Tell us a bit about the basic structure of rounds that P&G conducts.
The first step is a psychometric test. This is followed by a resume shortlist, aptitude test, and then interviews. The aptitude test happens on the first day of the process and is generally very simple. Every step is eliminative. The number of interviews a candidate has to appear for varies anywhere from two to four. Results are announced once the interview rounds are over.
What does the psychometric test involve? Is there some way to prepare for the test?
The psychometric test is very simple yet the most difficult to crack. It is conducted like an online test, but it does not test your skills or knowledge. Rather it evaluates your thinking. The test can be really unpredictable. You cannot prepare for a psychometric test. The best you can do is plan on how to go about it.
The test does not have a time constraint but it doesn’t take more than an hour. It took me around half an hour to complete the 100-odd questions. The test is designed to check your consistency in thinking. Similar questions are repeated multiple times to see if your thinking stays consistent. Once you confirm your response to a question, you cannot move back to it.
There are two ways to go about cracking this kind of a test. One – be yourself, have your ground rules set and naturally, your thinking will be consistent. Else, you can actively make note of your response to each question, try to correlate with the previous questions, and ensure that your responses are logically consistent.
Theoretically, the second way sounds like the ideal way to go, but in reality is certainly very tedious, and not opted by most people. The first method is easier and is generally a good way to tackle the test. The questions are multiple-choice type. Some questions test your ethics and these questions generally have a single correct answer.
You can try sample psychometric tests online to get a feel for it.
What does a prospective candidate’s resume look like?
Make sure that your resume is strong. Highlight all your important
achievements. Content should be crisp and neat. Get your resume reviewed by seniors.
How’s the aptitude test?
The aptitude test is very simple. Anyone with an above average aptitude can easily clear the test. Last year, all those who appeared for the aptitude test cleared it.
The test covers simple Logical and Verbal Reasoning. You’ll have sufficient time to solve the questions. Do refer to this link for a few samples.
Are the interviews behavioural or technical?
There are no technical questions. The questions are very general. (You can go through the sample interview questions in P&G’s website.) The questions don’t change much. The questions test your approach towards work, solving a problem or how you overcome a challenge. They also test how you work in a team, how you convince people in a team or accept another team member’s opinions. The questions are mostly based on your resume – your past experience, past projects, etc. For example, they could pick one of your past internships and ask about the biggest challenge you faced and how you tackled it. They will try and judge from your response, your approach to problem-solving and whether you will be a good fit for their company. In my interview, I was asked to give an instance in which I convinced my team members to go ahead with an idea they were initially opposed to. I chose a very simple instance about a science project back in school. It is not important that the instance you choose be great. All they are looking for is how you react to and go about handling a challenge.
Refer to the book Case in Point for a better idea on how to carry yourself through the interview process. Also, you can find some questions for practice here:
Does being in college clubs actually matter?
It does not matter what club you are a part of. However, what work you do as part of a club really matters. They expect you to have worked properly on anything that is mentioned in your resume. They can pick out specific clubs or organisations that you have mentioned and ask you about your experience and work in it. It is good to ensure that you mention only those things in your resume, on which you have worked substantially.
Any general interview tips you would like to offer to the students?
Never fake anything in the interview. It is very easy for recruiters to find if a person is lying.
What was your project at P&G about?
When they allocate you a project, your department has no role to play. All interns are treated as employees and you’re expected to get the project delivered, whatever it may be. Projects can vary between majorly technical to managerial based. On the technical side, it can be something software based or designing and installation of new equipment. The project can also be in the area of supply chain management. My project was more on the technical side – I worked on redesigning a packing machine.
How easy or difficult was your project?
The first 2-3 weeks of the internship are generally spent in studying and learning your project details. You need to gain the technical mastery before you can execute anything. I had to search for resources by myself. Nothing is given in-hand. You have to find the way yourself. You can contact and take the help of anyone in the plant. Each intern works on a separate project and every intern is assigned guides, mentors and buddies to assist with the project. Talking to co-interns and finding how they overcame a specific problem can also help you to think of new ways to approach the problem in hand.
Tell us a bit about the work-life balance during your internship.
The project was quite demanding and you are expected to deliver a lot within two months. An ideal employee would take 4-6 months to deliver the same result in the company. As an intern especially, if you are looking to impress the company’s leadership to get placed there, you will have to stretch your limits. It is certainly challenging. You may have to work over-time, you may have to work on weekends. You may also have to take some of the work back home. You will have to work at least twice as much as other employees to complete the project satisfactorily. Work is intense and demanding, both mentally and physically. But it’s fun as long as you love the work.
What was the work environment like?
The profile offered is Product Supply Intern. So, our projects are based in manufacturing plants only.
What profile is the PPO offered for?
You will be placed in a role similar to what you worked on during your internship. It can be best described as a Techno-managerial role.