success in interviews – part 1: Process
My claim is “Success in Interviews”…It is a TALL claim!
Why will you succeed in interviews if you demonstrate these qualities?
These qualities are required to perform your job well! As the interviewer will be convinced that you will do your job well, he/she will select you!
Lets get started…
Breaking into the SAP world is not easy! Interviews are an important part of the recruitment process. I have been involved in hundreds of interviews – both, as an interviewer and an interviewee.
Preparation will drastically increase your chances of success in interviewers.
In this document, we will discuss one of the most important topics for a Functional consultant – what to reply for a process question?
Situation: You are in an interview
Question: How do you configure XYZ process in SAP?
or Explain SAP XYZ process?
Most important points you want to convey to the interviewer –
1. Business Process oriented thinking
2. Communication skills
3. ASAP methodology
4. Ability to map a business process in SAP
5. Active listening skills and engaging skills
added: 7. Useful links
1. Business Process oriented thinking: After getting the question “Explain XYZ process in SAP”. I have seen candidates jumping in to configuration details…transaction codes etc. etc.
Do not do that!
Take a breath…and explain what is happening in the business? Forget about SAP.
Your aim here is if you were to explain this process to the Manager of the concerned department, he would be in agreement with your business process explanation?
For example the Return process in SAP SD:
The customer is not happy with the goods it received, could be because goods are damaged or have some manufacturing defect. Customer wants to return the goods to the company and get a refund. In this business scenario, SAP Return process is used.
2. Communication skills: For a consultant, both ways of communication are important
– inward, understand what the business has to say, what is the exact requirement or challenge faced by business etc.
– outward, explain how the design will help the business, solve that particular issue, increase efficiency etc. etc.
Communication is not that easy…to put your idea clearly, boldly, succinctly comes from training yourself continuously in communicating and being very strong and confident in your particular module.
3. ASAP methodology: A candidate must demonstrate an understanding of the process of an SAP implementation. This knowledge makes the candidate stand out and gives him / her “extra points”.
Always make clear that
– In the Business Blueprint stage, we gather the requirements by having meetings with the business, prepare a document (called the Business Blueprint), get the approval from business.
– next, in the Realization stage, we do the actual configuration, custom developments (if any) in SAP.
– next the testing starts.
Again this way of thinking and communicating iterates the Process oriented thinking
4. Ability to map a business process in SAP:
Now comes your core SAP technical knowledge.
i. Mentally have a prioritized list of the important technical settings (3 to 5 points maximum)
If you can align the important functionalities of your module with important settings in this process, that will be very good.
This list is your “anchor”, before ending your reply, check if the 3 or 5 most important points have been covered by you. If not, then explain the remain too.
For example, Return process SAP SD
3 to 5 important settings:
– Copy control (reference invoice to RE order)
– Pricing (freight charges, manual pricing)
– Billing block and credit note create with reference to RE order (not RE delivery)
ii. Explain business process, step by step and the associated SAP customizing / configuration
Follow the movement of material – from start (customer’s warehouse) to finish (quality inspection area in company’s plant)
Explain the flow of money
iii. Explain variations of the same process
Variations linked with the business scenarios will give you “good points”
For example, Return process SAP SD
Movement type 651 can be used to receive goods in QI
But if 653 can be used to receive goods in Unrestricted stock, which can again be sold.
Business scenario: Customer returns goods because it does not have space in its warehouse. The goods are of salable quality.
Reference can be set as mandatory
But if business does not have this requirement then return order can be made without reference.
Business scenario: After go live, for a period of 3 months, reference can be set as not mandatory, this way return documents can be created for reference invoices that were created in the legacy system before Go Live.
Pricing procedure used in the reference OTC cycle can be used in the RE process.
Or a new pricing procedure can be used for RE process.
Business scenario: If business does not want to credit the full amount, then a new procedure can be setup.
5. Active listening skills and engaging skills: During the discussion be very attentive to the comments by the interviewer. He / She might want to go into more detail of a point that you have brought up. Or he/she could give you a suggestion of doing certain things differently.
In these times, really listen to the input. Try to build on it – you might agree or disagree but important thing is to engage actively and showcase a clear understanding of the input.
6. Courage: A consultant needs courage. Best solutions can be different from that practiced in the legacy system or the best solutions might take the client out of their comfort zone.
Disagreeing is not a bad thing. Do it in a respectful manner.
The “driving force” or motivating factor behind your courage should always be the value addition to your client. If some setting / customizing etc. will help business, then go ahead and voice it…be bold.
added 7. Useful links:
Below links help in emphasizing the importance of business process and how to learn these process through testing
Testing or looking into production data (transactions, master data,configuration etc.) will help understanding the processes of client business. This in turn helps in improving your quality of comments, replies in job interviews and client interactions.
Success in interviews in based on two factors – preparation and luck. Preparation is in our direct control. During an interview general traits like Energy, Enthusiasm, Clarity, Communication should be at the highest level. One should have content at different levels of detail (a concept – very detailed, macro level)…choose the appropriate level of detail to express to the interviewer.
In this document I have explained the key success factors (what to say etc. – content) when faced with a process question. In a subsequent document, I will share how to prepare for these contents, what to do (on a daily basis)
I wish you enjoy this process of recruitment!