What Happens at a Coles Group Interview?
Knowing What to Expect Will Help You
I recently attended a Coles group interview. Before I went, I searched the web for information about what to expect. Unfortunately, I didn't find too many reliable sources (beyond a couple of Yahoo Answers posts). This meant that I had to go into the interview without knowing what the interview would be all about.
To save you from the same experience, I decided to write this article. I'm going to comment at length about the interview process, and I hope that you find some comfort in reading about how the group interview works. Hopefully, this might help to boost your confidence, and it might also give you an edge over your fellow interviewees.
Arriving at the Interview
When I received an email from Coles telling me that I had been successful in obtaining a group interview, I was thrilled, and I duly noted the time of the interview. I was instructed to bring a copy of my birth certificate, as well as a copy of photo identification.
With these items grasped tightly in my sweaty palms, I headed over to the customer service desk, where I was asked to sign against my name. I took my position outside of the store with the other nervous applicants.
About 15 minutes later (15 minutes after the supposed interview time), the 40 or so of us were escorted to a large room containing five round tables. We lined up and were asked for our name by the store manager, and we were told to sit at a particular table. After a brief introduction by the store manager and each of the five managers in attendance, the fun and games really began.
Introducing Ourselves to the Group
First, we were told to introduce ourselves to the group. We took turns doing so in an anti-clockwise manner. This took about two minutes.
After this, we were directed to fill out our application sheets, which contained questions similar in style to the ones I had answered when I had initially applied online. They asked for your first and last name, the date, the time, the hours that you would like to work, how many hours you would like to work, the departments that you would like to work in (dairy, produce, night-fill, checkout, etc.), and whether or not you could lift heavy objects. This was filled out quickly and quietly by my fellow applicants; it was obvious that there was still some nervous energy present.
I must add that during this process the store manager was briefing us on each question, so it was probably unwise of me to rush ahead and complete the application because some points were made that caused me to alter my answers. We were allocated a fair amount of time for this, and then we started group activities.
The group activities consisted imagining ourselves in a number of specific scenarios. We had to take the position of a team member within the supermarket, and position ourselves in the middle of the following situations:
- A bottle of oil has been accidentally dropped in front of you, making it dangerous for you to bypass.
- It is time for you to take a 15 minutes break.
- The stock you are looking for has run out.
- A customer has approached you and asked you to assist them to find the batteries.
- You have three additional boxes of stock in a different aisle to be packed away.
- A manager is telling a story to your fellow team members that is not work related but humorous.
- You notice a fellow team member putting some stock in his/her pocket.
- A small child is wandering in your aisle, crying and obviously lost.
After considering each of these events, we had to prioritise the points in order of what we would do first to what we would do last individually. We had two minutes to complete this, then after that we had to discuss and attempt to priorities our points as a group for the remaining eight minutes. After we had organised our group preferences, the store manager asked each group what their preferences were. This took another 10 or so minutes.
Finally, around 40 minutes after entering the interview room, we were asked if we had any questions and then thanked for coming to the interview. Unfortunately, as we left the interview we were not given any indication of whether we were successful or not.
Best of Luck!
Once again, I hope this article has helped to ease your nerves about the group interview at Coles. I wish you the best of luck in getting the job.