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Answers to common questions asked by Michelin job applicants are listed below by professional function.


Can you tell me about a typical day in the life of a Michelin sales rep?

Our job is to sell the Group's products and services, depending on the business unit. Exercise responsibility for the dealer and end-user accounts in your customer portfolio. Apply the sales policy and know and analyze your sector.

In a typical day, most of the time is spent on customer premises (70%), after spending time on preparation before the visit. We meet with the customer and its employee(s), depending on the lines of business. The customer might be a retailer or an end-user (carrier fleets, for example).

We do between four and six customers in a day, depending on how important the customer visit is. Every week, we set time aside for team meetings (10% of our time) with the regional manager, and the administrative side takes up around 20%.

What is the breakdown between time in the field and time in the office?

70% in the field and 30% in the office.

Who are your main customers? Dealerships, retailers, independent garages?

Our customers might be retailers, car dealers, and service providers (such as Euromaster), or end-user customers, transport fleets, airlines, civil engineering companies and farms. There are also car centers and accessory stores (for cars and motorbikes alike).

How is the sales force divided up? By product? By sector? Or by type of customer?

We're organized by product line: passenger cars, vans, trucks, farming, two-wheeled vehicles, earthmovers, maps and guides, aircraft, etc. The sales force is divided up by line of business, then by region, sector and type of customer.

How long do you have to work as a sales rep before you can move into marketing?

Depending on your profile and the marketing job in question, we prefer you to have had two or three positions in sales first (between three and six years in operational sales jobs).

Michelin is the benchmark in tires. How much margin for maneuver do you have? How much margin do you make on a product?

Our actual margins are confidential, of course. We're the market benchmark in terms of product quality and that is what determines our price. But our prices are competitive in the long run, because they come with complimentary services for both consumers and retailers (assistance with sales promotions and user services, for example).

What are the medium-term and long-term career prospects at Michelin? What are the possibilities for career advancement within the Group?

Once you have some experience as a sales rep in the field, there is a wide variety of possibilities for moving into sales, marketing, purchasing, management, personnel, or other Group companies, and taking on greater responsibility.

Each staff member is in contact with a career manager who knows him, takes his aspirations into account and suggests an appropriate career path.

Do customers tend to be favorably disposed towards Michelin sales reps? Is it true that the door is always open for them?

Yes. Our business relationship is based on recognized expertise, whether technical or business, that makes our sales forces valued experts in the field. Our business relationship revolves around the partnership with our customers and is based on permanence, trust, reliability and efficiency.

Are career moves abroad possible?

You can make a career abroad after having acquired professional expertise in a country like France. There are 450 French expatriates at the moment.

Can you give examples of career paths of real Michelin employees? What studies did they do, and where? What jobs did they have before joining Michelin and what jobs have they held at Michelin?

For Christian Minguet, who was trained in electrical engineering, his first job at Michelin was as a sales rep. Then he worked as a sector sales manager on the road, as a trainer, as regional sales manager (first in the two-wheel business line, then the truck line) and now he's a career manager. He's been with the company for 25 years, working in Rennes, Rouen, Le Havre, Clermont-Ferrand, Paris and Lille.

For Stéphane Poncet, he graduated with a degree in Mechanics and a two-year technical diploma in customer-advisory services and sales. He started in the field as a sales rep and sector sales manager for seven years. Then he worked as a trainer, key account manager, and brand manager in marketing. After that, call center manager (managing 100 employees) and now as a recruitment methods manager. He's been with Michelin for 20 years and has worked in Mulhouse, Nancy, Epinal and Clermont-Ferrand.

What do you think makes a good sales rep at Michelin?

A dynamic attitude, someone who likes meeting people, good analytical skills, operational efficiency, lots of ideas, open-mindedness and the ability to work alone. And of course good salesmanship - that goes without saying - and someone who likes a challenge.

What percentage of the total sales force are women?

For car tires, over 20% are women. For other business lines, it's 10%. The percentage has been rising in recent years. We hire men or women without distinction.

Are sales reps given training throughout their career?

Yes. First of all, an initial 12-week training course that alternates theory and practice in the field. Then an annual training plan: 5-10 days per year. Not to mention assistance and coaching from the manager.

What sort of problems can sales reps have with their customers? Is late payment a problem?

The main objections revolve around the competitive environment, the business strategies of the retail chains. A customer credit service backs up our sales forces to prevent any financial difficulties.

