Commonwealth-Altadis Sales Representative Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
Very Easy Interview
Sales Representative Interview (Positive Experience; Very Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Commonwealth-Altadis in February 2011.
Interview Details – After applying online, I was contacted to schedule a phone interview with the company and was told it would last approximately 45 minutes to one hour, and it definitely did last that long.
The phone interview was a series of behavioral questions, i.e. "Tell me about a time when..." Additionally, I had worked in the tobacco world for two plus years prior to interviewing so I actually felt as if I was educating the person conducting the phone interview since she was in HR and relatively new to CBI.
After the phone interview, they run a background check on you including your credit report & MVR. Any dings on your credit will be checked out, as you are responsible for having a checking account/contingency account that balances out when you use the checks to pick up additional product at the warehouses.
About a week after the phone interview, they called again to let me know they were interested in moving forward in the interview process, the next step being attending a Skills Assessment Center in Nashville, TN.
These assessment centers are held once a month for new hires and are a half day interview/test process at the hotel you are staying at. The company essentially tells you what possible dates you will be flown out for (three day span). After you complete the paperwork and fax it back indicating you are interested and accountable for all expenses other than a $20 food credit, economy parking at the airport and the plane ticket & hotel costs, they send you your flight information.
If you have any restrictions on times or days you can make the assessment center, you should contact HR before you fax over the agreement letter, as once you receive your flight information, it's locked in and cannot be changed.
At the assessment center, you are scheduled to complete three phases of the interview process. One step is the basic math test. You have 10 minutes to complete 30 questions that range anywhere from basic addition to fractions. Most people did not complete the test, however, that is a new addition to their interview process and it is not weighted very heavily at this point.
The second portion was the role play. An hour before the role play you are given information on a product (in my case, Aquafina water) and time to prepare to sell that water in a scenario. Very basic, just needs based selling. After your hour of prep, you enter a room with one other person (he who you are selling to), and a camcorder. They video tape what ends up being about a five to seven minute role play and see how you handle pressure, whether you can keep the flow of the conversation and how you are selling the product in.
Finally, the actual interview portion of the interview. You have a 25 minute interview in a room with two division managers as well as one director. The group I had was very laid back and easy to talk with - then again I was less than intimidated as I was currently employed with one of their major competitors and comfortable talking about all things tobacco. I found their responses very easy to read; I was certain when I left the room I was going to be offered the position.
I'm not sure if this is standard, but I was also informed at the assessment center that, of the 40 positions open, they had brought in 80 people for the assessment center - two for every location - so you had a 50/50 shot at being offered the position if you made it that far.
Three business days after the assessment center I was called and extended a pre-offer offer, which is contingent upon passing a drug test. They set up a time/location in your current city to take the test, you have to show within 48 hours. The following business day I received my final offer of employment, but decided to turn down the opportunity.
- What do you think the biggest challenge the tobacco industry will face in the next five years will be? Answer Question
- What was your favorite vacation? Answer Question
Reason for Declining – I had been interviewing for several different positions. I decided to leave the tobacco industry and try something new that had more flexibility than a stiff corporate structure as well as more opportunities to make money - other than the $44K base + possible quarterly bonuses that CBI offered.