We caught up with Rebecca, who provides us with some great insight, including tips for the application process and her background.
Please talk me through your Lidl journey?
I started my Lidl journey with six months in sales – here, I learnt everything from being a Customer Assistant to managing the team to achieve daily productivity targets. I also helped on inventory focused projects and to seek new ways we can tackle inventory problems. I also aided on the implementation of a new automated ordering system across regional stores and worked with store managers to ensure this was successful. Following my time in sales, I then went into Admin for 2 months, gaining a full understanding across the department and specifically helping with the recruitment team. I then moved onto Logistics for five weeks and worked alongside Team Managers and the Logistics Consultant. I also worked across the three departments on an operational level including Goods In, Selection and Distribution and Transport. Following this experience, I spent two months working on a project for the Admin and Logistics departments. Finally, I’ve just started my rotation in Supply Chain in which I’m learning about the business from a completely different angle which has been extremely interesting so far.
How did you find the interview process?
The application itself is quite straight forward. Each stage was clear and at every step you get to know the business better. The interview process on the telephone and on the assessment day was clear and focussed on motivations. My tip would be to think about what drives you as an individual, your achievements, and what you like doing and why. Also, make sure you have done some research on Lidl, including a visit to the store along with an understanding of their business model. You should demonstrate good knowledge of the role you’re applying for as well. I would encourage you to think how you can make yourself stand out. Finally, believe in yourself and that will shine through in your interview!
What do you enjoy most about your role?
On the graduate scheme, you’re on a rotational programme that gives you the opportunity to see different parts of the business including Sales/Logistics and Supply Chain. I think it is great that you’re exposed to such a variety of roles within Lidl so that you can really work out where your passions lie. The rotational nature of the programme provides a fast-paced learning environment with such diversity, which makes my role so interesting. You also participate in a number of excellent training courses such as Leadership in Lidl. Also, meeting so many different people in each department with an array of backgrounds and knowledge is fascinating.
What has been your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge has been maintaining a work life balance, especially when you’re working to rotas. My biggest tip would be to plan and organise your days off so that your free time is well spent. It is definitely hard work but the rewards and satisfaction of doing a good job and the opportunities that comes from this makes it all worthwhile.
What has been your proudest moment?
Lidl is one of the world’s largest retailers so I knew I would get invaluable experience on the graduate programme. Lidl trusted me to undertake a project for Admin and Logistics and for me to suggest and implement changes and enhancements that would improve our processes. By undertaking this successful project, I’ve been able to make a positive impact on the business.
The team in Lidl are so supportive and encouraging; I’ve enjoyed working across so many different departments. I’ve worked with different people in a collaborative manner, and we were all focused on making the business better for all the relevant stakeholders. Seeing the results of this successful project is just amazing and extremely rewarding.
What is the office atmosphere like?
In store and in the offices, there is a real sense of teamwork as everyone wants to see their teams succeed. The environment is very friendly, fun and supportive; there is always someone around who can help you. If you can show that you’re hard working, then people will definitely invest their time into helping you develop and grow. We’re always thinking about how we can improve whilst also having fun.
What activities are there outside of work?
Being part of Lidl means being part of the community around you. Lidl are hugely involved in charities both local and national, such as the NSPCC. I’ve participated in charity BBQ’s and fancy-dress days; there are also opportunities to do the three peaks challenge and lots more! You can get involved by doing any volunteering and making lifelong friends by getting involved in your local community. Whatever your passion, there are people who share it and Lidl are always open to new ideas. At the moment, I’m participating in an escape room with my team in Supply Chain for a fun team building event.
What is the work life balance like? How would you describe the culture?
Lidl is a progressive employer and it is essential for us to have diverse and engaged people, which is why our ‘people’ agenda is at the heart of the business. We foster an inclusive culture which embraces differences and one that allows us to live the Lidl values every day. The nature of retail requires a 24-hour operation and this fast-paced environment in which something is happening all the time brings a lot of excitement. However, that success will always come with a compromise from our people, whether that means you work weekends, late shifts, or even over bank holidays. However, the rewards, recognition and opportunities make the hard work worthwhile.
What advice would you give to students applying to Lidl?
If you are passionate, a team player with a can-do attitude, and someone who likes to push your knowledge and develop new skills, Lidl is perfect for you. Do some research on Lidl and understand the current challenges in retail, our history, business model and products. Visit a store and try some of our award-winning products as we are not just about low prices, but also quality. Yes, it is hard work, but you get early responsibility, great training and support, with fantastic career opportunities.
To find out more about Lidl and view their opportunities, click here.