The John Lewis Partnership is the largest department store retailer in UK with over 40 John Lewis Shop shops. Regularly voted as one of the best workplaces became a popular graduates destination. With a mission to nurture future business leaders the John Lewis Partnership offers Graduate Programs providing friendly work environment, cutting- edge knowledge and experience across all areas of Partnership.

The unique employee-owned structure, allowing employees to “own” a part of the business makes the competition quite high and some of the applicants find the process to be a bit full on, but at the same time rewarding.

Take a look how to stand out of the crowd, and be one of the best applicants.


John Lewis Partnership Application Process

There are 4 stages in the John Lewis Partnership Application Process:

Stage 1: Online Application

  • Values based Questionnaire
  • Numerical Reasoning Test
  • Verbal Reasoning Test
  • Situational Judgement Test
  • Application Form

Stage 2: Online Video Interview
Stage 3: Assessment Centre
Stage 4: Final Interview with Director of the Leadership


Psychometric Tests

Psychometric tests are the first stage of John Lewis Partnership application process to assess the key qualities and skills required from a candidate to be successful in the role. Applicants are asked to complete values based questionnaire, numerical reasoning tests, verbal reasoning tests and situational judgment tests before they are granted with an invitation to the assessment center.
To keep the whole process run smoothly, you are expected to complete these tests in 2 days, after receiving an email asking you to enter the first stage of the recruitment process. Completing the Online Application should take you between 2 to 2.5 hours, so make sure you are prepared for a long sitting.

Details on John Lewis Partnership’s psychometric tests can be found below.


John Lewis Value Based Questionnaire

The Value-Based Questionnaire is designed to find out what guides your moral decisions, what values are important in your life, and if any. Essentially, this is how the employers find out your true colors.You will be presented with a number of possible scenarios that might occur in any of the John Lewis Partnership’s departments and expected to provide sound, written responses.

Since becoming employed in John Lewis Partnership would make you a “co-owner” of the organization, you need to have a specific set of behavioral attributes to fulfill the role successfully. Honesty, respect, and dedication are just a few of them. To find out more, how to pass Value Based Questionnaire take the mock tests. A good work ethic can be learned too!


John Lewis Numerical Reasoning Test

The John Lewis Numerical Reasoning Test comprises of a series of questions relating to graphs, percentages and tables whereby you will be asked to analyse data and chose from a set of multiple choice answers. This will be timed so ensure you sit them in a quiet environment.


John Lewis Verbal Reasoning

The John Lewis Partnership Verbal Reasoning Test comprises of a series of paragraphs which you will be required to read and a set of questions matching the information provided in paragraphs. Your answer options will be True, False or Cannot Tell.

John Lewis Partnership Verbal Reasoning Test is a timed assessment aimed at checking your comprehension and understanding skills during which you will be required to do a fair amount of reading so make sure you will be sitting them where you can concentrate.


John Lewis Situational Judgement Test

Can you work effectively and collaboratively in a diverse team? Do you know how to make your own voice heard in a non-tyrannical manner?

The John Lewis Partnership Judgment Tests also referred to as Management Judgement Indicator Test, is a set of questions assessing how you might react to hypothetical events and situations taking place in the John Lewis workplace.

This will be a litmus test for your values, assessing if they match with the company’s culture. So do you research and try to memorized them by heart ( might come in handy in the future!)

These tests also concentrate on your ‘ people skills’ so, good communication and networking abilities should earn you a few points. Whilst they vary in form, usually, you will be presented with a number of descriptions to which you are obliged to provide an appropriate response from a multiple choice list. So, try to be as sensible as you can and use the full capacity of your emotional intelligence.

However, the catch in any Situational Judgment Test is the high probability of any of the presented answers. We recommend you to think in accordance with the promoted values outlined in the company’s profile, but to really ace it you might want to train your situational- judgment muscles and take one of the profiled mocking Situational Judgment Tests.


John Lewis Online Video Interview

If everything went well, and the people at John Lewis Partnership who have been reviewing your Online Application Form are happy with the results, you would be invited for an online video interview. This is a typical question and answer evaluation, the only difference is the format.

