The Coca-Cola Company isn’t just an employer — it’s an institution. The world’s largest beverage company has over 100,000 employees worldwide, brings in tens of billions of dollars in revenue per year, and has a logo recognized by 94 percent of people worldwide. Oh, and did we mention that they’re currently hiring for 1,300+ open jobs?
Given this, it’s no surprise that they’re top of mind for many job seekers. But before you can secure a job there, you need to first ace the interview process. Luckily, the Coca-Cola Company’s Glassdoor profile is chock-full of interview questions that real-life employees and candidates have been asked before — so you can prepare in advance.
Want a job at the world’s largest beverage company? Here are a few questions you should be prepared to answer in the interview.
1. Tell me about yourself.
Ah, the age-old “tell me about yourself” question. This open-ended question is admittedly a bit vague, but you should be careful not to spend too much time rambling or going into irrelevant details.
“The biggest mistake people make when approaching this question is not having a well-crafted story,” says Caroline Gray. “We’re not talking about your life story, but instead, a succinct handful of sentences that summarize who you are, where you’ve been, and where you want to go next… A good way to prevent yourself from veering off point, or getting too consumed with unnecessary details, is to bookend your answer with two key points you’ll make sure you’ll want to hit.”
And remember: even though they’re asking about you, they’re often really asking why you’re a good fit for the position and the company. To that end, you’ll want to “incorporate a few details about yourself that highlight certain attributes that show you’d be a positive addition to the team,” Gray says.
2. Why the Coca-Cola Company?
Being passionate about a company’s product is great, but answering this question by just saying “I love Coke!” isn’t going to cut it. Go beyond that to also mention what you appreciate about the company culture and the position.
“This is to see if you have truly done your research on the company. Even if the company has a huge national or international household name, you need to know about the mission and background,” says Mollie Delp, HR Specialist at Workshop Digital. “Have you read the company’s blogs and researched any recent news about the company/industry/leadership? Hiring managers want to see that you have dug deeper into the founders/ CEOs, and if you know who is interviewing you, that you have done research on them as well. Come prepared.”
And don’t forget to bring up what excites you about the role and why you’re a good fit.
Outline the factors that attracted you to the job/company, and follow this up with some detail about who you are and why you think your skill set makes you an ideal fit for the position,” says Steve Pritchard, HR Consultant for giffgaff. “Your aim for answering this question is to make your interviewer see you as a credible and strong contender for the role.”
3. How do your past experiences align with this role?
“This is, perhaps, the most crucial question in a job interview — it is this answer which proves your ability to perform well in the role. It will also show the interviewer how you perceive the role,” Pritchard shares. “Align specific experience you have with responsibilities of the role, and refer to the job description: ‘The job description said you are looking for someone with at least 5 years’ experience in this sector, and I possess 7 years’ experience.’”
In addition, make sure to “discuss particular successes you have had which are relevant to the role,” Pritchard says. “Maybe they are looking for someone who can boost sales figures, and in your last job you managed to boost sales by 30%. Highlight the experiences that the interviewer is going to be most interested in and which prove you to be the strongest contender for the job.”
Don’t have experience that directly relates? Don’t worry. You can still ace this question — just talk about transferable skills.
“You don’t have to have the exact experience in order to align with this role,” says Elizabeth McCourt, President of McCourt Leadership Group. “Maybe you’ve done something interesting in your past that gives you a unique insight into why you’d be great in this current role. In addition to your job history, maybe you have a hobby or have traveled somewhere that gives you a particular experience or insight? This is a question of creative thinking about your resume.”
4. How do you manage large projects?
With this question, you’ll want to assure the interviewer that you’re capable of taking on big tasks and are responsible enough to see them through.
“In broad strokes, I would recommend first talking about how you would plan the project (likely breaking it up into smaller pieces) and secondly, how you would go about making sure you and the team executed on that plan to complete it on time and on budget,” says David Waring, Co-Founder of FitSmallBusiness.com. “Best if you can use an example of an actual project you worked on here” to provide more specific details and color, Waring says.
5. What techniques have you found most useful in getting your work done when you are really busy?
All businesses have certain times that are busier than others — and when that happens, employers want to know that they can count on you to get the important things done.
“Explain what you have done to be efficient. Do you time block or use a calendar? Do you make a list or delegate less important tasks? They want to know how you prioritize the work, if you can make that decision or if you are self-aware enough to speak with your direct manager about re-prioritizing,” says career coach Mary Warriner.
6. Discuss a project you undertook that demonstrates leadership qualities.
Don’t get bogged down in only describing details about the project at hand — “to talk about your leadership, make sure you include discussion about the people you were leading… being a leader isn’t about doing everything yourself, it’s about leading a team,” says Valerie Streif, Senior Adviser at Mentat. “Delegating tasks, listening to others, integrating ideas and moving forward together, not piling all the work on yourself and drowning until the project is completed.”
Haven’t had any formal experience as a team leader or project manager? Don’t stress.
“There are plenty of ways that you may have demonstrated leadership qualities even if you were just a regular member of the team. Talk about any initiative you took in collaborative projects to organize meetings, assist your colleagues with their submissions, or led by example as you completed your tasks within the established deadlines,” says Elle Mejia of #PrettyGirlsWork.
7. Any issues with past supervisors? If so, how did you handle this?
Be careful with this question — while it’s okay to admit that you did run into issues with past supervisors, bad-mouthing them is a red flag to employers. After all, how do they know you won’t do the same thing to them? Your best bet is to be honest, but cautious.
“Choosing an aspect that others can relate to – such as poor communication skills or shifting priorities from the boss – makes the impact less damaging. What is most important are the positive strategies you used to overcome this, such as discovering that your boss communicated better over the phone instead of via email,” says career coach Donna Shannon.
“Be sure your answer paints both you AND the supervisor in the best possible light, and shows your ability to work and play well with others,” adds Jen Oleniczak Brown, founder of The Engaging Educator. “If you had an unprofessional supervisor, you can say ‘Our views on professionalism didn’t align — I truly value professional communication in workplace situations and they were slightly more casual than I’m comfortable with’ versus ‘Dude texted me all the time and yelled at work.’”
8. Tell us why we should hire you.
This can be an intimidating question, but don’t let it shake you — now’s your time to pull out all the stops.
“This is where you make a sales pitch for yourself. It’s your time to sell your skills, personality, and experience to the interviewer; asking this question is the hiring manager’s method of finding out why you, the individual, are the best fit for the position, both personally and professionally,” Pritchard says. “Keep this answer concise, but don’t be afraid to sell yourself. You should focus on what makes you a unique fit for the role — you won’t be the only candidate who has x-amount of experience or who has led a team — you need to talk about specific strengths that not everyone will possess. This is what separates you out as a special hire.”
In addition, try and put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes.
“Candidates need to remember that a lot of pressure is put on hiring managers to make a good decision; every bad hire costs the company a lot of money. You need to be reassuring that you will not be an expensive mistake that will make him/her look bad,” Streif says. Think: “How will you be an asset to the company right off the bat? Emphasizing skills like being a fast learner are super helpful here because it shows that training you will be an easy process and you’ll soon be a hire that they can be proud of.”