Wegmans is by no means one of the biggest supermarket chains in the US. It occupies a modest 29th position on the list, with roughly 105 locations across mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions, and employs approximately 50,000 employees, which is obviously no match to Walmart, for example, employing over 2 million people across their stores & headquarters. And yet Wegmans is special, and definitely one of the most beloved supermarket chains in the US, by both customers and employees. It always ranks on the annual list of 100 best companies to work for, and many customers are so loyal to the brand that they would not shop anywhere else. Summarized and underlined, if we talk about basic retail jobs such a stock associate, cashier, or customer service, Wegmans is a great place to work. But you have to pass an interview (or a couple of them), before you get a chance to work for the company. What can you expect?

First and foremost, the interview is more difficult than it is with the biggest retail players. Simply because Wegmans is a good place to work, they receive many job applications for almost every vacancy, have a luxury of choice, and try to make sure that people fit the working environment at the store.

The hiring managers will typically inquire about your background, motivation, future plans, strengths, and your attitude to different situations you can encounter in the job (the so called scenario-based questions), such as dealing with an upset customer, or having a conflict with a colleague. Let’s have a look at the questions right now, one by one.

 

Why do you want to work for Wegmans?

Wegmans is special in so many ways that this one isn’t really difficult to answer. First of all, they pay a lot of attention to the origin of food, and quality, always offering also items free of artificial colors, preservatives, and flavors. For sure one can have a better feeling working for such a store when compared to stores that sell food which–said plainly as it is–slowly poisons the people and makes them sick.

Secondly, Wegmans has not missed a single year when it comes to ranking on the list of 100 best companies to work for, which is a feat not many corporations have achieved. Bear in mind that the list originates from the results of employee satisfaction surveys, so it reflects the actual working conditions, and how employees feel about the place. Who would not want to work for one of the best employers in the country?

And then there are many other reasons. The overall atmosphere of the place, the donations the owners make annually to charity, decent employee benefits for this type of work, and so on. Pick anything that resonates with you, and show positive associations with the brand of Wegmans. The hiring managers should get an impression that the job is your first choice, at least at this stage of your professional career.

Sample answer:

I am a big advocate of healthy eating, and especially plant based diet, since I realize how much it means for both people and the plant. In my opinion, when it comes to supermarket chains in the US, there’s no match to Wegmans when it comes to shopping healthy, locally, and plant based. I want to support this concept as much as I can, and an ideal way of doing so is working for you, providing excellent customer service, making sure that people return again to the store. I would be proud to have this job, and that is something one cannot say in most of the retail stores…

 

Can you tell us more about your background and experience?

They have read your application and know the basic stuff. Now you should elaborate on it, focusing on the most relevant facts and details. That means, any roles you had that helped you to get ready for the job with Wegmans. The relevancy depends on the position you try to get with the company, but basically any experience working for a retail store or even a restaurant is a relevant experience. Explain them basically your duties and responsibilities. If you worked on a team, sharing some responsibilities with your colleagues, you should always say so, because teamwork is very important at Wegmans.

If you are just studying, be honest, and do not make anything up. Many part time cashiers or even stock associates are still students, and the job with Wegmans is their first or second ever part-time job. And that’s fine as long as they see that you are a responsible student and have a good enough reason to work for Wegmans, be it earning some money to support your studies, or perhaps get that first experience on your resume.

Sample answer:

I am still studying, and except of one part time job in a fast-food chain I haven’t worked anywhere. In spite of that I believe to have what it takes to work here, and the fast food restaurant experience taught me a lot about teamwork, responsibility, and also about handling a heavy workload in a fast-paced environment. I am someone who always gives his 100%, regardless of what I do–be it studying, playing, working. I believe that with my attitude the lack of experience isn’t a disadvantage…

 

What makes you a good fit for the job here?

Experience is one think, values and personality another. Sure enough, if you’ve worked as a cashier somewhere before, it is a plus, but everyone can learn how to operate the cash drawer, or how to stock shelves, or take care of other basic duties in the supermarket. That’s the easy one to be honest.

But people cannot be changed so easily, when it comes to their personality, attitude to other people and life, and to other things that are deeply rooted in our being, with everything we inherited from our predecessors and have been through in our life. So if you prefer greasy unhealthy food with sugar making for 30% of the ingredients, and think that primarily plant-based diet is a fad, you’re not going to make a good employee at Wegmans.