You will be directed to one of the automated interviewing platforms, on which you need to log in. Questions will be asked in a text format and appear on the device on your screen. At the time, there will be no human being present listening to your answers, so you might find it a bit more easy-going than a regular interview, however, it might be useful to get comfortable with a camera presence beforehand. There are only 30 minutes to answers to all the questions!


John Lewis Assessment Centre

Congratulations, you made it to the last level! The Assessment Centres hold by John Lewis Partnership are usually a mix of individual and group exercises and might be followed by an interview with Director of the Leadership. However, they will differ depending on the job position
you are applying for.

Group Exercise – the exercises will vary, but the general skills that the assessors are looking for is a good balance between teamwork and leadership skills. This can be verified in a group discussion task, during which you need to come up with an action plan for one of the store’s event.

Presentation – You will be given a series of topics for a business presentation and will be expected to choose one and deliver a 10 minutes talk. To succeed you will have to think on your feet and use flip charts to visualize your stream of thoughts! After the presentation time is over, expect the questions – they will materialise.


Application Process

Stage 1: Online Application
Stage 2: Online Video Interview
Stage 3: Assessment Centre
Stage 4: Final Interview




Prepare for your JOHN LEWIS PARTNERSHIP tests

  • Practice Numerical Reasoning Tests

  • Practice Verbal Reasoning Tests

  • Practice Diagrammatic Reasoning Tests

  • Practice Situational Judgement Tests

  • Practice Assessment Centre Tests

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There are 6 stages for the online application process which involves tests and the application form (approx. 2 hours). This is then followed by a video interview (30 minutes), if you are successful in the first stage, and then the assessment center.

There are 6 different schemes offered which cover a number of different elements of the organisation, giving you the opportunity to specialise in certain fields. These are; John Lewis Partnership Finance, John Lewis Partnership Technology, Waitrose Graduate Leadership, John Lewis Retail, John Lewis Buying and John Lewis Merchandising.

JPL Finance – this scheme aims to help develop your analytical and technical skills providing you with experience in all areas from safeguarding company assets to supplier payments. You will immediately be involved in projects, working alongside senior colleagues in different areas of the business as well as locations. You will undertake these responsibilities whilst studying for the CIMA qualification. JLP will fund any exam related courses and fees for the first attempt. You will be given a good overview of all aspects of finance within the organisation in order to provide you with a well-rounded skill set.

JPL Technology – technology is important to JPL as it is the basis for the business. Technology helps to enhance efficiency, boost sales and keep in touch with the customer. You will become involved in the whole life cycle of the IT system in order to give you a clear understanding of how it all works within the organisation. After 2 years you will then have the opportunity to specialise in a certain area of technology.

Waitrose Graduate Leadership – Waitrose now has over 300 branches throughout the country and is rapidly continuing to expand. The scheme offers much variety in the day-to-day where you will experience different aspects of the business. In the first year you will be in branches where you will be assigned to certain areas for periods of time and gain an overview of the procedures and activities that happen at store level. You’ll undertake training as a duty manager and section manager followed by department manager – essentially gaining experience in all areas of work at branch level. In the second and third years you’ll take on job rotations in different places in the business, such as marketing, retail support or supply chain – gaining constant skills and understanding in each area.

John Lewis Retail – the aim of this scheme is for you to eventually manage your own John Lewis shop. You’ll receive a 6 week intense induction at one of the branches which will explain how everything operates and you will adopt the role of Section Manager. The scheme is 3 years in length and provides you with training and development in order to prepare you for senior store manager.

John Lewis Buying – this scheme is designed to train you to become a buyer – an important customer facing role. You must be passionate about retail and about developing products. You will gain experience and knowledge about making the right choices for products and about understanding the current trends, analysing the industry and assessing commercial viability. This scheme lasts 2 years with you beginning as a buying assistant and working across a number of different areas in the organisation. You will do placements, have in-house training and various courses as well as mentors throughout your learning. After the scheme you will be an assistant buyer which will stand you in a good position for further years of progression to the role of Buyer.

John Lewis Merchandising – this involves training you to become a merchandiser, which is an important role within any business as they manage the stock in order to hit targets. You’ll join the merchandising team at entry level as a merchandising assistant where you will be supported in your training along the way. In the second year you’ll then progress to the role of assistant merchandiser where your responsibility and duties will increase. With a further few years of training you will be ready to become a qualified merchandiser.