The Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company (3M) is known for applying science in different ways to raise living standards. The company offers more than 60,000 products and employs more than 93,000 people. 3M is advancing our companies, enhancing our homes, and improving our lives. It is exciting to be a part of this giant company, but the interview seems overwhelming.
An interview is your chance to make things work and perform at your best. You know the basics about the company, but now is the time to delve a bit deeper. Steer on the list of top 25 3M interview questions and answers. Check out my humble advice on some tough questions to ace the game!
1. Why Do You Want To Be a Part Of 3M?
As a marketing manager, I have always wanted to design promotional campaigns for a global company like 3M creating life-changing products. It is honorable for me to be a part of this company. 3M has a strong commitment to innovation and gender equality which are the values I treasure most.
2. What Makes You Fit For This Role?
My skills, experience and qualification make me fit for this role. My communication and leadership skills make me a suitable candidate. In my previous job, I managed a team of 10 employees and implemented a new communication that resulted in a 15% increase in productivity. I can bring this type of success to 3M. I am committed to learning and my dedication to work makes me fit for this role.
3. What You Know About 3M
Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, founded in 1902, is a large company applying science in collaborative ways to improve our daily lives. 3M is producing more than 60,000 products with a vision to advance every company, enhance every home and improve every life. More than 93,000 people are working in this company, contributing to the growth in more than 87 countries. It is the component of the DOW Industrial Average and S&P 500. 2/3rd of the revenue comes from the US. 3M ranked#16 as the best employer for diversity. The 3M is also known for delivering science-based performance and extraordinary outcomes across multiple industries.
4. Share Your Previous Work History.
In my previous role, I was the marketing manager for General Electric (GE), a high-tech industrial company engaged in manufacturing energy, healthcare, and transportation products. I achieved all my targets and helped the company to surpass the competition. I worked for five years and ensured the successful implementation of the mix of demographic, psychographic and geographic segmentation strategies to satisfy the ever-changing needs of society. Since the company deals in different industries, we implemented the differentiation targeting strategy. I reposition General Electric as a technology-driven company that offers value-based products and services. Before that, I also worked as a sales representative, where I successfully managed to achieve my targets and surpassed expectations. During my job, the company changed to new software. My aptitude for new technologies helped me to know that I am quickly adaptable.
5. Describe An Event About A Conflict At Work And How You Dealt With It.
I believe conflict is an inevitable part of the job. In organizational settings, we interact with different personalities, and it is common to experience conflict. I think conflict management is more important than conflict occurrence. When, I worked as a marketing manager, one of my teammates was constantly late finishing tasks. I approached him about the issue, he reacted defensively. I kept calm and acknowledged that the deadlines were challenging and asked him how I could improve my performance. He calmed down and told me that he was involved in another project where he is doing a task, and it was not his responsibility. I met with the other manager, and we came to a resolution. In this way, I resolved the conflict and alleviated my team’s workload. The team member delivered great work after that. I actively readjust my attitude during a conflict situation. I strive to listen to others without becoming defensive. I also attempt to move the confrontation to a private space to avoid complications.
6. How Would You Handle A Team Member Who Resists A New Idea You Proposed?
While working in a previous organization, one of my team members regularly challenged every solution I presented. He tends to interrupt and talk over others without listening to his input. It was a challenge for me to maintain patience when he interrupted without listening. I knew that I couldn’t change or control his behavior. I also acknowledged that his behavior was likely the result of stress because of the heavy workload. In such a situation, I decided to adjust my communication style. I increased empathy, removed triggers and showed patience with his interruptions. In this way, we maintain polite correspondence.
7. How Do You Prioritize Your Work?
A busy schedule doesn’t equate to progress, but effective prioritization can help you to make the most of your day. I thoughtfully prioritize my work by creating an agenda, evaluating the task and allocating time and work to bring the most value in a short time. I write all the thing that needs attention. Then, I evaluate the long-term goals and break down the larger goals. After setting goals, I create deadlines.
8. What Would You Do If Your Hard Work Receives Criticism?
Handling criticism at the workplace is brutal, but it is an indispensable part of the job for employees. We frequently listen to and digest criticism from supervisors, managers, or other coworkers, but how we listen, understand and apply their suggestions makes the difference. I welcome constructive criticism because I feel more empathetic and less attacked. I usually consider this criticism as help. If my feeling gets hurt by criticism, I try to stop my gut reactions and respond calmly with thank you and a big smile. If I have doubts, I clarify the issue directly to the critic and ask them for elaboration.
9. How Do You Measure Success?
I believe the true measure of success is how many times we bounce back from failure. Success means consistent efforts to create an impact. I consider reaching milestones toward the goals as success. I think, success is a process, where challenges encourage me to look at things from different perspectives and to find creative solutions to problems.
10. Describe Yourself In Three Words.
Creative, flexible, ambitious
11. What Are Your Weaknesses?
My greatest weakness is that I multitask too much. I noticed that it was an issue in my first job. I was tackling three tasks at once and got distracted that ruined my productivity. Later on, I started prioritizing things. I followed time management techniques and started writing all the activities on paper to create a to-do list. Now, instead of juggling three at a time, I go through different tasks one by one.
12. Do You Consider Yourself Successful?
Yes, I do consider myself successful for several reasons. Working as a marketing manager in a leading company is one of my professional achievements. I always go above and beyond for my organization. I also consider myself successful in my ability to get along with others. My friendly personality, coupled with effective communication helped me to establish relationships and achieve results.
13. How Do You React To Adversity And Stress?
I think the best way to cope with adversity and stress is to react to the situation rather than letting it overwhelm you. In this way, you can get a hold of the situation before it runs away. For instance, when I deal with demanding customers, instead of letting them take over, I remind myself of the goals of interaction. I kept my voice low, changed my posture to a welcoming stance and started empathizing with customers. In this way, customers become less defensive, and they feel valued and heard.
