The initial telephone interview lasted around 40 minutes with a member of the graduate recruitment team. It consisted of three parts: motivational questions, competency questions and what Nestle refer to as "strength based" questions. The motivational questions were pretty self explanatory, asking why I am interested in the role, what skills do I have to be successful in such a role, what do I understand about Nestlé's values etc. these took around 10 minutes. The competency questions were the usual teamwork, initiative, creativity etc which took probably the longest. The final part, the strengths based were more general questions (but personally I found more difficult to do well in) such as how important is teamwork, and some personality questions like reacting to management styles. Some of these were often followed up by asking for an example, similar to competency questions.
At the assessment centre interview with two senior sales managers began with general questions like what do you do in your spare time. The rest was very similar but with more challenging questions. For myself as I study law but applied for a sales position, was asked about why I'm not pursuing law and my interest in sales. My five years 6 years in sales heavy retail experience helped the difference between the two fields. The competency questions were more detailed than in the phone interview, such as describe a time when you acted to benefit both a client and the organisation you represented. The biggest difference was perhaps the heavier weighting of the strenghs based questions which took up the bulk of the interview with questions such as how important is networking and why, do you look to transfer your skills, why is it important to be able to work with people from different backgrounds etc again followed up by examples. The whole interview lasted for around one hour.
Most difficult question
How would you deal with a team member who is not pulling their weight?
Ensure that you research the company thoroughly, in particularly their values. Also do not disregard the strength based questions and prepare as much as possible for them as Nestlé really like to distinguish themselves on those questions and place a lot of weighting on them. Ensure you have a genuine passion for the area you apply for as it will come up in the motivational questions. Think of plenty of examples and all should be well!
Experiences at the assessment centre
Apart from the introductory presentation and a networking lunch, the assessment centre was split into four tasks, a written exercise, a group exercise, presentation and interview. Each was given between 40-60 minutes. The individual written exercise was analysing reports and market research to respond to questions set by a fictitious supervisor. We were split into four groups of four for the group task which was a task about balancing and prioritising clients and their orders and then presenting to the assessors our decisions. The individual presentation required pitching a new product to potential clients. There were three products to choose from. The assessors were again two senior sales managers. They asked questions after the pitch, which then became a negotiation exercise with me and the "client" as to how many boxes to buy at what price etc. Though my assessors were reasonably cooperative, fellow candidates stated some of them had harsher questions and gave awkward responses to test their reactions. The panel interview is described above. The overall experience from the company was very friendly, the senior staff were more than happy to answer questions and interact with us which made the day less daunting.
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