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Gardiner and Theobald Interview
Questions

28 Questions and Answers by
| Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.

Question 1 of 28

What kind of people do you enjoy working with?

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Gardiner and Theobald Interview Questions

    1.

  1. What kind of people do you enjoy working with?
    • Culture fit is a critical factor when looking for a new position. Talk to the interviewer about the types of personalities that you best work with. Be sure to remain positive and avoid using this as an opportunity to speak poorly of previous colleagues.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I best enjoy working with individuals who are driven, positive, energetic, and take accountability for their work. I do have the ability to work with a large variety of individuals; however, these are the ideal traits I would see in future colleagues."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Some other great characteristics of co-workers:

      - Encouraging
      - Helpful
      - Engaged
      - Positive
      - Hard-working
      - Punctual
      - Reliable"

    2.

  1. When have you contributed to an effort to obtain a corporate goal?
    • Engaged employees are always the most productive. Assure the interviewer that you are capable of being an involved team member by assisting, in some way, to the end goal of the corporation.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "My most recent employer had an extreme interest in giving back to the community. So much so that we, as a group, logged our volunteer hours and it was treated as another KPI. We would review our community contributions on a quarterly basis. Our goal was always to hit a minimum 500 volunteer hours per quarter which meant that everyone would volunteer one day per month. It was a great initiative and one that I happily participated in."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Everyday! The corporate goal is always my primary driver, in my current position. To be successful in my position I need to always be in tune with what my employer is trying to achieve, and be an active participant."

    3.

  1. If hired for this position at Gardiner and Theobald, what would be the ideal project for you to lead?
    • To fully understand the reasoning behind this question, your interviewer is looking to get a sense for what type of work you prefer to do, what your strong points are and where to best position you with clients if hired for the position. Prior to your interview, be sure that you research the clients of Gardiner and Theobald and the typical projects that are led with them. Make sure your desires align in some aspect of the business and speak openly and honestly about your most desirable project.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "If I'm fortunate enough to come consult with Gardiner and Theobald, my ideal project would be working with the leadership staff of a high profile employer on a corporate restructuring project that makes them more efficient and more profitable in a short amount of time. As you can see from my experience, I really thrive when working with high level leaders like CEO's and Presidents on what I would consider my greatest area of expertise."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Being passionate about manufacturing and technology, my ideal project would put me face to face working with a team of engineers and production staff to help implement the creation of a life changing product in the medical field. This area of manufacturing involves high cost materials and the need to produce items accurately and efficiently. My project management skills would thrive in this atmosphere."

    4.

  1. Part of our responsibility in consulting in the construction industry is overseeing a budget. What experience do you have in managing a construction budget?
    • Working with clients at Gardiner and Theobald, you'll have the opportunity to work with them on many aspects of their project budget. Some clients will set their own total budget and you'll have to work around that budget to make it work. Others will look to you as the consultant to set the most cost-effective, yet realistic, budget possible. Talk about the experiences you have in working with a budget and make sure that you pinpoint your step by step approach to budgeting projects.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "As a current project manager, I am tasked with both planning a budget for upcoming projects as well as managing budgets throughout the length of a project. During my time as a general contractor, I learned to do's and dont's of managing a strict budget all the way through. I learned that keeping detailed records of every cost of a project versus what was budgeted was very important. I also learned that communicating with my team on progress towards budget goal was very important as well. In this consultant role, I would feel very comfortable in helping clients set and achieve their budgets."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "If hired for this role with Gardiner and Theobald, you can rest assured that my comfort and ability in managing large scale budgets will greatly impact clients here. I am thorough in my budget planning skills by taking the time to research costs and getting bids for services that will be subcontracted. During the build, I pride myself on my organization to track all costs and reconcile all costs against the budget."

    5.

