Mars, Inc: pre-employments aptitude tests, assessment and interviews
Mars, Inc (CHOCOLATE, PETCARE, FOOD) is one of the FMCG market leaders in the world. This is a huge company with a total number of employees in the world of more than 100,000 people in early 2020. The largest factories and offices of Mars are located in the USA, Belgium, Mexico, Netherlands, Australia and actually in all large countries in the world.
Mars has four separate lines of business (industries) under the following brands:
- Chocolate: SNICKERS®, M&M’S®, DOVE®, MARS®, MILKY WAY®, MALTESERS®, BOUNTY®, TWIX®, A.KORKUNOV®; 3 MUSKETEERS®, etc. About 21 brands as of 2020;
- Pet nutrition: WHISKAS®, PEDIGREE®, SHEBA®, CESAR®, PERFECT FIT®, CHAPPI®, KITEKAT®, CATSAN®, DREAMIES®, EUKANUBA®, NATURE’STABLE®, ROYAL CANIN®, etc. About 30 brands as of 2020;
- Food: UNCLE BEN’S®, DOLMIO®;
- Chewing gums and sweets: ORBIT®, ECLIPSE®, 5®, DOUBLEMINT®, WRIGLEY’S SPEARMINT®, RONDO®, SKITTLES®, JUICY FRUIT®®, etc. About 26 brands as of 2020.
The Wrigley Company is a separate company operating its own line of brands and is a part of the Mars Corporation. Each Mars industry has its own headquarters, sales, marketing, development and production departments. Therefore, it is not surprising that the company needs many employees and at any time you will find open vacancies in Mars.
In 2020 there are many vacancies in the USA, Mexico, Belgium, Russia, India, Indonesia and in many other countries.
Working conditions at Mars
A word from the author of the article: by education and first job I am a teacher of the English language and like any non-ideal teacher I had favorite students. After working in school, I moved to HR and I got favorite companies. Among them are many FMGC companies, but Mars is a special favorite. This is due to the fact that Mars was the first company I met closely, I have some good friends there, and they supply us with chocolate.
More seriously, Mars is one of the most striking examples of large companies in which an employee receives interesting projects for work from the first day, clear prospects for growth and development, a huge amount of quality training, decent pay, a good team and respectful attitude of managers. Statistics shows that up to 92% of Mars employees like their job. This is one of the highest ranks with average of 65-70% and average in the FMCG of 80-85%.
- salaries are higher relative to other FMCG companies and increase up to 2 times a year
- bonuses of up to 100% of annual salary
- free lunches, chocolate, gyms
- frequent interesting internships in domestic and foreign divisions of Mars
- valuable work experience in demand on the labor market
- good team and management
- prestige of work at Mars
- numerous educational and recreational activities for employees
In Mars you will not have rigid working hours. Most employees are expected to be at work from 11:00 to 16:00, when meetings can take place, but you can come and go to the office at any time, the main thing is to work out a certain number of hours per month.
Each Mars employee has an annual personal development plan. Several times a year, he or she discusses its progress with his/her supervisor. At the end of the year, at a meeting of managers, all employees are given a professional rating. It depends on the achieved work results and the assessment of a person by members of his team. The rating is also influenced by the results of the internal psychometric testing that includes situational judgement tests. The size of the bonus and the possibility of promotion in the company depend on the rating.
According to the reviews of Mars employees, there are problems even in such a developed organization. Many of them, as company employees themselves say, come from a “local” mentality. So, there have been cases of kickbacks in the procurement and distribution of financing, cases of hiring people like friends or family, and not for competence, usually to senior positions. Formality of some corporate practices. Of the latter, it can be empty, useless reporting, voicing slogans, and not actually realizing them, excessive attention to the results of internal psychological testing (using tests for situational behavior) and hanging labels on people who do not pass it.
Note that in 2020, such cases are a rare exception. The overall corporate culture of Mars is very high and constantly growing. Many other companies are very far from this level.
How to get a job in Mars
Mars is known for its scrupulous approach to hiring new employees. According to HR agents Mars, employees spend more time at work than many married people (average work time in this company is 11 years). The company pays great attention to the psychological assessment of applicants for Mars vacancies. For existing employees there is a system of regular psychological testing with scoring, which significantly affect the possibility of promotion in the company and the level of salary.
According to HR Mars employees, the following is required from applicants:
- high motivation to work
- focus on results
- leadership skills
- advanced communication skills
- professional knowledge
- ability to work both as a team and independently
Stages of pre-employment process in Mars
- Mars online application form
- Online aptitude testing
- Video interview
- Final interview and assessment
Online application form
Like many other FMCG companies, Mars accepts applications on its official website MARS.COM in the Career subdomain. You are required to send a resume and a cover letter in response to the Mars vacancy that interests you.