Do sales reps have any room to maneuver?

Sales reps can make decisions about sales promotion initiatives for his customer. He can decide to hold an open-day, run network events and help his customer increase consumer traffic.

What is the procedure for applying? Is there a set time frame or do you recruit all year round?

We recruit all year round. You can submit your application on our website:

Three or four initial training sessions are held per year.


What occupational fields is Michelin recruiting for?

We're recruiting for the four main occupational fields found in our plants.

  1. Production management: this includes supervisors, workshop foremen and so on.
  2. Maintenance occupations, with technician or manager profiles: this includes maintenance supervisors and maintenance operations managers.
  3. All of the industrial organization occupations that we find elsewhere under the name of "continuous improvement," as well as the occupations associated with deployment of our "Michelin Manufacturing Way" initiative, with all the lean-manufacturing tools.

The quality and industrialization occupations: either process/procedure, or with regard to products, with the industrialization occupations. On, you'll find fact sheets describing the main occupational fields in detail.

What does an industrial manager do?

An industrial manager is in charge of an industrial business line devoted to manufacturing racing tires and luxury tires in Clermont-Ferrand. As such, his sphere of responsibility covers the various occupational fields above, the aim being to give customers the best quality, cost and lead times. At the same time, the industrial manager is in charge of managing staff, looking after their safety, career development, and so on.

Are there job prospects abroad? And if so, in which countries? Are all of the jobs based in Clermont-Ferrand?

The Michelin Group is not based solely in Clermont-Ferrand. Today, most of our plants are actually located elsewhere. We have jobs to fill abroad and we are interested in applicants who are willing to move to another country. Michelin hires staff in other countries, but each country has its own specific recruitment process. Michelin France, on the other hand, recruits people to work for a number of years in France before giving them responsibilities abroad. This is especially true in the Group's high-growth zones: Asia (China and India), South America (Brazil) and Eastern Europe.

What does a career manager do?

The career manager's job is to guide and support each member of the staff in their life in the company by identifying the different jobs they can do. The career manager works in close collaboration with line managers.

What are the most important company values?

One of the leading values is Respect for Facts. This means not being superficial, but getting to the heart of the matter so as to take the initiatives that will yield results.

The second major value is Respect for People. This is reflected in support through career management, the possibility of changing within the occupational field and within the company, and the desire to develop our people's skills.

There is also Respect for Customers. The company is focused on satisfying the needs of its customers, who are its real purpose.

Why would someone join the Michelin Group?

For Yann Le Roux, Industrial Manager, it was firstly because he was interested in industry, and secondly because his training (at Ecole des Mines in St-Etienne) had equipped him for the job. What he likes about this occupational field is the wide-ranging, general nature of his role. Michelin appealed to him because of its interest in career management and the genuine personal development it promotes. Not to mention Michelin's global leadership position, which is quite rare for a French company. He's been with the company for 15 years now and doesn't regret his choice at all.

What sort of applicants you're looking for?

We're looking for people who have at least two years of post-secondary education or an engineering degree. Today, we need people in the different industrial occupations described above. We're recruiting both beginners and people with experience.

Research & Development

What occupational fields have openings available?

The occupational fields of chemists, physico-chemists, analysts and measurement characterization specialists, specialists in textile and metal reinforcement in the field of research into elastomers, loading and textile and metal compounds.

Why would someone decide to work for Michelin?

For Marc Daniel, Materials Innovation Manager, he chose Michelin because he really wanted to put my skills as a chemist to good use, to design and innovate. He has stayed with the company because he is able to realize his aspirations through a variety of responsibilities.

For Philippe Esnault, it was because he wanted to work on complex materials problems. He stayed because the work is just as complex as he hoped - extremely stimulating.

What type of education do you need to enter one of these occupational fields? Is a two-year degree in materials science and structure enough?

Michelin recruits at different levels, from graduate to post-graduate. We recruit graduates from both universities and engineering schools. A two-year degree in materials science and structure would fit our recruitment criteria.

Are your R&D centers all in Clermont-Ferrand or are there others elsewhere?

In the materials field, we also have research and development centers in Greenville, South Carolina (United States), in Ohta (Japan) and in Bangkok (Thailand).

Is the Michelin Group planning to recruit chemistry graduates? Are the jobs for engineers different from those for doctoral researchers?

