A Struggle of Being A Job Seeker: Danone MT Star 2017

Hi! Few times ago, I decided to apply a position in Danone Group, a multinational FMCG company in Indonesia. During that process, I prepared myself by gathering some informations, which shared by people in their blog. So, to repay the good karma, I want to share my experience here, as one of the Danone MT Star 2017’s candidate in communication/ marketing division. However, please notice that this information is limited to my experience and perspective. So, do not forget to compare it.

  •  Step 1: Registration
No trick for this stage, just fill in the registration form as honest as you can. Then, wait for the confirmation email, along with the explanation about the next step.

  • Step 2: Online Test
One thing that I love from multinational company, they are quite efficient in recruitment process, by optimalizing digital technology. So, in this stage, candidate will asked to finish the online test, which aim to measure their verbal, numeric, English and other abilities. I forgot which consultant who organize this online test, but I do remember that the questions were VERY DIFFICULT.

I remember, I was depressed at that time because I had to finish the online test with some distractions; a scalding room and question from housekeeper about whose cloth that she ironed, precised when I was in the middle of a difficult table. So, yeah.. I think that I was very grateful to pass this stage miraclously.

-Please use your laptop/ PC, not tablet/ smartphone.
-Provide some paper, pencil/ pen and calculator.
-Make sure that you have a stable internet connection.

  • Step 3: Written Test
After the online test, Danone Group will ask the candidates to finish the written test in English, which aim to match the candidate and company’s value. They give you a week to complete this stage, whenever and wherever you want, in preferable equipment (laptop/ PC/ tablet/ smartphone).

I remember, I finished this written test in train, in the middle of my trip from Semarang to Jakarta, because the next day, I have a interview schedule with HR and user from Gramedia Pustaka Utama (GPU). Hehe.

-Dad: Do not only describe your answer, but be a story teller by story telling your answer!
-Write an efficient answer, in super limited character.
-Recognize your value and experience, then select and match it with the company’s value. However, please, do not try to impose it, particularly when you are not comfortable with the company’s activity and value.

  • Step 4: Locus Group Discussion (LGD)
The announcement of candidates who pass the written test will come via email in a week, along with the invitation to the next step, locus group discussion (LGD). The email also explains that only candidates who pass LGD stage will get the invitation to HR interview for the next day. So, do your best!

Moreover, Danone Group also explains that you have to use a semi-formal or smart-casual attire for LGD and HR interview. Actually, it is a BIG HINT to understand the company's character; although Danone Group is a competitive and dynamic company, but they are still respecting manner. Which means.. they do not like a super-dominant yet super-competitive people that forget to appreciate others. So, the key is not how to be the most brilliant leader in the team, but how to empower each other.

Then, about the LGD process. The HR division will separate the candidates in a team, which consists of seven people. They divide the team based on which candidate who come first. There will be two assessors from HR division in every team. Do not worry, they are very nice and relax, and they will remind you about the time's rule; 10 minutes to read and makes note, then 15 minutes to discuss and make conclusion.

Actually the case is pretty simple; a fictive company is challenging by six problems, then candidates have to make priority and problem solving from that situation. (Yes, the case is same from year to year. I wonder why the HR team did not make any differential case problem.)

-Pray, pray and pray that He will give you a heartly group.
-Suggest your group to spend some times to introduce each other. Then, remember the member’s name and try to respect them, by calling with their actual name.
-Make sure that you have an out of the box and solutif answer. Then, write the points at paper, which provides by the evaluator.
-Then, at the very first second, offer your role in the discussion. I know that some people said that it would be good if you can show off your organizing ability by being the moderator. However, in my opinion, it may be tricky if you do not have a good system and time management. So, choose your best role: as a time keeper, notulen or even, devil’s advocate—that is my favourite role, anyway.
-If people reject your idea to choose everyone's role because they think that it is a LGD, so we should not suggest everyone's role, then say to them that you only want everyone to involve in the discussion.
-The most important: I strongly recommend you to give THE MOST EFFICIENT AND STRONGEST ARGUMENT when it comes to your turn. Make sure that you answer ALL of the questions CALMLY, and make it efficient by only telling them the point.
-Do not use term only you who know. Remember, people do not come from the same educational background like you.
-Enjoy the discussion and be enthusiast in other members’ opinion. Show them your respect, do not only spend your time to note their answer in your paper if you want to receive their respect back.
-It is okay to praise and critique the other member if they do a mistake, but please, do it politely and casually.
-Do not be an annoying person by dominating the discussion. Give a chance to the (weakest) member to speak.

