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Kiehl's Since 1851 Interview
Questions

32 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns
Published September 26th, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Job Interviews     Companies     Business     Consumer Products    

Question 1 of 32

Are you applying for a job with any of our competitors?

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Answer Examples

1.

Are you applying for a job with any of our competitors?

The interviewer would like to know if you are specifically targeting positions within the same industry. Talk to the hiring manager about your desire for a role specifically in their industry. Be sure to reiterate your keen interest in the role with Kiehl's.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I have applied to a variety of roles within the consumer products industry and am currently interviewing with one other company. My primary interest, though, is with Kiehl's because your products align perfectly with my product expertise, and I believe your overall philosophy on everything from corporate expansion to sustainability meshes well with my personal values."

Michelle's Answer #2

"I am active in my search and previously have interviewed with two of your local competitors. With one, I have advanced to a second interview. With the other, I participated in a telephone interview just yesterday. With that said, I am most interested in this role with Kiehl's - this position is the best fit for my education and experience, and your corporate values of loyalty, passion, innovation and caring describe the kind of environment in which I believe I'd be most successful."

2.

Tell me about your experience in training and coaching others.

Coaching and training experience may not be required for this role, but they are abilities that are always valued by an employer. Briefly explain the experience that you do have in training, and coaching, in the workplace.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I have always enjoyed the opportunity to teach or mentor my colleagues. For example, last month our company introduced a new module in our SAP system, and I could see that one of our team members was having some trouble with the new module. I was familiar with it already, so I offered to help him. We spent his lunch hour for the next three days working on it. He eventually perfected his interaction with the module, and he's now teaching others."

Michelle's Answer #2

"Absolutely. In each of my two previous roles, I have been tasked with leading a small team. I have worked on everything from appointment-setting and overcoming objections to price negotiations with those respective teams. What's more, I always look for an opportunity to connect with new team members. I try to always invite them out for coffee so they not only have a friendly face in the office, but also know that I can be a resource for them. I was promoted from their role, so I am always happy to share how I did it on such a fast timeline and what I've found effective that can help them be a change-maker in the company, too."

3.

The performance of consumer products relies greatly on advertising and marketing efforts. Do you have any experience with advertising, marketing, or market research?

Talk to the interviewer about any experience you have in advertising and marketing, whether that be on the job training or formal education. Discuss how you have seen robust marketing strategies directly affect the performance of a product.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I have always been fascinated with the correlation between marketing strategies and product performance. This is why I studied marketing and communication in college. I have a bachelor's degree in marketing, plus additional training in advertising methods from my current employer. I have seen creative and strategic marketing campaigns take an underperforming product and make it a strong contender in as short as 90 days. I look forward to putting my knowledge in marketing and advertising toward a role with Kiehl's."

Michelle's Answer #2

"Although I do not have formal training and education in advertising and marketing, I love to research new marketing techniques. I'm a strong writer, so I feel that I could put that skill to use in helping the organization communicate effectively with both internal and external audiences. On the consumer front, I also have a strong understanding of several social media algorithms, including how to have your posts seen by the right audience. I'd look forward to using that skill for the good of the organization, along with learning more about more traditional marketing, advertising and communications tactics."

4.

Tell me about an error or mistake you made because of a breakdown in communication from you or one of your team members.

On occasion, mistakes will happen, and communication will be broken. Talk to the interviewer about a time that this occurred in the workplace. How did you resolve the situation?

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I recall one instance where I misread an email from one of my subordinates. The punctuation was incorrect, and I read it in in a dire tone rather than in a positive one, as it was intended. After a tense conversation, the employee clarified her intention, and it seems I was mistaken. She and I agreed to exercise verbal communication on a regular basis to avoid a similar situation from happening again."

Michelle's Answer #2

"We recently had a missing link in communication to one of our vendors, who we signed on to provide a large service. They were not aware of a change in the agreement which cost the company wasted time, resources and money. We were able to identify the breakdown in communication and change the process to ensure it does not happen again."

5.

Do you see yourself 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 mentorship, 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."

Michelle'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. Leadership is more of a mindset than a title or specific position. I am sure to lead at all times by providing the best model, enthusiasm and work ethic of the organization. I am open to new ideas and love to tackle a new project which, to me, embodies leadership."

6.

We believe in strong work/life balance at Kiehl's. How often do you take work home with you?

The majority of people will work overtime hours or take work home with them on occasion. Talk to the interviewer about how frequently to take your work home. If you do take work home with you, make sure to express that it is due to overachieving and not procrastination or poor time management.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"Only occasionally. I make every effort to utilize my work hours efficiently so that the only time I take work home is when there is an extremely stringent deadline or some type of emergency. I would say that, overall, I take my work home maybe twice per month. Now, that's on the execution side, but on the ideation side, I can tell you that I'm constantly thinking about new ways to do things, new innovations to try or new approaches to problem, so that 'script,' if you will, is constantly running in my brain!"

