M&S Selection Tests and Application Process

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Ben Hopgood Updated:

About M&S

M&S looks for employees with a high numerical ability. Applicants have to pass a numerical test before being offered a position.

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M&S use the following tests in their selection process:

  • Aon/Cut-e Behavioural Questionnaire
  • Aon/Cut-e chatAssess
  • Aon/Cut-e gridChallenge

Marks and Spencer is a major British multinational retailer with headquarters in London. Specialising in home products, luxury food and clothing, there is a broad variety of roles available with the company. Applications are generally made online and psychometric testing is adopted throughout the recruitment process, as a means of screening out candidates who lack the abilities necessary for a career in this area. Typically, candidates are asked to complete numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning and personality questionnaires, although further tests may be used for some positions. Candidates are informed in advance as to which tests they will be required to take.

Marks and Spencer use tests and assessments provided by Aon/Cut-e. The function of these tests is to screen for candidates which match M&S's workplace values and have a high ability in communicating with colleagues and providing decisions, although different combinations of tests could be required depending on the level of role applied for.

Psychometric tests are a fair and objective way for M&S to assess a wide range of applicants, each having different experiences and different qualifications. By analysing the results of a standardised psychometric test, M&S are able to quickly see which candidates are suitable for the role and which are not. This sort of information about candidates’ skills is difficult to glean from interviews and qualifications alone, so they use professional psychometric tests.

Often, M&S will ask applicants to take a few game-based assessments online, which you can take from home, even on your mobile. Further along in the selection process you might be asked to attend an assessment centre or interview where you will be asked to sit the same tests you have done before for the company again. This is so M&S can verify the person scoring highly in the test is indeed the person applying for the job.

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M&S Application Process Stages

Here is the typical process for your application to M&S.

Stage 1


Applications are submitted online and require candidates to provide some basic details; contact information, education and work experience. Applicants are also instructed to complete psychometric tests at this time, as a means of sifting out candidates who lack the necessary requirements. The online psychometric tests can include some or all of the following; Aon/Cut-e's chatAssess, gridChallenge and Workplace Behaviour Questionnaire. Only chatAsses and gridChallenge have strict time limits and last under 12 minutes each, meaning that practice tests are recommended for these two.

Stage 2


Selected candidates will be invited to an interview, at which it is not uncommon for applicants to take part in a role play exercise before being asked situational questions. This may be followed by a further interview with the manager, which usually lasts around 10 minutes.

Stage 3

Assesment Center

The final stage of the graduate selection process is attendance at an assessment centre, during which candidates will be asked to complete a variety of assessment exercises such as a presentation, group discussion, role play or simulation exercises and a competency based interview. Marks and Spencer look for their candidates to demonstrate clear communication skills, teamwork achievements, problem solving abilities and business awareness.

Excellent variety of practice tests ranging in difficulty levels. Really helped me feel prepared for, and pass, my actual online tests.

M&S Aon's chatAssess

The gamified test, chatAssess, developed by Aon and used by M&S shares many of the same features of other Situational Judgement tests but its format has been redesigned. Firstly, it is compatible on mobile phones and has been designed with this in mind. It imitates a messaging app with colleagues asking you questions about situations at work that you must respond to. Secondly, as with other SJTs you are asked to choose a response from the options available, however, the situation does not end there, the person you are speaking with will await your reply and my have more queries for you to respond to. Some of these will even include interpreting numerical data to help make an executive decision. This approach to situational judgement tests is quite unique, but its novelty is nothing to be daunted by.

M&S Aon's gridChallenge

In addition to Aon's chatAssess candidates will also be expected complete another one of their gamified assessments;

M&S use Aon's gridChallenge, which contains a series of short memory-based questions as part of their recruitment process.

So as a graduate or senior candidate applying for a job at M&S you might feel like the gridChallenge is not really applicable to you, but you should bear in mind that M&S are asking you to complete these short assessments to give those with less experience and qualifications a chance at a level-playing field. Research has shown that psychometric tests, such as those used by M&S, are a better predictor of job performance than traditional selection metrics such as level of degree achieved.

Lastly, although, this might the first test you are asked to sit with M&S, is called the work-related behavioural questionnaire. This is quite a common personality questionnaire without a time limit, but should not take more than 10 minutes to complete. You are asked to state how much you agree or disagree with a statement, or how much you feel that statement describes you. Remember to answer these questions thinking about yourself in a work environment, unless otherwise specifically asked to. This should evaluate your style and ethic whilst at work.

Answered questions

Are these tests suitable for J.P. Morgan?

Yes. J.P. Morgan use SHL's reasoning tests to assess applicants in the recruitment process. The practice tests we provide have been designed to mimic SHL's style to create an environment similar to the real assessment. This provides you with confidence that the questions you practice with us now are an accurate reflection of the real assessment.

How difficult are your tests?

The same difficulty as real tests. Generally real employer selection tests don't differ that much in terms of difficulty which is why they compare your score against norm groups. Our practice tests are pitched roughly at graduate level, but this means they are actually suitable for preparing for all levels of job: entry; apprentice; graduate; senior; director.

Are they compatible with my Mac / Tablet / Phone?

Yes, and PC, and Linux and smartphone and Android and...everything. Our practice tests will run on all systems and they are responsive so they will work well on tablets and smartphones too!

How many times can I take the tests?

Unlimited. You can take our practice tests as many times as you like; there is no limit. But to be honest, after taking the same test a few times you start to remember the answers, so that’s why we have lots of tests.