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3M Interview
Questions

32 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns
Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Job Interviews     Companies     Business     Conglomerate    

Question 1 of 32

What are your salary expectations?

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Answer Examples

1.

What are your salary expectations?

The best way to discuss your salary expectations are to use your current earnings as an example. Be open, and honest. Transparency is the best choice when salary based questions arise.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"Currently, I earn a base salary of $45,000 per year plus a potential 20% annual bonus. Last year my earnings were $52,000 and I would like to stay in the same range or slightly higher."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I am currently making $100,000 per year with two bonus opportunities. I am looking for compensation that is aligned with the role and provides opportunity for growth."

2.

As a manager, who has been your greatest influence? A person that has defined what type of leader you wish to be.

Have you had a strong mentor in your management career? Talk to the interviewer about what type of influences have shaped your management style.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"The greatest influence in my career has been one of my Professors from University. Mr. Smith was my professor in Business Ethics and I connected really well with his teaching style. Even after graduating University, we kept in touch and he has greatly influenced my coaching, teaching, and leadership style."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"The first CEO I reported to has been a tremendous influence on my career. That person helped shape my work ethic and passion for business early on, which has helped me become a better business partner along the way in my career. I wish to be someone who is fair, demanding and supportive. Someone who cares about the customers and cares about our people."

3.

How do you define success?

What does success mean to you? Tell the interviewer how you see success and be sure to tie your answer into the success that you plan to bring to this particular position, should you be offered the role.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I define success by my ability to reach the goals that are set out for me. On a personal level, the things I wish to achieve in my life. On a work level, the targets that are set out for me as well as the professional development that I seek."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I define success by what we achieve as a team. The project, as a whole, needs to deliver on expectations before I consider the job a success."

4.

Tell me about your education.

The interviewer wants to know how your education has prepared you for this job. A few highlights you can focus on are some of the relevant topics you learned about while attending your courses. How will they help you in this new role? What were some of the most interesting things you learned?

Some ideas for you:

- If you have experience working on group projects, share how you improved your listening and communication skills when working on a challenging project.

- If you learned a new type of software or how to work a type of equipment you will need to know in this new job, talk about what you know and how you will apply this new knowledge.

While attending post-secondary studies, you likely learned some core skills that would be transferable to any position. Think about what you learned in your highest levels of education and how that knowledge applies (or will apply) to your work. Some of these skills could include:

- Time Management
- Creative Thinking
- Proposal Writing
- Public Speaking
- Presentation Building
- Independent Learning
- Academic Research
- Self-Motivation

Rachelle's Answer

"I am a big believer in post-secondary education. It adds a lot of value to those newer to the workplace. My post-secondary education was in Communication and Journalism. The courses in this program helped me to develop stronger business relationships through professional correspondence. I also learned persuasive writing skills which have proven to be incredibly helpful when working on client proposals, and in negotiations."

5.

At 3M we put a lot of emphasis on clear communication between all parties, departments, and sectors of our business. Tell me about your communication style.

The interviewer would like to be assured that your communication style is a close match to the communication preferences of 3M. When working for a conglomerate vs. a smaller, privately owned business your communication style automatically becomes more 'corporate' in nature. Briefly describe your communication style to the interviewer and be sure to include the ways in which you feel your communications styles align.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"My communication style leans more to the formal side. I like to be concise and keep expectations simple to understand. If I had to sum up my communication style in a few words I would say it is concise, clean, and friendly. From the communication exchanges I have had with 3M so far, I believe our communication styles are a great fit."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"Some other words to describe your communication style:

- Articulate
- Conversational
- Eloquent
- Formal
- Informal
- Succinct"

6.

At your current or former place of employment, how important was communication and dealing with others?

Are you accustomed to working in an environment where clear communication with others is key? Talk to the interviewer about your most recent workplace and how communication played a part.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"In my previous role, healthy communication was required in order to protect the safety of our employees. We transported dangerous goods and it was required by our management that we all take specific workshops on communication and documentation. Because of this, my communication skills are exceptionally strong."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"There is not a strong level of communication in my current workplace. This is part of the reason why I am seeking new employment. I highly value clear communication. Do you encourage strong communication between employees here?"

7.

Have you ever taken a role in a company that hasn't fit into your long-term career plans?

Most people have taken on a position that was not a fit for them in the end. It's best top openly discuss any positions that you have held that were not a fit. This will assist the interviewer in being able to properly place you within their organization. Be sure to end your answer on a positive note, discussing how you bounced back from the misstep.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"Yes, you will see that from March to May 2007 I held a role as Executive Business Development Manager with Company XYZ. This particular role was not what I was expecting and had little to do with management and more to do with cold calling onto C-suite level clients. This wasn't nurturing my plan to grow the management side of my career, so I resigned after just 2 months. Luckily I landed a wonderful job immediately after and grew with that company for the following 6 years."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"Fortunately, no. I have been very conscious of the changes and moves that I have made in my career so far. I would rather have a period of unemployment than choose the wrong employer."

