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3M Interview Questions and Answers You Should Prepare

by Interview Kickstart Team in Interview Questions
February 24, 2022

3M Interview Questions and Answers You Should Prepare

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How To Nail Your Next Tech Interview

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Founder, Interview Kickstart
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How FAANG hiring process works
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3M is a global science, technology, and manufacturing company. Its expanse across many industries makes it challenging to prepare for the 3M interview questions. 3M employs over 93,000 people worldwide and has more than 55,000 products. So, the company offers multiple positions in engineering. 

Your answers to 3M interview questions must demonstrate your tech skills as well as soft skills, as your job will likely involve working with several stakeholders. 

In this article, we’re sharing a list of important 3M interview questions and answers for interns, experienced software engineers, and tech leads to help you ace your 3M interview rounds. These 3M interview questions will help you self-assess and prepare for the technical interview at 3M. 

If you are a software engineer, coding engineer, software developer, engineering manager, or tech lead preparing for tech interviews, check out our technical interview checklist, interview questions page, and salary negotiation ebook to get interview-ready! 

Having trained over 10,000 software engineers, we know what it takes to crack the most challenging tech interviews. Since 2014, Interview Kickstart alums have landed lucrative offers from FAANG and Tier-1 tech companies, with an average salary hike of 49%. The highest-ever offer received by an IK alum is a whopping $1.267 Million!

At IK, you get the unique opportunity to learn from expert instructors, hiring managers, and tech leads at Google, Facebook, Apple, and other top Silicon Valley tech companies. 

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Use these 3M interview questions and answers to outperform the competition with the help of thorough preparation. Here's what we'll cover:

  • What Is the 3M Interview Process?
  • 3M Intern Interview Questions and Answers
  • 3M Interview Questions for Software Engineers
  • 3M Tech Interview Questions System Design 
  • 3M Behavioral Interview Questions
  • FAQs on 3M Interview Questions

What Is the 3M Interview Process?

Whether you are a software engineer, software developer, or engineering manager, you’ll go through rounds of interviews at 3M. You will also need to complete certain assessments.

Round 1: Initial Screening

The hiring managers will review your application (that you can submit online through 3M's career page). Then, they will examine your answers to the questions on their mandatory psychometric tests and aptitude exams (SHL tests you’d have to take online after the online application). You might also have to repeat the tests to ensure consistency in your scores. 

Other assessments at 3M include:

  • Numerical reasoning test: Includes a series of questions that should be answered using the facts and figures given in statistical tables. They use Saville's version of the numerical and verbal reasoning tests.
  • Verbal reasoning test: Used to assess your level of verbal comprehension and logic.
  • Group discussion: You’ll be a part of a team. Every group is given time to come up with and present a solution to a given problem.
  • Case study: The case study will be related to the position you are applying for. You will be given a brief about a case. Next, you will have to prepare a plan of action or a solution. 
  • MESP Test: If you are applying for technical or engineering positions, you can expect this mechanical aptitude test. 

Round 2: Role-specific Interviews

Once you have cleared the initial screening process, you will be called for the interview. There are further broken down into the following rounds:

  • Phone screen: This is where the recruiter will ask you general questions about your experience to gauge if you’re a good fit for the role. 
  • On-site interviews: The second is the technical interview. The 3M interview questions in this round will depend on your potential position/role. You can expect some coding challenges in this round. 
  • Final Interview: The final interview at 3M is a competency interview. It focuses on your behavior, goals, and motivations. 

Let’s now look at some 3M interview questions; we’ve divided these into questions for interns, junior engineers, and senior engineers.

3M Intern Interview Questions and Answers

Here are common 3M intern interview questions and answers that you must practice to ace a 3M interview. These are simple questions on 3M programs and principles. 3M interview questions will focus on basic programming and behavioral aspects.

Q1. What do you know about 3M? 

