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CAA South Central Ontario Interview

33 Questions and Answers by
Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.

Question 1 of 33

Do you believe you are a leader? When have you led a team?

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CAA South Central Ontario Interview Questions


  1. Do you believe you are a leader? When have you led a team?
    • Perhaps you have led a club at work, been a coach for a youth sports team, or were on the advisory board for a non-profit organization. You should always be prepared to show the interviewer that you have a natural ability to lead others. Whether you have led a group of 500, or a team of 2, you must display to the interviewer that you are capable of handling the responsibility that comes with being a leader and mentor.

      Talk about your desire to be a leader. Share with the interviewer that you strive to be a role model for others. Explain that you jump at the opportunity to lead groups, encourage your counterparts, and be a face of the organization when challenges arise.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "In my current position, I am the president of the social committee. I love that I have the opportunity to encourage employee engagement while being a positive influence on the workplace culture. I am a natural leader because I start with leading by example. As a leader, I make myself available to others who need mentor-ship, a bit of assistance in adjusting to their role, or just a listening ear when they've had a tough day. I am confident in my leadership abilities and look forward to joining your team in a leadership role."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I definitely see myself as a leader. Not only have I managed a team in two prior roles, but also I believe that leadership does not always equate to management. I am sure to lead at all times by providing the best model of enthusiasm, and work-ethic. I am open to new ideas and love to tackle a new project which, to me, embodies leadership."


  1. What are your salary expectations?
    • The best way to discuss your salary expectations are to use your current earnings as an example. Be open, and honest. Transparency is the best choice when salary based questions arise.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "Currently, I earn a base salary of $45,000 per year plus a potential 20% annual bonus. Last year my earnings were $52,000 and I would like to stay in the same range or slightly higher."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I am currently making $100,000 per year with two bonus opportunities. I am looking for compensation that is aligned with the role and provides opportunity for growth."


  1. Describe your working relationship with your previous or current colleagues.
    • When you answer this question be sure to remain positive, even if the experience wasn't. Avoid talking about any previous drama and do not speak poorly of your colleagues.

      If you had a good relationship with your previous colleagues: "I get along well with most personalities. My colleagues were great team players and we would often meet up after work for drinks or team activities."

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I get along well with most personalities. My colleagues were great team players and we would often meet up after work for drinks or team activities."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "If you did not have a good relationship with your previous colleagues: "I have had better relationships in the past but we did the best that we could. Our communication styles were all very different which made it challenging at times."


  1. Have you ever been employed through a company merger or acquisition? If so, tell me about your experience.
    • When your work history includes employment with large companies and/or diversified services corporations the chances are high that you have experienced a merger or acquisition of some sort. Perhaps you have been laid off through a process such as this? Talk to the interviewer about your experience. They are looking for an idea of your attitude when it comes to change in your workplace environment. Maintain a positive attitude and avoid speaking negatively about any previous employers.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I went through a merger in 2010 with Company ABC. The transition during their mass-layoff was not handled as professionally as many would have liked; however, I believe that the leadership team did the best they could. I was lucky enough to stay on board with the company and my experience during the transition was certainly eye opening. I learned a lot through the process."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I have not had the experience of being involved in a company merger or acquisition. From my understanding, it can be a stressful time for employees and upper management, alike. I feel that the key to a smooth merger would be setting clear expectations and maintaining a high level of communication during all stages."


  1. When have you been asked to perform a function or complete a task in which you had little or no experience in doing?
    • Have you ever had to take on a task or a role that you felt was over your experience level? Talk to the interviewer about a time when you have dealt with this type of situation. What was the outcome, and what did you learn?

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "When my manager went on unexpected medical leave for 3 months last year I was asked to step into her position in the interim. I knew the basics but was certainly not trained on the specifics of the role. I was able to take it on successfully by leaning on my team, reading a lot of company manuals, and asking many questions. Once my manager returned she was very please with the progress that I made and I was awarded a promotion."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I am often asked to perform tasks outside of my wheelhouse. This includes customer dispute resolution and interviewing potential new employees. I am a diverse employee and am happy to take on additional functions."


  1. After receiving information from your supervisor, how do you ensure you properly communicate this information to your team?
    • It is immensely important to accurately communicate information in the workplace. Discuss with the interviewer how you go about doing so.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "When I receive new information from my supervisor I will run my understanding of it by the supervisor to ensure that my interpretation is correct. After that, I will relay the information formally (in writing) to my team. This eliminates word of mouth and misinterpretation surrounding the issue."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I ensure I have the correct directives from my supervisor and there is clarity over the direction to be taken. Once that happens, I distribute the communication out to my team - typically in a huddle/face-to-face meeting. I follow this up with a written form of communication."