8.

At 3M we seek to hire those who are confident in their skills and proactive. How do you plan to make an impact on our business in the first 90 days?

It is a great idea to map out a proactive progress plan before your interview so that you are prepared to discuss the ways in which you plan to make an impact on 3M, if hired. Be sure to display confidence in your abilities but avoid trying to reinvent the wheel when it comes to the impact you wish to make. A great place to start would be to see if there appears to be a common need mentioned in the 3M job description/job posting.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I noticed in your job description that you mention a sales hunter mentality as being a must. My 90 day impact plan would be to aggressively tackle the cold call list that you mentioned has been neglected recently. These cold calls will result in an increase in sales appointments as my closing percentage is very strong."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"If hired, I plan to make an impact on your business quickly. I will do this by fully absorbing my training, taking any additional coursework if required, and building healthy co-worker relationships right out of the gates."

9.

We have a few strong competitors. In your opinion, what does 3M do to stand out from the rest?

Before your interview it is important that you not only research 3M, but also their competitors. What do you think that 3M is doing better than any of their competitors? Be positive, compliment 3M on their efforts, and ensure that you do not bash the competitors at the same time.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I have researched 3M online and found a common theme when it came to reviews, comments, and news articles. That common theme is surrounding the fairness that you offer your employees. You have strong benefits programs and offer multiple growth opportunities in all departments. This seems like a really positive place to work. I simply didn't see your competitors standing out in that area."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I believe that 3M stands out from the rest through clear branding and marketing strategies that your target market can relate to. I look forward to joining an organization with such great focus."

10.

Have you ever been employed through a company merger or acquisition? If so, tell me about your experience.

When your work history includes employment with large companies and/or conglomerate corporations the chances are high that you have experienced a merger or acquisition of some sort. Perhaps you have been laid off through a process such as this? Talk to the interviewer about your experience. They are looking for an idea of your attitude when it comes to change in a corporate environment. Maintain a positive attitude and avoid speaking negatively about any previous employers.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I went through a merger in 2010 with Company ABC. The transition during their mass-layoff was not handled as professionally as many would have liked; however, I believe that the leadership team did the best they could. I was lucky enough to stay on board with the company and my experience during the transition was certainly eye opening. I learned a lot through the process."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I have been fortunate enough to have had very few disruptive changes in my previous places of employment. With that said, I do believe that some mergers and acquisitions can be beneficial to the company culture, if the transition is completed in a smooth and mindful manner."

11.

Because 3M is geographically widespread, we have to accommodate a variety of time zones. Do you have experience working with clients and co-workers in multiple time zones?

Working for a conglomerate corporation can bring some unique challenges as their global footprint may be vast. Be sure to express to the interviewer that you are able to successfully handle those challenges.

If you have experience working with clients and co-workers in multiple time zones: "In my current position I collaborate with our offices in the U.S., Canada, Scotland, and Finland. It was a struggle at first to always remember what day and time others were working in; however, I now have a great desktop application that tracks this for me so I have quick reference to the information that I need."

Rachelle's Answer #1

"In my current position I collaborate with our offices in the U.S., Canada, Scotland, and Finland. It was a struggle at first to always remember what day and time others were working in; however, I now have a great desktop application that tracks this for me so I have quick reference to the information that I need."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"If you do not have experience working with clients and co-workers in multiple time zones: "I do not have exposure to working around multiple time zones; however, this is something I could pick up on very quickly. With technology these days I am sure I could find some help with a handy phone or desktop application. Also, I am not opposed to working outside of business hours on the occasions where I would need to communicate with a client across the globe."

12.

At 3M we have business partners and interests all over the world. Are you open to international travel? Is there anything that would restrict you from traveling for work?

For many conglomerate corporations who have interests across the globe, international travel is a very important part of what they do. You must disclose to the interviewer if you are unable to travel internationally.

If you are able to travel internationally: "There are no restrictions on my travel. I have a current passport as well as a valid NEXUS pass."

If you are unable to travel internationally: "I do have restrictions on international travel which I can fully disclose to you if I am still eligible for this role. I expect to have this restriction cleared in the near future."

Rachelle's Answer #1

"There are no restrictions on my travel. I have a current passport as well as a valid NEXUS pass."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I am open to some international travel; however, for the sake of my family, I do not wish to travel more than 30% of the time. What percentage of travel is expected in this role?"

