Just like before, I’ve done the Nordstrom and Ivivva interviews and now I’m telling you about my experience about Telus. I choose to tell what I experience because it shows to me that it helps others who are in my shoes, and it helps them figure out what to prepare for and understand how the process works because I already went through it. I hope you enjoy and remember to follow, like and share if you enjoyed!
So Telus is a telecommunications company, and I’ve been fascinated to work there for a while. My dad works in their HQ corporate section, so I’ve always wanted to be like him. I go on their career section online from time to time, and I saw they were hiring a part-time sales rep in the mall beside where I live. I decided this is probably the 200+ job I’ve applied to, but lets give it a shot. The next 3 days I didn’t hear anything, but on the 4th day I received 2 emails from the HR. The first was a personality test online, which isn’t hard at all, then the second was she wanted to do a phone interview with me.
I did the test first, which it takes roughly 10 minutes, and all you do is click check boxes on 2 pages. The first page is what do you see in your team and the second page is how does your team see you. There are things like “smart”, “organized”, “out-going” and all those types of personalities to choose from. Then you submit and that’s that, so you won’t know if you failed right away because the HR will go through it.
Then I replied to email giving a date and time I can do the phone interview. The day was the next day and the interview time was in the late morning at 11am. She called me right at 11, which I was impressed, and then she began the formal interview. The 1 thing I don’t enjoy about phone interviews is I personally can’t hear people all the time. It’s hard for me because I just can’t make out every word due to the reception of my apartment, but luckily this wasn’t too bad with her. The MAJOR downside was not even 5 minutes in, the call drops on her end. I called back as fast as possible with no luck, and I emailed 2 different emails saying the situation. Luckily after 10 minutes she called back, apologized for the situation and we just continued on with the interview. I’m going to list a few key things she said to me, which maybe will be said to you if you’re applying for an in-store job:
- You need to be comfortable wearing a uniform and name tag.
- You need to sign-up for a company phone plan for $15 a month out of your own costs.
- You need to be able to work days/evening/night and weekends.
- You might have to travel 35km from your home store to another store in need.
- You can’t book anytime off in August-September and December 10th-January 15th.
- You need to be comfortable in a commission based environment (with a base pay).
- You have to be adaptive and constantly learning everyday.
- You need to be able to learn merchandising, receiving and sales while working.
So if any of that doesn’t work for you, at least now you know prior to taking the job, this is some expectations you should be aware of. Basically it comes down to this is retail and is a professional sales environment in a booming market. You need to be a fast learner and be ready all the time. The dates you can’t book off are called “Black out dates” meaning no-one can book off time during this time because it’s back to school season and Christmas season so they have the most promotions and most sales during those months and they require the most staff on hand during this time. They also do events like the iPhone launch, which you can’t book off, but they say it’s a time when most employee’s choose to work because there will be more hours and sales given to you if you work a launch date.
There is a $15 a month phone plan that you will have to pay for out of pocket each month. During my one-to-one interview, I got a little more details on how this works. I still need to clarify one more thing, but I won’t know unless they choose to hire me. I’ll update it when and if I do get hired. So basically you pay $15 a month to have a Telus phone, they don’t care if it’s your new personal phone or a phone they can have contact with you, you have to have a Telus phone line. The other flip of the coin (which is what I need more clarification on) is you have to have one of the phones they have in-store on you when working.
I have a OnePlus X, but I can’t use that phone on the sales floor. This is because they want customers and clients to see the employees using the phones that they’re selling, which in all fairness that does make sense. The only question I’m going to ask is how can I get a cheap phone on my $15 plan? I don’t want to be locked into a contract because I already have a phone, but if the contract can get me a phone at a reasonable price I don’t mind. Basically I don’t want to pay $300 for a new flagship phone, because I JUST got a new $300 phone. If I didn’t already get this phone, I wouldn’t care because regardless I would have spent money on a new phone. I’ll clarify this more if they end up hiring me, so check back again for the answer.
