PepsiCo: about the company, working conditions, pre-employment selection, tests and interviews
PepsiCo (Pepsi, Pepsi International) is an American multinational corporation producing soft drinks and food products under various brands. The corporation includes companies such as Pepsi, TacoBell, Lays, and spreads its activities in more than 200 countries and territories around the world with a staff of up to 300 thousand people. The company is headquartered in New York State in the United States.
The history of the Pepsi Cola Company begins back in the late 19th century, when a pharmacist Caleb Bradem tried to make a Coca-Cola drink. After a long way of searching for a modern recipe for a well-known product, as well as the growth and gaining of new markets, in 1965 the company acquired the modern look and structure – PepsiCo, Inc.
Currently, PepsiCo is a leader in the production of energy, carbonated and non-carbonated drinks, snacks, potato chips, nectars, juices, baby food, dairy products and bottled water.
Working conditions at PepsiCo
PepsiCo offers its employees the industry average salary, statutory social security contributions, additional medical and auto insurance, and in some positions – payment of transportation, cellular expenses and meals.
Speaking about working conditions with PepsiCo company, first of all, it is worth considering working conditions on the FMCG food market as a whole. Its main feature in 2020 is an extremely competitive market. There is a fierce struggle between large manufacturers for the buyer’s attention and wallet, and their employees are fighters at the forefront, who are expected to be ready to lay their heads for the victory of their company.
Disadvantages of working at PepsiCo
That is, if you want to work in PepsiCo, or in any other large food manufacturing company, then be prepared that you will be expected to perform labor feats. Such as:
- work for 10-11 hours;
- constant ideas for improvement;
- low starting pay;
- continuous growth of sales or production plans;
- fanatical commitment to corporate ideology;
- off-hours planning meetings.
Once again, these features are characteristic not only for PepsiCo, but also for any other FMCG company in the global market. But PepsiCo has a number of its own problems:
- the use of third-party recruiting companies, often of poor quality. In many countries PepsiCo itself does not recruit personnel, but uses independent HR agencies, and there are a lot of complaints about them. Applicants say about a complex, confusing and non-transparent pre-employment process, failures without explanation, common mistakes and inattention on the part of HR agents;
- weak adaptation program for new employees (with the exception of Management Trainee Program, which is really good);
- in production – hard physical work with a lot of harsh safety requirements and low wages;
- in sales – the inability to take a vacation in the summer.
Benefits of working at PepsiCo
The advantages of working at PepsiCo as reported by its employees:
- for the most part, a good team, friendly colleagues and managers;
- for the most part, good relations with management. In PepsiCo, managers can be easily approached and any employee can count on any help from his/her managers. This is a big plus, because in many other companies managers are hard to approach. At PepsiCo, it’s easier for an employee to get help and support from a manager;
- transparent career prospects;
- competent efforts of the company to unite the team, good corporate parties and holidays;
- a good place to start a career (for students and graduates);
- A good Management Trainee program that opens the door to company management.
- good pay after a few years in the company.
PepsiCo Marketing and Management
PepsiCo has a number of departments with many negative reviews, and a number of departments where almost all employees are happy and satisfied. Let’s start with the departments where everyone is happy. There are 2 of them: this is marketing and management. This includes Management Trainee program at PepsiCo. In these departments, salaries are much higher (an average of 2 thousand USD for 2020 for most countries), projects are more interesting and promising, and there is the possibility of internships at Pepsico International factories and offices, as well as the possibility of transferring to work abroad. The selection to these departments is carried out not by third-party HR agencies, but by the head office of PepsiCo, which significantly improves the quality of pre-employment selection. And also, the job of these departments means work in the company’s best offices in largest cities. The offices themselves are beautiful and comfortable, with free gyms and cozy cafes.
Of the disadvantages of working in marketing and management, there is only one: a very high competition for PepsiCo vacancies in these depts. PepsiCo HR agents receive up to 900 applications per 1 vacancy in these departments and in the PepsiCo Management Trainee program. That is, in order for you to get this position, you need to be a cut above the other candidates.
Sales and Logistics in PepsiCo
Among the departments with many complaints and negative reviews are sales and logistics. In logistics, employees complain about a cumbersome and inefficient accounting system, fines and deductions from salaries, long travel distances, liability and long working hours.