Michelle's Answer #2

"I try very hard not to take my work home with me. For me, it's very important to compartmentalize work and life and keep them separate so that I can give each of them my full focus in the moment. That means I have to be very disciplined throughout the workday, stay focused, and use effective time-management techniques to help me maximize my performance. This way, I'm meeting or exceeding goals, while still enjoying time with my family to disconnect from work and just 'be.'"

7.

The consumer products industry is fast moving. How do you keep up to date on current trends?

Being up to date on current trends is incredibly essential in the consumer products industry. Assure the interviewer that you are engaged and interested in what the market trends look like.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I agree - the consumer products market is incredibly fast moving. I keep up to date on new trends in the news and online through several business- and consumer-goods-focused blogs. I subscribe to a variety of industry publications as well."

Michelle's Answer #2

"It's tough to stay up to date on current trends in such a fast-moving industry. I like to follow any blogs from the C-suite within the consumer products industry to get a feel for various company strategies and philosophies. I think it's also important to join professional organizations and travel to at least one professional conference per year. That allows me to hear from leaders in the field and to swap stories and experiences with those who hold similar roles in other companies across the world."

8.

If Kiehl's hired you today, what would you accomplish first?

When you start a new position, it is essential to set a goal on how you will make a positive impact quickly after being hired. Tell the interviewer what your impact goal is, should you be the successful candidate and hired at Kiehl's.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"My first priority would be soaking up as much information about culture, process and KPIs as possible. I'd embark on a 'listening tour' in order to engage in deep conversation with my team and with my colleagues to discover the greatest current needs and how to prioritize them based on company goals for the quarter. Overall, I would strive to meet or exceed all KPIs for the business quarter as efficiently as possible."

Michelle's Answer #2

"If hired today, I would start with analyzing all quantifiable data from the last month, quarter and year to identify any challenges and set a plan to address them. I'd also look for team and company strengths in order to capitalize on or expand them in order to increase the company's bottom line. Overall, I'd be looking for patterns that help me make an immediate contribution to the team and the organization."

9.

What part of your career brings you the most stress?

Stress can often be a regular part of the day to day work experience. Talk to the interviewer about which areas of your career are the most stressful. Ensure that your answer does not include a factor that would make you appear unfit for the position. (IE: a bus driver should not find driving to be the most stressful part of the job).

Rachelle's Answer #1

"The part of my career that brings me the most stress is when the schedule is running behind for no good reason other than lack of hustle on my team's part. I like to be on time with our schedule to ensure that our clients are assisted properly."

Michelle's Answer #2

"I find that the primary stressor in my career is when I feel like I'm losing control of a project. In that situation, I often have to remind myself that the whole project was never under my control, anyway; I have to trust the team I have in place, even when they don't approach things the same way I would. For me, the transition from being responsible for my own work to managing the work of others has been stressful at times, but also a tremendous growing experience."

10.

Do you feel performance should be rewarded over experience?

Do you feel that you should be paid based on tenure, or results? Discuss this with the interviewer and back your answer with an example, if possible.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"Both tenure and performance are important, but I do lean toward performance incentives. I feel that employees should be paid, and rewarded, based on the documented value they bring to the organization. This approach is a strong motivator - a new employee would be greatly encouraged by being rewarded for performance, and this approach also facilitates a healthy competition with more tenured employees."

Michelle's Answer #2

"This is a classic question, isn't it? Experience and company knowledge are so important and are certainly of value to an organization, while performance is the documented articulation of an employee's value to the company. I believe the best compensation programs figure out a way to honor both, with the emphasis on performance. Doing so encourages good employees to stay, since they know they're valued for their tenure and experience - but it discourages people from getting so comfortable in a long-time role that they don't strive for their highest performance."

11.

Tell me about your experiences giving presentations in front of large groups.

Public speaking can be intimidating, so assure the interviewer that you are capable of communicating well in front of large groups. Have you taken any courses or training in public speaking? Perhaps you have so much experience that it comes second nature. Assure the interviewer that you are capable of giving presentations should it be required in your role with Kiehl's.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"In my last two roles I have been responsible for regularly presenting to my team of 43 staff as well as to our entire warehouse team of more than 200. I have also been part of my local Toastmasters group, which helped a great deal. Overall, I feel that I am a confident public speaker."

Michelle's Answer #2

"I do not have a lot of experience in presenting to large groups, but I do present regularly to groups averaging around 4 to 6 people. I am a confident speaker in that setting and am sure that I could present in front of many people - I'd be happy to take on that challenge."

12.

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?

Rachelle's Answer #1

"My current supervisor and co-workers will attest to my clear and concise communication skills. Because I am an open leader, my team also lets me know if I need to clarify anything. Based on this feedback from my current co-workers, I would rate my communication skills as an 8 out of 10. I'm definitely strong in this area, but still have room for improvement as I continue to grow as a leader and become more familiar with the Kiehl's communication values."