To answer this 3M interview question, read up on 3M. Here are some points to remember:

  • 3M stands for Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company. The company was founded in 1902.
  • 3M has more than 55,000 products. Some primary products are adhesives, abrasives, laminates, dental, medical, car care, and optical films.
  • Its head office is in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Mike Roman has been the CEO since 2018. 
  • 3M obtains about two-thirds of its revenue from outside the US.
  • In 2021, 3M ranked #16 in Best Employers for Diversity in Forbes.

Q2. What makes you interested in working for 3M?

This is a very common interview question for interns at 3M. To answer this, research the company and see how it fits your career goals. For example, you can say that you’re excited about working for a company with a track record of innovative ideas.

Q3. What do you know about TTS Internships at 3M?

TTS internship program provides interns with an opportunity to address relevant business concerns. These include individual and team-oriented projects within 3M, such as Applications, Quality, Security, Infrastructure, Data Intelligence, Master Data, Manufacturing, and Lean-Agile. The projects simulate real challenges and mirror the work of 3M full-time employees.​ 

The technical interns are assigned to areas such as infrastructure, data analytics, quality and release management, risk and compliance, information security, operational excellence, and services. 

Q4. What are your greatest strengths in software engineering?

While answering this question, you must highlight:

  • Technical excellence
  • Ability to look at and find different ways of approaching a problem
  • Solving coding problems
  • Staying updated on the latest software frameworks and paradigms
  • Most importantly, your ability to work in a team

Q5. Which programming language is best to create a mobile application and why?

Java is by far the most popular programming language for mobile app development. The most appealing advantage of Java is its flexibility. Flexibility in Java allows simpler and easier use, modification, addition, and updating of the software. 

Here are a few more 3M intern interview questions for practice:

  1. What is the difference between responsive design, fixed design, and fluid design?
  2. What are single-page applications?
  3. How can you increase the speed and efficiency of a website?
  4. What are garbage collectors in Java?
  5. What is Cloud Computing? Explain cloud computing to someone with no software engineering experience.
  6. What are hashCode() and equals() in Java?
  7. What is schema? How do you configure databases using schema?

3M Interview Questions for Software Engineers

Although 3M interviews primarily focus on behavioral aspects, the second and the final interview rounds will incorporate position-specific questions. Technical 3M interview questions for software engineers can be on topics such as WCF, web services, ASP.Net, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, Powershell, and SSO technologies and their implementation. 

3M Coding Interview Questions

Coding is often a part of software engineer 3M interview questions. You must know the following vital topics for coding questions:

Here are some sample questions for your practice:

  1. How can you print duplicate characters from a string?
  2. Given an array, find the position where the right sum is equal to the left sum of the array. 
  3. How can you check if a node exists in a binary tree or not?
  4. Given an array, find the minimum length subarray with a given sum.
  5. Given a binary tree "T," write a code to create the mirror image of the tree.
  6. Find all magic triplets in a given integer array arr of size n. 

3M Interview Questions on Data Structures, Algorithms, and Data Analysis

You can crack 3M interview questions with thorough practice of fundamental concepts. The following questions will help you get familiar and more comfortable before D-Day:

  1. What is a linked list? Mention the types of linked lists?
  2. What are infix, prefix, postfix notations?
  3. What steps will you follow to implement a queue using a stack?
  4. How can you remove duplicates without distinction from a database table?
  5. Write an algorithm for a tree traversal.
  6. What are the best tools for data analysis?
If you want to practice more questions on Data Structure and Algorithms for your 3M interview, check out our Problems page.

Miscellaneous 3M Interview Questions for Software Engineers

  1. Why is XML used in web services?
  2. Differentiate REST and SOAP?
  3. Why should one use WCF services? Mention its main components.
  4. Explain Hoisting in JavaScript?
  5. What is indexOf in JavaScript, and how does it work?
  6. Describe the two types of state management in ASP.NET.
  7. What is Application Cache in HTML5?
  8. Differentiate HTML elements and tags. 
  9. Explain what is a "while loop" in PowerShell?
  10. What are the various types of execution policies in PowerShell?·
  11. What is Powershell Pipeline, and what is its use? 
  12. Describe Floats and how they work.
  13. How would you integrate CSS into your HTML page?
  14. What is SSO in cyber security, and how is it implemented?

