The journey to becoming a Partner

We’ve designed this area of our site to provide you with everything you need to know about becoming a Partner. Here you can learn about the Partnership’s recruitment process, useful hints and tips for the journey, and find answers to those frequently asked questions. You can even practice the kind of tests you might come across.

When applying for a role in the Partnership, we want you to have the best opportunity to be successful. The following information will help build up your knowledge of what to expect during the application process, as well as the key values and capabilities we look for in our new Partners.

What we look for in our Partners?

Partnership Values

Our Partnership Values have been created by Partners, for Partners. They are how we want to behave with one another, our customers, suppliers and stakeholders. They sum up the things that we hold dear and admire in one another.

All or nothing – We put everything we have into everything we do

Be yourself. Always – We’re quirky, proud and at our best when we’re free to be ourselves

Do right – We act with integrity and use our judgement to do the right thing

Give more than you take – We all put more in so that everyone gets more out

Develops self and others – you look to grow your own and others confidence, knowledge, capability and ultimately performance.

We not me – When we work together, anything is possible

Partnership Capabilities

The Partnership Capabilities provide more detail on we look for from our new Partners in our co-owned business. Our Capabilities are aligned to our Partnership Purpose; Happier People, Happier Business & Happier World. 

Candidates will be assessed against at least one capability under each of our Purpose pillars during the assessment process, depending on the nature of the role. For more information on the capabilities and their definitions please click here.

Essential and Desirable Experience

For many of the roles we advertise we are looking for specific skills and experience and it’s essential that you think about these when you are filling in your application form, otherwise you won’t get past this first stage of the process.

We use the desirable skills and experience to decide who to bring to interview and assessment. If you’ve outlined these clearly in your application form, you’ll be much more likely to reach the short list stage.

Wherever we ask for qualifications, please provide details of the awarding bodies and the year so that we have the correct information to verify them if you’re offered the role. And it’s important to remember that membership of professional bodies must be up-to-date.

Right to Work – Important Information

The Partnership must make sure that anyone we’re looking to employ is legally allowed to work in the UK before their employment begins.

You must give the right documents showing you can work in the UK which will be checked when you have an assessment or interview. If the right documents aren’t provided your application won’t progress any further.

For more information on what documents you can bring to show you’ve the right to work, go to the Check if a document allows someone to work in the UK of the gov.uk website.

Check what you need to show

You automatically have the right to work in the UK if:

  • you’re a British or Irish citizen
  • you have pre-settled or settled status from the EU Settlement Scheme – or you’ve applied and you’re waiting for a decision
  • you have a family permit from the EU Settlement Scheme
  • you have indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK
  • you have right of abode in the UK

You might have a right to work in the UK if you’ve got a visa with a time limit. This is called having ‘limited leave to enter or remain’. If your leave has ended, you don’t have the right to work in the UK.

Check if you’re a British citizen

You should check if you’re a British citizen if you’re not sure – for example, you might be a British citizen if you:

  • have a British parent
  • were born in the UK or a British overseas territory
  • were born in a British colony before 1983

To check go to the Check if you’re a British citizen on the gov.uk website.

If you’ve got limited leave to enter or remain 

You’ll have limited leave to enter or remain if you’ve got a visa with a time limit. 

You’ll usually have a document which says if you’ve got the right to work – for example, a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). 

You might have restrictions on the type of job or work you can do, or the number of hours you can work.

For more information on what documents you can bring to show you have the right to work, go to the Check if a document allows someone to work in the UK of the gov.uk website.

If you’ve got a student visa

You’re only allowed to work a certain number of hours. If you’re not sure how many hours you can work, you should check your immigration documents or talk to your education provider. 

More information on the rules about working with a student visa can be found on the Student work page of the UKCISA website.

Pre-employment Checks

For some roles here, we’ll need to verify your credentials – particularly ensuring you are legally permitted to take up an offer of employment. The requirements vary depending on the nature of the position and its level within the Partnership. And, where it is necessary, it will always be stated in the role profile that’s attached to the vacancy on jlpjobs.

We only carry out these checks once you have accepted our offer of employment. And we work with The Security Watchdog (TSW) to do this, the international employment screening specialist. Visit their website to find out more about them: www.securitywatchdog.org.uk

Download our Right to Work instructions for attending an assessment so you know what documentation to bring with you.

