“For us, skills are more important than diplomas!” An insight from IKEA Brest HR

By: Pierre Rolland, edited by Katja Palovaara

Could you describe the job application process in IKEA?

“First, we review the CVs of candidates and then we interview them by phone. During this interview, we will focus on a series of concrete points; identify motives for getting the job and working in IKEA. If this interview is successful, we plan a face-to-face interview. For managerial positions, we request the candidates to complete an online questionnaire and a personality assessment. Finally, the supervisor and the head of the department interview the applicants.”

What is the most important thing for you when you select candidates? The diploma or the personality?

“At IKEA, we are more interested in the candidate’s skills. Knowing if the candidates identifies with our corporate culture and values is more important than the diploma he or she has.
We are also looking for candidates who are passionate about interior design, who are social and like to be around people. We strongly emphasise these kind of qualities during the interviews and assessments.”


Which characteristics should the candidates highlight during an interview?

“We want the candidates to show their personalities and be honest. As mentioned before, the personal skills are worth more to us than the diploma or experience therefore in the interviews we want to get a good picture of our candidates.

This process tends to lead us choosing the right person and to guarantee they will be happy to work with us as well. We value the importance to us but for the candidate, the future employee equally.”

What kind of candidates do not proceesfar in your interviews?

“We want to be convinced that we weren’t chosen by hazard from the interviewee. If their personality, passions and motivation does not match with what we are hoping for we will not proceed with the selection process.”

What advice would you give to candidates applying for a managerial position at IKEA?

“It is important that they show their skills and how they match with those in the description of the wanted profile. They should be able to convince us that they identify with our corporate culture, values and have a real passion for interior design. These are the qualities we are hoping to find in the CV’s and the motivation letters sent to us.”

How does beginning a career in IKEA process is in practice?

“An extensive apprenticeship plan is established for employees and managers who start their careers with us. This plan covers various aspects; starting from an introduction allowing the employee to become familiar with the company to training in management and leadership, going all the way through all the aspects related to the specific job function and its contents.
IKEA is a company that offers many development and promotion opportunities to its employees within the current function and with other departments. Employees are also encouraged to take intiative and responsibility; for example, we have a training program that prepares the Trainee Managers to Team Lead Managers. ”

Finally, what is the future of IKEA Brest?

“We are constantly creating new departments; currently we are establishing an entire department dedicated to the outdoor furniture. This will offer plenty new jobs in the near future. ”

If you enjoyed this interview and are interested in joining the IKEA family: read more!