The Co-operative Group

The Co-operative

Anyone got any experiences of their application process they would be willing to share? I have an interview for them in a couple of weeks.


I have an interview with them in December and was unfortunately unsuccessful… even though I thought it went quite well!

It was basically going through what you have written on the application form. Asking questions similar to those you have answered on the form and your grades so far and extra curricular activities and stuff.
Then at the end there are a few of the usual competency questions, I can’t remember anything specific as it was so long ago.
Have you applied for the CIMA scheme or the other one? If it’s the CIMA I would recommend knowing all about the qualification, I think that may have been where I messed up a bit as I didn’t look into it as much as I should have. I got asked about the modules that you sit.

In general the Co-op are a good company to work for. I worked there over the summer in one of their side projects and really enjoyed it.
Hope I helped a bit! I couldn’t find anything on the process before I went!


Hiya, I have accepted an offer with the co-op for 2009 start! As for the interview you should hear back within a couple of days, I say should because I didn’t as they couldn’t contact me on my mobile!lol… oh well.

As for the competency questions the asked me about

  • the CIMA to gage my awareness of it… I mentioned that I realized auditing wasn’t taught and asked if I could use my training allowance to get a separate qualification in auditing (prob won’t but it seemed to work)!
  • They asked about the switch to accounting… my degree is neuroscience
  • the usual tell be about a time when… -the only advice I can give is re-read ur application becase they want the answers from there. Also, they have a wired format where ur answer has to have a overview, one sentence begining, one sentence middle and one sentence end (so don’t be thrown) if they don’t like the example they may ask for another or or specific one.
    -Also, they may ask why you over the other applicants (they did at my assessment center)

Good luck with it all, maybe we’ll meet in september!


I would like to know more about what the assessment day is like? Information on the web from past applicants seems relatively limited! Wonder if this is down to the relatively few people invited to assessment days compared to other grad schemes?


I would imagine it’s because the job is advertised for Manchester rather than other jobs that give a number of offices to choose from with regards to location. Although from what I remember being told you could be based anywhere really depending on what projects you get/want.


My comment above relates to the limited information… less offices mean less jobs going and as it is just Manchester I would say less people applying. (Although not sure why… I love Manchester :D)


Well done with your assessment centres!!! Gosh hope it goes well, just sent off my contract this morning and am already slacking off revision and looking at apartments in town instead!

To those that are successful and intend to take the job get in touch, would be nice to know someone before all the meet n’ greets… I find them rather fake myself! Oooh I’m so excited


Hi Dionne would have been super nice if you gave a general tone about the assessment centre…Well I have an assessment centre 1st week of may…Whats the general tone… Do we re-take the numerical and verbal test again? Oh and Big Congratulations on your success? Its a plus to be employed at this particular period so I am sure you must be excited? Hopefully will get through as well.


Does the assessment centre consist of only role play, group exercises, individual exercises, a presentation and an interview… Just need to know what to focus my energy on? Any advise without violating their privacy would be appreciated…


Hi all, this blanket covers the A/C day-
Initially we all met in the foyer of the assessment center. Hanna (HR lady was v.prompt so don’t be late… I live in Manchester and I almost was). The day starts with a presentation by Hanna on the company and the roles (finance and management). A current member of the grad scheme sat in and he talked a bit about the company. Following that managers (the interviewers) came in and we had a ice breaking session… it was basically us saying our name, uni, degree and interesting fact and them (managers) speaking about their role in the company.Next we continued the ice breaker with a bingo -esque game… incidentally I won (woop woop).

My assessment center was fairly large with more management applicants than finance… there were 3 finance and like 15 management. we were split into two timetables. I was in time table one so I’ll give you mine (both were the same just different ordering of exercises).
1st. interview- Same format as initial interview, lasts approx.1hr
2nd. Psychometric tests- guess they were PSL but slightly harder than online tests. A calculator is provided.
3rd preparation for debate -the preparation was individual but the debate is group. Each applicant is given a proposal and asked to analyze it… you don’t know the proposals of the other applicants. The aim is to present your proposal in a boardroom type situation (i.e talking with no aides) giving the pros and cons of yours and the other applicants proposal. This is timed and you are assessed on your group interaction, ideas presented and your ability to influence the group. I won… you should aim to, it shows your ability to influence. There are approx 4 in each group… Golden advice, BE PATIENT I had a twat in my group who kept on repeating is points without adding to the discussion and at one point I turned away from him when he was speaking. this was picked up on but they understoood why.

4th. 1.5hr preparation for individual presentation. You are given loads of info in a booklet on a fictional co-op and told to prepare according to the aims in your booklet. I don’t know if they differed between applicants but mine said to compare 3 stores performance and give possible reasons why and possible ways to improve it. Use the numbers (financial, demographics etc) in your presentation but don’t get bogged down with them. the presentation lasts 15 minutes… they will cut you off if you go over (happened to the twat from the debate). It wasn’t that stressful but water is available on the table in the room.

Assessment center debrief
End of assessment center
Drinks with graduates and managers… advice, don’t be the 1st or last to leave!

On a final note, they were lovely and I am so happy to have gotten it… also, the perks are great! Each exercise is scaled on 1-4 with 4 being the best. no individual exercise will prevent you from getting the job. My best ones were the interview and debate (I got 4s from all of the assessors) but I F**KED up my presentation because I didn’t use any of the numbers (profit etc) but luckily I am a confident speaker so that saved me!

You find out quite quickly… I heard back in 4 days a friend in 3 (she didn’t get it). Don’t worry, no need is good news. they email with rejection and phone to accept you.

I hope this helped.


Oh yea, there was no official role play just the goup exercise. The day was quite laid back and all the graduates and managers were really nice. They really put your mind at ease… I’m sure you’ll all do great. I hope the above post was useful if I missed anything out let me know!


Thank you so so much …Dionne…got mine in 3 days…Thanks …


Hey could anyone who was at wednesdays (6th May 09) assessment centre post when they hear back?


ok will try to…Was exactly as posted…


take it nobody heard today?!


Just top say good luck to those of you that have had an A/C already! You sould find out soon enough… my A/C was on a wednesday and I didn’t hear back until the Monday!


Didn’t get it, very disappointed. Thought I had done well (with one or two points I knew I could have done better on) so will be interesting to hear feedback.


Thats a shame wannabeHRfave, I’m guessing that was the general reply following the lack of feedback from others at your A/C. Anyhow, hope all works out on the graduate job front!


Hello guys! i am thinking of applying to the finance scheme with the coop but don’t feel particularly confident. I got the ucas points and a 2:1 but am i wasting my time if i went to Leicester? Sorry to put a down on it only i have applied to many schemes where im trying to compete against the OxBridge guys and kind of feel my time would be better used elsewhere??

Thanks in advance :slight_smile:


Havent a clue mate… i dont want to Cooperate!