Procter & Gamble Purchasing Manager Interview Questions

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Purchasing Manager Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Cincinnati, OH
Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cincinnati, OH
Application Details

I applied online. The process took 2 days - interviewed at Procter & Gamble in April 2011.

Interview Details

The interview consisted of two parts: reasoning test and behavioral panel interview. Panel interview consisted of the typical behavioral interview questions. The best way to approach the panel interview is to talk with someone who works in P&G Purchasing to find out what qualities and characteristics they are specifically looking for, and try to highlight those in your answers to questions. I conduct interviews for my company (not P&G), and I recently rejected a candidate with a 3.8 GPA while accepting a candidate with a 3.2 GPA because the 3.2 demonstrated the key characteristics we look for, while the 3.8 did not. Every company is looking for specific characteristics, but of course that's inside information at each company. P&G's "promote-from-within" culture discourages the employees (and thus interviewers) from valuing outside experience the way other companies typically do. If you are coming in straight from college or MBA with little work experience, you have a big advantage because P&G sees you as someone who can be easily molded to align with the company's culture and ways of doing things. Show them that you are a leader, you work well with others, you are curious, and are relatively competent, and they will hire you. However, if you have significant work experience, I recommend finding a way to show your interviewer that you are open minded and have great respect for the P&G ways. Even work experience that seems very applicable to the job for which you are interviewing may not be viewed by your interviewer the way you view your work experience. He or she will want to determine whether your relevant experience will be a hindrance in your embracing the P&G ways of doing things. Learn about P&G's corporate philosophy from a P&G employee prior to the interview if you can. P&G has been an extremely successful company for a very long time with this type of culture, so don't communicate to the interviewer that you want to come to P&G and change the way things are done. Many P&G employees believe that P&G is the very best company that one can possibly work for, and that working for any other company in the world would be very undesirable. P&G's success gives it's employees good reason to believe that. Employees who are not open minded are very prone to believe in P&G exceptionalism. Make sure not to say anything that might rub such a person the wrong way. If you dislike P&G's insular culture, it might not be the right place for you to work. For most entry-level positions (though I don't know about marketing, P&G's crown jewel job), P&G is looking for individuals who are demonstrate the desired interpersonal skills and who are "smart enough." They're not necessarily looking for 4.0 GPA geniuses. That's why the reasoning test is not excessively difficult. The great thing about the "promote-from-within" culture is that after you are in, the company won't bring in outsiders to fill positions above you and thus steal your promotion. This philosophy is a great example that shows how tremendously P&G values it's employees.

The reasoning test was not difficult, but it was harder than the online reasoning test. You can use a basic function calculator for the reasoning test. About half of the on-site interviewees fail the reasoning test and are therefore not eligible for job offers. You have to move through the questions quickly. There is not enough time to think through how to solve a question that puzzles you. If you don't immediately know how to solve the question, move on and come back if you have time - otherwise you will not finish the test.

The first 20 questions are basic arithmetic questions. Example question type: "Half of last year's fruit sales were apples, and 1/3 of the remaining sales were oranges. 1/3 of the total sales were pears. 300 more pears were sold than oranges. How many total pieces of fruit were sold last year?" Be careful about your arithmetic and that one is fairly straightforward. Just make sure you are able to solve it quickly. Another example: "The price of a watch was increased by 20% during a promotion, then decreased by 30%. What % lower was the final price of the watch relative to the original price?"

Interview Questions
  • Tell me what your strategy would be if you were the chief purchasing agent for the business you currently work in.   Answer Question
  • Tell me about a time when you were viewed as the expert in a group.   Answer Question
Negotiation Details
ran out of space above...The next 15 questions are GMAT-style critical reasoning questions. This can be the hardest part of the test for someone who is unprepared. The questions would all be in the "very easy" or "easy" category if you classify them in terms of GMAT difficulty. These questions are very straightforward and have an obviously clear answer if you are familiar with the type of question. However, even the smartest people can struggle to find the right answer if they are unfamiliar with this type of question because all of the answers seem at least somewhat relevant to the question. My best advice to prepare for these questions before the Cincinnati on-site reasoning test is to get a GMAT prep book and learn the thinking that goes into how to answer these questions. Once you are well-versed in applying the logic that a GMAT prep book teaches, you'll do fine on these questions. If you're too cheap to buy a $20 book, look to an online GMAT forum. These questions require the most time per question because they take a while to read.

The last set of questions requires the least amount of time per question. This set of 20 questions involves recognizing patterns in a series of shapes, such as in an IQ test. The question style is very similar to that of the online reasoning test, but the later questions become a little harder. The patterns typically involve an increasing or decreasing number of sides in the series of polygons or a shape that is rotated in each step in the series. I'm glad I left myself a little extra time at the end because the last couple questions required several attempts at finding the pattern.

