The DSW Assessment Test (2023 Guide)
Updated November 20, 2023
Designer Shoe Warehouse (DSW) is an American retailer that sells designer shoes, accessories and clothing.
It was founded in 1991 and currently has 550 stores across the US and Canada. It employs over 12,500 people, and revenue varies between $1 billion and $5 billion.
The head office is in Columbus, Ohio.
To work for DSW, you will usually need to be 18 years old. However, some positions are available for ages 16 to 18.
- Part or full-time positions
- Paid parental leave and support
- Unlimited access to the Employer Assistant Program (therapy and support networks)
- Paid time off
- 401(k) retirement plan
- Tuition Reimbursement Program
- Supported learning and development
- Equal opportunities and diversity
- Employee discount
- Lifestyle discounts including fitness, travel and groceries
For those wanting to work for DSW, there are opportunities and roles for various ages and learning capabilities.
As more store locations become available and the retailer grows, more positions will open up.
DSW operates across three main areas:
Those interested in fashion and that know the retail industry and trends make ideal DSW candidates.
Entry-level applicants wanting to start their retail careers can take advantage of leadership seminars and paid training.
Those with previous retail or customer service experience may be considered for higher-level or managerial roles.
- Store manager
- Assistant Store Manager
- Sales Supervisor
- Lead Store Associate
- Sales Associate
- Regional Loss Prevention Manager
- Senior Manager
- Marketing Specialist
- Associate Designer
- Associate Buyer
- Financial Analyst
- Merchandise Handler
- Assistant/General Manager
- Material Handler
- Power Equipment Operator
- Team Leader
- Shipping Associate
DSW values passion, accountability, collaboration and humility.
Recruiters look for those who demonstrate a commitment to these values and friendly individuals who thrive in people-oriented environments.
As such, the recruitment process to designed to identify the best person for each particular role.
The DSW application process includes the following steps:
- Create an online profile
- Application form
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This is a straightforward step that requires you to register your email address and create a password.
You will use this password to access your file throughout your recruitment, so ensure it is one you will remember.
The application process will vary depending on the role you are applying for.
For those applying for in-store roles, it is advised that you print out the application form and submit it to the manager at the store you want to work in.
However, you can submit it online if getting to a store is not possible.
For roles in distribution or corporate, you will submit everything online.
On this form, you will need to detail:
- Personal details such as age, name and address
- Education background and qualifications
- Work history, including volunteering, work experience and internships
- Criminal Conviction declaration
- Contact details for three references
You can track the progress of your application at any time by logging in to your profile.
There is no exact timeframe for this step, and it could take anywhere from one day to three weeks or more.
If you applied for a corporate role, a member of the HR team will contact you. In-store applicants will receive a call from the store manager.
Again, the role you have applied for will dictate your interview and interview questions.
Typically, the interviews will last around 30 minutes and depending on the number of applicants, you may have to have a second interview.
For in-store roles, you can expect to be asked customer service related questions, such as:
"This position requires you to follow grooming and clothing guidelines. How do you feel about this?"
DSW is such a great retailer, and I look forward to representing them. I think a dress code creates a sense of community and togetherness. Having never needed to follow grooming guidelines before, it’s something I’m excited to experience.
"A customer starts shouting at you because they have not yet been served. How do you respond?"
I would apologize to the customer, introduce myself, ask her name, and how she would like me to assist her. Throughout our interactions, I will do my best to build a positive report so that she forgets her initial frustrations.
"Tell me why you like working in retail."
I love working in retail because while the daily tasks are similar, every day is different – you are faced with different challenges, you meet different people, and you never really know what will happen. Every day is a learning experience.
Try to answer as positively as you can, using your past experiences as examples.
Those applying for corporate roles will be asked questions related to your role.
Someone applying for a marketing position might be asked:
"We are introducing a new brand in the summer. Summarize what communication channels you would use and how would you encourage customer engagement?"
Someone applying for a distribution role might be asked:
"Tell me about a time where you worked as a team to complete a task. What went well, how did you overcome obstacles, what was the outcome, and what would you do better?"
- "Why do you want to work for DSW?"
- "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"
- "Tell me about a time a pair of shoes changed your life"
- "What is your biggest weakness?"
- "Why should we hire you?"
Some applicants may need to sit online personality and psychometric tests; typically, those applying for managerial or technical roles.
Your HR advisor will give you the details if you are required to sit a test.
The test may include:
If you are applying for a higher-skilled role, it is advised that you take some time to practice these tests.
There are plenty available online for you to complete, free of charge.
Top Tips For the DSW Application Process in 2023
- DSW culture and values
- The role
- Recent DSW news – new charities or campaigns
- Industry news – retail, footwear and fashion
Knowing this information will allow you to give more detailed and unique answers. It will help you stand out as a candidate dedicated to their future and who always does their best.
An internet search will yield plenty of results for you to practice efficiently.
Find common questions for the field you are working for and write down your answers.
You could even role play with a friend or relative and have them ask some questions for you to answer.
Being comfortable answering questions designed to make you think will show you are confident and capable in high-stress situations.
Recruiters are trained to know when people are lying. Try to be as honest as you can with your answers, and don’t be afraid to show your personality.
You should also try to be as positive as you can; even if you are describing a bad experience, make it positive by sharing what you learned from it.
DSW values passion, humility, accountability and collaboration.
Try to demonstrate these traits in your answers and use those exact words when explaining a situation.
'I always like to hold myself accountable for my actions.'
'I enjoy collaborating with different people. Group projects were always been my favorite type of assessment.'
When going to your interview, ensure:
- Your clothing is smart and matches the role you are applying for
- Clothes are clean and pressed
- Your hair is washed and styled
- Your nails are neat
Bring with your essentials such as:
- Breath mints
- Copies of your resume
- A pen and notepad
DSW is a great place to work or start your career.
While the application process can be intimidating, remember that your recruiters want you to succeed.
Align yourself with DSW values and tell your recruiter why you are perfect for the role. Interviews are designed for you to show off your best self.