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JF Hillebrand Interview

31 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 31

Tell me about a time when you took charge of a meeting. Was the outcome a positive one?

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JF Hillebrand Interview Questions


  1. Tell me about a time when you took charge of a meeting. Was the outcome a positive one?
    • The interviewer would like to know that you have the confidence to lead a meeting successfully. Think about a time when you have driven a meeting - big or small. This example could be a phone meeting, a lunch and learn, or a large client presentation.

      Begin by telling the interviewer the reason for the meeting, who was involved, and what approach you took to prepare for the meeting. Finally, be sure to mention why you felt the meeting was a success! What did you do in that meeting to create an effective and positive outcome?

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "My employer asked me to lead a lunch and learn meeting to train 15 employees on our new client management software. I was already a subject matter expert on the software so it wasn't difficult for me to plan the lesson. The challenge was making the content entertaining enough to keep the employees engaged. I created a strong PowerPoint presentation that included pop quiz questions throughout. The presentation was a success, and my employer asked me to lead a follow up meeting a few weeks later."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "Just last week my boss had a personal emergency and could not make it in time for our monthly staff meeting. Everyone was already gathered, and so he called to ask me to take control of the meeting. I feel that I did a great job relaying the information and my boss was thankful for the way that I was able to step in."


  1. At JF Hillebrand we have many local competitors. In your opinion, what makes us stand out from the crowd?
    • It is crucial that you research JF Hillebrand before your interview and be sure to learn about their business landscape. Who are their competitors? What are customers saying online? Check out some favorite review sites to get an idea of what the public is saying about JF Hillebrand vs. their local competitors. Keep your answer positive and complimentary.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "After researching JF Hillebrand online, I found that you stand out from the many ways that you give back to your community. On the JF Hillebrand website, as well as third-party review sites, people are talking about the charitable contributions and generosity coming from JF Hillebrand. These factors make your company a big stand-out to me because I am serious about working for an organization that is aware of their social impact."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I believe that JF Hillebrand has superior services and products. Your competitors seem to scratch the surface with some, but your offerings are so much more robust."


  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.

      Rachelle'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."

      Rachelle'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."


  1. How did you maintain a good relationship with your most recent boss?
    • The interviewer wants to know that you are capable of maintaining a harmonious relationship with those who are considered your leaders.

      If your relationship with your boss wasn't fantastic, what efforts did you take to make it better? Here are some suggestions:

      - Try to understand what your boss values the most
      - Keep your cool, even when you want to lose it
      - Anticipate their needs and stay one step ahead
      - Take leadership opportunities to show your worth
      - Adapt to their preferences

      Some basic ground rules for a stable working relationship with your boss are open communication, proactive listening, and not taking things personally. Discuss the ways that you cultivated a healthy relationship with your boss.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "My current boss is a very particular individual. Over the years I have taken the time to understand her preferences, her stress triggers, and what she enjoys seeing in my work. I find that if I stay one step ahead and maintain a positive attitude, we can work productively together."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I value having a strong working relationship with my boss. I want to learn what they do and take on as much work to help our team as possible. I scheduled regular update meetings with my boss and went the extra mile wherever I could."


  1. Many of the management and higher level roles with JF Hillebrand require a Degree in Business or similar. Please walk me through your post-secondary education.
    • Your post-secondary background is on your resume; however, the interviewer is asking for you to go into further detail on your experience. This is a great time to brag a little bit about any scholarships, awards, or accolades you may have received during your post-secondary studies. Be sure to discuss how your education has prepared you for a position with JF Hillebrand.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I would be thrilled to be considered for a management level position with JF Hillebrand. Although I do not have many years' experience in this type of position, I do have a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from Walden University online. I graduated with a 3.6 GPA. I am very proud of this grade because I worked full time during my studies and still graduated top of my class."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "If you do not have a formal post-secondary education: "I did not have the opportunity to attend University; however, everything that I have learned on the job has been incredibly valuable. I would be thrilled to join your management team down the road so if you feel there are gaps in my knowledge, I would be happy to consider attending any required classes or workshops."


  1. If you had $50,000 to build your own business, what would you do?
    • If money was no object, what kind of business would you start? The interviewer will be able to learn something new and unique about you through this question. Avoid answers that would include building a business that competes with the hiring company.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "If I had $50,000 to build my own business I would open up a community center in my neighborhood that offered inexpensive childcare, cooking classes, and other life skills programs. I am passionate about volunteering and see a strong need in those particular areas."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I would choose to invest the $50,000 into an existing business in an industry that my spouse has an interest in. I love what I do for a career, but she has always wanted to be an entrepreneur."


  1. Tell me why you are the right fit for JF Hillebrand, 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.

      Rachelle'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."

      Rachelle'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 JF Hillebrand."


