IKEA: about work, employment, aptitude tests and job interviews
IKEA (IKEA, IKEA) is a Dutch group of companies engaged in the production and sale of furniture with a recognizable style simplicity and elegance. Besides, it always follows a concept – the ability for the buyer to assemble a significant part of the range at home on his own. There is also a gigantic selection of related products for home and kitchen. All this allowed IKEA to conquer the most of Europe, Asia and America.
The company was founded in Sweden in 1943. The name “IKEA” contains the name and surname of its founder Ingvar Kamprad, a Swedish entrepreneur, one of the richest people in the world (years of life 1926 – 2018).
Since 1982, the company has been owned by the Stichting INGKA Foundation in the Netherlands, the world’s largest foundation in terms of assets. The fund was founded by the same Ingvar Kamprad in order to protect the company from resale by subsequent owners and to optimize taxes. The legal name is Ingka (initials from Ingvar Kamprad). President of the company – Mikael Olsson, CEO – Esper Brodin.
IKEA owns a retail network of 325 stores in 41 countries of the world with more than 1,300 suppliers in 50 countries and its own woodworking industries in 11 countries. The total number of IKEA employees in the world is over 211 thousand (number of early 2020).
Working in IKEA
The company has developed and uses many corporate rules to make work for employees comfortable. These are competent and effective rules, but, as in most large chain stores, specific working conditions depend on the level of professionalism of a particular director and administrator.
Among the advantages of Ikea are the following:
- equality of management and ordinary employees, no lordship, as in many other companies
- good friendly staff
- high corporate culture
- free or cheap meals for employees
- flexible schedule, convenient for employees
- supplementary health and life insurance
- free or almost free fitness, swimming pool, cultural events
- high-quality corporate training
Cons of working in Ikea:
- frequent overtime (average working day is 9 working hours)
- relatively low starting salary
- hard sales plans
- promotion is possible, but it takes a very long time to get there
- formalism of many corporate events and slogans
Salaries in Ikea are generally higher than in other chain stores. As of March 2020, the average salaries of sales assistants in Eastern Europe were about 700 USD, cashiers, cooks and catering workers – about 600 USD. Management salaries start from 1300 USD. The salaries of office workers in large cities average from 700 to 1200 USD and depend on specific positions. Salaries in Western Europe and the USA about twice as higher.
Our analysis of Ikea employee feedback reveals a predominance of positive feedback. This is a good sign, because in most other large retail chains, up to 90% of reviews are negative.
IKEA recruitment process
IKEA is a large home goods retailer with many opportunities for workers, engineering, design, trade, marketing, logistics and other jobs. You will always find many open vacancies in Ikea. But after submitting your application, you have to go through a rather difficult process of aptitude tests and interviews. It consists of 4-5 stages.
- Filling out the application questionnaire
- Video interview, telephone interview or assessment
- Online or in-house aptitude testing of Ikea
- Interview with a manager
According to the reviews of applicants and Ikea employees, the selection process is quite prompt and takes on average 2 weeks.
Filling out the application questionnaire
First, you must register on the official IKEA website. We recommend using only the official Ikea.com website, and not using other websites or intermediary agencies. This way you can increase the chances of your application being reviewed quickly.
You can apply for a specific Ikea job in your city or around the world. The application form for each specific job at IKEA is available in the online application. You will need to provide basic information such as name, contact information, and readiness to get started.
You must attach a copy of your resume and a cover letter to the application, where you need to reflect the data on your education and work experience, including whether you speak foreign languages, which will be an obvious advantage for you want to work abroad.
At this stage, you are required to send a professionally written resume and cover letter. Read about them our special articles:
After submitting your application, you will have a short telephone interview to discuss your resume. But most often, even without it, you are immediately sent a link to the Ikea online test or an invitation to an in-house testing in the company’s office.
Video interview or telephone interview
Your initial acquaintance with IKEA will most likely start with a video interview. You must do it yourself. You will need to record the answers to the questions received. Typically, this is a series of brief technical background questions that help the IKEA HR to weed out obviously unwanted candidates.
For candidates for some IKEA jobs, a telephone interview may also apply. It is usually short – 10-15 minutes – and is intended to clarify the details of your resume and get a basic picture of you as a person.
Assessment in Ikea
This step in the selection process only applies to sales and marketing jobs. An assessment or assessment center is a stage of group assessment exercises – group discussions, group working on case studies and role-playing games, such as seller-buyer, etc.
