ASDA: Online Application, Graduate Scheme, Assessment & Interview Guide
Last Updated on April 12, 2022
Asda is one of Britain’s most well-known supermarket chains. It has over 500 stores nationwide, serving 16 million customers each week. The store is owned by the world’s biggest retailer — Wal-Mart.
Asda has a strong ethos regarding affordability and sustainability and makes sure that the two can operate hand in hand. They pride themselves on being named ‘Britain’s best value retailer’ for several consecutive years.
The grad schemes are competitive and involve a rigorous selection process. You need to give a good impression to be selected.
If you are considering applying for the Asda grad scheme or are in the midst of applying, our guide will walk you through the whole process. Learn how to prepare, pass, and fast-track your career at Asda.
What are Asda’s grad schemes?
The graduate schemes on offer are in the following categories:
- Retail Management
- IT Solutions Management
What qualifications will I need?
You will need a 2:1 degree to enter an Asda scheme. For Retail or Distribution Management, you will need a 2:2 or above. There is no stipulation as to the discipline of your degree for any department except for a finance scheme where a degree in Business, Finance or Accountancy is recommended.
If you choose to enter a management training scheme, then you will also be expected to demonstrate that you possess the relevant skills needed such as:
- Leadership capabilities
- Communication skills
- A good team player
- Problem-solving skills
For this and all other schemes, you will be required to show that you possess self-motivation, organisational skills and the ability to use analytical thinking.
What does an Asda graduate scheme entail?
The graduate schemes with Asda take place over a 2 – 2.5 year period. They aim to give you the breadth of experience that you will need for a successful career in your chosen field.
Day-to-day accountability and projects designed to develop your business, technical and personal skills will be implemented from the very beginning of your course.
Within each programme, there will be a minimum of two rotations in order to allow you to see the business from a number of different angles. This approach will enable you to build on your existing strengths whilst also broadening your skillset.
Once you complete the graduate programme, you will gain a professional qualification:
- CIMA on the finance scheme
- Level 3 Leadership and Management qualification on the Buying, George (clothing) and Data Science Programmes.
What is the application process for the Asda graduate scheme?
There are four stages to the Asda graduate scheme application process, which are as follows:
- Stage one: Online Application
- Stage two: Situational Judgement Test
- Stage three: Virtual Interview
- Stage four: Assessment Centre
This is the first part of the application process and is a standard procedure for most careers, jobs and programmes. You will be expected to complete the application form online and this will be your first opportunity to showcase your skills, qualifications and experience.
Make sure that you are truthful and accurate in the information you provide as you may be asked questions about it at the interview stage of the process and you want to present a confident and self-assured persona. It is very difficult to remember information if you have been economical with the truth and you may make mistakes that could jeopardise your chance of success at the very first hurdle.
Situational Judgement Test
It is increasingly common to encounter some form of psychometric testing when applying for jobs in all sectors and organisations nowadays. These tests provide an objective assessment of your character traits and skillsets for prospective employers, especially when competition is high.
Situational Judgement Tests — or SJTs — will involve a series of hypothetical scenarios that you might encounter within the workplace and the role for which you are applying. You will be asked to read the given scenarios and then select the response that you feel best answers the question raised by each scenario.
The responses you choose will provide the organisation with a reasonably accurate picture of your judgement when dealing with work issues and of your most dominant character traits. There will be a number of work-based scenarios and a number of responses given.
Once you have read through the scenario, it will be your task to rank the given responses. There are not really any right or wrong answers, just some that are more relevant than others. Whilst you should answer the questions truthfully, it is important to bear in mind the sort of skills that Asda as an organisation may be looking for.
Doing your research and understanding that communication, team skills, building relationships and awareness of the commercial industry, for example, should help you to choose the most viable response for each scenario. Your future employers will be looking to strike a balance between how you think you should react in a given scenario (which demonstrates a level of cognitive understanding of what is required) and how you will actually react.
