Procter and Gamble

Bill Reina, Director, U.S. Recruiting, Training & Development


"When interviewing college students, there really isn't one particular skill or set of skills we seek. Instead, there are eight factors we use to predict successful long-term performance in our business. They are all important. They are not brilliantly unique in the sense that any company could say 'Teamwork or Communication Skills are important.' However, I think the thing we do differently is how we assess the trait itself and how we calibrate interviewers to be able to consistently evaluate potential new hires."

"If I had to choose one single most important skill when hiring a new employee, it would be leadership. I would define leadership as someone who can Envision, Energize and Empower. In a team-based environment, the motto 'The Power of One, The Value of All' does apply and every team has a leader. We are really looking for those people who can do those three 'E's and make things happen and change things."

"The point of the behaviorally anchored interview is to assess the candidate's past experiences and present activities within the framework of context, action and results. Therefore, the best way job candidates can prove that they possess strong leadership skills is to provide specific examples of their experience in that capacity. What did they specifically do as an individual-- what would not have happened if not for them--as opposed to 'here's what the team did.' Also, what was the result that came out of their involvement? How were they able to make a difference? How was that difference assessed?"

"It is difficult for me to provide a specific example of how students have been able to effectively prove they possess strong leadership skills. This is because there are so many good examples that take place across all types of activities: work, school, church, social, athletics - where students have personally intervened to establish a new direction, got other people involved and energized those people to achieve something that is truly significant."

"I don't have any particularly favorite interview questions because I don't use a standard set of questions. I try to relate the questions to the individual and his or her background. We've experimented with having our interviewers all use the same questions and have gotten away from that. What we try to do is get interviewers to probe effectively into those areas which we know will be productive for us if the results are good. So, we have recommended questions, but I don't think there are good or bad ones."

"We use bio data in our assessment process -- which indicates that past behavior predicts future performance. If you have smart, talented people who have taken the initiative over the course of their life - i.e., have shown a flair for creativity or have naturally gravitated to leadership roles - chances are they will continue to do so. In short, if they have done those things in the past, they are likely to do them again. The probability is they would do it again in the future."

"With respect to the interview process, there are some fundamental things students seem to overlook. For example, I think a lot of students go into the interview process with the belief that it is good enough to go in and 'just be myself.' Students seem to reason that 'if they don't like me, that's fine, they are not accepting me for what I am and I want to be who I am - so, I'm okay with that as well.' Now, I'm okay with being yourself, but that is not enough. They need to come to the interview prepared. If they are asked 'What is your definition of Leadership?'- they need to be able to give an example of when they were a leader and what they achieved in that capacity."

"I think students really need to prepare and think about themselves. They need to become a bit introspective about what they have done and why they have done it. Also, they need to understand the company's needs and decide what they have to offer that company. Finally, they need to figure out how to best represent themselves in order to close the sale. Because, that is what they are doing throughout the interview process."

"In the beginning, they are selling and we are buying. Later on, we are selling and they are buying, but that is what that relationship is about."

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