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Gardiner and Theobald Interview
Questions

28 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brunner

Published August 29th, 2019 | Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.
Question 1 of 28
Part of our responsibility in consulting in the construction industry is overseeing a budget. What experience do you have in managing a construction budget?
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How to Answer
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.
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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."
2.
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."
3.
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."
4.
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."
5.
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."
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