  1. Give an example of a time you used data in analyzing risk for an organization. Did you utilize any tools in this process?
    • Gathering and analyzing data is an important step that any risk management professional must take during their evaluation processes. What's even more important than gathering and analyzing is putting the data to use to achieve results. For this question, talk in detail about a time that you used data in a working situation. Explain the tools, whether it was specific software or a spreadsheet, to help analyze and get results out of the data you collected.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "As you can see from my resume, I've spent a good portion of my career working in the manufacturing industry. In that industry, a good deal of my risk focus was on employee safety and lost time prevention. When I took my current position, I analyzed data over the past ten years to find trends on workplace injuries that led to work comp claims. By using a very intricate Excel spreadsheet that I created, I was able to find a few different problem areas. From there, I worked with management and our safety coordinator to implement new work practices and policies moving forward."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "In my current role, I am using the Resolver risk management software and it has really been an effective tool in storing and analyzing data and then helping put the data to functional use. Last year, I was tasked with leading a team of individuals to assess risk of potential defective products that my organization was putting to market. My job was to research and gather data on potential lawsuit risk that the organization could be looking at while others focused on the internal pieces that would fix the problem. Resolver was a great tool for our whole project and luckily, my organization didn't face any lawsuits based on our quick work."

    6.

  1. Do you have any experience handling a budget as part of a project?
    • As a consultant for Gardiner and Theobald working as a project manager with clients, you will likely be relied upon to work around a budgeting process. Talk to your interviewer about your experience in working with budgets on large projects and give them some idea of your ability to plan for, monitor and stay within a budget for a project. If possible, give any details on your experience that you can and talk about how you would bring this experience to working with clients.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "During my ten years of working as a project manager with a large manufacturer, I've definitely had to manage a budget for every project that I've led. The scope of my experience really spans the budgeting process from the research necessary to create a budget plan, tracking and updating through the process and meeting the requirements of the budget. At times when I realized that we may have under-budgeted a project, I approach whoever is necessary to ensure that proper funding is available, and if not, I take necessary measures to stay within budget."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "As we've discussed already, a bulk of my experience as a project manager comes in the construction field where budgeting and meeting a budget are the key to success. I'd consider my expertise, and the biggest factor for budget success, to be my ability to plan for and create a budget during the planning phase of a project. With industry experience and research, a properly planned budget sets the tone for the project and what resources can be used up front. I think my ability in this area would be extremely beneficial to my potential clients here at Gardiner and Theobald."

    7.

  1. Rate your communication skills from 1-10 with proper examples backing your given rating.
    • On a scale of 1-10, how skilled are you in communication? Why did you choose that particular rating for yourself?

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I rate my communication skills as a 9/10 as I will, on occasion, have times when I am not as clear as I would like to be. My supervisor and co-workers will attest to my clear and concise communication skills. Because I am an open leader, my team will let me know if I need to clarify anything."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I will rate myself an 8.5 because I consider myself a strong communicator. It is the foundation of all success in business. I am always striving to be a better communicator, so I leave the rest of the scale as an aspirational measure."

    8.

  1. Tell me why you are the right fit for Gardiner and Theobald, and this position.
    • A successful hire needs to feel like the right fit by both parties. Express to the interviewer that you think this position is a stable fit for your experience and your career goals.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I feel that I am the right fit for this company because, from what you have described, my personality, skills, and drive are what you are looking for. The challenges that come with this position are all challenges that I welcome. I am confident that this is the right fit for both of us."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I am great at what I do, motivated, and I am an avid lover of your product. This mix creates a great match, in my opinion! Happy employees are more productive and; trust me, I would be thrilled to work at Gardiner and Theobald."

    9.

  1. What project management software are you familiar working with?
    • Effective project managers are able to readily utilize tools available to help in the planning, implementing and monitoring of a project and for this question, your interviewer is looking to gauge your ability to handle the available software that is out there and use it to your advantage. Project management software has improved vastly over time and now enables project managers and their teams to focus more effort on important aspects of a project. Talk about which programs you have work with and make sure your interviewer understands that you have the ability to pick up and use new systems with ease.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "Prior to last year, I had been working on the online software system called Wrike. I really loved the ability to utilize the collaboration function within the system to involve members of the team in the editing of documents, review of materials and even the ability to start discussion threads within the system. Last year, we implemented a new system called Clarity PPM when my organization implemented this organization wide. At first upon the announcement, I was a little saddened to hear we'd be losing a great resource but I kept an open mind to the new system and its features and benefits. I've really mastered and come to love the reporting functions in this system that are saving me hours of work that I can spend on other areas of a project."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "After attending a few conferences and talking to colleagues in the project management field, we are really blessed with the great technology that we have to keep us on task and on track to hit deadlines with our big projects. Being very adept with computer skills and open to learning new things, my experience while in the corporate world and then moving into my own personal consulting business has been using Trello. While a great system altogether, I love its ability to connect teams that work together from across the country and its organization of a tasks board that all team members have access to."