We recommend that you read our articles on the proper preparation of a resume and a cover letter. This is an important stage and you need to make your application visible among thousands of other applications in the HR department of Mars.
Online aptitude testing
All candidates need to pass online aptitude testing. Mars tests are designed to assess the ability of applicants to work with numerical and verbal information. The test developer for Mars is the well-known company CEB SHL. Accordingly, you will need to pass 2 tests – numerical and verbal.
Separately, we note the widespread use of psychological questionnaires and situational judgement tests in all major offices of the company. The same tests are used to assess the abilities of existing employees of the company to consider their promotion to higher positions. This is especially true for applicants for managerial positions: situational judgement tests are always used for them. You can learn more about such tests and their examples in our separate articles. Below you will find an example of such a test.
The tests of this company have a number of features:
- Information in Mars numerical tests is always presented in the form of tables, graphs, charts or diagrams. They give a lot of distracting information, among which you need to find the necessary data in order to solve a specific question.
- You will receive questions of numerical reasoning and verbal reasoning tests in series of 4 questions with the same table or text, but with different questions.
- You can switch between test questions: go forward and backward.
- Usually applicants have 15-20 questions of the numerical reasoning test and 15-20 questions of the verbal reasoning test.
- You will have a limited time for finding the correct answer for each question. For example, you will have 25-30 minutes for the numerical reasoning test of 20 questions. The time for 1 question is not limited within the total time for the test.
- Almost always, these tests include tasks for converting currencies and measures.
Numerical reasoning test in Mars
Mars numerical reasoning test example
See the correct answer and explanation of this numerical reasoning test at the end of the article. Try to find the answer by yourself first. During the real testing, you will have 60 seconds to find the correct answer.
Verbal reasoning test in Mars
Mars verbal reasoning test example
See the end of the article for the correct answer and explanation of this verbal reasoning test. Try to find the answer by yourself first. During the real testing, you will have 45 seconds to find the correct answer.
Situational judgement tests in Mars
As we wrote above, situational judgement tests are a popular tool used for both new candidates assessment and promotion of existing employees. Please see below an example of a situational judgement test used in the management trainee program at Mars:
There is no time limit to find the correct answer for this SJ test but usually it is about 2 minutes. Please see the end of the article for the correct answer and explanation of this question. First try to answer it by yourself to test your expertise and competences.
Aptitude-Tests-Practice.com has a large database of practice numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning and situational judgement tests for online testing in Mars. Having prepared, you will significantly increase your chances of successfully passing the test.
Mars video interview
Starting 2017, a new stage has appeared in the pre-employment process for Mars jobs: after the aptitude tests, you will need to answer the questions of a video survey. Video interview questions are designed to create your psychological portrait.
Below you can see sample questions of the video interview for Mars job in the sales or marketing departments:
- Introduce yourself and tell us about your last job.
- Why are you currently looking for a job?
- What attracts you the most in sales / marketing?
- What do you like about this vacancy in our company?
- Tell us about your professional plans. What will be the next step in your career development and what are you ready to do for this (what to work on, what to develop in yourself)?
- Tell us about your most significant achievement at your last job, what have you done?
- Tell us about such a situation at work or study, when you were unable to achieve a result. What conclusions have you drawn from this situation?
- Describe a situation of difficult negotiations with a client or supplier from your professional experience. What was the result of these negotiations?
If you are applying for a managerial position, the following may be added to the questions:
- What methods of motivation for your team / your subordinates do you know and use?
- What does the concept of a “perfect team” mean to you?
- Give an example of a situation from your experience when you come to resolve a conflict with your subordinate.
You will have 15 seconds to think the question; upon their expiration, an automatic recording of your answer will start, which lasts for two minutes.
You will be required to give answers to 2-3 questions in English even if it is not your native language. Some departments of Mars, for example, the marketing department, and some territorial branches of Mars, for example, offices in Kiev and Kuala Lumpur assume that only English is used for answers in video interviews. You will need to show knowledge of English at a level not lower than Intermediate on the TOEFL scale.
Mars programs for students and graduates
The company has a whole range of interesting internship programs for students. And if you take part in any of them you can guarantee a job in Mars from your student days. We definitely recommend you to participate in them.
If you are still a student and would like to take an internship in Mars or you are a graduate applying for a Mars training programs (MARS INTERNSHIP PROGRAM), then you will need to go through all the same qualifying stages: application form, aptitude testing and video interview. Questions will be like follows:
- Tell us about yourself.
- Why do you want to take part in this internship at Mars?
- Tell us about your personal and professional plans. How do you see the next step in your career development and what are you ready to do for this (what to work on, what to develop in yourself)?
- Tell us about your most significant achievement in your last studies, how did you manage to achieve this?
- Tell a story when you had to take on the role of a leader.
