CQ_FMCG_Luminaries | Barchha Dhawal Samir | Hindustan Unilever Ltd

Communiqué IIT KGP
6 min readMay 24, 2024

Interviewer: Hello, I’m Aneesh, an associate at Communiqué, and today we have with us Mr. Barchha Dhawal who has bagged an internship at Hindustan Unilever Limited. How are you doing today Dhawal?

Dhawal: Hello Aneesh! I am fine, and you?

Interviewer: I am fine as well. Firstly, the heartiest congratulations to you for getting an internship at Hindustan Unilever Limited. So, basically, in this short interview, I’ll ask you a few questions for our blog series. The blog will be shared with the KGP community to guide them about the selection procedure through your experience. So, if you are ready, can we start?

Dhawal: Yeah, thank you very much, Aneesh. Let’s begin.

Interviewer: So here goes the first question. What was the general interview process for the companies you have interviewed? Kindly mention the number of rounds and the nature of the interview process.

Dhawal: It starts with a simple CV submission as it is for all the companies at CDC ERP portal. So, basically when you apply for the company, they ask for your CV and along with a CV they also ask for a Google form submission of some questions which helps them to know you as a person; they ask you for a quality check. They ask for anything that can help people know more about you, and what principles you value. They try to judge you using situational-type questions. Using the CV and the Google form submission, they filter out a chunk of applicants. Speaking in regards to KGP, they selected about 50 students for the next round, which is the virtual interview round. In this round, they’ll give you a link, wherein you’ll be asked to answer three questions. You will have about 30–40 secs to read the question and then the audio and video recording starts, where you will be asked to answer. They will be recording your answers and opinions based on the question. These are usually taken to test your industrial knowledge, but not in depth. The third round is the final round, which is a one-to-one interview which runs around for approximately 20–30 minutes, conducted by industry-level professionals from the company on day one. About 20 people are shortlisted for the interview round. Among the 20, 5 were selected this year. Basically, they ask you to introduce yourself and run them through your CV. They look at your internships, projects, and previous experiences and if they find something interesting, they will have a small discussion about it. The discussion would be of only 5 minutes, after which they will ask you a few questions regarding it.

Interviewer: Could you please list down questions you were asked in the different rounds? Puzzles, technical questions, or any other discussion in general that you think will prove to be helpful for the students.

Dhawal: So, for the virtual interview round, the questions were designed in such a way that they test your industrial knowledge, but at the same time, they weren’t too technical or in-depth. For instance, they asked me about the ways in which we can reduce the consumption of plastic in industries. They asked another simple question where there are two lines of production in a factory, namely line A and line B. Line A has a single machine, which produces 10 units per hour and line B produces 6 units per hour, but it has 2 machines. I was asked to list the pros and cons of each of these lines. You can answer these questions as a layman. Line B has 2 machines and Line A has a single machine, so, in case of a fault in a machine, line A will not be functional, whereas Line B will have the second machine for production. So this is a pro for line B and a con for line A. Similarly, the power consumed by line A will be less as only a single machine is operated, whereas, the power consumed by line B will be higher because of the usage of two machines. You just have to figure out simple differences and answer them as a layman. In my interview round, seeing that my department is AGFE, they asked me a question on food wastage and the ways to mitigate it. On this, we had a discussion for about 10 minutes.

Interviewer: So moving ahead, what are the most frequently asked questions you think the students should prepare for?

Dhawal: The questions that I had mentioned above are repeated almost every year. These are some of the standard questions that students must prepare for. This was the funda that was given to us by our seniors, and the same would apply for the students sitting for placements this year. I believe that this would be of great help to the students.

Interviewer: What are the things that students sitting for placements next year can do from now until December to maximise their chances of getting through a company in this sector?

Dhawal: It is highly recommended that you do an internship or a project or even a case study in this sector. If you have any relatable experiences regarding supply chain, they will go deep into it and ask you questions regarding it. This is what I’ve heard from my friends. If you don’t have anything like that, they will just ask you general questions related to supply chain. I didn’t have a lot of things related to supply chain in my CV, I had only done a case study conducted by Prakriti, where we had to eliminate the middlemen from the supply chain. I had used blockchain model to tackle the problem. It is important that students learn various techniques and models to counter such problem statements. Supply chain is quite open ended, it must not be mistaken for a core internship. I was actually preparing for consult and solving consult-targeted problems and puzzles. This actually helped me structure my thoughts and deliver them in a condensed manner. So, I would recommend that students start solving general puzzles so that they get the idea as to how a problem must be approached and what kind of solution must be delivered. Being updated with latest tech news and articles in the industry would definitely help in being spontaneous with the solutions.

Interviewer: Thanks for the answer. So, moving on to the next question, how did your preparation for interview rounds evolve once you were shortlisted?

Dhawal: To be honest, supply chain was never my target. As I said, I was preparing for consult and I was solving more and more case based questions for consult. Before the interview, I went through my case study presentation and that was the extra preparation I did. Along with this, I continued solving more case based questions. I didn’t prepare anything other than this. A small section of the consult is actually the FMCG sector. So if you could practice more industry-level case-based problems that could simply help you in the supply chain role. This is completely from my perspective as this had helped me a lot. I didn’t do any specific preparation for HUL as I was targeting finance and consult roles.

Interviewer: Anything else you’d want to share with the students?

Dhawal: For the first year students, it’s important for them not to follow the traditional path, rather find their interests by exploring various fields and eliminating the ones that are not suitable to them. I have seen students run behind software development. I also started with it in the beginning, but then I halted in a week or two as I realised that software development was not meant for me. I then moved to data and machine learning, finance and then to consult. I was striking off the things that were not suitable for me and I recommend this for other students as well. I have seen many of my friends who are good coders, struggle to get into software, because of the department and CGPA constraints, missing out on other great opportunities. Hence, it is important to explore every portfolio and find your zone of interest.

Interviewer: How much of a role do you think CGPA plays in the selection process?

Dhawal: That depends upon the company. Flipkart shortlisted a person having seven CGPA for a product role. It is important not to incorrectly estimate someone’s abilities based on their CG. But, for most of the companies, CGPA does matter. If you are a first-year student, it is important to get a good CGPA. Even if some seniors tell you that it doesn’t matter, the truth is, it does matter. So maintain a good CG throughout your semesters

Interviewer: Thanks a lot for your suggestions. With this, the interview comes to an end. Alright Dhawal, it was great talking to you and knowing your experiences and insights.

Dhawal: Thank You. It was a pleasure being interviewed.

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