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3M: about, employment and pre-employment selection, aptitude tests and interviews

3M (Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company) is one of the leading and largest manufacturing companies in the world. 3M produces a large scope of household and industrial products, chemicals, medical equipment, consumer goods and safety equipment. The head office of the 3M company is located in the USA, in the city of St. Paul. The corporation was founded in 1902.

Throughout its long history, the company has been distinguished by tireless and versatile research and development to maximize operational efficiency. The fruits of this policy have been the emergence of a number of significant innovations. The most famous of them: development of waterproof abrasive, Scotch adhesive tape, ferromagnetic magnetic media. Currently, 3M is one of the largest manufacturers of electrical components, medical technology and the most advanced materials for the dental industry.

3M company production

In the modern structure of 3M, four business areas dominate: information technology and electronics, graphic technology, production and consumption materials, natural sciences.

The company is one of the world’s top 100 employers, with over 93,000 employees as of March 2021.

Employment and pre-employment selection at 3M

In this article, we provide a short overview and guidance to help you prepare for the 3M pre-employment process, whether you are a recent graduate or an experienced professional.

The company offers jobs in areas such as industrial engineering, information technology, supply of raw materials and components, finance and management.

Applicants for 3M jobs go through multiple rounds of interviews, aptitude tests and assessments. Initial screening is the submission of an online questionnaire on the official 3M website and online aptitude tests for intellectual abilities. This is followed by the stage of face-to-face meetings and interviews. So, the stages of selection are:

  • Application form on the 3M website
  • Online aptitude tests 3M
  • Assessment center
  • Interview

Let’s describe the whole process in detail.

Application form on the 3M website

The company posts job ads on its official website and your application for a 3M job must be submitted online through the 3M Careers page.

3m careers website apply for jobs

We recommend reading our articles on what you can do to make your profile more visible and attractive to employers:

8 tips to make your resume different from hundreds of others

6 easy tips to write a successful resume

How to look for a job on the Internet the right way

Your social media through the eyes of a prospective employer: 5 tips from Aptitude-Tests-Practice

3M company factory

3M psychometric aptitude tests

Candidates for 3M jobs in office and any managerial positions need to pass online aptitude tests for intellectual abilities, situational judgement tests and personality tests.

3M is one of the few companies where initial online aptitude tests are followed by cross-checking during secondary testing in company office. That is, even if you successfully passed the online test, you may need to take another shortened test at the company’s office under supervision. 3M HR agents use this retest in order to exclude the possibility of fraud.

At 3M, aptitude tests are not mandatory for all jobs. Most candidates for manufacturing jobs are exempt from tests. The only pre-employment assessment procedure for them is a job interview. But applicants for all office and management jobs need to pass all the tests that we described above.

3M uses numerical reasoning and verbal reasoning tests from developers such as CEB SHL and Saville Consulting. So, if you want to get a job at 3M as an office staff member, you should prepare for the following aptitude tests. Read more about CEB SHL psychometric tests in our separate article: SHL psychometric tests

Numerical reasoning tests

3M uses numerical reasoning tests to assess your ability to correctly analyze and interpret numerical data. These tests are online and are limited in time. Average time limit is 1 minute per 1 test question. Candidates need to answer 10-15 questions using data for calculations from complex tables, graphs or diagrams.

An example of a 3M numerical reasoning test:

numerical reasoning test

You will find the correct answer and explanation of this numerical reasoning test and other test examples at the end of our article. We recommend that you try to find the answer by yourself first to test your skills. You have 1 minute to give an answer.

Verbal reasoning tests

The 3M verbal reasoning test is a tool to assess your level of verbal thinking and the level of your general culture. In it, you must show that you are able to quickly and correctly understand the meaning of complex texts such as instructions, announcements, etc.

An example of a 3M verbal test:

verbal reasoning test

More about numerical reasoning tests, verbal reasoning tests and abstract reasoning test with examples and recommendations please see in our articles:

Numerical Reasoning Tests: what they are, examples, solutions and tips to pass them

Verbal reasoning tests: what are they and how to pass them

Abstract reasoning tests: all you want to know about them

Situational judgement tests

Situational judgement tests are used for applicants for office and managerial positions. They are designed to make a forecast of how you will behave in a situation of difficult working moments. Most often, situational judgement tests depict conflicts between employees, situations of misunderstanding and uncertainty. in SJTs, you need to choose one of the offered options for action in such a situation. There is an element of subjectivity in situational judgement tests, but they still can very accurately create a psychological portrait of the applicant.