The plan itself is $15 a month (like I said before) and you get unlimited talk and text, as well as 6GB of data. That to me is a good plan, but if you are data hungry and can somehow go beyond 6GB, I believe he said there is another plan, but it might be a shared plan, which will cost you more. So my recommendation would be to stick with the base plan and work around 6GB, which I’ve only used at most 2GB in a month.
After the phone interview she said she wants me to move forward with an in person interview at the store with the store manager. Again, I chose the time that best worked and she only gave me the next day as an option, which is why my timing was key. This interview with the manager is going to be a “Behavioural Interview” (google it and please practice if you’ve never done one before). This means the second you walk through the door, they start the interview. They want to see how you act with the staff, how comfortable you look, they want to see if you’re too busy checking your phone etc.
I showed up the next day for my in person interview, which I was 10 minutes early for, and the store manager was just getting my resume and things to ask me (bring a resume anyways, because they don’t always get the resume right away). The manager took me to the food court, but on the way there he asked things like “How are you? How’s your day going? Any plans or work later today?” and those types of questions. Once we got to our table, he told me that this is a new interviewing style, and he is going to ask some questions that he has to, but since I’m a supervisor at another store, he wanted to ask questions and see how well I can answer them.
The majority of the interview was honestly just us talking, it wasn’t uncomfortable like “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” or “Tell me what Telus means to you and how much history you know of the company?” those hard typical questions weren’t as present. He did however ask a lot of “Okay, so what would you do if a customer needed help from another employee, but the employee was struggling?” and they always said there is no wrong answer, but honestly think before you say anything. I’ll quickly show some examples of questions and my responses that you might use:
Q. “If the store you work at now booked you for 2 shifts, but I booked you for the same 2 shifts, what would you do? Since you can’t be at both stores at the same time”.
A. I would first see what I’m doing for both the shifts, then I would ask around to see if anyone can take my shifts from one of each store. If no-one can take my shift I would then move up to my manager and ask if she can switch my shift with anyone from either store. If they couldn’t switch, I would then ask my store manager if they can call any nearby stores to see if anyone can work my shifts. This was about as detailed as he expected and said honestly if you put that much work into it, we would find someone from our stores and let you work the other job, only because we have more options to get people to work here if that happens. DON’T SAY YOU’LL CALL IN SICK because he said he gets that answer, and it’s not a relatively good one…
Q. “If a co-worker is helping a client with a new iPhone 6s Plus, but you can see they’re struggling with offering things such as accessories or protection plans, how would you help without taking over the sale?”
A. I would work on somehow nonchalant indicating that they should be recommending accessories. I would most likely either walk over to the accessories or I would go in the back and start to merchandise the iPhone 6S Plus cases and make eye contact with them to show them they should introduce these cases. Other options would be to confront the customer while he/she is on the computer getting the things setup for the client, and I would bring over a few cases and accessories and ask “Have you thought about any of these? or do any interest you at all?” and act as a wingman in the situation. Wingman was KEY in this answer, because it shows teamwork and respect of the employee and customer.
Q. “Sell me the phone you have on you right now as if I never heard of it before” this is because they expect you to have a device in-store to promote that you can sell to the customer if they are like “sell me what you’re using” because that happens a lot.
A. Well I’m not going to sell you MY phone here on the blog, but look at your phone and practice selling the idea to someone. What would you say to someone who has never heard on an iPhone and how would you best sell it to them?
The only other things we talked about were hours, availability, flexibility and finally the blackout days. Let me explain each in a small chunk, because this might be important.
Hours: The hours at Telus are relatively good from what he said. You will at LEAST be working 11-12 hours a week minimum, most people are part-time and will work anywhere from 12-35 hours a week. The hours come from how well you do and how available you are (we will talk about next) so the more open you are the more they can book you. They also allow you to work at any Telus store in the region, so if you’re only getting 12 hours at your store, they can help you find another 12+ in another store(s) as well.