  • Step 5: HR Interview
As I said before, candidates who pass the LGD stage will receive an invitation email to HR interview in English. They said, the email will send around 8 PM, but I received it around 4 PM. The email also explains that for this stage, candidates are asked to bring curriculum vitae (CV). A tip from me, do not forget to make your CV as efficient and entertaining as you can.

In my case, I tried to make one page CV to look professional, with the help from one of my best friend in college, Faizal Aziz aka Bambang. The CV consists of:

  1. profile
  2. work experience(s)
  3. achievement(s)
  4. organization(s)
  5. skill(s)
It was the content which suggested by my friend, Nirmala. She said, that content and plot will convince the recruiter that you are ready and experienced to work.

I also prepared for two page CV, with the help of my friend, Nabil. (Lucky me, I am surrounded by kind people. Oh, I love you all!)

After waited for a long time, the queue finally reached to my turn. I met Mbak Kezhia, a super kind HR from Danone Group. She was delightful and full of attention. Even if somehow I got a little bit emotional when I had to explain about my study plan and family, she tried to comfort me, made me relax and showed some empathy. Oh, lucky me!

Do not worry, the question is pretty simple. They only ask you about what you have written at your CV. So, please try to explain it as detail, efficient and convincing as you can.

-The most important suggestions from my ex-boyfriend: BE CONFIDENT, RELAX, FOCUS AND MIND YOUR ATTITUDE.
-Take some time before you answer the question. However, if you can not look cool and hide your expression when you face a surprising or unplanned question, then at least, you smile at them. Hehe.
-Make sure that you emphasize your value at the interview, so they will consider you as an independent and visionary people.
-Do not try to lie or match your value, character with the company if you feel uncomfortable. You are not a job seeker who have a lower position, but you have an equal position and bargaining power with the company.
-Do not worry about your English ability, grammar, etc. At least, you are confident and have tried to expressing your answer.
My Dad said, even if you mess your grammar, can not find the most suitable vocabulary, etc, at least they know what you mean, because it is the main idea of communication. Even two people who do not understand each other language can communicate well, using mimic and gesture. Hehe.

Unfortunately, I think I do not pass this step.

Mbak Kezhia, the HR who interviewed me, and Danone, from their official account Twitter @DanCommunityID said that the company will announce the HR interview's result at the end of  October. However, they didn't explain, only the candidates who pass the HR interview process will receive the notification email, or the email will be sent for all.

Now, it's 1st December 2016 and I do not receive any email. So yeah, I let myself think that I do not pass this step and can not continue to user and Vice President (VP) interview, also medical check up. Heu~

Perhaps, it is my fault. My father said, next time I can not let myself absorbed in any sentimental feelings in interview process. The company's representation will perceive me as a weak person and not tough enough to struggle in the company as future leader, particularly as a MT candidates.
Well, It is okay.. However, one thing I really disappointed is, Danone do not make a clear explanation about the HR interview's result and let the information flows in uncertainty in Kaskus, etc. I just hope  Danone can  manage the information and recruitment system very well, like what they did since the registration process, but not in this step :")

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Meet The Author

Inez Hapsari media & public relations enthusiast | children stories writer | jazz lover | I live to the fullest to be young and in love.