1. Which university did you graduate from, in which area and year?
I graduated from Strathclyde Business School in 2007 with a BA (Hons) joint degree in Manufacturing Engineering and Management Science.
2. Why did Lidl appeal?
I was looking for a challenging role with a company that would support my development and I had a real desire to work with people. I was attracted to Lidl due to the vast size of the organisation and the wide opportunities that would be available to me. Lidl have a great reputation for developing leaders and are committed to development of their people. I was looking for a role that would challenge me and would give me lots of opportunities to grow – and Lidl ticked all the boxes.
3. What did the recruitment process involve?
I submitted an application form online and then attended a group interview session with forty other candidates. At this session we got the opportunity to find out more about the organisation and hear from the Regional Director for Scotland and previous graduates. This really gave me a flavour of the company and what working for Lidl would be like. After being successful at the group stage I then attended an interview with the Sales Operations Manager to discuss my CV, skill-set and previous roles in other organisations.
4. What does your current role involve?
I am District Manager for the Inverness region. I am responsible for four stores, have four Store Managers reporting to me and I'm ultimately responsible for the forty-five people that work in my district. I ensure the stores meet their performance targets and that my Store Managers have all the support they need. I am responsible for health and safety, making sure my stores are legally compliant, controlling waste, managing inventory and ultimately ensuring the highest standards of customer service.
5. What has been your route through the company?
I entered Lidl through their Graduate Area/District Manager Programme. I worked as a Trainee Area/District Manager for ten months before being offered my current role as District Manager for Inverness.
6. What training have you received?
I spent six months in store learning every role within the store from Sales Assistant up to Store Manager before moving onto District Manager training by shadowing other District Managers. I then moved on to providing holiday cover for the District Managers before then receiving my own district.
7. Why would you recommend retail?
It is incredibly fast paced and every day is different. When you work in Retail you have to answer to your customers on a daily basis and ensure you are meeting their needs, they soon tell you if you aren't!
8. What advice would you give to other graduates looking for a job?
Don't just apply for every role you see advertised. Think about what roles you want to do and where your strengths lie. Also, think about the type of company you want to work for, working for a great company really makes the difference between getting an okay job and having a successful career.