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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 (CEB) SHL. The function of these tests is to screen out candidates without adequate numerical, verbal ability, although different combinations of tests could be required depending on the level of role applied for.
The M&S Process
The M&S selection process consists of three stages:
- Application: Applications are made online and require candidates to provide their contact details, 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; numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning and a personality questionnaire. All of which have strict time limits and last approximately 20 minutes each, meaning that practice tests are recommended.
- Interview 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.
- Assessment Centre: 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.
M&S Verbal Test
In these tests candidates are provided with a passage of written information, often workplace related, and asked to analyse and draw logical inferences from that written information. The questions will be multiple choice with the answer options being: true; false; cannot say. The key here is to answer the questions based on purely the information contained within the passage (ignore any prior knowledge you may have). Think literally and go only on what you have been told in the passage.
M&S Numerical Test
In these tests numerical data is provided to a candidate, usually in the form of graphs, tables, statistics and financial data. To answer these questions, candidates must analyse this data and make a logical conclusion from it, allowing them to select the correct answer. Typical numerical skills which are tested include addition/subtraction, multiplication/division, ratios, fractions and percentages.