HUL Interview Experience #1

We are starting a series for all 1st Year MBA students to assist with their summer placement preparation. We will be uploading interview experiences for various companies across different sectors and multiple domains.

Starting of with a company that tops most categories of rankings in the InsideIIM Recruitment Survey since its inception. We have an interview experience of an IIM L student for the Sales & Marketing profile of Hindustan Unilever.

Stay tuned for more such interview experiences. You can also check out previous years’ experiences here.


Sales & Marketing Summer Internship Interview Experience


Business School: IIM Lucknow


First Round: (Group Discussion) – A Marketing Case Study for one of HUL’s food and beverages brand was given to the group. Innovation, ahead of aggression was valued. The discussion moved to repetitive points towards the end, and the interviewer was clearly interested in looking at people’s thought process and understanding of the breadth of the problem instead of statistics or previous marketing knowledge. Two out of nine made it to the interview stage.

Second Round (Technical Interview) – The questions in this round ranged from direct marketing concepts taught in the first term (this was because my undergraduate grades were average and they needed to make sure that I was not a slacker in studies). This was followed by an open-ended question where I was asked to choose any innovative food product that I think would sell in Lucknow and devise the positioning for the proposed food chain. A small discussion on my extracurricular activities was also there.

Third Round (Interview) – The final round was a mix of technical, HR and general questions. Given that my work experience was in consulting prior to an MBA, I was asked if I thought external consultants were required at all for an FMCG firm as they weren’t the subject experts. The conversation then moved to the brands I liked and I was asked to choose any FMCG category and compare Unilever’s product to the competitor (I chose coffee so Bru vs Nescafe). The interview went into detail here and asked me to create different consumer clusters and differentiate the perception for Bru and Nescafe. I was then asked to map the appropriate choice of brand for each cluster. There was also a bit of discussion on my hobbies and I was asked that if I was given the internship would I like to intern in India or abroad (I said abroad for obvious reasons and the response I got was “kids..bah” :P).

Parts of the Interview you did well at: As I have a strong inclination towards social psychology and behavioral sciences, I handled the bit on consumer cluster formation well. They appreciated the fact that I did not go with the standard demographic, psychographic etc. segmentation but made clusters based on the need fulfilled by the coffee. I also handled the marketing concepts fairly well.

Parts of the Interview you didn’t do well at: I struggled with the new product launch in Lucknow and couldn’t provide a nice structure there despite assistance from the interviewer.

Final Verdict: Offered

Anything else you may want to add: The interviewers were reasonably friendly but certainly very smart, therefore any attempts to give them generic “gyaan” should be avoided. Enjoy the process. Look energetic and smile so much in the interview that interviewer is forced to think that he has broccoli in his teeth.


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