Wm Morrison Supermarkets was founded back in 1899, with humble beginnings as an egg and butter stall in Rawson Market in Bradford. While they were mainly focused on the North, when they completed the Safeway buyout in 2004 they started coming further south.
Early careers start with apprentices, with degree apprenticeships in retail, manufacturing, logistics, and corporate, and graduate schemes in everything from buying to finance, technology, and data science.
Morrisons employ more than 120,000 across different business areas, and staff enjoy competitive salaries, recognition awards, and at least 30 days of paid holiday.
The application process is relatively simple, with the last step being a Virtual Assessment Center.
Why does Morrisons use assessment centres?
Assessment centres are often the first time that you will have live face-to-face time with the recruiters, and they use this time to really get to know you.
The assessors are looking for you to demonstrate that you can match the competencies for the role and in the business as a whole, and these are often soft skills that are sometimes challenging to evaluate in other ways. They get to see how you interact with other colleagues and deal with realistic problems.
For you as a candidate, the assessment centre is an opportunity to network with potential colleagues, managers, and the recruiters, as well as seeing what the role would be like if they were to be successful.
The assessment centre is an ideal opportunity for both the candidate and recruitment team to assess job fit.
What skills is Morrisons looking for?
Morrisons is very proud of their family feel, and this is reflected in the skills and aptitudes that they are looking for in candidates.
The specific qualifications and skills for each role are listed in the job descriptions, and this will help you know what you want to show the recruitment team.
In general terms, the recruitment team is looking for soft skills like communication, especially listening. They want you to be able to contribute to great ideas in an innovative way. When it comes to dealing with other people, they want you to be an effective team member, able to deal with other people in a democratic way.
They also want to see that you are able to plan well, using logic to solve problems and think critically. You will need to demonstrate that you have good commercial awareness, because that helps when it comes to making business decisions.
You’ll also need to be confident, approachable, and friendly, able to take the lead when needed and know when to delegate and step back.
The other things to be aware of are the core values of Morrisons, which are:
Bringing the best out of our people
Great selling and service
You will need to be aware of these throughout the assessment process so that you can get the most out of the Virtual Assessment Center and really demonstrate why you are the ideal candidate.
Morrisons assessment centre format
The Morrisons Virtual Assessment Center takes place using Google Meet, and before each stage of the day, you will have a private call with an assessor who will provide you with the background material that you will need.
Morrisons group exercise
At the beginning of the group exercise, you will be given a brief and supporting information, as well as a little bit of time to prepare individually. When you join the meeting, you will be in a small group (usually 4-6 people), and you will need to work together to come to some sort of conclusion about the information that you have been given. You might need to provide a solution to a problem, or formulate some sort of strategy.
This assessment exercise is all about the way you work as part of a team. You will need to demonstrate that you have effective communication skills, that you can listen to others, and that you are able to contribute your own ideas as well as work with the ideas of others. Democracy, leadership, and collaboration are important.
Morrisons case study presentation
In this part of the assessment, you will be given a brief and some data to review, which you can do before the assessment begins. You will need to create a presentation that discusses the case study and provides a solution to the presented problem, and then you will need to present it to the assessor. Once you have finished your presentation, the assessor will ask you some questions about the material you have presented.
In this part of the assessment day, you are being evaluated on your presentation skills and confidence, but also on your ability to plan an argument and structure a presentation. You will need to be able to read and understand different types of data to make a reasoned and logical conclusion, and you will need to be able to discuss the source material confidently, too.
Morrisons role play exercise
The role play exercise is often the least favoured for applicants - and it can be a challenge. In the same way as the previous exercises, you will get some time to prepare before you start. You’ll be provided with a brief, and you will know the role that you will be playing.
During the role play you will usually take on the role that you have applied for, and behave as if you are already part of the team. You will need to use the information in the brief that you have been given to help the assessor (who might be someone like a customer) make a decision.
While this is about things like customer service, negotiation, and persuasion, it is also an assessment of your ability to think on your feet and about the way you champion the company. You want the role play to feel as natural as possible, so don’t rely too heavily on any notes and let the conversation flow.
The final part of the Morrisons assessment centre is the interview. This is an opportunity for you to have a one-to-one conversation with a member of the hiring team, and they will ask you a number of questions about your motivations for joining Morrisons, about your education and work history, and examples of your competencies and abilities. Some of the questions that you might be asked include:
Why did you choose to apply for this role?
Who inspires you?
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Tell us about a time where you exceeded expectations.
Describe what happened when you were in a team that did not meet a goal.
Remember, you will need to show that you are passionate about Morrisons in the interview, and you will need to be ready with some examples from your past experiences that demonstrate the key skills and competencies needed for your role.
Tips for passing the Morrisons assessment centre
1. Research the Role
The more you know about the role, the more prepared you will be to ace the assessment centre. You want to be clear on what the recruiters are looking for in a candidate so that you can demonstrate that you are the perfect choice. The job description is a good place to start, but the whole Morrison career site is packed full of helpful information that you can use to show how passionate you are about the opportunity.
2. Make a good impression
You still need to present yourself appropriately at a Virtual Assessment Center, so make sure that you are dressed to impress and that you are in a space that is neat and tidy, with no distractions. Check the wall behind you doesn’t have anything on it that could be a problem, and make sure that your audio and visual apparatus is working properly.
3. Think of examples
In the interview, you are likely to feel under pressure to answer the questions, so you will feel much more confident if you have already got some ideas of the types of questions that you will be asked. From the details in the job description, you should be able to work out which specific competencies the recruiter will mention, so think of your examples before you get started.
4. Use the preparation time
Being able to see the material in the briefs and case study before getting started on each stage is a bonus, so you need to make sure that you are making the most of the preparation time that you have been given. Take notes if you need to, and try and have the data to hand so you can refer to it if you need to.
5. Be yourself
The recruitment team are looking for innovative individuals, and they are also looking for those who think in new and exciting ways. Your voice could be just the difference that they are looking for in the business, so don’t be afraid to be your authentic self. Culture and job fit works both ways, and you want to be comfortable in your job - so don’t change who you are to match what they are looking for.