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Tesco interview

#1 Tesco interview
04/01/2010 13:53


Hi there, I should be interviewing shortly for what looks like a v interesting strategy role at Tesco.

I have however, never worked in the retail sector. Can anyone give me any pointers about this industry that I can start reading up on. From what I can gather, successful retailers are where they are because they understand their market/customers, have the right product mix and concentrate on keeping costs low.

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#2 RE: Tesco interview
04/01/2010 15:48

J to anon (#1)

are you sure you'd up for the job - seeing as you're unable to do basic intern work i.e. conducting basic industry research

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#3 RE: Tesco interview
04/01/2010 15:49

Anon to anon (#1)

anon - Tesco prides itself on being different to other retailers, which is why they are so successful. Rather than look at the blindingly obvious (which your final sentence does here) or general writings on retails, I would focus on finding articles by or about senior Tesco people that talk about what makes Tesco different and successful.

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#4 RE: Tesco interview
04/01/2010 16:12

... to deleted (#0)

many thanks, Ive started to do that, reading up on CEO profile etc etc and going through the standard info on their website. What im looking for are the "golden nuggets" that would say make Tesco different to Sainsbury's. From the knowledge that I have so far I think I would struggle to answer the question "why is tesco different to its main competitors" other than tesco seems to take the lead on what it offers in the UK and internationally

J. Has your mother never told you that if you have nothing useful to say then shut up?

Many thanks in advance for CONSTRUCTIVE help

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#5 RE: Tesco interview
04/01/2010 18:04

anon to ... (#4)

They always have much better 3 for 2 offers on condoms

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#6 RE: Tesco interview
04/01/2010 21:05

Sharona to anon (#5)

What's the point in buying them in wholesale bulk like that?

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#7 RE: Tesco interview
04/01/2010 22:37

J to Sharona (#6)

Hey there,

I see that you're easily wound up!

Something tells me you're not going to get that job offer from Tesco after all, unless it is bagging groceries! ha ha ha

Seriously, it is quite obvious how Tesco is differentiated to Sainsbury's - I'm surprised you haven't realised it already

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#8 RE: Tesco interview
05/01/2010 07:49

Me to J (#7)

J - do you feel big now you have shown everyone how much cleverer than anon you are?

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#9 RE: Tesco interview
05/01/2010 09:39

Sainsbury's to Me (#8)

Um... don't want to be negative but you really don't sound like you've done any research - e.g. 5th result on google search of "Tesco competitive advantage" gives a .ppt file with a bunch of information in. You might sound more credible on this site if you've got some idea of important areas - e.g. Clubcard/dunnhumby work.

Plus I'm not sure what you're interviewing for but the first round I did with Tesco was just a bunch of tests and briefings - I was told that this was a standard approach they took.

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#10 RE: Tesco interview
05/01/2010 09:40

... to Me (#8)

Im not easily wound up but for the record, every time I post something on this forum, for every 1 constructive comment I get back in the form of an answer to a question, I get about 10 stupid comments from people like you.

I distinctly get the impression that you would be great at bagging up food and hey thats probably what you do anyway.

For everyone on this forum that posts something useful and constructive...thankyou...

For everyone else....cant say on here.

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#11 RE: Tesco interview
06/01/2010 15:56

J to ... (#10)

Don't get me wrong, I do wish you all the best for you interview at Tesco.

I don't think you'll get far with them, but it will be good practice for your other interviews


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#12 RE: Tesco interview
07/01/2010 10:45

Me to anon (#1)

anon - remember to post the key lessons from the interview to benefit others who may be called for interview there.

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#13 RE: Tesco interview
07/01/2010 11:15

Mars A Day to anon (#1)

the Dunnhumby stuff would be a good place to start - Tesco were the first retailer to really 'get' customer data and the real value being in the slice and dice - also they hired in some people from Bain (and BCG I think) to start their online business. In my humble opinion the real question in your interview prep shouldn't be why are Tesco different - I doubt they are, they are just better at doing the same stuff as everyone else and just a little ahead of everyone else - but what Tesco can do next: look at their innovations, taking a supermarket into non adjacent businesses which they can build through their dunnhumby stuff, and try to vision where else they could go.

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#14 RE: Tesco interview
07/01/2010 16:39

Big D to Mars A Day (#13)

I would echo what Mars A Day said.

"they are just better at doing the same stuff as everyone else "

IMHO, their implementation is particularly strong, the working environment is tough in comparison to JS, at least the JS of 4 years ago. Often they aren't the first with innovation but they make new innovation work at their scale and hammer the implementation.

If you look at board members like Sir Terry, Richard Brasher and Tim Mason they are all from a marketing background, hence they get customer data.

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#15 RE: Tesco interview
07/01/2010 17:41

Mars A Day to Big D (#14)

And if you look at marketing in the FMCG sector it tends to move in one of 2 directions to gain competitive advantage: either a new category (remember when Danone caught us all out with probiotics? and now Innocent with vegpots?) or simply outspend the competiton (think any P&G campaign ever). The other multiples have been struggling to meet Tesco on the category front (ASDA probably the only one to come close) and on spend they simply cannot match them. Brutal and simple.

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#16 RE: Tesco interview
07/01/2010 18:12

ACN'er to Mars A Day (#15)

Some areas of Tesco you don't need Retail/FMCG exp. I interviewed for a junior strategy role there last year and it wasn't mentioned once, admittedly I didn't get the job but they were asking about my experience not my knowledge of the sector (this was Tesco Finance though).

What area of Tesco is it in (Mobile, Finance etc) as this may dictate whether sector knowledge is relevant.

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