What to Expect in Interviews for FMCG Companies
Companies in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry are always looking out for adaptability, flexibility and communication skills among prospective graduate hires. Interviews are a good way to suss out these characteristics in a person, so they play a vital role in an FMCG company’s recruitment process. At the initial stage, though, interviews are likely to take place over phone or video, with face-to-face interviews coming in later. It is not unusual for candidates to go through several rounds of interviews before receiving an offer.
There are a variety of assessments and interviews employers use, as well as different combinations, so be prepared by doing some research on an employer’s recruitment process.
What to expect
As part of the recruitment process, first interviews in the FMCG industry are usually either over video or the phone and tend tests your skills in communication. As such, the questions would most likely go into a fundamentally exploratory direction and are designed to find out more about your understanding of the company as well as about you. The queries may be on your biggest achievements to date, any creative project you may have been involved in, and perhaps an inquiry into your favourite product from the company.
However, on occasion, the questions can either be hypothetical or contain relevant business cases.
If you get past the first interview, you will likely be called to a face-to-face interview for the second round. While most of the questions in the second round of interviews would be more probing and would touch on why you applied to this company and industry, the interviewer would probably bring up some queries on your strengths and weaknesses as well. If you give any examples, it may have to be in detail.
Other topics that may be broached in a second interview include how you may have approached a complex problem, your time management and prioritisation skills, response to constructive criticism given and if concerning a goal or project, your expectations were not met, and how you dealt with it. Some companies may ask for an instance when you showed innovation or were instrumental in the development of an idea that became a successful project.
There may be more interviews after this round, and these are typically with senior staff members from the department you have applied to, the recruitment team, or both. At this point, the questions asked will be technical rather than searching, and you may be asked to review products packaging, for instance, if you are looking for a position in the marketing department.
No matter whether the interview takes place face-to-face, over the phone, or on video, in the FMCG sector, the questions will tend to lean toward gauging your competency level and interviewers may even ask what you would likely do in the case of a given scenario to see if your response matches with a wanted skill.
Other topics interviewers may broach include your achievements, project involvement and strengths or weaknesses. And on occasion, recruiters may even ask after your interest in applying for the company in question and why you would want to enter the highly-competitive FMCG industry.
As commercial awareness is a trait many companies keep an eye out for, familiarity with the company’s products, as well as those of their competitors, will be a boon.
While giving some thought to your answers before the interview will be of some help, your responses should be to the question or scenario given rather than practiced. In addition, try to keep your answers as straightforward and to the point as possible.