Most negative reviews are in sales. In general, work in the sales of food products requires special personal features of the employee. Most FMCG companies position it as work for young people without a family, who can devote 10-11 hours a day without days off in the summer, when the demand for drinks is highest. If such conditions are not for you, then even earning good money will make you feel miserable. The work of a sales representative or merchandiser is also a constant struggle with competitors and work with retailers that you need to convince to take exactly your products. This is a hard job, all day on your feet or driving, requiring carrying heavy boxes of drinks. It includes working with a wide variety of people, including unpleasant ones. And this is a job that requires attention, because a sales representative also has a liability.
Before choosing the PepsiCo job you would like to apply for, we strongly recommend that you explore the working conditions in this position and in this particular department. It is worth collecting all the reviews that you can find – on the Internet and from friends. It is also worth contacting the company under the guise of a buyer. 30-40 minutes of speaking with company employees can give you a lot of information to think about.
How to get a job in PepsiCo
PepsiCo uses the standard pre-employment selection process in several stages.
- application and resume analysis
- first interview
- PepsiCo aptitude test
- assessment day
- final interview
These stages can be slightly different for different departments. Candidates for PepsiCo jobs in the most prestigious departments — marketing, the Management Trainee program and managerial positions — will have to go through the longest and most difficult selection. For these vacancies, the candidate needs to go through 3-4 interviews, PepsiCo online aptitude tests and assessment.
Candidates for most vacancies in production, sales and logistics can get a job easier. For production and logistics, this is usually only 1-2 interviews and a short probation period. But applicants for a job in sales are to pass aptitude tests and assessment exercises such as presentations and sales simulations.
In our article, we will review the pre-employment process, which has common elements for most vacancies – in sales and marketing.
Sending resume and cover letter
The first step to landing a job at PepsiCo is to apply for a job. Vacant positions are posted on the company’s website and you can identify them by location. You can also apply for a PepsiCo job at all major job search engines.
Attention! PepciCO uses the CandidateCare candidate tracking system known as ATS. It checks your CV and cover letter by tracking predefined keywords and phrases according to your position. This ensures quick screening of candidates who do not have the necessary qualifications. This means that you must clearly show compliance with the requirements of the vacancy in your resume and cover letter. If you cannot meet the vacancy requirements by 80-90%, then your resume will not even be seen by the HR department of the company. It will simply be deleted by the ATS as inappropriate.
We recommend that you read our special article on how you can increase the chances that your application or resume will be noticed: How to look for a job on the Internet
As soon as your resume and cover letter go through the screening, an HR agent will contact you for a short an interview of 20-30 minutes. It is usually via video chat, or over the phone. You should be ready for a few primary questions about your education and previous work, including why you left your previous job. You will be able to clarify information about the vacancy and the advantages of the position. This will help you better understand the details of the work, and decide whether you really want to get this job. The employer, in turn, will be able to understand your skills and personality and evaluate the possibility of you joining the team.
At this point, we recommend that you include 3 important elements in your answers. Say that:
- you really want to work at PepsiCo;
- that even if you don’t know something, you are ready to learn and work hard;
- thank the HR agent for his or her attention and time.
The initial interview is the first qualifying stage after which the PepsiCo HR agents decide whether you are a good candidate or not. Therefore, we recommend preparing for this interview.
PepsiCo psychometric aptitude tests
PepsiCo uses aptitude tests from a famous aptitude test developer Talent Q. These are tests to assess your intellectual abilities and personality. The aptitude tests for intellectual abilities assess overall intellectual abilities of applicants, and consists of three parts:
- numerical reasoning test;
- verbal reasoning test;
- abstract reasoning test.
The personality tests assess a large set of your personality characteristics, such as: communication skills, leadership, focus on results, ability to solve problems, etc.
The main features of Talent Q tests for PepsoCo are the following:
- you may not return to questions already passed;
- your result is compared NOT with other applicants, but with the reference result;
- increasing difficulty of questions from the start to the end of the test.
To learn more about Talent Q aptitude tests, to see their examples and tips to pass them, see our article Talent Q tests: features, types, examples, tips
Technical knowledge test
If you apply for job in a PepsiCo factory, you should be prepared to take a test for technical knowledge (mechanical aptitude test). It is a test to check how well you know the technical principles and physical laws used in manufacturing.