    10.

  1. Talk about a time that you successfully educated another individual or group in your area of expertise. What made your educational experience effective?
    • The role that you are interviewing for with Gardiner and Theobald will likely involve providing education to clients in your area of expertise. For this question, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you are comfortable and effective in providing education by having you talk about a time that you have done so. In the example that you provide, try to point out some key items to making business education successful like developing a plan/goals, respecting differing viewpoints/opinions, making it hands on and making it fun.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "Probably the aspect that I love the most about my current job is being the lead for training new hires into our department. Because of my years of experience and my innate ability to effectively orientate new employees, my director asked me to take this duty about four years ago. My approach with any new hire is to customize their training based on their knowledge and experience so the training is effective for them. What works for one person may not work for another and I always need to be fluid with this. I also prioritize the need to make orientation and training a hands on experience for the new hire because classroom learning can only take a person so far in the learning process."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "As you can see from my resume, I've spent the last seven years working in the corporate tax field. While in this job, I worked very independently for a private organization, so I've been out of the training and education side for a while now. During my first job out of college as a CPA though, I was very adept at providing education to the clients that I worked with on a daily basis. What I learned in that experience was the importance of putting material out there in a manner that the person being trained understood. As well, talking to clients and understanding my client's wants and needs were very important for me to be able to best educate them. I really believe that these skills would enable me to hit the ground running with Gardiner and Theobald and your clients would benefit greatly."

    11.

  1. Being successful in the consulting industry requires adaptability and the ability to learn a business fast. What would be your approach to help you learn the ins and outs of a new client?
    • Gardiner and Theobald contracts with businesses in different industries for their services and it is likely that your job would require you to learn the fine details of each business that you would work with. Demonstrate your ability to be flexible by giving examples of times you've had to do this during your career. As well, describe the approach that you would take to get the know the businesses you would be working with so you can apply your knowledge and expertise toward helping them.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "As you can see from my resume, I've been in corporate training and education for over ten years. In my current role, I have to use similar techniques working with different departments to try and tailor programs that meet their specific needs. I feel that my current approach of hosting an intake meeting with leaders would be effective in a consulting role with external customers. The current intake meetings that I lead are an opportunity for me to ask questions and learn as much as I can about my customers. In turn, it is an opportunity for me to lay the groundwork for the project and set expectations. Do you see this as an effective approach for this role?"

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Having worked in quality roles for most of my career in both the private and public sectors, I think my career experiences have shaped me well for this role. Transitioning to a consultative role would definitely be a transition for me and the biggest transition will be this need to work in many different industries. For me, researching clients, their business and their industry will be the first step to my approach in learning about them. I want to make a great first impression when I am face to face with a new client and that first impression starts with my knowledge. Then, my openness and ability to communicate would take over when I am working directly with clients. I know the right questions to ask for laying out quality initiative projects and I know the right things to educate clients on."

    12.

  1. In this role with Gardiner and Theobald, working with regulatory bodies in many different industries will be imperative. What regulatory bodies have you reported to during your time working in compliance?
    • Compliance professionals work across every industry and each industry has their own unique set of regulating industries. While it is important that your interviewer understands where your experience falls during your career to this point so they can best match you with clients that fall under your experience, it is also important that you point out your strong suits in reporting to regulatory bodies and how this will translate over to other industries. Be sure to highlight this in your answer.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "Having most of my experience in the banking industry, I am familiar with working closely with the regulations put out by the FDIC and the Federal Reserve Board. My experience in interpreting new regulations and putting them to policy within my organizations is a skill that I can build upon if called upon to consult clients in just about any industry. The key is understanding the industry and its regulating body and I'm willing to put any time and effort into being as versatile as possible if hired here at Gardiner and Theobald."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "As you can see from my resume, I've spent the last twelve years in the meat packaging and vegetable canning industries where my regulatory bodies were the USDA and the FDA. Being governmental agencies, there were definitely some positives and negatives that I had to learn and work around to ensure successful compliance. In the end, my ability to network, read and learn from regulatory experts was key for my organization's policies and procedures surrounding compliance. While this is the area I would consider my expertise, just know that the skills I've developed in this area of the food industry are definitely transferable to regulating bodies in other industries."

