How to answer Tesco’s motivation for applying graduate application question

The key is to be as specific and well-researched as possible.

You can expect a ‘Why us?’ or ‘Why this scheme?’ application question for most graduate programmes, but that doesn’t mean that you can use the same answer minus a few details. Tesco’s motivation for applying question is designed to assess whether you really do want to work for the retailer and whether this fits in with your career goals. The key is to be as specific and well-researched as possible. Luckily we’re on hand to guide you in the right direction.

If you also need help with Tesco’s ‘Describe a time when…’ application questions click here.

The question is...

Please can you explain your understanding of the Tesco business area to which you have applied. Please can you also describe your reasons for choosing this graduate programme, and your long-term career aspirations. Please do not use more than 250 words.

This is the point of the application process when your level of knowledge will make you stand out from the competition. You need to show an understanding of:

  • what the overall objectives of the role are

  • what the job involves on a day-to-day basis

  • who you will be working with, eg will you be working with customers directly?

  • what the typical career progression of someone in the role is (after the graduate scheme) – this will help you pinpoint how your career aspirations fit

  • the challenges of the role (eg any particularly busy times) and its high points

  • how Tesco’s business strategy affects the job (if applicable) – eg in 2015 the new CEO, Dave Lewis, appointed Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) as its new advertising agency and aimed to have a more integrated brand to bring strategy, finance and marketing together.

Tesco outlines each of its business areas on its graduate website. Take what they say and translate it into details about what you would be doing in the role. For some of the schemes, you might find the ‘areas of work’ on TARGETjobs Retail, buying and merchandising useful; for other schemes, check out TARGETjobs Quantity surveying and building surveying, TARGETjobs Property, TARGETjobs Engineering and TARGETjobs Logistics, transport and supply chain.

When talking about why you are applying, make sure you give reasons specific to the programme – not just reasons why you want to work for Tesco in general. For example, if you’re applying for the finance stream, explain why you would rather work for the retailer instead of a financial services company.

Remember that there are three parts to this question: the business area, why the graduate scheme and your career aspirations.

Keep within the word count

Make sure you stick to 250 words, which is hard to do when you have a three-part question to answer. We recommend spending about 100 words on the business area, 100 words on your reasons for applying and 50 words on your aspirations. You could use bullet points to keep your answer focused.

Our 'How to get hired' articles are written by TARGETjobs editors and writers with job candidates in mind, helping you research and understand employers. Copyright of all material written by TARGETjobs lies solely with GTI Media.