Interviews and assessment centres

Applying to the future leaders programme: the Unilever digital interview

23 Oct 2023, 15:54

Find out how to prepare for Unilever’s digital interview and succeed at this stage of the Unilever application process for its future leaders graduate programme.

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Jump to: Recruitment stages preceding the digital interview | Unilever digital interview | Tips to prepare for the digital interview

As part of the Unilever recruitment process for its future leaders graduate programme, you’ll undertake a pre-recorded digital interview. Read on to discover targetjobs’ top tips to make the best impression during your interview.


Discover more advice for the employer in Unilever’s organisation hub including guidance for taking on other stages of the future leaders application process.

A quick look at the preceding stages of the Unilever recruitment process

First, let’s briefly discuss the initial stages of the Unilever future leaders programme application process.

The first two stages of the application process are an online application and a profile assessment. These steps are relatively simple and don’t require you to do any preparation.

The online application will take around 20 minutes and involves filling out basic personal information, your education history and answering a few eligibility and diversity and inclusion questions.

At this stage, you must select which of the seven business functions you'd like to apply to, these are: human resources, marketing, research and development, technology management, supply chain and engineering, customer development (sales) and finance.

You can also automatically fill out this stage of the application by importing a LinkedIn profile – if you take this option, make sure to read our guide to creating the perfect LinkedIn profile beforehand.

After that, you’ll need to complete the profile assessment. This consists of five online games designed to test your cognitive, social and emotional traits. The games will evaluate how well you fit with the future leaders programme.

You can use our guide to tackling recruitment-related online games to get set for this stage of your application. However, bear in mind that Unilever’s website assures you that no preparation or previous gaming experience is necessary and there are no right or wrong answers. You’ll receive personalised feedback after completing the games.

Next, it’s on to Unilever’s digital interview, which will require more preparation on your part.

The Unilever digital interview

Unilever’s digital interview involves recording and uploading your answers to pre-set questions. Many students report finding this strange at first, so it's worth practising beforehand, recording your answers to typical interview questions , to get used to the process.

The interview itself may also include a few practice questions so take advantage of these. For more tips, read our expert performance tips for video interviews .

Unilever deliberately doesn’t give you much information on what to expect from the digital interview. All it tells you is that the interview will involve three short hypothetical questions (hypothetical questions typically ask you how you would respond if ‘X’ happened) and a business case, asking you to solve 'real-world problems using Unilever scenarios'. This is because the interview is designed to assess:

  • your problem-solving ability. How do you approach these scenarios? Can you think on the spot and process new information quickly?
  • your research and knowledge about Unilever and your business thinking. Can you take Unilever’s priorities and objectives into account?

Tips to prepare for the interview

So, what can you do to set yourself up for success?

  1. Research Unilever’s global brands
  2. Learn about Unilever’s culture, values and standards of leadership
  3. Follow Unilever in the news

Unilever digital interview tip 1: research Unilever’s global brands

The business case will be based on one of Unilever’s brands so it’s a good idea to brush up on what they are. Start by looking at the list of its brands on its website.

You’ll spot a lot of UK household names such as Ben & Jerry’s, Domestos and Vaseline, but the business case could be based on one of Unilever’s international brands that you might not be familiar with, such as its Lux body washes or OLLY health supplements, so don’t overlook these.

Also watch out for products that are the same but have different names in different countries. What is known as LYNX body spray in the UK and Ireland, for example, is branded as AXE in other countries.

Things to consider include:

  • what products the brand produces
  • its target audience
  • where it is positioned in the market
  • any competitor products
  • what its competitors do better or worse.

Remember that some of its products might face stiffer competition than others. Beware: some of the competitors you think of might be owned by Unilever too! Sure, Dove and Impulse are all Unilever brands.

Unilever presents its Magnum ice-cream brand, for example, as luxurious, sophisticated and up-market. Unilever owns several other ice-cream brands, including Cornetto and Ben & Jerry’s, but one of its main competitors is Nestlé, which produces Häagen-Dazs and Mövenpick.

Don’t just think of like-for-like competitors though; who are some of Unilever’s less obvious competitors in this market? Hint: think of the more budget-friendly ice-cream brands.

Unilever digital interview tip 2: read about Unilever’s culture, values and standards of leadership

Familiarise yourself with Unilever’s company culture and how it does business. You can do this by reading the ‘our company’ and ‘planet and society’ sections of its website, paying particular attention to the sub-sections ‘strategy’, ‘responsible business’ and ‘equity, diversity and inclusion’.

Top tip: make a note of your key findings. They will come in handy when it’s time to prepare for the virtual discovery centre day.

Once you’ve done this, identify what you think Unilever’s main priorities are and what kind of company it is trying to be. This will help you consider how best to tackle the problems you’re given in the interview in ways that align with Unilever’s strategy and values.

Unilever say you will be asked to solve a 'real-world' problem so be sure you know how Unilever's strategy and values affect more than just their products.

Take Unilever’s stance on sustainability and climate change, for example. It announced its Climate Transition Plan in 2020, a multi-action plan with the aim of reducing the organisation’s greenhouse gas emissions in line with the targets set out by the 2015 Paris Agreement. One of these actions is to half the carbon footprint of its products by 2030 against 2010 emissions.

This is something you should consider in the interview – for example, if you get a hypothetical question about something that might contradict Unilever's sustainability plan, such as switching to a fuel source that’s cheaper.

You should also read Unilever’s ‘Code of business principles and code policies’, which is downloadable from its website, and let what you’ve read influence your thinking when answering the interview questions.

This document states that Unilever's corporate values are integrity, respect, responsibility and pioneering. How can you demonstrate that you embody these values in your responses to the interview questions? For example, if you’re asked something along the lines of ‘What would you do if you made a mistake?’, this is a good time to show that you will take responsibility.

Unilever digital interview tip 3: follow Unilever in the news

Keep up to date on what Unilever is working on at the moment. Has it announced any new products or launched any new advertising campaigns? You can look on its website for its latest announcements, do a general Google search and be on the lookout for any stories that appear in the news.

It's also a good idea to think about what issues Unilever faces and how it’s dealing with these. For example, the organisation has previously stated that it’s often challenged with questions around why it isn’t moving faster to remove plastic from product packaging.

Look into Unilever’s responses to such questions. What actions is Unilever currently taking to address the issue of plastic waste and what considerations may be limiting it from taking further action at this point?

You could also look into Unilever's advertising campaigns, and the response to recent Dove campaigns, such as the Toxic Influence mini feature. How did Unilever respond to different forms of positive and negative reaction?

If the opportunity arises, show that you’ve done your research and bring it into one of your answers in the digital interview. Even if you do not use this research directly in your answers, it will be useful in informing your knowledge of the organisation and you might also be able to use this research at the fourth and final stage of Unilever’s application process – its virtual discovery centre day .

targetjobs editorial advice

This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the targetjobs content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.

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