14. Explain How Your Personality Traits Would Benefit The Company?
Creativity, flexibility, integrity and openness to experiences are some of the personality traits that can get me hired. These traits have contributed to the success of the previous employer. Openness and flexibility can help me to do well in training. I am also adaptable to change. 3M is all about providing an awe-inspiring innovative solution. My creativity will contribute to 3M’s efficiency and effectiveness in applying science in collaborative ways to improve lives.
15. What Were The Challenges You Faced While Coordinating With Cross-Functional Teams?
Cross-functional teams consist of people who are experts in different fields. They work together to achieve common goals. It includes employees from different levels of the organization. Being a marketing manager, I have experienced coordinating with cross-functional teams. The cross-functional teams bring people together from different departments. Therefore I faced plenty of challenges while coordinating with these teams. Team members challenged suggestions, the defined role and responsibilities of each worker were missing, taking on another project was time-consuming and sometimes team workers showed reluctance to adopt new ways of working.
16. How Do You Adapt To Change?
I don’t get bothered by the change. I am a go-with-the-flow type of person, and I enjoy trying new things at work because they help me to learn and grow in my role. Almost, two years ago, I had to transition quickly to working from home. My company decided the whole department would transition to remote work for safety concerns during a pandemic. It was quite shocking for me. Initially, I struggled because I had never worked from home. In a few days, though, I had a good system and schedule in place. Now, I feel comfortable working from home as I do working from the office.
17. Describe Your Vision Of a Healthy Working Environment.
I believe a healthy workplace environment influences workers and managers to collaborate, to improve the health, safety and well-being of the workers. It is a non-toxic environment, where employees have the opportunity for open discussion. They build strong personal relationships and focus on personal and organizational growth.
18. How You Would Be An Asset For The Company?
I knew that your company is looking for innovative and creative professionals to increase its customer reach. In my last position, I implemented social media marketing tactics which led to growth in social media shares and an increase in web traffic from social media platforms. In this role, I hope to expand your customer reach by using data-driven insights to develop creative and engaging social media posts and marketing campaigns. In addition to this, my communication skills and deadline-oriented personality are key strengths, that I feel can benefit the company. In my last position, I streamlined the communication among managers across all departments through the management system.
19. What Tools And Techniques Do You Use To Keep Yourself Organized?
Staying organized and productive at the workplace means staying focused. I take pride in my ability to stay organized, and I have developed these skills from my past experiences, especially in the sales representative and marketing manager’s job. First of all, I keep a meticulous calendar for different projects assigned to me. Secondly, I am also a fan of Trello, where I have a personal board to create a to-do list colored and coded as per the priority level. I am also a paper and pen devotee of to-do lists. Every Monday morning, I create a to-do list for the day.
20. How Do You Keep Your Team Members Involved And Motivated?
Marketing heavily depends on collaboration among colleagues who combine their expertise to develop unique and successful marketing campaigns. As a marketing manager, it was necessary to foster an environment where staff members could feel comfortable with their roles and responsibilities and feel motivated to surpass the competition. To keep them engaged and involved, I designed the monthly goal sheet and asked them to outline specific accomplishments that they wished to achieve by the end of the month. With the sheet, they identified what achievements are special to them and how they are helping the company.
At the end of the month, we returned to the goals sheet and asked them to fill up the follow-up sheet which helped them to know how close they were to meeting their monthly accomplishment goals. As a marketing manager, it is my job to inspire my staff to be innovative and productive.
21. Give Examples Of Good And Bad Customer Service.
Customer service is essential for the growth and sustainability of an organization. Bad customer service is when a business fails to meet customer expectations in terms of quality, response time, and overall customer experiences. For example, putting the customer on hold for too long is a common example of subpar customer service. Delays and cancellations are the worst spoilers in the customer service game. Responding quickly and acting on customer feedback are examples of good customer service.
22. What Are The Benefits Of Working At 3M?
3M is an innovative place to work. It is a platform where people grow through challenging work and get rewarded for their efforts. it is the leading company that allows employees to discover an inclusive culture and collaborate with curious and creative minds. 3M total revenue package is a big source of motivation for employees. The revenue package offers plans and programs to attract, retain and motivate high-performing employees. Other than competitive salaries, the company also offers high-quality benefits.
23. Why Diversity And Inclusion In The Workplace Are Important?
I believe, diversity and inclusivity are critical because these factors help ensure the inclusion of others in the decision-making process. It also demonstrates that everyone has the same opportunities and all the employees are heard, understood, valued and the compensation is fair for their work. Diversity refers to the representation of different genders, religions, cultures and experiences. Inclusion is the environment fostering safety for people from different backgrounds. When we engage and interact with others from different backgrounds, we learn different perspectives and ultimately become a better version of ourselves with greater empathy.
24. Define Your Leadership Style.
When I think about my leadership approach in my previous role, I can describe it as a hybrid leaning towards activity. I enjoyed working with my subordinates. I empowered them to share ideas. I never delegated a list of tasks and sat back until the deadline. I proactively contributed to the success of others. I like to extract potential from my team. I also follow a coach-like approach and lead by example. I take the necessary steps to manage the disrupted employees and to maintain the team’s motivation.
25. How Do Your Colleagues Describe You?
My coworkers and supervisors describe me as a thoughtful, creative, innovative and flexible person who works well under pressure. I enjoy marketing tasks for the promotion of brand image and anticipation of the customer needs to make the company stand out.
3M is a leading global science, technology and manufacturing company that expands across different industries. The company employs a diverse range of employees. Your answer to the interview questions must demonstrate tech skills and soft skills. The list of important 3M interview questions and answers can help you ace all interview rounds.