The same goes about preferring solitude to teamwork, caring about your paycheck and barely anything else when it comes to the job, and many other things. Keep it on your mind when they ask you why you consider yourself a good fit for the job. You should focus mostly on your values, personality, motivation, and explain how they resonate with the values Wegmans promotes, and with their mission statement.

Sample answer:

I am a team player, advocate for the type of food you sell here (no preservatives and artificial substances), and I enjoy working with like-minded people. Considering my experience from your store, from the position of a customer, I believe I will fit the team here perfectly.

 

How important is teamwork to you?

You should give it a high importance. Ensure the hiring managers that you love to belong to a hardworking team of people united by the same goals and values. Because that’s exactly the working culture they try to foster at Wegmans.

What is more, you should elaborate on your answer with an example from one of your former jobs. It can be both a positive example and a negative one. Perhaps you worked in a store which promoted unhealthy food, and didn’t really share the values with your colleagues and managers. Hence you decided to change your place of work. Or you worked in a place where teamwork didn’t really exist, everybody cared only for themselves, and internal conflicts happened on a daily basis. You realized it wasn’t a place to be and decided to looks elsewhere…

Sample answer:

I love belonging to a hard-working team, one where you can rely on other people and other people can rely on you, one where people help each other and follow the same goals. There’s nothing better than that. Of course, having a good team around you also helps to overcome crisis of motivation and deal with heavy workload on difficult days. All, in all, I am 10 from 10 for teamwork, and cannot wait to get to know my new colleagues here–if you hire me, of course.

 

Tell us about time when you did not agree with a coworker.

Regardless of shared ideals, values, and passions, some conflicts will always occur on a team. Hiring managers try to understand how you react in such situations, what impact they have on you, and whether you prefer building bridges, or fences.

Narrate a situation when you didn’t agree about something work-related with a colleague. It is much better than talking about a situation when you liked a different basketball team than your colleague, or argued about the way the government addressed the recent pandemic. Keep it work related, and ensure the hiring managers that you did all you could to stay calm, and control the emotions.

You simply shared your arguments, and listened to the arguments of the colleague. Then the two of you discussed it and either decided, or asked the manager to make the final call. Once the conflict was over, you shook hands and did not dwell on it any longer. That’s the attitude they seek in good job candidates at Wegmans.

Sample answer:

It happened to me in my last job in a warehouse. I didn’t agree with a way one my my teammates worked on a shift, since it was slowing the rest of the team down–or at least that’s how I perceived it. So I went to talk to them but they disagreed and started to shout on me. I stayed calm, though as you can imagine emotions were bubbling in me. Yet I managed to stay calm and decided to involve the manager in the process. He heard me out, suggested some changes to the colleague in question, and basically that was it. I have to say though that the conflict impacted my relationship with this colleague, and though I tried to remedy it, it was never quite the same since then. Anyway, I believe I did the right thing, and would do the same thing again, because for me the goals of the entire team are more important than the relationship with a particular employee in the workplace.

 

Other questions you may face in your interview with Wegmans

  • Tell us about a time when you had to deal with an upset customer.
  • How would you characterize your relationship to a healthy diet and plant-based food?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years from now?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Tell us about a time when you demonstrated leadership.
  • What is your availability?
  • Tell us about a time when you disagreed with your superior or supervisor. What did you do in the situation?
  • When you hear Wegmans, what three words come to your mind first?

 

Final thoughts, next steps

Wegmans is undoubtedly a great place to work, and can even give you a sense of having a job with a meaningful purpose (helping the American population to get healthier), which cannot be said about that many jobs in retail. But you cannot expect an easy ride in this interview, and will often compete with other people for the job. Obviously it makes your situation more difficult. But luck always favors the prepared mind.

Get through the questions once again, think about your answers, mock an interview with a friend. And do not forget to read as much as you can about Wegmans, their history, values, product portfolio, and so on. The more you know, the easier you will find it to connect with the hiring managers, and to answer some questions that relate to their brand. I hope you will succeed, and wish you best of luck!

Matthew

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Matthew Chulaw
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