Types of checks

There are a number of different checks that might be required – take a look at some of the examples below:

  • Reference Check – verifies that the information provided on your application form matches the information from previous employers, schools/colleges and government agencies.
  • Eligibility to Work Check – verifies the documents provided to ensure you have the legal right to work in the UK.
  • Basic DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service Checks) – provides information on any unspent criminal convictions (this was previously known as CRB check).
  • Academic Qualification Check – verifies your qualifications with the awarding body.
The process

If you accept our offer for a role that requires a pre-employment check, you’ll receive an email giving you full instructions. You’ll be asked to log-in to The Security Watchdog site where you’ll complete a Declaration of Consent Form and an online screening form. It should take no more than 30 minutes and needs to be done as soon as possible (maximum three days for completion). We can’t give you a start date until all the checks have been completed.

Usually this process is very straight-forward. Occasionally, TSW may need to contact you to ask for additional information or documentation – they’ll do so by email or telephone.

Data Protection

Every measure is taken to ensure that your data is handled in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and the EU Directive 95/46/EC.

TSW will hold all the information you provide for the purpose of background screening only. The results will be sent to John Lewis Partnership who will inform you of the outcome.

You can find out full details of how TSW will handle and manage your data on their website: www.securitywatchdog.org.uk

The background screening results will be sent to John Lewis Partnership who will inform you of the outcome. John Lewis Partnership will hold your data in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and the EU Directive 95/46/EC.

Preparing to Apply

Realistic Job Preview

The Partnership is unlike anywhere else. And that means it might not be right for everyone. We’ve put together a series of questions (and videos for some roles) designed to show you what it’s like to work here so you can decide whether we’re the right fit for each other before you apply. These can be found on the appropriate job information pages on this site.

Making Your Applications

Our application form asks you a series of questions so that we can assess your suitability for the Partnership. As well as detailing your experience and qualifications, you’ll have an opportunity to tell us why you are right for the role and the Partnership. For some roles you will be required to upload a CV.

Online Assessment

Please be aware that when you are invited to complete any of our online tests as part of the selection process we recommend completing these tests as soon as possible as some vacancies may close early due to high numbers of applications.

Being a Partner is a unique experience, sharing the responsibility of ownership as well as its rewards. In recognition of this, we’ve developed a questionnaire for candidates to find out if they’re aligned with this unique way of working. We sought insight into the day-to-day activities of Partners to truly understand what it means to be a Partner and the difference of working in a co-owned business. For some roles, questions will also include specific scenarios that you’d experience in the role you’re applying for. They help us to understand how you’ll respond to a variety of challenges which you may encounter on a day-to-day basis and assess your potential for the role.

Skills Test

We may need to know whether you have the skills and capabilities to do the role you’re applying for so we may also ask you to complete some tests specific to your industry knowledge, e.g. coding exercise, accountancy skills or Excel.

Invite to Interview

Preparing for Online Tests and Interview Questions

For roles such as Selling Assistant, Stock Assistant, Supermarket Assistant, Catering/Cafe Assistant, Warehouse Assistant, Contact Centre and People Administration roles you will be asked to complete the relevant Situational Judgement Test as part of the online assessment.

In these, you will be asked to read a scenario and choose what you feel is the best course of action, these will be based on the role you are applying for.

Having a good understanding of the role from the profile will allow you to familiarise yourself with the types of activities you will be required to undertake and your responsibilities. Having time to read these, considering where you have had similar experience in the past or how you have acted in similar situations will help you answer the questions.

As the questions are based on judgement on a situation, it is not possible to practice these types of tests, as each situation and judgement will be different.

Situational Judgement Tests

For roles such as Selling Assistant, Supermarket Assistant, Catering and Warehouse Assistant you will be asked to complete the relevant Situational Judgement Test as part of the online assessment.

In these, you will be asked to read a scenario and choose what you feel is the best course of action, these will be based on the role you are applying for.

Having a good understanding of the role from the profile will allow you to familiarise yourself with the types of activities you will be required to undertake and your responsibilities. Having time to read these, considering where you have had similar experience in the past or how you have acted in similar situations will help you answer the questions.

As the questions are based on judgement on a situation, it is not possible to practice these types of tests, as each situation and judgement will be different.