Example of a 3M situational judgement test:

situational judgement test office personnel ethics

Read more about situational judgement tests:

10 tips for taking a situational judgement test

Situational judgement tests used by employers and qualities that they test

Psychometric aptitude tests for managers

Psychometric testing for call center and customer support jobs

Last, but not least part of testing at 3M is the personality questionnaire. This is not even a test, but just a set of statements from which you have to choose the ones that suit you best and those that don’t suit you. Below is an example of a question from SHL OPQ32 personality questionnaire for 3M.

personality-opq-sample-question

Assessment and group exercises in 3M

This stage is used to evaluate candidates for 3M jobs in sales and marketing. Assessment center includes various group assessment exercises throughout the day in the company office. These include the following:

Group discussions

In this exercise, 3M evaluators unite applicants into teams of 4-5 and identify a problem for them to discuss. The group is given time to find an overall balanced solution to the problem. The discussion assesses your teamwork, persuasiveness, leadership, communication skills and ways of solving problems.

3M business case study

For this part of the process, before hiring, a candidate or a group of candidates is given a description of the question (case study) and the task is to prepare an action plan or solve the problem described in the case. The topic may be related to the role you are applying for, but there can be general case topics. You will need to present your findings and recommendations to the employer’s representatives at the 3M Assessment Center. Be prepared to answer additional questions about your research.

During the assessment, you will be assessed not only by 3M HR specialists, but also by direct supervisors and current managers of the company. In our opinion, this stage is the most responsible and for you it has the most opportunities. In it you can show yourself as an open communicative and interesting person. Be sure to do your best to show yourself brightly.

Preliminary check

After a candidate has completed the online aptitude tests and performed well during the assessment, 3M specialists verify the factual information about the candidate that is available in open sources. They check references from former employers or college, as well as the possible presence of a criminal component. After that, company representatives make a decision on inviting the candidate for a job interview.

3M company employees

Job interview at 3M

A job interview at 3M has several levels:

  • The first interview is usually a phone or Skype interview: the employer’s representative gets acquainted with the job seeker and provides an opportunity for mutual questions.
  • Then there is a second interview – a purely technical one. The nature of the questions depends on the job technical requirements.
  • The final interview is a competency interview. Questions can concern your motives, personality and plans for future.

3M maintains its own high standards and carries out a complex recruitment process. The company aims to provide five key areas of competence, which it requires from its employees, both existing and future:

  • Motivation
  • Organization and planning
  • Result-oriented thinking
  • Innovation
  • Good communication skills

Ideally, you are required to demonstrate all of these qualities during the selection process.

3M company jobs

How to prepare for the 3M recruiting process?

When preparing for the recruitment process at 3M, the most effective method is to practice aptitude tests online and follow proven guidelines. In addition, you should read about the company on 3M website. This will help you familiarize yourself with various types of information that will be helpful in analyzing the case study documents and group exercises.

In addition to preparing for aptitude tests, you should take the time to study sample interview questions and prepare your answers to them. As you review the questions and tips below, try to answer the questions based on the qualities 3M looks for in the applicants. Strive to prove to the employer’s representatives that you have the qualities that they seek for. Come to the interview prepared for the questions and prepare your questions.

Here are a few common topics a 3M interviewer might ask you:

  • Tell me about your previous job.
  • Why do you want to work for 3M?
  • Tell us about a conflict at work and how you dealt with it.
  • How do you see yourself in 5 years?

By answering these questions, you have the opportunity to show your best qualities. Always keep in mind the necessary amount of knowledge and a list of responsibilities for the position for which you are applying, as well as what benefit you can bring to the company. Know how to answer the question of how well you fit the needs and culture of the company.

To prepare for your interview, read our articles on good interview tactics:

How to answer the question: “Why do you want this job?”

10 tips for a successful job interview

2 most common job interview mistakes

8 smart questions for the employer at your job interview

3 easy ways to stand out in a job interview

3M company korea


3M is a first-class employer where you can find interesting work projects, friendly colleagues, clear career prospects and decent pay. If you want to get a job in 3M, we recommend preparing for online aptitude tests, assessment and job interviews. You can find a lot to help you on Aptitude-Tests-Practice.com. Good luck!


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