Yes, there are differences. But the company recruits people, not just profiles. We hire people for their ability to come up with fresh ideas, not just on their educational background. For a newly-recruited doctoral researcher, we try to make use of the research experience acquired on their thesis, if possible, without restricting ourselves to that.

Are all the jobs on offer based in Clermont-Ferrand?

Over the course of your career in R&D at Michelin, you will likely have the opportunity to work abroad and to work with other research centers around the world.

What occupations are associated with rubber plantations?

We have a team at Michelin specifically devoted to rubber trees which employs agronomy engineers, geneticists and specialists in latex characterization.

How long is the training period for materials engineers and where are the training facilities?

The training period lasts two to three years and takes the form of tutoring and specialized training modules.

Do you offer internships?

Yes, every year we take around 30 people on work placements and 3 or 4 people doing work-based learning courses in the field of materials. (We take around 200 altogether in the technical fields.) Interns join our regular teams and contribute to company projects. Internships last between four and six months and are a good way to join the Group.

Is sustainable development taken into account in your R&D?

Yes, of course. As tires account for 20% of a vehicle's fuel consumption, we address energy conservation by lowering rolling resistance and hence reducing fuel consumption. Additionally, one of our challenges concerns the efficiency of our materials. More specifically, reducing the quantity of material while carrying a heavier load, whether in passenger cars or trucks and earthmovers.

What does a typical working day involve?

The day starts around 8:00-8:30am and goes until 6:00-6:30pm. It's a mixture of individual work and collaborative work, project teams, conference calls and informal discussions with colleagues, not forgetting relations with partners. You can't design a tire on your own - it calls on different fields of expertise, with lots of interaction among them.

What is your recruitment procedure?

It starts with receiving applications through our website:

We look at all of the CVs. You'll receive a reply within three weeks and be invited to an individual hour-long interview with a recruitment officer. If the interview is successful, you'll then meet around four people in the company so you can get to know us better and we can find out about your aspirations.

Does working in R&D mean working with a 20-year time frame? Isn't it frustrating not to see your projects go to market?

In R&D, there are projects that are completed in two or three years and other, far more ambitious ones, that reach the market in less than 10 years. By way of example, we're currently working on technologies that will come out in 2012, and others in 2015-2018. By then, tires will be significantly lighter, will use more renewable raw materials, will make even less noise and will consume far less.

Michelin is known for its tires, but are you looking at other applications for your technologies?

Michelin's core concern is mobility, which is not solely a question of tires. For example, we're interested in non-pneumatic wheels and all the services associated with mobility, such as space shuttles. We sell our customers fewer and fewer tires and more and more kilometers traveled by their trucks, hours of mining or number of aircraft landings.

What do you reply when people criticize the Clermont-Ferrand region?

Come and see for yourself. The quality of life here is really great.

I'd like to work abroad. I have four years of experience as a mechanical engineer for a German manufacturer. Are you interested in my profile? Is it possible to work abroad? How long do you have to have worked at Michelin first?

We're interested in your profile because of the material processes angle. You'll probably have to begin your career in France so that you can receive training in our products and processes. If you work in our company, you're sure to assume responsibilities with an international scope or based abroad, both for your own development and to meet the company's needs.

What is the everyday working atmosphere like in R&D?

It's friendly and collaborative. The teams are very varied in terms of age, culture, background and experience.

Can you give some examples of the sort of competencies in materials and physico-chemical analysis that you are looking for?

Competencies in the physico-chemistry of metal/rubber interfaces, competencies in the chemistry of polymerization, in metal forming, or in the chemistry of colloids. But also the competencies associated with curiosity, creativity and the desire to bring your ideas to fruition...

Can you tell me more about the possibilities for career advancement?

The possibilities are quite varied and correspond to people's aspirations. Some people have gone from materials to manufacturing, while others have preferred to move into tire design and architecture, and others still into human resources. The diversity of occupations within the company allows for a range of career paths.

What is the ratio of men to women in your department?

About 40% of the staff in the materials field are women. For all occupational fields combined, over 30% of the post-graduates we recruit are women.

How is the R&D department organized and structured?

In the R&D department, there are materials teams (technology, processing and mechanisms), tire performance teams, and tire design and architecture teams. Some teams are more focused on research and others on development.

What is your HR policy on disabled employees?

We recruit people for their competencies and the value they bring the company, as well as for their development potential. Disability is neither a hindrance nor an asset when it comes to recruitment.

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