Ability Tests

You will only be asked to complete an ability test for certain roles and not for all positions we recruit for.

If you are invited to complete an ability test, you will be asked to answer a number of questions, and will be given a time limit in which to complete this.

The type and level of the test will have been determined by the requirements of the role, for example a role which requires the analysis and interpretation of information would have a numerical test as part of the recruitment process. 

Again, familiarise yourself with the role profile to ensure you know what the skills and requirements are of the role and any previous experience which has been identified as either essential or desirable in order to be successful in the role.

Having the opportunity to practice tests which are similar, in terms of what they are testing, and also completing the test to a given time frame will help you to familiarise yourself with how these feel.

It will also help you to understand how to plan your time, what works for you in terms of managing the information and what environment works best for you.

Please follow the link below to practice a number of tests, these are not exact replicas of the tests you will be asked to complete but are examples that will allow you to complete similar types of tests.

The site is provided by Sova Assessment Limited. Sova is an Assessment Experience Platform in talent measurement and they provide employment testing to help organisations identify and recruit individuals. In addition to example tests you will also find assessment advice for you to reference before you take an assessment.

All the tests, personal data and results will be held by Sova and this will not be shared with the John Lewis Partnership. Successful completion of a test will have no bearing on your application, or if you will be successful on any tests/questionnaires which form part of the recruitment process.

Sova Candidate Preparation Hub

Additional Questions

Depending on the role you have applied for, you may have further questions to answer at this stage relating to the skills and experience required.

At this stage, you will also be asked to provide information on the hours you are available to work.

Assessment Support

Interview Advice

Make sure you answer the question! It sounds really simple and obvious but so often when asked a question candidates start explaining a situation but don’t answer the question. Keep the question clearly in your mind and keep referring back to it while you answer, don’t be afraid to note it down using pen and paper, or ask the interviewer to repeat, an interview isn’t a memory test.

When using examples of what you’ve achieved with teams, think about the part you’ve played and what was your individual contribution.

Use the job outline to help you prepare. Think about what you have done in the past which demonstrates why you would be good in the role.

If the role you are applying for is in a local branch, pop in before your interview to get a feel for the atmosphere and to check you know how to get there and how long the journey will take!

Assessment Advice

Be yourself! We want to know the real you.

Read our Partnership Capabilities and the job outline for the role you’ve applied for before your assessment as this is what you will be measured against.
Contribute during the assessment exercises – it sounds obvious but you can only be assessed on what you say and do, so try to participate as much as possible.

Virtual Assessments

For some roles, your assessment may take place virtually. You will be sent clear instructions on how the assessment will take place, including the technology required.

Tip; Ensure you are in a controlled environment where you will not be disturbed by phones ringing, someone knocking on the door, dogs barking etc etc!

Telephone Interview

For some of our roles a telephone interview may be used as part of the early stages of the selection process. This is conducted on a one-to-one basis – you’ll be asked questions based on the Partnership Capabilities and skills and experience required for the role.

Receiving An Offer

Offer Of Employment

You will be informed during the final stage selection, the timescales of when you should expect to receive an outcome, as these will vary from role to role. Please check the candidate home link and your emails regularly. If you are successful in being offered a position with us you will be notified and be able to formally accept the Employment Agreement online. We would encourage you to read the details and make a decision on whether to accept as quickly as possible. Any offer will have a built-in expiry date, so it is very important that you respond to any offer as soon as you can otherwise the offer will be withdrawn on the expiry date given.

At various points in the recruitment process, all candidates will have been asked to provide documents to show they have the legal right to work in the UK. Please use the links below to find out which documents we accept and what you will be asked to do.

Accepted Documents – this will take you to the Government Website for the most up to date information

Right To Work

before their employment begins.

You must give the right documents showing you can work in the UK which will be checked when you have an assessment or interview. If the right documents aren’t provided your application won’t progress any further.

For more information on what documents you can bring to show you’ve the right to work, go to the Check if a document allows someone to work in the UK of the gov.uk website.

Check what you need to show

You automatically have the right to work in the UK if:

  • you’re a British or Irish citizen
  • you have pre-settled or settled status from the EU Settlement Scheme – or you’ve applied and you’re waiting for a decision
  • you have a family permit from the EU Settlement Scheme
  • you have indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK
  • you have right of abode in the UK

You might have a right to work in the UK if you’ve got a visa with a time limit. This is called having ‘limited leave to enter or remain’. If your leave has ended, you don’t have the right to work in the UK.