  1. Tell me about a time when you created a unique idea or solution, and it was rejected by your colleagues. How were you able to bounce back?
    • Putting yourself out there with new ideas can be intimidating and we all want to be accepted. Talk to the interviewer about how you would handle the feelings that come with having your idea rejected.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "A couple of years ago I made a recommendation for scheduling that would have included some split shifts. The result was less overtime and reduced expenses for the company. My colleagues were unhappy with the idea of split shifts. I was able to see their perspective which made it much easier to bounce back from the rejection. My overall attitude is, you win some - you lose some!"

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I once requested a 'suggestion box' when we were faced with high turnover and employee morale issues. My suggestion was rejected because management thought it would just turn into a complaint box. I was disappointed, but I did not let that deter me from continuing in my pursuit to help find a solution to our turnover issue. Instead, I verbally checked in with the employees, creating a safe place for them to provide feedback and suggestions."


  1. When have you shown great integrity at work?
    • Integrity is best displayed through honesty and consistent moral values. Talk to the interviewer about the way(s) that you show your integrity in the workplace.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "In my last position, I was responsible for the cash deposit on a daily basis. There was never a discrepancy, in the 4 years that I worked there. I best show my integrity by being a consistently reliable employee."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "Here are some ways that you can show integrity at work:

      - Following your moral convictions
      - Always listening to that little voice the prompts you to do the right thing
      - Show consistent ethics
      - Do the right thing in all situations
      - Even when nobody is watching, choose to do the right thing
      - Keep your promises
      - Keep secrets when coworkers confide in you
      - Do not let anyone take the fall for your mistakes"


  1. How do you prioritize multiple projects when they all seem equally important?
    • Prioritizing is a skill that requires practice. There are many approaches you can take. Here are some suggestions:

      1) Make a list. By thinking through and writing down each item that needs to be completed, you can see it on paper.
      2) Mark what is urgent or important. Take into account deadlines and meetings.
      3) Order each task based upon effort and estimated value. Considering due dates and how long it will take to do each item (also considering how much time you have).

      In answering this question, show the interviewer that you have a system in place that helps you to think through what needs to happen, and when. The better you can prioritize, the more productive you will be, making you an asset to their company!

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I prioritize based on urgency and time required on the project. I have a list of what needs to be done, by when, and how long I project that it will take to accomplish. I am great under pressure, but try to make sure that I don't get myself or my team into a sticky situation by not allotting enough time for any particular project. That said, I also try to be as effective and efficient as possible and make sure I can use all minutes of a day for a project, so I generally have a few things going at once: I am the lead on some, the delegator on others, and the reviewer on another, for instance. This way, by splitting up the work to the appropriate parties, both I and my team and be the most effective and impactful as possible."


  1. Have you ever worked in a cross-functional environment?
    • If you work for a larger company, you may have been asked to work on a project with teams from another department. Your ability to work with cross-functional teams will be a big asset to your potential employer, especially if they are a larger organization.

      Maybe you headed a project which required you to collaborate with the members from the engineering and sales teams. You may have had the opportunity to organize a volunteer activity or team building exercise, company-wide. Share any challenges that came up and what you learned from the experience.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I am regularly exposed to cross-functional teamwork in my current position. I believe that when expectations are communicated clearly from the beginning, a cross-functional team project can be very successful. I go into these types of projects with an understanding that everyone has their own strengths and limitations based on their expertise and job function."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I have worked in a cross-functional setting for many years. Primarily with the HR department and the Accounting department. Clear communication is key when collaborating with different teams. Clarity in expectations is of huge importance."


  1. At CAA South Central Ontario our business portfolio is diversified which can create a challenging management environment. Are you able to effectively manage unrelated business units?
    • The interviewer understands that with CAA South Central Ontario, Inc. being a diverse organization, effective management between business units can be tricky. Assure the interviewer that you are up for the task by giving a specific example of a more challenging leadership role you have held in the past. Briefly discuss the challenge, your approach, the outcome, and what you gained from the experience.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "My first leadership position was with a land services company. We had multiple business units including services for residential and commercial clients. The largest challenge was maintaining the same level of customer service for the residential customers as we did the commercial customers. It took some additional training and mentoring of our existing staff and over time I was able to create a training manual that could be implemented for all business units. The implementation was a success and our customer service feedback improved significantly. One thing I learned from this experience is that even though your business may have lines drawn in regards to services and offerings, all employees should be trained and treated the same. Continuity in management is incredibly important."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "Yes, I am able to effectively manage unrelated business units. I do this by keeping expectations and support the same, through all units. In my current role we also take the time to socially integrate everyone so that they feel part of a team, regardless of the formal business structure."


