dozens of practice tests, study guides and more.
Join us today to beat your Tesco assessments tomorrow!