IKEA aptitude tests
Ikea uses SHL psychometric aptitude tests to assess the intellectual and psychological abilities of candidates for Ikea jobs. This test includes the following sections:
- Numerical reasoning test
- Verbal reasoning test
- IKEA personality test or situational judgement test
As a rule, abstract reasoning tests are not common for IKEA aptitude testing, but we recommend that you clarify this point in advance. For different vacancies in Ikea, different aptitude test sets can be used. It should also be noted that not all applicants have to pass aptitude tests. If you want to work in an office or management position, then you are guaranteed to have aptitude tests. But applicants for line positions in the sales floor, cash registers and catering are usually exempt from taking psychometric tests. We recommend that you inquire in advance about the evaluation procedure for the Ikea job you are applying for.
The test is strictly limited in time and gives you 12 minutes for 20 questions: 5 numerical, 6 verbal and 4 situational judgement test. For numerical reasoning tests and SJ tests, you will have 1 minute and for verbal reasoning tests – 30 seconds. On the one hand, this time is quite enough to correctly answer all the questions, on the other, you will obviously experience stress because of the ticking timer. The ability to be accurate and responsive under pressure are indicators of your success in the workplace.
Read more about CEB SHL aptitude tests with examples in our special article: SHL psychometric tests
IKEA numerical reasoning test
The purpose of the numerical reasoning test in Ikea is to assess your ability to accurately and efficiently perform mathematical calculations and understand data from tables, graphs and charts. Depending on the level of your job or position, the difficulty level of the tests may vary.
Below you can see an Ikea numerical reasoning test example. See the end of the article for all correct answers and explanation of each of the examples. First try to find the correct answer by yourself to test your current ability. You have 1 minute for each question.
Read more about numeric reasoning tests of all types in our article Numerical Reasoning Tests: what they are, examples, solutions and tips to pass them
IKEA verbal reasoning test
IKEA uses verbal reasoning tests from SHL in the form of “true-false-cannot say” questions. At first glance, these are simple tests, but they have their own features and difficulties. We recommend that you learn more about verbal reasoning test in our separate article Verbal reasoning tests: what are they and how to pass them.
Please see below an example of a verbal reasoning test of this type used in IKEA.
IKEA situational judgement test (personality test)
Taking into account high workload of IKEA jobs, the employer wants to know if you are able to cope with them. Personality and situational judgement tests from SHL in Ikea are in the form of short behavioral scenarios, usually depicting a conflict or a difficult situation, and 4-5 options for your actions in this situation. These tests can provide insight into your ability to absorb new information, adapt to change, and collaborate with colleagues.
There are technically no right or wrong answers to these tests, however, some of the answers may affect your ability to get the job you want.
Please see below an example of a situational judgement test from SHL used in IKEA.
You will find about 300 situational judgement tests at Aptitude-Tests-Practice.com. If you want to get a job in sales, marketing, customer support or management we recommend you taking all of the SJ test on our website. Read more about situational judgement tests in our articles:
Personality and motivational questionnaire
In addition to the situational test, most candidates for IKEA jobs are to pass a 140-question personality questionnaire. This is a rather tedious test and can take up to 1 hour.
In the instructions for the personality and motivational questionnaire, they often write that you do not need to prepare for it, but, on the contrary, you need to give the first answer that comes to mind. We believe this approach is fundamentally wrong. After all, it is on the basis of your results, which you show in aptitude tests and questionnaires, that the employer will make the decision whether you get the job or not.
We recommend reading our articles on how to take a personality questionnaire and a motivational questionnaire Personality questionnaires: what is it and what is their difficulty
IKEA job interview
If you have successfully passed the IKEA aptitude tests, you will receive an invitation for a personal interview. This usually happens at the IKEA office. During the interview, you will be able to speak with your HR representative and your potential managers.
Interview questions touch your experience and competencies. You will need to talk about the situation you faced in your previous job and how you resolved it. You should give examples, explaining your decision.
We recommend using the STAR approach to help recruiters gain a better understanding of you and your decision-making abilities. Prepare for direct and indirect questions that will give your interviewer additional information. Feel free to ask clarifying questions to understand and better formulate your answers. If you are applying for a technical position, please brush up on your knowledge of the relevant provisions and sections.
If at a personal interview you create a favorable impression of yourself, you will either get an invitation for an interview with top managers if you apply for a managerial position, or you get your job offer right after the interview.
Before your interview, we recommend reading our articles to help you show your best side:
If you want to work at IKEA, we recommend that you prepare for all stages of pre-employment selection: aptitude tests, assessment and interview. After 3-4 days of practice, you will significantly strengthen your position and increase your chances of success.
Correct answers and explanation of tests
Numerical reasoning test
Verbal reasoning test
Situational judgement test