Availability: Even being part-time they would like for you to be available for 37 hours a week. They won’t guarantee you’ll work this much, but they need to make sure you can work for them. You need to be able to open, close and do weekends. They say everyone does weekends, so don’t feel thrown under the bus since you’re new. If you need time off, make sure it’s not in the blackout periods, however some store work around people who are far from home. They said for example I won’t be able to go home for the holidays, but if I worked Christmas, they would allow me New Years off because it’s only fair that half the staff work one or the other. If you work at another job, like myself, they will try to balance your jobs as best as they can, but you need to work out a deal with your other employer or decide what works best for you. They are good for working around other schedules, but keep that in mind.
Flexibility: The more flexible you are, the better you’ll do. You need to be open to work anytime and take as much training as you can. They work to help you do your best, so you need to work toward a personal goal. Just be open to them and work around them and you’ll be fine. It’s retail so expect what any retail location expects out of you.
*side note: They said as well, in the first 2-3 weeks of training, you’ll make little to no commission because you’ll be working under other staffs accounts so you can learn.
Blackout Days: I’ve talked about this too much and I want to take the time to just flat-out explain why they’re here and how will they effect you. Let start with explain what a blackout date is. A blackout date is a period when an event, promotion or holiday is happening and they need the most staff on hand and they will usually push the most sales. The reason they have blackout dates is to make sure that they have enough staff to support demand and to make it so no-one has an advantage, meaning just because you’re top seller doesn’t mean you can have time off during this time.
In August it’s back to school, so they need more staff to be there to launch the promotion. When the iPhone launches in September, they start the blackout date for that, because people will come in to get a new phone or upgrade. Around December – January is the Holiday season, so they need the most of most staff there. They put these in place to make sure they won’t be understaffed at all.
There are times when you can book time off during those periods, but if it’s to see your family or go on a trip, most likely you won’t be able to because prior to being hired you were aware that these dates are locked in. So this is EXTREMELY important if you’re like me and live half a province from home, I won’t be going home for Christmas this year if I take this job because it’s a blackout date that I can’t work around. They said that if I worked Christmas for example, they would give me New Years off. Keep this all in mind because this to me was a big thing.
All-in-all the interview wasn’t bad at all. It was originally going to be 30-45 minutes but ended up being an hour and 15 minutes. I’m going to be very surprised if they don’t call me, but I’m very glad I finally got an interview with Telus. It’s a stepping stone in a direction I want to be in. If you are considering working at Telus, give it a shot. You don’t have much to loose and it’s an opportunity to grow.
If you enjoyed this post, give it a like! Retweet it as well and follow me here. I also want to hear back from you guys! Did you apply for a job or did you get a call back? Let me know in the comments. Tell me what I should expect and what you do at Telus. Again, follow me on here and Twitter @EmersonKeeling. Have a great day/evening/night and I’ll talk to you guys later!
*EDITED PORTION OF THE EXPERIENCE*
So after about 2 weeks of no answer I gave the guy who interviewed me my newest availability, just so he knew if there were to be a starting date it wouldn’t work on those dates specifically. The guy replied 2 days later saying hey come this day to our job fair, we can do another interview with you there if you show up.
I decided to go to the job fair after switching shifts to get the day off, I get there and it’s a good old cattle call. There was 4 companies doing interviews on the spot, and the guy didn’t even show up. I didn’t end up doing the interview due to time limitations, but I was very disappointed that they did that.
I then go on their career site about 4 days later, and to my surprise they put their ad up again, so everyone who applied the first time and also went to the job fair had either been turned down or they may have hired a few here and there for other unrelated positions. It’s a real shame it went down south so fast after such a great interview, but sometime it’s not meant to be.
I hope you still take away my experience from this post, and hopefully you don’t get the rug pulled from underneath you like myself. Again I hope you’re all have a great day, have a good one and I’ll talk to you all later!