Our Recruitment Process

Our Recruitment Process

Before You Apply

  • In order to comply with the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996, you will need proof of your right to work in the UK. It is important to point out that without the relevant documentation we will not be able to consider you for any of our vacancies.
  • You will need a National Insurance number before we are able to offer you a job. If you do not have one, before applying for any of our vacancies, telephone Jobcentre Plus on 0845 600 0643 (lines are open 8.00 am to 6.00 pm Monday to Friday) to arrange to get one
  • You will need to give us the contact details for up to 5 years worth of continuous character, educational or employment references. Just make sure their details are up to date, so we can contact them once you have accepted a position with us.
  • You will need an email address so we can keep in touch. Please note: sometimes our emails can get sent to ‘Junk’ folders so please keep your eye on this folder as well as your Inbox.

Our Application Process

Our application process is easy to follow, with clear instructions at every stage. It will take about 30 minutes to complete the application in one go but you can start your application now and finish it later by saving it and logging back in when you're ready to continue. 

Once we have received your completed application, this will be reviewed against set criteria for the role. Unsuccessful candidates should receive an email to inform them that they have not been shortlisted on this occasion, however, if you do not hear back after 2 weeks please assume on this occasion that unfortunately you have been unsuccessful.

Preparing for an Interview

If you have been successful in being shortlisted for an interview, below are some tips to help you prepare;

  • Preparation, preparation, preparation. The importance of preparation cannot be stressed enough – it is essential for a successful interview. The better prepared you are, the more confident you’ll be.
  • Do your research; as well as this website we have a plc website; www.whsmithplc.co.uk with an abundance of information about our business
  • Visit a store; even if you are being interviewed for a Head Office based role, in our stores lies the heart of what we do
  • Understand the WHSmith values – you can find out more here (link to values page)
  • Be punctual; leave in plenty of time to get there
  • Be yourself; be honest, open and sell yourself
  • Understand competency based questions – you will be required to describe specific examples where you have demonstrated certain competencies following the STAR approach;
    Situation – what was the role, what company, when
    Task – what was the challenge, problem, issue
    Action – what specific actions did you undertake to overcome the problem
    Result – what was the outcome, providing measures where possible
  • Understand the duties and responsibilities associated with your role. These will be detailed in the job advert
  • Prepare any questions you may have for us in advance
  • Create the right first impression and dress like a professional in smart business attire


The Company aims at all times to encourage a diverse workforce at WHSmith, by ensuring equality and fairness within our recruitment processes and practices. Recruitment will be on the basis of the candidate demonstrating they meet the specific criteria for the job, the Company’s Values and the Company’s Code of Conduct principles.