  1. Looking at your resume, it seems there are certain skills necessary for this position that do not stand out. How do you think you will be able to compensate for these missing skills?
    • Most job descriptions will have a long list of requirements. Hiring managers are aware that, to find a candidate that checks ALL of the boxes, can sometimes be impossible. If you are missing some of the "nice to have" or even the "must have" skills listed in the job description, do not fret! Be open about your shortcomings and discuss with the interviewer how you plan to compensate for those.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "nice to have"

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I bring full dedication to learning, and mastering, any skills I do not currently have. I will compensate for any lacking skills through additional research. Also, I am happy to take any coursework that you feel would help."


  1. We value diversity at JF Hillebrand. When have you worked amongst a diverse group of people?
    • Are you accustomed to working with a very large or diverse team of individuals? Assure the interviewer that you can handle an environment that offers diversity.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I have worked with diverse groups of people most of my career, including my time in University. I am most comfortable, and happy, in this type of environment because it offers a great learning opportunity."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "In my current role, I work alongside cross-functional teams regularly. Together, we manage our business and effectiveness. I enjoy the diversity component."


  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.

      Rachelle'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."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "Some other great characteristics of co-workers:

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


  1. At JF Hillebrand we provide services to a wide range of businesses. Which industry or business type do you have the most experience with?
    • In the commercial services industry, your experience with clients may be widespread. Talk to the interviewer about any particular industry to which you may have more exposure. If you have a specialty - now is the time to discuss your expertise. Whether you have experience in the same industry as JF Hillebrand, or not, be sure to appear confident in your capabilities.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I understand that the majority of business that is coming to JF Hillebrand is related to XYZ. I have about four years of dedicated XYZ experience. The remainder of my work experience is with a wide range of clients and industries. I feel that these experiences have equipped me very well for a position such as this."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I have the most experience in the manufacturing industry. Approximately 15 years, in fact. I believe this experience will benefit me in this role with JF Hillebrand because I am well versed in best practices and manufacturing protocols."


  1. We have a wide range of services at JF Hillebrand. Have you ever used any of our services?
    • The interviewer wants to know that you are well aware of the services offered at JF Hillebrand. Have you used them previously? Discuss with the interviewer any exposure you have had to the company. Keep your response positive and lighthearted.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I have not personally used your commercial services; however, I have friends who have used JF Hillebrand for their business needs and their reviews were always positive!"

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I have been a customer of JF Hillebrand before, yes! The services I used were A, B, and C. My experience here was very comfortable, and everyone was professional. This experience is one of the reasons why I applied for this role. I want to work for a company that has high standards, and I know first hand that you do!"


  1. Due to the nature of JF Hillebrand business and services we may ask that you complete a full background check. Are you willing to comply?
    • Many companies will ask for a background check before employing you. This due diligence could include a criminal record check, a credit check, a drivers' abstract, and education verification. The request will vary from company to company so you should always be prepared to comply with all requests. If there is a mark on your record, this is the best time to disclose that information.

      If you have a clean record: "I can fully understand why JF Hillebrand would need to conduct background checks on all potential employees. I have a squeaky clean record and am happy to comply with any of your requests."

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I can fully understand why JF Hillebrand would need to conduct background checks on all potential employees. I have a squeaky clean record and am happy to comply with any of your requests."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "If you have a mark on your record: "I can fully understand why JF Hillebrand would need to conduct background checks on all potential employees. I did have a charge against me approximately six years ago for a DUI. I have gained my drivers' license back since then, but I thought I should disclose that to you ahead of time."


  1. At JF Hillebrand we seek to hire those who think outside the box. When was the last time you made a suggestion for workplace improvement? What was the outcome?
    • The interviewer would like to know if you are an engaged employee; offering suggestions and providing more profound thought when it comes to processing improvement in the workplace. Give an example of a time when you suggested an improvement in the workplace. It can be big or small! Did anything significant come out of your suggestion?

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "Last year I made a recommendation for our office to incorporate a recycling program. We were going through a lot of single-use coffee pods. It bothered me how wasteful it all seemed. I presented a spreadsheet to my supervisor comparing the single-use pods vs. investing in a built-in coffee machine. The savings over two years were significant, and my boss has now presented my idea to our head office. It feels nice to be heard in the workplace, so I continue to keep my eyes out for opportunities for process improvements."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I made some recommendations for change in our CRM system. The suggestions were surrounding how items received documentation and how outstanding tasks became highlighted. Our head office made the changes and a lot of people in our office commented on how much they liked the changes."


  1. JF Hillebrand values philanthropy and community giving. How do you choose to give back to others?
    • The interviewer would like to know that you are socially responsible and a team player - even outside of the workplace. Your answer can be as simple as babysitting your grand-kids every Sunday, to a standing-volunteer gig, to charitable contributions.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I work a lot but, when I do have free time, I spend that with my grand-kids. It helps to give my son a bit of a break as he is a full-time single dad. In addition to this, I volunteer at the local drop-in center every Christmas to help feed the homeless. Giving back is very important to me."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "Volunteering and charitable acts are important to me. I spend time volunteering at the local drop-in center every Sunday."


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