- How would you behave in a situation where your colleague asks you for help, but you do not know the answer to his question or cannot help?
How to take part in Mars internships
The requirements for such internships and training programs are high: you must show skills and experience in leadership, teamwork and participation with any projects. During one of presentations, a Mars HR representative was asked the following question: “How is it possible for a university graduate to have such wild achievements that you require?” HR representative Mars sincerely replied that if you did not have these achievements, then you were not the right person. “Mars jobs are not for everyone, but for the elite, and we can afford to pick the best candidates from the labor market.”
If you are a student AIESEC activities are highly valued, for the reason that this is a global partner of MARS. A lot of attention is paid to leadership, teamwork, taking responsibilities and other things that are valuable for all companies in the FMCG market.
Separately, what is worth highlighting is the Management Trainee program from MARS. This is one of the top international internship programs for future MARS managers. After it, the trainee opens up very broad prospects for building a brilliant career in MARS. It is not surprising that the competition for participation in the MARS Management Trainee program reaches 700-800 people per 1 place.
Final interview and assessment in Mars
After the video interview, you will receive an invitation to the final interview in Mars, which always takes place at the company’s central office in your country.
Mars has a very high level of organization for this stage of selection. For example, if you live far away in the province, the company itself will buy you tickets to the capital of your country and back, in the capital you will be provided with a business class taxi and accommodation in a 4-5 star hotel. Many Mars job seekers and staff say that such attention is simply amazing for unpampered candidates from the province and this approach makes them even more want to get a job in Mars and become part of this huge and friendly family.
The final stage of the selection process for Mars jobs is the most difficult and time-consuming. It usually takes a whole day, 7-8 hours with a lunch break, which the company serves for all applicants.
The assessment and interview with Mars include:
- presentation on a pre-issued topic
- case study group work
- group discussion
- personal interview
Presentation and interview
A week before the assessment you will receive an email with the topic of the presentation that you need to prepare. That is, you will have enough time to prepare a very high-quality content and its effective presentation. Very often, applicants are required to prepare and present a presentation in English even if this is not your native language. For marketing department, this is a mandatory requirement.
Of all the departments of Mars, marketing is the most popular, and therefore assessment there is more difficult than in other departments: it all takes place in English. In terms of language proficiency, it is assumed that you already understand and use professional terminology and even the jargon of the marketing industry.
An example of the applicant’s presentation to the Mars sales department from 2016 you can see on YouTube for the request “Presentation of MARS 2016 for TDS position”.
Tip: for the presentation, you will have plenty of time to prepare well. Everything is in your hands: memorize the text, pronounce it in front of the mirror or the audience, prepare answers to all possible questions.
Mars case studies
This is a group stage of the pre-employment selection of applicants, which involves group work on Mars case studies.
This approach to assessing potential employees allows Mars representatives to assess their ability to solve difficult situations, jointly or personally achieve results and draw conclusions in the business process. Mars department managers participate in the assessment. And they take the decision on job offer always jointly: the applicant receives an invitation to the company only if all members of the commission consider him/her suitable for the job.
At the group stage of selection, the main attention of Mars representatives is given to your personal qualities, so it is almost impossible to prepare for it within a couple of days, except for constant participation in such discussions in case-study clubs.
Tip for the presentation of the case study: you need to forget that you are competitors with other applicants. The first thing they look at in Mars is your attitude to colleagues. The desire to stand out, interrupting and criticizing other applicants will inevitably lead to a failure. With your ideas and suggestions you need to benefit the team, and not spend time on disputes and figuring out who is more important.
The final interview in Mars
The final stage of the pre-employment process at Mars is your interview with a commission of company managers. You will have to answer a wide range of questions, many of them repeat the questions from the video interview, but the final interview is much wider. According to Mars employees, this is a real stress interview, although it is conducted in a very friendly manner. The questions can be very provocative “Have you ever fought?”, “What have you achieved in your … years?”
In this interview you will have to evaluate yourself and answer a lot of questions that aim to form your complete psychological portrait. In the process of answering these questions, you can come to a completely different conclusion about yourself compared to the original.
The peculiarity of the interview in Mars is that it is difficult to prepare for it, because many questions are non-standard. There are definitely no right or wrong answers to them. Read about successful interview tips in our special articles.
We recommend taking all available numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning and situational judgement tests on our website: this ensures that you successfully pass aptitude testing in Mars.
The most important thing at the stage of the final personal interview in Mars is a collected, but calm and relaxed state. Imagine that you are already an employee of Mars and communicate with friends. They are completely on your side. Be confident, because you are already a professional and the right person for the company. Just show it and the next morning you will receive a call with an invitation.
Answers and explanation of the example tests
Numerical reasoning test
Verbal reasoning test
Situational judgement test