Tag Archives: Graduate Recruitment Centre

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Q&A about the GRC (Graduate Recruitment Centre)

Category: Business Processes European Finance Global & European Market Access Global Finance Global Marketing R&D Global Development R&D Regulatory Affairs | (2) comments

If you are reading this graduate blog post, you were likely invited for the Graduate Recruitment Centre (GRC) in Copenhagen next week – so first of all congratulations! You are in for a fun and intense day filled with group exercises, presentations and networking. This blog post is based on three questions I have received from a candidate participating at the GRC next week, so I hope the rest of you can use these answers as well.


1. How do I prepare my personal compass?

The personal compass is your opportunity to demonstrate to the assessors who you are as a person deep down. Use the presentation of your personal compass to tell the assessors your story and include personal elements you wouldn’t normally put in a CV or application. The aim for this exercise is to get to know you better and learn more about what drives and motivates you. A good advice is to prepare examples from your past experiences that demonstrate how you behave in specific situations. This is also highly relevant in the interviews many of you will have on Monday.


2. How do I make the best impression during the GRC?

It might sound a little lame, but you give the best impression by being yourself! You were chosen for a reason and you were chosen among a lot of talented people, so keep in mind that Novo Nordisk finds YOU interesting. To give the best possible impression, think about why you are interested in the pharmaceutical industry, Novo Nordisk as a company, and the graduate programme you applied for. A big and important part of the GRC is the group exercises where you engage in problem-solving tasks. Here you will be assessed on what role you take in the group, how you contribute to the group dynamics and how good a team-player you are. Don’t hesitate to take initiative, but do it in humble way where you make room for the other group members as well.


3. What was your personal impression of GRC last year? How did you like it? Was it stressful? Were there any social activities etc.?

My impression of the GRC last year was really good! I didn’t quite know what to expect, but was positively surprised by how great and fun the experience was. The schedule was definitely tight (even though we had two days), but I didn’t find it stressful. You will have breaks during the day where there is time to mingle and get to know the other candidates. In regards to social activities there is a dinner at night (which I assume you already know), where you are not assessed and can enjoy the nice atmosphere and food together with some of us current graduates and the assessors.



A picture from the GRC 2016

Let me know if you have comments or more questions and read Mathilde’s GRC tips right here.

I wish you the best of luck – don’t forget that you deserve to be there, so give everything you have, this is the only chance! I can recommend to watch some motivational TedTalks if you need a little extra energy.

I look forward to see you all the GRC!

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Be yourself at GRC – who else can you be?..

Category: International Operations Finance | (2) comments

The final countdown until the Graduate Recruitment Centre (GRC) is on. Hours of preparation are behind; emotions are at peak and expectations are high.

I have a piece of advice to share (and from my perspective it is pretty important, so without further ado): Do NOT try to be anyone else but yourself! Instead, try to leverage your strengths and peculiarities to stand out and make observations whether the company/particular Graduate Programme is a good fit for you.

Firstly, it is not easy to fool sharp and analytical people. Especially sharp and analytical people who specialise in recruitment like Novo Nordisk assessors. In general, it would be extremely challenging to consistently prove that you are someone who you are actually not.

Secondly, it is faulty to think that there is only one way to be outstanding. Let me give you an example on group work. According to Belbin, in order to be a fully functioning – effective and efficient – team, you need to allocate nine team roles (and it is only one approach to team work). Therefore, there are numerous ways to contribute and add value in a shared task.

You may also benefit from personality tests like Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Such instruments may help you structure own understanding of yourself and be confident with who you are.

Thirdly, ensuring the company is the right fit for YOU is pivotal. The situation is a classical demand-supply problem: given N amount of Graduate positions, there are X amount of candidates in the pool to choose from. However, it is also correct the other way around: given Y job opportunities to choose from you can start only from one option. Therefore, use GRC as a platform to communicate with current graduates, alumni and potential colleagues to find out whether Novo Nordisk is indeed your fit.

10…. 9… 8… 7… 6… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1

Best of luck!

The Jay and the Peacock

A Jay venturing into a yard where Peacocks used to walk, found there a number of feathers which had fallen from the Peacocks when they were moulting. He tied them all to his tail and strutted down towards the Peacocks. When he came near them they soon discovered the cheat, and striding up to him pecked at him and plucked away his borrowed plumes. So the Jay could do no better than go back to the other Jays, who had watched his behaviour from a distance; but they were equally annoyed with him, and told him:

It is not only fine feathers that make fine birds.

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What Happens in the Graduate Assessment Center?

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It is not easy to describe the recruitment process in Novo Nordisk, however, if I would try to describe it I would say it’s a quite challenging, intense and at the same time quite a fun experience, so congratulations for those of you who have already passed the first phases of the process and who might be now shortlisted for the final phase: The Recruitment Center.

It is where the real challenge and extreme fun will come, you might be wondering now what lies ahead at the recruitment center so I will try to brief an overview of what happens at the recruitment center and how to best prepare for it.