    13.

  1. When a problem arises, what is your first reaction?
    • The interviewer wants to know if your reactions to problems reflect maturity and professionalism. How you react will significantly determine how you fit with the team at Gardiner and Theobald.

      Perhaps your computer crashes, and you realize you may have just lost all of your hard work. Or maybe you are limited on time and have a deadline rapidly approaching. Demonstrate to the interviewer that you take a very methodical approach to problem-solving, rather than reacting in an impulsive way when a problem occurs.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "When a major problem arises, my first instinct is to take a step back and absorb what just happened. I then go into "

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I have taught myself to become much calmer with my first reactions when problems arise. Now, I will step back and review my options for solving the problem rather than allow myself to become frustrated."

    14.

  1. Working with our clients here at Gardiner and Theobald often involves some initial conflict with our clients. How would you rate your ability to handle conflict or disagreements in the workplace?
    • When a consultant comes into an organization to help better an aspect of their business, there are many factors that can lead to initial conflicts with the consultant and their firm. Big egos not wanting a fresh new face and the fear of change are inevitable in this business and your interviewer wants to hear that you have the experience and ability to handle inevitable conflict that will come your way if hired for the position. While obviously rating yourself highly in this area, try to talk about a time where you handled difficult conflict on the job with ease.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "In my role as a Project Manager with a large private organization, one of my first steps on any new project is setting a budget. Last year, I was leading the effort on a project focused on waste reduction in our manufacturing facilities. In the initial meetings for new projects, our CFO is always involved so she has a high-level overview of what the project will entail. In the meeting, she immediately berated me for the initial budget that I was proposing and vehemently insisted that the amount just wasn't correct or feasible. Rather than taking offense to her thoughts, I wanted to make sure that she, and the rest of the group, had a solid understanding of all that was taken into consideration for setting the budget. After I explained and showed line by line what the proposed budget broke down to, she was very thankful and didn't realize that team member labor was part of that equation. I think that my ability to understand why she was conflicted and my ability to keep a calm, cool head in that situation was vital and a perfect reason for me rating myself high on my conflict resolution skills."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "From my call center days, I think I developed great conflict resolution skills where I would rate myself an 8 out of 10. Handling customers who were upset about a product or service they received required a calm tone, an educational approach and the ability to not take things too personally. If hired for this position, I would be able to bring this same approach to the client of Gardiner and Theobald."

    15.

  1. As a consultant with Gardiner and Theobald, the ability to give sound risk advice to our clients is always expected. What's the greatest piece of advice you've ever given regarding organizational risk?
    • Upon first hearing this question, you may be left empty minded given the large number of ways you can answer this questions while trying to please your interviewer. At the heart of this question, your interviewer is looking to hear what you feel is the most important advice you have ever given a company or a particular person regarding the mitigation of risk. Talk about why this advice was important, how you learned it and how you still carry it forward to this day.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "Throughout my career, I've always taken the time to network with other risk and compliance professionals. About five years ago at a national conference, I attended a breakout seminar on whistle blowing policies surrounding risk. I heard a colleague talk about a policy that their organization had adopted that removed all fear of retribution for employees that brought risk concerns forward to the risk manager. Upon returning from the conference, I approached our COO about adopting a similar policy and upon doing so, I considered this my greatest piece of advice ever. Right way upon communication, we had a few employees come forward with significant concerns that otherwise wouldn't have in fear of retaliation against them or a colleague."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "What I learned early on in my career was that the need for having a long-term, extended outlook on potential risks and mitigation of those risks was extremely important. When I took my current job, my department was way too shortsighted in the risk prevention efforts. The best advice I've ever given was to our CEO to allow professionals in risk management to the table on financial planning and operational planning conversations for the future. If hired here at Gardiner and Theobald, this is one area of expertise that I could bring to your clients."

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