13.

3M puts a lot of focus on our local and global impact so we seek to hire those with the same values. What do you know about our company values, and how do they align with your personal values?

It is very important that you research 3M in great detail before your interview. Be prepared to discuss the global efforts currently underway and also research any local charity efforts that 3M supports. Discuss your own personal values and how they align with the values at 3M.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I have always spent time volunteering with local organizations. This includes the animal shelter, the children's hospital, and our local food bank. I believe that no matter how busy we are we always have time to give back. I have researched the efforts that 3M puts in when it comes to charity. Your values and interest in your global impact are impressive. It's one of the reasons I am so attracted to your organization."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I have researched your company's efforts to give back and I really like that you consider your charitable efforts to be another method of determining the success of your organization. It's important to be an active part of the community, in any capacity."

14.

Being a multi-national organization, there are many opportunities for career growth here. If hired, where would you like to take your career with 3M?

Before your interview be sure to visit 3M career opportunities online. Take note of the range in opportunities. Perhaps there are opportunities in other locations? What kind of growth is available in the particular department you are interviewing with? Assure the interviewer that you desire a long term opportunity with 3M by discussing the career path you would like.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I saw a few leadership opportunities posted on your company website that seemed very interesting. Ultimately, I would like to work my way into a management role that offered travel opportunities. I am very interested in working for 3M because of the multiple growth opportunities present here and I look forward to proving my capabilities to you."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"First, I would like to make a memorable impact in the initial role I would be hired to do. Once I feel that I've done that, I would be interested in working my way into a position within marketing and business branding with 3M."

15.

Typical "corporate culture" is something that we work to avoid here at 3M. Tell me about your ideal workplace culture.

Workplace culture is incredibly important since we spend so much of our time at work! Talk to the interviewer about what your ideal workplace culture looks like. Share with the interviewer the factors that would make you want to stay with 3M long term.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I am seeking a role with an organization like 3M where employees matter. This means fair wages, regular opportunities for continued education, and strong internal growth opportunities."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I work best in more casual workplaces where autonomy is given and everyone is encouraged to act like a leader."

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Behavioral
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Phone
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Leadership
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32 3M Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.

Interview Questions

  1. What are your salary expectations?
  2. As a manager, who has been your greatest influence? A person that has defined what type of leader you wish to be.
  3. How do you define success?
  4. Tell me about your education.
  5. At 3M we put a lot of emphasis on clear communication between all parties, departments, and sectors of our business. Tell me about your communication style.
  6. At your current or former place of employment, how important was communication and dealing with others?
  7. Have you ever taken a role in a company that hasn't fit into your long-term career plans?
  8. At 3M we seek to hire those who are confident in their skills and proactive. How do you plan to make an impact on our business in the first 90 days?
  9. We have a few strong competitors. In your opinion, what does 3M do to stand out from the rest?
  10. Have you ever been employed through a company merger or acquisition? If so, tell me about your experience.
  11. Because 3M is geographically widespread, we have to accommodate a variety of time zones. Do you have experience working with clients and co-workers in multiple time zones?
  12. At 3M we have business partners and interests all over the world. Are you open to international travel? Is there anything that would restrict you from traveling for work?
  13. 3M puts a lot of focus on our local and global impact so we seek to hire those with the same values. What do you know about our company values, and how do they align with your personal values?
  14. Being a multi-national organization, there are many opportunities for career growth here. If hired, where would you like to take your career with 3M?
  15. Typical "corporate culture" is something that we work to avoid here at 3M. Tell me about your ideal workplace culture.
  16. Tell me about your greatest work related accomplishment.
  17. Tell me about a time when you made a suggestion requesting change in an organization.
  18. Tell me about the last time you undertook a project that demanded a lot of initiative.
  19. What are your strengths?
  20. Considering your background is in an industry different from ours, what skills and characteristics do you have that qualify you for this position in this industry?
  21. What type of work environment allows you to be the most productive?
  22. How do you like to encourage ideas in others?
  23. How would your co-workers describe your attention to detail?
  24. We are asking for 8 years of industry experience and you have just 5. Why do you think you are qualified for this position?
  25. On a scale from 1 to 10, how honest are you?
  26. When have you had to lead by example?
  27. How do you balance life and work?
  28. What was the most challenging aspect of your previous job? How did you overcome it?
  29. What sources do you look to when solving complicated problems?
  30. How do you feel about performance incentives?
  31. If you had a co-worker call in sick and you were asked to take over their project requiring overtime from you, how would you react? Where do you draw the line when it comes to being a team player?
  32. How would you rate your performance in this interview so far?
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