  1. Because CAA South Central Ontario is a diversified organization, we offer a wide range of opportunities for career growth. Where would you like to see your career in 5 years?
    • Before your interview be sure to visit CAA South Central Ontario, Inc. career opportunities online. Take note of the range in opportunities. Perhaps there are opportunities in other locations? What kind of growth is available in the particular department you are interviewing with? Assure the interviewer that you desire a long term opportunity with CAA South Central Ontario, Inc. by discussing the career path you would like.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I saw a few leadership opportunities posted on your company website that seemed very interesting. Ultimately, I would like to work my way into a management role that offered leadership opportunities. I am very interested in working for CAA South Central Ontario, Inc. because of the multiple growth opportunities present here and I look forward to proving my capabilities to you."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "In 5 years I would like to be seen as an authority in our industry. I would like to be well-connected and trusted when it comes to my work here at CAA South Central Ontario, Inc.."


  1. Clear communication is key to our success at CAA South Central Ontario. Describe to me your communication style and why you think your style will be a fit here.
    • Briefly describe your communication style to the interviewer and be sure to include the ways in which you feel your communications styles align. The interviewer would like to be assured that your communication style is a close match to the communication preferences of CAA South Central Ontario, Inc..

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "My communication style leans more to the formal side. I like to be to-the-point and keep expectations simple to understand. If I had to sum up my communication style in a few words I would say it is concise, clean, and friendly. From the communication exchanges I have had with CAA South Central Ontario, Inc. so far, I believe our communication styles are a great fit."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "My communication skills are very strong. I often utilize written communications as a follow up to verbal communications. They provide a great resource for associates to go back to and reference, plus might answer any questions that come up along the way. I think my style of communication will be a fit here because it's thorough and flexible."


  1. At CAA South Central Ontario we offer a wide range of products and services. How do you plan to positively impact our business, if hired?
    • The interviewer is looking for a couple of main points in your answer. One, they would like to know that you have clearly researched the products / services offered at CAA South Central Ontario, Inc.. Two, they would like to see that you have actively thought about your potential fit with CAA South Central Ontario, Inc. and the ways that you would make a fast and positive impact on their organization.

      Your answer should display your confidence and touch on your particular specialty. This could include your great ability to memorize product features, your natural sales abilities, or your cold calling skills.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I really appreciate the range of products that you offer your clients at CAA South Central Ontario, Inc.. I am sure that it is a bit of work to become familiar with all of the products; however, I am very good at memorization and my recall abilities are above average. I expect that I will be up to date on your product lines much faster than your average employee. This strength also helps when it comes to my up-selling percentages because I can easily recommend additional products based on the customers needs."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I plan to positively impact your business, very quickly, by being incredibly diligent in my training, getting to know your service offerings in and out, and being an engaged member of your team from day one."


  1. Because CAA South Central Ontario has a large geographic footprint, we have to accommodate a variety of time zones. Do you have experience working for clients and co-workers in multiple time zones?
    • Working for a diversified services organization can bring some unique challenges as their global footprint may be vast. Be sure to express to the interviewer that you are able to successfully handle the challenges that come along with a large geographic footprint.

      If you have experience working with clients and co-workers in multiple time zones: "In my current position I collaborate with our offices in the U.S., Canada, Scotland, and Finland. It was a struggle at first to always remember what day and time others were working in; however, I now have a great desktop application that tracks this for me so I have quick reference to the information that I need."

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "In my current position I collaborate with our offices in the U.S., Canada, Scotland, and Finland. It was a struggle at first to always remember what day and time others were working in; however, I now have a great desktop application that tracks this for me so I have quick reference to the information that I need."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "If you do not have experience working with clients and co-workers in multiple time zones: "I do not have exposure to working around multiple time zones; however, this is something I could pick up on very quickly. With technology these days I am sure I could find some help with a handy phone or desktop application. Also, I am not opposed to working outside of business hours on the occasions where I would need to communicate with a client across the globe."


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