I was able to negotiate only my start date. Salary is not negotiable for people coming straight in from college. Don't worry, promotions happen quickly in Purchasing and the raises are very nice from what I hear. P&G is known for paying very good salaries. Salary might be a little more negotiable for experienced people. Keep in mind that there are literally hundreds of qualified people right behind you who they can hire to do the job if you don't want to accept the offer.
Accepted Offer
Positive Experience
Average Interview

Other Interview Reviews for Procter & Gamble

  1.  

    Purchasing Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Cincinnati, OH
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cincinnati, OH
    Application Details

    The process took 2 days - interviewed at Procter & Gamble in September 2010.

    Interview Details

    Overall process was very efficient.

    Step 1: Pre-screen via phone - Wanted to validate that I was a good level 1 fit for the role. lasted about 15 minutes and questions were focused on describing my role and results. Not really my resume, but just about how impact-ful I have been in my role. Was able to pass this and was offered to come in for an interview.

    Step 2: The interview was enjoyable as the panel (3 interviewers) focused again on what my results have been in my past role. All questions were behavioral style questions. There was never a question directly related to my resume, but indirectly I answered with data that was on my resume. The scheduled interview was to be 1.5 hours, but ended up being about 1 hour.

    Step 3: The IQ test - If you make it this far, be diligent. It is a very challenging test and will make or break your opportunity. No black or white area here. If you pass the test, you have a good shot at an offer. If you fail, you are automatically denied a opportunity even if all else was brilliant. The test is is appox 45 questions and you are given 65 minutes. There are about 3 sections to the test and the easiest way to break it down is that it is a test very similar to the GMAT test for B-School. (Quantitative, Verbal and Analytical)

    Overall as I said it is a very efficient process from start to finish. Everyone was great in my interview and the opportunities abound if you get in. Just remember to keep your focus on the test in step 3.

    Interview Questions
    • Describe a time where you had a project plan and then mid stream had to change direction. How did you do that and what did you do to adapt and get your stakeholders on board for the change?   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  2.  

    Purchasing Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Bucharest (Romania)
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Bucharest (Romania)
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 3 months - interviewed at Procter & Gamble in March 2010.

    Interview Details

    P&G has a very specific type of interview, it was a nice experience overall but not too easy to pass.

    Interview Questions
    Reasons for Declining

    the salary was not as expected

    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  3.  

    Purchasing Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Moscow (Russia)
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Moscow (Russia)
    Application Details

    I applied in-person. The process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Procter & Gamble.

    Interview Details

    Intellectual test first, desk interview with few managers, a lot of questions, need to describe real projects and achievements.

    Interview Questions
    Accepted Offer
    Difficult Interview
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  5.  

    Purchasing Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Bucharest (Romania)
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Bucharest (Romania)
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Procter & Gamble.

    Interview Details

    Online personality test, on-site assesment test, 2 interviews with peer managers and 1 with the operational manager. The assesment is the usual P&G test of math, logic and IQ.

    Interview Questions
    Negotiation Details
    I didn`t try to negociate, the offer was as good as expected.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  6.  

    Purchasing Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Singapore (Singapore)
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Singapore (Singapore)
    Application Details

    I applied through a staffing agency. The process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Procter & Gamble in October 2011.

    Interview Details

    online test, follow by 1st round interview by direct report, and then the head of the department

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    Purchasing Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Geneva (Switzerland)
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Geneva (Switzerland)
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Procter & Gamble in January 2011.

    Interview Details

    Passed online test and invited to maths and english test at Geneva site.
    Then invited to phone interview, then invited to final round interview again in Geneva.
    Interviewed by 3 people, asked by all about leadership skills, greatest weaknesses, greatest strengths, innovative abilities, times when you had to persuade someone to do something.
    The people were nice and the interview process was ok, although I think in general people show up to P&G interviews with highly rehersed answers to pretty much the same questions.

    Interview Questions
    • Tell me about a time when you were in a leadership position.   Answer Question
    • Tell me your greatest strength/weakness
      Tell me about a time when you had to convince someone
        Answer Question
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
  8.  

    Purchasing Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 1 week - interviewed at Procter & Gamble in August 2009.

    Interview Details

    Took an online personality test, followed by an in-person reasoning test (numerical, figural, and reading). 4 days after the reasoning test, I was contacted for a 1:1 interview at the head office with the Marketing Brand Manager. A week after that, I was contacted again for a second interview, which included even more detailed competency questions and a tour of the company.

    Interview Questions
    • 3. Had to think through a complex problem, which involved analyzing data, developing options and implemented a solution. (Outside academic work where possible).   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

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