There may be the odd ‘trick’ answer to a question that really opposes company ethics or an answer that equates to ‘doing nothing,’ to really assess how well you will fit into the Asda team.
Whilst an SJT will undoubtedly provide your future employer with valuable insight into how you might deal with challenges or execute effective judgement in different situations, it will also be a great opportunity for you to explore the types of situations that your new role may present.
The SJT will be done online, and the results will be automatically generated to create a score and rank you amongst competing candidates. The questions may be text or video format, and the responses will be multiple choice. There will be anything from 25-50 scenarios given and, whilst there is no strict time limit, you will be expected to answer quickly and efficiently, taking around one minute per question.
Your answers should be based purely on the information given – you do not need any additional data. You may be asked to rank the answers from least to most effective. Knowing where your common areas of weakness lie prior to the real test will help you to make fewer mistakes.
Researching the type of questions you may encounter during your virtual interview will enable you to prepare your comprehensive answers. The interview will be done online and your answers to questions will be recorded.
You’ll be presented with some day-to-day challenges that may occur in your prospective role and asked for your response in order to ascertain how well you will fit into the work culture and values of the Asda organisation. As much as your interviewer will be trying to find out if you are a good fit for the organisation, you should also be trying to gain an insight into how the role will suit your skills and expectations.
Even though the interview will be conducted via video, it is still important to be properly prepared:
- Speak confidently and clearly – use positive body language such as uncrossed arms and sitting upright
- Dress professionally as you would for a face to face interview
- Make sure you are in an uncluttered and quiet space
- Make sure your face can be clearly seen
For the final stage of the assessment process — and provided that you have passed all the previous stages — you will be invited to attend an assessment centre. In line with the Asda group ethos of teamwork and working together, you will be required to take part in a variety of group and individual activities before a final interview.
The assessment centre stage is known as Asda’s Magic Event. The day will be divided into several parts and will begin with a group activity and icebreaker. For example, you may be asked to bring a toy with you to the centre and say why you have chosen it and how it represents you and your personality.
After this, you will be presented with a work scenario involving a problem or challenge and, working as part of a team, help to efficiently solve the problem. This will demonstrate to recruiters how well you are able to communicate with others, delegate tasks and resolve differences of opinion.
For the second part of the day, you will be given a problem by the recruiters and asked to provide some creative solutions to solve the problem. You could be asked to analyse data or research as part of the problem-solving process and to add credibility to your proposals.
In the final part of the day, you will be invited to attend a face to face interview during which you will be asked questions about your career ambitions and how you will fit into the company.
How can I prepare for the Asda Grad Scheme?
The number of applicants for the Asda graduate schemes can often far outweigh the number of places available. SJTs are an effective and timely way to filter through candidates, especially when their academic qualifications may be similar on paper. This is why it is so important to prepare through adequate practice for the Asda SJT.
Being familiar with the style of questioning and practising under timed conditions will give you a clear idea of what to expect and give you the confidence to answer effectively and efficiently. Job Test Prep can provide you with resources and practice tests to make sure you ace your SJT!
Job Test Prep also provides great resources for interview preparation and any other tests and activities.
Asda is a strong supporter of fair trade, organic produce, animal welfare and non-GM products. They work closely with suppliers to ensure that they secure the best products for their customers, in line with their ethos, at every stage. As well as groceries, Asda has its own unique clothing range and a financial services branch to its operations.
They support local charities and schools and offer great prospects for newly qualified graduates seeking a challenging and rewarding career in a variety of specialisms.
Working for Asda can provide a stable and challenging career path, and positions are much sought after. Making sure you are well prepared will give you an advantage over your competitors. The comprehensive resources and practise tests provided by Job Test Prep can help you to secure your dream career!
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Written by Karen Stanley
Karen is a former teacher of 20 years and ten times published author. She writes content for educational organisations and businesses, nationally and internationally. She coaches new and budding writers through to publication and is passionate about creativity; she runs creative writing workshops in schools and fostering agencies.