Michelle's Answer #2

"I will rate myself an 8.5 because I believe in being clear, direct and up front with my co-workers. It is the foundation of all success in business. I am always striving to be a better communicator - to always be clear but kind - so I leave the rest of the scale as an aspirational measure."

13.

What questions do you have for me about working with Kiehl's?

It's always a great idea to have questions ready for the interviewer. Review the company website and other online resources to ensure the questions you are asking are not mundane, or redundant. The last thing an interviewer wants to hear is a list of items you could have found the answers to from merely watching a video on their company site!

Rachelle's Answer #1

"Thank you very much; I do have a few questions for you. First and foremost, what is the company's long-term vision for this particular role, and one year from now, how will you know that the new team member has been successful? What does that success look like?"

Michelle's Answer #2

"Thank you for asking - I do have a key question. I wonder if you can share with me a story from your experience that really brings to life the Kiehl's culture and how your team members work together, support each other and strive for success."

14.

Have you ever broken a confidentiality agreement?

Companies will have confidentiality agreements for a variety of reasons. These could be to protect their trade secrets or to ensure that you do not bring clients over on the occasion that you leave their company. Talk to the interviewer about your experience with confidentiality agreements.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"Absolutely not. Confidentiality agreements allow for complete trust between an organization and its clients - and an organization and its employees. I have never broken a confidentiality agreement. Despite my reasons for leaving a position, I would never choose to hurt a previous employer or client in any way."

Michelle's Answer #2

"No. Confidentiality agreements are necessary and important to protect an organization, its clients or customers and its employees. I fully understand these aspects of confidentiality and take them very seriously. I have never broken that trust."

15.

Kiehl's puts emphasis on hiring people who fit into our workplace culture. How would you describe your personality?

Personality and character are two very different things. The interviewer is looking for more information on your personal traits vs. your integrity. This would include buzzwords such as introverted, energetic, and confident.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I would describe my personality as approachable, energetic, and positive. I believe that, if asked, my colleagues and supervisor would say the same about me. I would also classify myself as bold - I'm willing to take risks in order to achieve higher and better results, ultimately for the good of the company and the good of the consumer."

Michelle's Answer #2

"It may seem like an odd combination, but I would describe myself as both logical and imaginative. I'm imaginative in the sense that I'm always looking for new ways to approach consumer issues and new ideas to test out. And then I'm logical in the sense that I want experimentation, data and results to know for sure that what my imagination comes up with is truly feasible."

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32 Kiehl's Since 1851 Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.

Interview Questions

  1. Are you applying for a job with any of our competitors?
  2. Tell me about your experience in training and coaching others.
  3. The performance of consumer products relies greatly on advertising and marketing efforts. Do you have any experience with advertising, marketing, or market research?
  4. Tell me about an error or mistake you made because of a breakdown in communication from you or one of your team members.
  5. Do you see yourself a leader? When have you led a team?
  6. We believe in strong work/life balance at Kiehl's. How often do you take work home with you?
  7. The consumer products industry is fast moving. How do you keep up to date on current trends?
  8. If Kiehl's hired you today, what would you accomplish first?
  9. What part of your career brings you the most stress?
  10. Do you feel performance should be rewarded over experience?
  11. Tell me about your experiences giving presentations in front of large groups.
  12. Rate your communication skills from 1-10 with proper examples backing your given rating.
  13. What questions do you have for me about working with Kiehl's?
  14. Have you ever broken a confidentiality agreement?
  15. Kiehl's puts emphasis on hiring people who fit into our workplace culture. How would you describe your personality?
  16. Change is par for the course with Kiehl's. When have you had to adapt to change?
  17. How do you deal with distracting coworkers who stand in the way of your progress?
  18. After researching Kiehl's and our culture, what do you think are the top 3 values we look for in our candidates? Do you possess those qualities?
  19. What are your salary expectations?
  20. What type of work environment do you dislike working in?
  21. Kiehl's wants to know how to motivate you. What work situations excite and motivate you?
  22. Many consumer products are heavily regulated by the FDA and other health organizations/associations. How do you feel about that?
  23. Have you progressed in your career as you have expected?
  24. When you suffer a setback, how does that emotionally affect you and your work?
  25. Kiehl's likes to hire those who take pride in their work. Tell me about your greatest work related accomplishment.
  26. Sales performance is of utmost importance to Kiehl's. How do you plan to contribute to our profitability?
  27. Despite more current trends, many consumer products have been tested on animals. What are your thoughts on this?
  28. At Kiehl's we prefer to hire candidates who value post-secondary education. Do you have any post-secondary education or related training?
  29. When entering a new job, describe how you build relationships with your new coworkers and supervisors.
  30. What do you know about Kiehl's and our work environment?
  31. In your opinion, what is the most innovative consumer product you have seen in the past 12 months?
  32. At Kiehl's we always think of the consumer first. What are the top 3 ways that we can ensure consumer satisfaction?
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