Check if you’re a British citizen

You should check if you’re a British citizen if you’re not sure – for example, you might be a British citizen if you:

  • have a British parent
  • were born in the UK or a British overseas territory
  • were born in a British colony before 1983

To check go to the Check if you’re a British citizen on the gov.uk website.

If you’ve got limited leave to enter or remain 

You’ll have limited leave to enter or remain if you’ve got a visa with a time limit. 

You’ll usually have a document which says if you’ve got the right to work – for example, a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). 

You might have restrictions on the type of job or work you can do, or the number of hours you can work.

For more information on what documents you can bring to show you have the right to work, go to the Check if a document allows someone to work in the UK of the gov.uk website.

If you’ve got a student visa

You’re only allowed to work a certain number of hours. If you’re not sure how many hours you can work, you should check your immigration documents or talk to your education provider. 

More information on the rules about working with a student visa can be found on the Student work page of the UKCISA website.

Things to do before you join

Should we make an offer of employment, you will be able to formally accept the position online as well as completing any pre-employment checks and your health questionnaire.

Once we’ve agreed a start date with you, you will have access to Workday where you’ll find out more information about what to expect from being a Partner and the business. You will also be able to input your bank details which must be done prior to your start date to ensure you are paid correctly and on time.

Pre-Employment Checks

For some roles here, we’ll need to verify your credentials – particularly ensuring you are legally permitted to take up an offer of employment. The requirements vary depending on the nature of the position and its level within the Partnership. And, where it is necessary, it will always be stated in the role profile that’s attached to the vacancy on jlpjobs.

We only carry out these checks once you have accepted our offer of employment. And we work with The Security Watchdog (TSW) to do this, the international employment screening specialist. Visit their website to find out more about them: www.securitywatchdog.org.uk

Download our Right to Work instructions for attending an assessment so you know what documentation to bring with you.

Types of checks

There are a number of different checks that might be required – take a look at some of the examples below:

  • Reference Check – verifies that the information provided on your application form matches the information from previous employers, schools/colleges and government agencies.
  • Eligibility to Work Check – verifies the documents provided to ensure you have the legal right to work in the UK.
  • Basic DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service Checks) – provides information on any unspent criminal convictions (this was previously known as CRB check).
  • Academic Qualification Check – verifies your qualifications with the awarding body.
The process

If you accept our offer for a role that requires a pre-employment check, you’ll receive an email giving you full instructions. You’ll be asked to log-in to The Security Watchdog site where you’ll complete a Declaration of Consent Form and an online screening form. It should take no more than 30 minutes and needs to be done as soon as possible (maximum three days for completion). We can’t give you a start date until all the checks have been completed.

Usually this process is very straight-forward. Occasionally, TSW may need to contact you to ask for additional information or documentation – they’ll do so by email or telephone.

Data Protection

Every measure is taken to ensure that your data is handled in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and the EU Directive 95/46/EC.

TSW will hold all the information you provide for the purpose of background screening only. The results will be sent to John Lewis Partnership who will inform you of the outcome.

You can find out full details of how TSW will handle and manage your data on their website: www.securitywatchdog.org.uk

The background screening results will be sent to John Lewis Partnership who will inform you of the outcome. John Lewis Partnership will hold your data in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and the EU Directive 95/46/EC.

Earning Membership

We believe that becoming a Partner is something to be proud of. Earning Membership is a simple framework for new starters to our business. It is in place to ensure that new Partners share our values and that the Partnership is the right for them as well. Find out more here.

Looking for more?

There is a lot to take in when applying for a new job. If you’re still looking for guidance or require reasonable adjustments to support you, please contact our helpful recruitment team on 0345 610 0370. Alternatively, the following resources may help…


Frequently asked questions

If you have any questions please browse our Frequently Asked Questions below.

View FAQs


Social Media Links

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Already a Partner?

If you are a current Partner (employee) of the John Lewis Partnership, you should apply via the vacancies portal on the Partner intranet, not this website. If you have not used this before, your Line Manager or Personnel team will be able to advise you how to find this.

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