Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Had my first phone interview just now for LDP position in Sales / Marketing...

Had phone interview for positions starting in the middle of 2012. Interview went well. It was from a major pharmaceutical company doing hiring of final year MBA students for various positions in Sales and Marketing. Hope to hear back within 3 weeks from them by email. Keeping fingers crossed.

Questions asked in the interview (Non technical HR questions. Phone interview lasted about 23 minutes). Phone call was from their recruiting office in USA. I had an appointment set up by online booking system - through a link provided by their email to me. Here is how it went (Interviewer's questions in Red & my answers in Blue):

  • Ring... Ring... (my cell phone rings)
  • Hi, This is Gerry.
  • Hi, I am ____ calling on behalf of _____ company.
  • Hello! How are you today?
  • I am great! How are you?
  • Awesome! I am fine too.
  • Is this a good time to talk?
  • Sure. Its is an excellent time. I was waiting for your phone call. Please go ahead!
  • Let me tell you something about myself...
  • Please do!
  • Let me confirm your email - is it still gerrysom@yahoo.com
  • Yes, that's right.
  • What University are you studying in - to confirm?
  • Ryerson University
  • Is it a recognized University & a recognized MBA program?
  • Yes. It is AACSB recognized
  • When will you complete your MBA?
  • April 2012
  • What position are you looking for?
  • I am a final year MBA student coming from a Medical background. I am open to any suitable field. In a way, my first job could possibly decide my future careerpath. I am interested in Sales, Marketing, Strategy, Consulting, Business Development, Business Analysis and so on. I am not interest in pursuing Accounting, Statistics or Finance related careers.
  • Do you know anything about company and our various sectors? What specific sector would you like to work in?
  • Yes, I did my research about your company. My 1st choice:___. 2nd choice: ___, 3rd choice: ______ sector.
  • What languages can you speak?
  • English, Kannada, Hindi, Urdu. I understand Arabic, Punjabi and a couple of South Indian languages  
  • What locations are you interested in working?
  • The world is my playground. I am open to working anywhere in the world.
  • Let me rephrase the question - what countries do you have work authorization for?
  • Canada, India and perhaps the Middle East. I would love to work in USA too.
  • No, I think you shall need work permit for that.
  • Ok
  • How much were you making in your last job? You were self employed, right?
  • $60,000 to $75,000 before taxes
  • Describe a situation when you had to apply leadership skills.
  • Blah blah blah
  • Describe a situation when you had to do teamwork or lead a team.
  •  Blah blah blah
  • Describe a situation when you had to consult others / follow others' directions in spite of your point of view. 
  • Blah blah blah
  • Describe situation when you saw an instance of unethical behaviour. What did you do?
  • Blah blah blah.
  • What did you do?
  • Nothing - the Management knew about it. I was not their supervisor. I did not want to interfere in what others were doing. It was not my business to correct others.
  • What are your strengths? Name 3.
  • (a) Education (b) Experience (c) Positive skill sets and great attitude
  • What are your weaknesses? Name 3. 
  • (a) I try to do too much in a limited time and to stretch the caspacity - perhaps I should do less (b) I am in North America since 5 years only. I am not 100% North American. I have a different background, but hey, that could be a strength - due to talk of diversity these days (c) I am strong at Qualitative analysis, but could improve my Quantitative analysis a little bit more. I am working on it and shall be OK before graduation. These are my 3 weaknesses.
  • Do you have any questions?
  • I asked the interviewer about the job location that I was being considered for, what the start date was, what would happen next in the interview process and what I am supposed to do next. 
  • Thank you. Please wait for an email from us. You shall hear from us within 3 weeks.
  • Thanks a lot. I shall look forward to it. Have a wonderful evening :)

It was a good experience. Was a good interview. There are likely positions in Canada. As a Canadian citizen, I am not eligible to work in USA as I shall need a work permit. I asked if I could apply for positions in Canada right now. I was told that I could, under the Professional section (not under the New Graduate or LDP - Leadership Development Program section). Here is hoping for the best. Meanwhile, I need to keep applying for existing job vacancies on various job boards... Hope that helps get an understanding of the phone interview process in Canada. :)


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