This test, also called a mechanical aptitude test, is usually quite simple and requires only knowledge of the basic concepts of mechanics and electrics. Questions may include blocks, levers, electrical circuits, etc. You can learn more about this type of test in our article Mechanical tests, what it is and how to pass them
Verbal reasoning test at PepsiCo
A verbal reasoning test evaluates your understanding of complex texts. You will need to analyze several text passages and determine whether the information provided is “true”, “false” or “you cannot say”. The test does not check your spelling knowledge or vocabulary, but tests your ability to interpret information or draw the right conclusions. Below you will find an example of a verbal reasoning test at PepsiCo. You can learn more about verbal reasoning tests of Talent Q and other developers in our article Verbal reasoning tests: what are they and how to pass them
You will find the correct answer and explanation of this verbal reasoning test at the end of the article. We recommend that you first try to solve all the test examples in our article by yourself to evaluate your abilities. On a real test, you will have only 30 seconds to find the correct answer.
Numerical reasoning test in PepsiCo
Numerical reasoning test is a must for all applicants to office and sales jobs in PepsiCo. The company uses numerical reasoning tests to determine your skills for quickly analyzing complex numerical data and calculations. The questions may include such as percentages, fractions, currency conversion and always have graphs, tables and diagrams. Below you will find an example of the Talent Q numerical test for PepsiCo. You will have 90 seconds to solve this question. Read more about numerical tests of all types in our article Numerical tests when applying for a job, what they are, examples, solutions and tips to pass them
PepsiCo abstract reasoning test
Talent Q abstract reasoning tests are not used for all PepsiCo jobs. Applicants for sales and most office jobs, for example, usually do not have to take this aptitude test. But candidates for most technical positions and in IT need to take abstract reasoning tests. This type of psychometric tests assess the ability of candidates to find logical connections and rules in sequences of abstract froms. These are quite complex tests, which can be of different types. For more information on such tests, see our separate article
Abstract reasoning tests: all you want to know about them. Below you can find an example of the abstract reasoning test in PepsiCo.
PepsiCo situational judgement tests
PepsiCo’s situational judgement tests are used to test candidates for managerial positions and in marketing and sales departments. At Aptitude-Tests-Practice.com you will find all types of situational judgement tests for managers, sales department, customer support and general office positions. Below you will find an example of a situational judgement test for mid-level management.
Please read more about situational judgement tests in our special articles:
Assessment and final interview
After a telephone interview and psychometric aptitude tests, selected candidates get invitation to the stage of group and personal interviews. They take 1 full day and this is the PepsiCo assessment day.
These screening events do not apply to all vacancies. For 2020, we are sure that they are applied in full only for the marketing department and for candidates for the Management Trainee program. For sales representatives, there are simplified versions of assessments.
Assessment exercises of this stage may include role-playing games (buyer-seller, employee-subordinate), presentations and business case studies. Usually group qualifying exercises take the first half of the assessment day, and the best candidates get invited for personal interviews in the afternoon.
A personal interview is conducted by representatives of the HR and management departments of the company and touches on a wide range of topics. You must demonstrate your knowledge in the industry, your motivation to work in PepsiCo and at least a few achievements.
Here are some examples of questions you may be asked:
- Why did you choose PepsiCo?
- How would you handle communicating with a team member who criticizes you? Give examples.
- Tell us about situations where you have shown leadership.
- Tell about situations when you motivated a team for some achievement.
When answering interview questions, we recommend that you try to provide examples from your real work or study experience. This is what any recruiters like a lot.
Read more about successful job interview tips in our articles:
PepsiCo is a large prestigious employer with roots from the USA. In this company you will find comfortable working and payment conditions and opportunities for professional and career growth. If you want to get a job at PepsiCo, we recommend that you carefully prepare for all stages of the selection process: write a professional resume and cover letter, PepsiCo aptitude tests, case studies and interviews. 4-5 days of preparation at Aptitude-Tests-Practice will give you an understanding of the rules to pass any type of aptitude test. After preparation, you will be more confident and will be able to show your best side.
Test answers and explanation
Numerical reasoning test
Verbal reasoning test
Abstract reasoning test
Situational judgement test