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Annoying Applications

Updated on April 20, 2016

Applications become a bit too anal?

So, being an 18 year old who's almost finished with school and taking a year out, I was keen to start looking into the job market just to make some money. Like most people, I see things and I like to buy them..sometimes I can get a bit too carried away.
Anyway, all I wanted was a simple little part time job that would keep me occupied for some time while earning extra cash. Beginning my search, I used the basic method of scouting websites such as and saw that a local Tesco's not 15 minutes from my house were looking for a sales associated to do just 8.5 hours a week. Simple enough right? Create a CV then email it off and wait for a reply. WRONG.
After clicking onto Tesco's own website I realised that you had to set up an account with them. Okay, this isn't too bad, create an account then upload a CV? Nope, wrong again. Tesco's, I found, like many other big-named companies such as Marks and Spencer, Sainsburys and Boots to name a few all use these online applications now where it is required you fill out pages and pages of 'in-situation' questions; questions such as 'if you're stacking shelves and a customer approaches you, what do you do?'.

So because I really liked the looks of these hours and the bonus of it being near my house, I decided to go with it and answer the questions with what I thought was the best of my ability. To answer the above question, I chose the closest answer to 'drop everything and assist the customer' I mean its all in the job title - customer assistant? Also I always thought the customer came first right?

I managed to get to question 22 I think it was before a message popped up on my screen saying I didn't fit the criteria because I didn't meet a correct amount of answers. Apparently we're now being tested for a job we have absolutely no training or previous experience in, yet will never have the chance to defend our answers because a computer software says so.


Tesco's welcome you with bright colours and warm pictures... What lurks beneath?
Tesco's welcome you with bright colours and warm pictures... What lurks beneath? | Source

So once I frustratingly got over my rejection from Tesco's I decided to look for jobs who just wanted me to send a good old curriculum vitae through email or in person.

However, I noticed that just filling out the Tesco's online application took a good hour all in all but that's not the half of it, last September I was searching for a job before I luckily found a job at a hotel that I spent 6 lovely months working at and came across a vacancy for Marks and Spencer. The hours offered were just weekends which I thought was great for someone who still needed time for lessons and homework during the week.

Being all wide-eyed and innocent before working in the real world, I thought, 'hey! An online application! That is such a time saver!' Nope. No. Wrong once again - this is becoming a habit. Nevertheless, I filled out all the normal hoopla; name, email, phone, experience, personal statement and apparently marital status...Yeah I'm not interested in marrying a mannequin, thanks. But once I got to the stage where they ask you questions, I noticed this large bar at the top of the screen separating me from finishing and possibly getting an interview. How hard could this be?

The answer is very, three long and finger-clickingly-tired hours later, I had completed the form only to find out I wasn't acceptable because my answers were wrong! Cue eye rolling and scream-fest with constant swearing at my poor innocent computer screen.
M&S have recently became my enemy because they actually use animated figures to act out little problem solving with an annoyingly chipper voice over asking all the questions.

It wasn't just a handful of questions either, it was something along the lines of 8 sections with 4 subsections and like 30 question in each section. I may be exaggerating but who knows? I like to now pretend that was a nightmare.

To summarise this extensively long rant about online applications, what is the point of them? If companies are so desperate to find very specific people through rigorous interrogations they should just simply ask CVs to be handed into store managers, call the people who really stand out in for interviews and TRAIN THEM!!!

I have no idea personally what was wrong with my answers but surely if I were actually hired and then trained for this position, the supervisor or manager could correct me and make sure I then do things their way.

Online applications may be suitable for these larger corporate jobs but for an 18 year old just looking for part time work and applying for a position that doesn't even go over 20 hours per week, it's just a complete waste of my time.

What do you think? Do you agree with me or just think I'm too young to be complaining like this?

Do you think online applications as described are a waste of time?

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