To think that getting a job at a supermarket is impossible!

(147 Posts)
Supermarketreject Wed 12-May-21 07:48:20

Ok, it obviously isn’t because there are thousands of people working in supermarkets but here’s the problem...

DS is 17 and will finish A levels this week. Predicted AAB
He’s really friendly & just a normal, nice lad.
Going to University (in home city) next year so will be able continue p/t work.
Applying for temporary supermarket jobs (advertised as such).
He has stated that he can work any hours/days.
He has filled out the online questionnaires/multi-choice questions (trying to answer them so that he puts customer first/doesn’t pester managers too much/shows initiative).
He gets almost immediate rejection e-mails every time!
What is going wrong? Is it his age? (17)
How do you actually get past the questionnaire & get an interview nowadays?
The computer says no every time!! 😳😓

Can anyone advise or give tips? Or does anyone know how it works?

OP’s posts: |
ThatIsMyPotato Wed 12-May-21 07:49:55

Maybe they can tell he is answering with what he thinks they want to hear rather than what he would do?

Finfintytint Wed 12-May-21 07:50:36

I think it is probably his age. They don’t want to invest too much time and effort into training.

Supermarketreject Wed 12-May-21 07:53:25

ThatIsMyPotato

Maybe they can tell he is answering with what he thinks they want to hear rather than what he would do?

He has answered in the way he thinks he should act and would. Something is obviously wrong but I don’t know what! I read through his answers and I would have put the same!

OP’s posts: |
Supermarketreject Wed 12-May-21 07:55:16

Finfintytint

I think it is probably his age. They don’t want to invest too much time and effort into training.

Do you think? I worked in a big supermarket from 16 when I was a student. They definitely trained me up!
Come to think of it, his friends with jobs in retail are all 18.

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Mumof1andacat Wed 12-May-21 07:55:39

My husband used to work as a manager for a food retailer. He would only be able to recruit over 18s due to the alcohol licensing laws. All staff in his shop needed to be multi skilled so had to work both on the shop floor and the tills. Under 18s could not work on the tills.

covetingthepreciousthings Wed 12-May-21 07:56:36

Is there a part on the questionnaire where you have to put experience or previous jobs? I wonder if it's that?

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Bagelsandbrie Wed 12-May-21 07:57:20

Dd aged 17 has found exactly the same thing. I have a feeling it’s an age thing because ideally they’d like someone to be 18 for the odd hours / alcohol rules etc I suspect, I may be wrong though.

She kept applying for everything and anything and eventually got a job in a smaller high street retailer.

covetingthepreciousthings Wed 12-May-21 07:57:34

It might be the age though, he might be better trying smaller shops or independent cafes etc?

HighlandCowbag Wed 12-May-21 07:58:26

I don't know, a local morrisons is currently laying off all the part time workers, mainly young people, in order to set more full time staff on.

My dd, similar age, has just got a job in Next. And a couple of her school friends too, maybe try retail rather than supermarkets. Supermarkets are probably anticipating being a bit quieter now retail is opening back up.

Supermarketreject Wed 12-May-21 07:59:25

Mumof1andacat

My husband used to work as a manager for a food retailer. He would only be able to recruit over 18s due to the alcohol licensing laws. All staff in his shop needed to be multi skilled so had to work both on the shop floor and the tills. Under 18s could not work on the tills.

Thank you!
I think times have changed! I was on the till at a big supermarket and had to get others to verify if I was putting alcohol through (when I was 16/17). Maybe they just don’t want the hassle of it nowadays. And of course laws change! 🤔

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Smidge001 Wed 12-May-21 07:59:35

I think he's answering the questions wrong. My husband tried to get a job there and when asked what he'd do while stacking shelves if a customer asked him where something was, he responded that he'd show the customer.
Well that's not what they wanted.
His job was to stack shelves. He should have just told them the aisle number and left them to it and carried on with stacking shelves.
Apparently they don't want you to take initiative or actively help the customers. You need to answer the questions as if nothing would stop you doing the job you're employed to do!
Completely bizarre but I guess they just want a doer, not management material!

Roselilly36 Wed 12-May-21 07:59:37

My DS had exactly the same trouble, ended up working in a local shop for 6mths. Even the local shop wouldn’t take him on until he was 18 due to being an off licence too. It’s a shame stores seem to think that every young person will be unreliable and not turn in etc.

Toomanymuslins Wed 12-May-21 08:00:18

It’s really hard - I could never get a job in our local Asda!

I do think it’s generally difficult for young people now. It used to be you could just grab a summer job in a factory or bar but seems harder now.

cupsofcoffee Wed 12-May-21 08:00:48

If he's getting immediate rejections, it will be because his answers weren't correct on the questionnaires.

Supermarketreject Wed 12-May-21 08:01:00

covetingthepreciousthings

Is there a part on the questionnaire where you have to put experience or previous jobs? I wonder if it's that?

Yes! That too!
He has voluntary work and work exp. on his CV but no paid employment. It’s the first step...

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Supermarketreject Wed 12-May-21 08:01:40

cupsofcoffee

If he's getting immediate rejections, it will be because his answers weren't correct on the questionnaires.

I thought this but I can’t figure out what he is doing wrong either!

OP’s posts: |
FredaFox Wed 12-May-21 08:04:12

I also think that supermarket jobs aren’t as bountiful post pandemic as pre, a neighbours son got a job at Sainsbury’s last summer, the stores aren’t as busy as they used to be as more people are going online. He got finished in Feb as not enough work, a lot went after Christmas. He’s hoping to go back if they get busy. He’s 19 and not got a job since he finished in Feb.
I do suspect your sons age won’t help as he will be restricted to what jobs he can do in store and if they have less staff than normal they will want someone to cover all aspects
Bars and restaurants are crying out for staff, I’ve seen loads advertised, can he get a glass collector job until he turns 18?

Supermarketreject Wed 12-May-21 08:04:58

I’m also thinking that if I ever wanted a supermarket job (I’m currently 25 years into a public sector profession - Degree/MA etc) I would be absolutely stuffed!! 😅

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FredaFox Wed 12-May-21 08:05:47

I suspect they are also getting a high volume of applications, who are you going to recruit if you had a vacancy? someone with experience or someone with none?

mayblossominapril Wed 12-May-21 08:06:36

He will probably find it easier to get a job in a pub that serves daytime meals or a hotel.

ThatIsMyPotato Wed 12-May-21 08:06:39

As a PP said it might be that his answers are being too helpful? The shelf stacking one was a good example.

lap90 Wed 12-May-21 08:06:50

These days the 'correct answers' for supermarkets job applications can be found online on social networking platforms.

I imagine the supermarkets are overwhelmed.

HotelCaliforniaOnRepeat Wed 12-May-21 08:07:14

Hospitality? Many jobs available now with indoor opening.

StreetLightsHoney Wed 12-May-21 08:07:31

He’s not answering the questions correctly. Different supermarkets want different approaches (for example, ASDA always wants you to put the customer first including show them to the aisle where the product they’re asking about is), and it’s hard to know what the answers are.

It’s not age. They like part time workers and younger ones too as they’re cheaper and don’t have poor training from another company. They’re usually a blank slate.

But you would never get an automatic rejection based on age. Computer says no happens on answers, not age. If it was age, he’d get to interview and his application would be seen by a real person then rejected.

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