3M Tech Interview Questions System Design for Experienced Software Engineers

3M interview questions on system design focus on sharding techniques, network protocols, caching, loading, concurrency, API modeling, and online processing systems. These interview questions are more common for experience software engineers:

  1. Mention a few metrics for measuring system performance. 
  2. Design a system notification service.
  3. Why is load balancing important in system design?
  4. What are parking lot systems?
  5. What do you understand by concurrency?
  6. How to design the pipelines manually using YML code?
  7. Design a URL shortening service.

Read System Design Interview Preparation Tips to learn the best methods for answering system design interview questions at 3M or any top tech company.

3M Behavioral Interview Questions

Here are some common 3M behavioral interview questions for your practice. Hiring managers ask these questions to almost every applicant to estimate soft skills and future performance. These 3M interview questions are based on your experience or hypothetical scenarios relevant to the role you have applied.  

  1. Share your previous work history.
  2. Describe an event about a conflict at work and how you dealt with it.
  3. Elaborate on this (something on your resume).
  4. How will your experience help contribute to this role?
  5. Tell me about a time that you saw injustice in your career life. How did you react?
  6. What were the challenges you faced while coordinating with cross-functional teams?
  7. What would your friends/colleagues say about you?
  8. What are your salary expectations?
  9. As a technical manager, who has been your greatest influence?
  10. Tell me about a time when excessive work overwhelmed you, and how did you handle it?
  11. How would you handle a team member who resists a new idea you proposed?
  12. How do you prioritize your work?
  13. What would you do if your hard work received criticism?

Each of these 3M interview questions is an opportunity to showcase your skills. Highlight what you will bring to the role and company. You must ensure that you link your answers to the ways you fit the company's needs and values because that’s what every hiring manager wants to assess through the interview process.

All the best!

FAQs on 3M Interview Questions

Q1. How can I prepare for 3M behavioral interview questions?

3M interview questions around behavioral attributes are set to test your soft skills. You must create a list of your experiences that highlight the best skills and professional expertise. Carefully scan the job description for the position you are applying for. Practice questions around workplace conduct and work-life balance. 

Q2. How many 3M interview questions are based on coding?

You can expect 3M interview questions on coding during the phone screens and on-site interview rounds. 1-2 3M interview questions on coding during the phone screen and 1-2 in the final round. 

Q3. What 3M interview questions make up 3M assessments?

3M assessments include numerical reasoning questions to assess your ability to analyze and correctly interpret numerical data. These time-limited assessments effectively test your problem-solving skills.

Q4. How to prepare for 3M coding interview questions?

Practice problems of core data structure and algorithms. Key topics include sorting algorithms, hash tables, queues, recursion, trees, graphs, arrays, strings, linked lists, graph algorithms, and dynamic programming.

Q5. How to answer 3M system design interview questions?

A system design interview round is more like a brainstorming session. You can expect a lot of open-ended questions here. When answering, you should be able to discuss a complex system competently — the final design is not as important as the thought process behind your design choices. 

Crack 3M Interview Questions With IK

If you need help with your prep, join Interview Kickstart! We offer domain-specific tech interview prep programs designed specifically for software engineers. Our programs include a comprehensive curriculum, unmatched teaching methods, FAANG+ instructors, and career coaching to help you nail your next tech interview. 

Sign up for our FREE webinar to uplevel your career!


How To Nail Your Next Tech Interview

Hosted By
Ryan Valles
Founder, Interview Kickstart
Our tried & tested strategy for cracking interviews
How FAANG hiring process works
The 4 areas you must prepare for
How you can accelerate your learnings

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