Sainsbury’s Graduate Scheme in the UK - Interview Tips and How To Get Hired

Sainsbury’s Graduate Scheme Key Information


33 Holborn, City of London, EC1N 2HT




Over 150,000 employees, turnover of £19.964 billion in 2010.

Grad Salary

From £32,000.

Pros and Cons


Very fast paced in every aspect, lots of responsibility given from an early stage.

Excellent training and development throughout your Sainsbury’s career.

Company well known for employee initiatives and benefits.


Can be difficult to challenge the status quo and put forward new ideas.

Sainsbury’s Graduate Scheme Overview

To apply for a Sainsbury’s graduate role, candidates are expected to have attained a 2:1 in any degree discipline, as well as A Level results of a least ABB and B grade GCSE Maths and English.  Candidates with prior retail and/or leadership experience will also be preferred.

Successful candidates undergo a weeklong induction, during which they will meet and work with the Director team, as well as visiting stores, the Store Support Centre in Holborn, a major business supplier and a distribution centre.  The first part of a Sainsbury’s graduate scheme is made up of two placements, each six months in length.

Sainsbury’s graduates undergo a great deal of off the job training in order to fully hone key leadership skills such as leadership and influence.  There is also the opportunity to complete a professional business school qualification relevant to your role.

Sainsbury’s Graduate Scheme Interview Tips

Know how to deal with underperformance. Sainsbury’s will either ask the question or set up a role-play scenario to test this competency. In particular, they will look at how you deal with negative reactions from people.

Be a sharp planner. Sainsbury’s will give you information about a store and ask for a plan to make it better. Timescales can range from a week up to a traditional 100-day business plan.

Sainsbury’s Overview

Sainsbury’s are the United Kingdom’s third largest supermarket group. The wider business portfolio of the company also includes property and banking.
The organisation has undertaken a number of initiatives in recent years in order to recover market share from competitors, which was lost during the 1990’s as the business endured a difficult trading period.

Sainsbury’s place a strong emphasis on their corporate responsibility program, with their wide range of organically sourced and produced products being the market leader for this category in the UK.

Sainsbury’s spends significant sums of money on advertising and other initiatives in order to promote their push for a healthier UK.

Sainsbury’s Locations

In addition to their Store Support Centre in central London, Sainsbury’s has over 1,000 outlets across the UK.

Sainsbury’s retail space ranges from large, out of town hypermarkets to smaller, local convenience stores.

Sainsbury’s Future Salaries

A career at Sainsbury’s can progress quickly, whether you see yourself running a smaller, village branch, a multi-million pound turnover superstore or as a supply chain controller.
Senior management positions are rewarded extremely generously both in terms of salary and benefits packages.

Example salaries at Sainsbury’s include;

Buyer (Head Office) £36,000 - £41,000

Department Manager £30,000 - £40,000

Store Manager (Local) £25,000 - £45,000

Store Manager (Superstore) £70,000 - £100,000