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Kimley-Horn

28 Interview Questions & Answers

1.
Talk about a time you had to work with a very difficult person. What was the situation and how did you handle it?
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At some point in any person's career, they have to work with a colleague or customer who is extremely difficult. Rather than looking to hear the fine details as to why this person was difficult, your interviewer will be looking to gain insight into how you personally handled the situation and others like it to ensure that a sound relationship was fostered even when you faced difficult circumstances. In your answer, some key things to focus on are your ability to be tolerant, understanding and a great communicator in these situations.

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1.
Talk about a time you had to work with a very difficult person. What was the situation and how did you handle it?
At some point in any person's career, they have to work with a colleague or customer who is extremely difficult. Rather than looking to hear the fine details as to why this person was difficult, your interviewer will be looking to gain insight into how you personally handled the situation and others like it to ensure that a sound relationship was fostered even when you faced difficult circumstances. In your answer, some key things to focus on are your ability to be tolerant, understanding and a great communicator in these situations.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In my current role, I have a customer that flies off the handle very easily if things don't happen just right and I learned this from my first interactions with him. In seeing this happen from the start, I have always maintained a calm demeanor when he was upset and showed empathy by asking questions about his expectations and how to fix situations for him. To this day, I expect difficulty from him when we work together and the years we've had a working relationship together have better prepared me for more clients like him in the future."
Ryan's Answer #2
"A couple of years ago, a close colleague of mine had a very abrupt turnaround in her attitude and performance on the job. She was very curt and abrasive in conversations when she was normally very talkative and friendly on the job. After noticing some concerns in her work, I approached her with an open mind and asked her what was going on to cause these things to change. I showed concern and approached her as a friend and this approach prompted her to tell me about some issues happening in her personal life. By taking this approach, rather than getting upset or even made with her, I showed her that I cared and valued her as a person and my approach helped her open up and turn her life at work back around to the positive side."
2.
If you are hired for this position here at Kimley-Horn, what do you think the biggest hurdle for you would be from the start?
For this question, you can showcase your research that you've done on both Kimley-Horn and the role you are interviewing for by being upfront and honest about what you feel would be the biggest learning curve for you if hired for the position and giving your plan for how you would approach this hurdle. In your answer, make sure that you highlight your skills and abilities in making a molehill out of a mountain on your way to success in this role.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As you can see from my resume, most of my career experience is in the food industry. If fortunate enough to be hired for this position, the biggest area for learning for me would be the finance side of other industries like technology, telecommunications and healthcare. From day one, I would begin by thoroughly research the clients here at Kimley-Horn and speaking with as many industry experts that I know through business networking. While learning the ins and outs of other industries is the biggest learning curve for me, I see it as a great opportunity for me to become more proficient and effective in the work that I'd be doing for you."
Ryan's Answer #2
"While this may sound funny to you at first, I think the biggest challenge for me from the start will be adapting to the great corporate lifestyle and culture here at Kimley-Horn. When I saw this position being open for applicants and I did my research, I was extremely excited to hear about the flexibility and openness to the ideas of your staff members. I've been working for six years in an environment that is very opposite of an open culture for new ideas and for me personally, it will feel foreign for me to bring new ideas to the team here and have them be accepted."
3.
Talk about some of the safety related projects you've been involved in during your time in the industry. What safety related perspectives would you be able to bring to the clients here at Kimley-Horn?
A constant in the transportation industry has always been to make safety a top priority. As technology and innovation has greatly changed over time, safety procedures and processes have also greatly changed. To hear that you will have a continual eye gazing at safety with their clients, your interviewer is looking to hear about a project that you worked on that centered around safety. On top of you example, talk high level about your safety philosophy and how you'll help bring that to the clients of Kimley-Horn.

Ryan's Answer #1
"During my time working in the highway and road construction industry, I've been a part of some great design implementations to make roads safer. By utilizing detailed traffic studies/forecasts and animated 3D design, I've been a part of the design of many roundabout applications that take away all dangers of collisions at busy intersections. In my mind, eliminating the risk of head on and t-bone type collisions is a top priority to help save lives and I'd bring this philosophy when working with clients here."
Ryan's Answer #2
"During my years in the rail industry, highway crossing was always a top concern when building new lines or re-routing existing lines. To design and build things from the safest place possible, a team effort was always necessary. I have worked with civil engineers and executives of short rail lines to create lines that make sense from both a logistical and safety point of view so it is a win-win situation for everyone involved, including the general public. It is very easy for some to lose sight of the general public, but I never do in my work and I would see to it that no client would either."
4.
At Kimley-Horn, you will have the opportunity to work with high level executives and leaders from the companies we contract with. What experience do you have in working with people at these levels?
As a business advisory and consulting firm, Kimley-Horn works with Managers, Directors, CEO's, CFO's, CAO's and leaders with other titles on all of our projects. Your role will likely involve working closely with these leaders. For this question, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you are comfortable in working with the leadership team of the organization's clients by having you talk about your experience. Make sure that the examples you provide include some details on how you worked effectively to get the job done with the leaders you worked with.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In my current role, I work directly under our Chief Financial Officer and sit on a couple of different committees that our Chief Executive Officer is on. Under the direction of my CFO, we have a great working relationship. I am comfortable approaching him at any moment with questions or to bring forward new ideas. He is aware of my strengths and respects my opinions on matters in my wheelhouse, so he never hesitates to come to me with important things. I think the keys to our strong relationship are the respect we show for each other and our open lines of communication."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Throughout my career, I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with employees at all levels of the organizations that I've worked with. To me, working effectively with anyone requires a personal touch and a respectful approach. Whether I work with front line sales staff or members of the C-Suite, I take the time to get to know the person, their job and how I can best be of help to them in my role. This approach really helped me build a relationship with a Sales Executive that a few of my colleagues had struck out with in recent interactions."
5.
If you were to join Kimley-Horn in this role, you will be counted on to lead projects. Talk about a time you had to lead a team of individuals. What leadership skills do you have that you will bring to the table here?
The ability to lead others in project work or any other aspect of a business comes down to the fine details and traits of being a great leader. The experience you have can come from many different areas and can include project management, supervising/managing or even mentoring others. When you answer this question, be sure to demonstrate your ability to communicate effectively, bring unity, lead by example and empower/teach others and talk about how you will use these skills if hired at Kimley-Horn.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In my current role, I've been asked on numerous occasions to lead finance projects for my organization and I always do so with open arms and an open mind. On a recent project, I pulled together a team that included members of sales, production and upper management. to make this project successful, it was up to me to know each team member's area of expertise and delegate tasks based on their knowledge. A great part of the teams success was due to my ability to lead in a manner that promoted communication among individuals who never had the chance to work together and I accomplished this through fun ice breaking activities with the team and regular email communications outside of our in-person meetings."
Ryan's Answer #2
"As you can see from my background, I have extensive experience as a Sales Manager and Director and I know that the skills I honed in these roles will transfer nicely to this position. I have always found that leading teams is best accomplished by leading by example and walking the talk that I put out to my staff. I feel that I've also developed great skills in mentoring and coaching my staff and I've been commended on these skills by both sales leadership peers and my team. In this role, I would bring this same approach when working with clients."
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