Group exercises: tend to make up a large part of the assessment center and actually I found it to be one the most exciting parts as it gives the chance to interact with other candidates in different teams and engage in group activities that it is designed to challenge personal skills. So probably you will need to focus on good communication, planning, negotiation, sharing and even leading at some parts other team members. If things get more and more exciting you could also be tested to demonstrate conflict management in case of lack of planning and lots of arguments among team members.

Remember to be proactive and act in a team; do not try to impose your ideas without engaging with other team members, sharing and discussing ideas with them. Remember to listen as much as you speak.

Case study and presentation: an intellectually challenging part of the program is the case study part where you might be asked to solve a real life business case working in a team. Try to dedicate a considerable part of the case study time in planning and coordinating tasks among your team as it is not a single case study that you will have to solve on your own and the time spam will be just sufficient if you were able to plan well and divide tasks with other team members.

Business case is not intended to test your financial or technical skills as much as it tests your ability of logical thinking, planning and engaging in solving the case with other members of the team. Last year we were asked to make a presentation for our business case, the interviewers might be asking lots of questions to test your presentation skills and ability to state your ideas in an organized confident way.

For the presentation part I will just advice to be confident, make sure to speak in a clear voice and just relax.

Interview: for the interview you might be asked different questions to test how you can best fit into the program, so prepare well by reading about Novo Nordisk in general and your program in specific and make sure to have your career goals set clearly in your mind as this might answer why you might want Novo Nordisk as your career life company. You could be interviewed by more than one interviewer. The best tip for the interview is to just be yourself.

In addition to the group exercises, case studies and interviews a big part of the recruitment center is about networking and socializing, this can be during coffee breaks, lunches or dinners and this is actually where most of the fun is. It’s quite interesting to have candidates from more than 40 countries gathered in one place.

I hope this overview has answered lots of your curiosity about the Recruitment Center; however, I am sure the day of recruitment may carry a lot more challenge and fun than what have been described in this post so keep your preparations high.

Feel free to drop me any questions you might be wondering about.

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Next stop: GRC 1-2 of April

Category: Product Supply | (1) comments

Congratulations to all of you who made it through to the final stage – the Graduate Recruitment Center in Copenhagen, Denmark. The GRC is two exciting days filled with interviews, group exercises, and meeting people from all over the world. By doing some preparations, you will help yourself, to show the best of you during the two days. In this blog post I have gathered my own tips + tips from the other current PS Graduates in Denmark. 

If you are curious about the actual agenda of the GRC, I advise you to read Ying´s blog post. For this year’s GRC there are some changes, but Ying´s blog post definitely provide you with relevant insights about the different elements of the GRC

What do you find motivating about and why are you interested in; the pharmaceutical industry, Novo Nordisk, Product Supply and the graduate programme? Why do you want to enter a leadership programme and why do you want to be a leader?

It is not easy to answer all of these questions, but you need to try. Remember it is not only you who is being interviewed. You should also be ‘interviewing’ the company. What answers do you lack to be able to answer above questions? Preparing some questions to ask the interviewer will help you decide whether NN and the PS graduate programme is the right thing for you. By searching for answers to questions where you are in doubt, you show a true interest and motivation for the position.

Know yourself
During the personal interview you have the opportunity to elaborate on what you have written in your application. Be prepared to talk the interviewer through your CV. Why have you made the choices you have made, what you have learned from your experiences, how have you tackled different situations and what would you have done differently today? What are your strengths and what are your weaknesses? How do you use your strengths and what have you done to improve your weaknesses? One important aspect is reflecting on your own behavior and making conclusions to support your own personal development.

Actions speak louder than words – providing examples from your experiences that show how you behave in specific situations are the best way to convince the interviewer. As mentioned in the job ad you should be able to give specific examples of taking the initiative, motivating others, handling complex situations, driving improvements and learning from feedback.Are the examples showing a clear coherent picture of you, the fit with the graduate programme and why you are the best candidate for this job?

Group excercises
A big part of the activities during the GRC are exercises where you as a group engage in problem-solving. I think the group exercises are the most important element during the GRC. Which role do you take in a group? How do you create alignment in a group, set direction and ensure an efficient work process that makes use of the entire group´s capacity? Do not be afraid to take initiative – but do not be a smartass!

During the two days you will constantly be evaluated by assessors. You will also meet a lot of other talented applicants. All of this can be stressful, but do not focus too much on everyone else. Do your best, be yourself and do not waste energy in projecting something that does not feel natural to you. Enjoy 2 hard days of great fun: It is a tight programme, and you will be challenged a lot. However you should also see this as an opportunity to meet and have fun with approx. 100 other candidates (for many of you, your future colleagues). Finally, sleep well, have a fresh mind, eat properly, take it seriously but have fun and last but not least, be relaxed and be yourself.
Meet the current PS graduates during the GRC
Take the opportunity to come speak with current PS graduates at the GRC.
Where: 1st floor outside of the big group exercise room
When: 1st of April 16.00-19.00 + 2nd of April 13.30-15.00.

Even though you will have tight schedule there will be free time and it will probably benefit you to chat with one of us for a few minutes. You can ask us about almost anything you want!

 PS grads DK


See you at the GRC!
Mattias and the other PS graduates from DK

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