What was the general interview process for the company you interviewed for? Please mention the number of rounds and the nature of the interview process.
Sure! One has to apply through the CDC portal. There are six rounds of interviews. Usually, before any round of interviews, candidates are shortlisted. First-round consists of a 20-minute extended psychometric test, there were 20 questions with two statements each, and I had to choose one out of them. The test wasn’t tough. It was pretty easy. The second round was a proper psychometric test that was about 1 hour long. The motive behind this round is to check different aspects of your personality, the values you hold on to, how much of a risk lover, or how much risk-averse you are. Most of the companies take this kind of test. For the third round, there was a portal, and I had a set of questions. Each question will pop up for 20 to 30 seconds, and then I had 2 to 3 minutes to give my response, and it was recorded. The fourth round is an in-person interview. They asked HR questions. It ended up with a conversation about my CV, and they asked me to elaborate on the points mentioned in the CV. The fifth round was a team challenge where you’re paired with people from across colleges, and you need to brainstorm and come up with solutions to the problem statement. The sixth round was a panel interview. There were three panels with three panellists each. You’re paired up with one other candidate and discussion with all three panels.
Could you please list down questions were you asked in the different rounds? Puzzles, technical problems, any other discussion in general that you think will prove helpful for students.
The first two rounds are psychometric; you can not do anything that you are, and you can not cheat on that. The questions in the HR round are like, tell me about yourself or tell me about your plans. I was also asked about my biggest challenge and failure, how do you do assignments that you don’t want to do. In the parallel interview round, they grilled me a little on my CV. As I have mentioned in it, I like reading books, making me guesstimate around books. They also gave me a few situational questions and asked how I would respond to those conditions. You should be honest, keep a smile, and be confident during the selection rounds.
What are some of the FAQs you face and think students must prepare for in most companies? More specifically, in the context of HR rounds.
In my opinion, the HR interview round is the underrated part of the selection process, but sometimes, people are not selected. In the HR round, they want to learn about your background, how you present your views in front of them, and most importantly, whether you would be a good cultural fit or not. Tell me about yourself, your future goals, your biggest failure, why this firm or role, and how college life helped shape you: these are examples of common HR questions. AB InBev has a set of principles that they follow that is listed on their website. They will give you the situation and judge you based on those principles. It is helpful to visit the company website and find out what they look for in their people. In general, it is good to have some knowledge about the company’s background. Some questions related to my CV were — What exactly did you do in this internship? What did you learn in the internship? What are the skills you have gained in this particular PoR? It would help if you were well-versed with your CV, and you should be comfortable answering any questions related to it.
What are things students sitting for placements next year can do from now until December to maximise their chances of getting through a company in this sector?
One can read interviews online and understand what firms are working on. They will hire you to work on similar projects, so if you know what they are working on, you can answer them how can you be proved helpful for them. Seventy per cent of the selection process tests your personality, and thirty per cent in the business game, for which reading about the industry and few case studies will be helpful. Practice with people. You can practice HR questions with people as all of us have to face that. One valuable thing which I did, was creating an excel sheet, where I listed down all the ten principles and why they are essential to me in the first column. In the second column, I demonstrated this particular trait or characteristic, which will be very helpful as sometimes they ask you questions indirectly so that you get an idea of what they are referring to.
How did your preparation for technical rounds evolve once you were shortlisted?
I would like to mention a couple of companies that arrive on Day 1 or Day2, like ITC, HUL, P&G in the FMCG sector. You have more technical questions for other firms, but AB InBev puts less stress on technical knowledge. There is no technical round involved in the process.
Anything else that you would want to share with the students?
Placements can be a difficult phase of life, do not compare; believe in yourself. Enjoy the process, remain devoted and consistent with the preparation. Don’t get bound to a particular company; you may like a specific company, but if you are not selected for it, that’s not the end of the world. For juniors, take the most out of the KGP; explore it as much as you can. Take different projects, courses, join other societies, fests or cells. All the best!