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Mars & Co Interview
Questions

27 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brunner

Published August 28th, 2019 | Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.
Job Interviews     Companies     Talent     Commercial Services    
Question 1 of 27
What kind of people do you enjoy working with?
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How to Answer
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.
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Answer Examples
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.
Market research is very important to our clients here at Mars & Co. Talk about a time that you used market research to conduct an effective analysis.
When a company is looking to launch a new product or dig into their consumers, market research is required and this position with Mars & Co will likely require you to be a market research expert with their clients. Your interviewer will be looking to hear that you understand when market research is a necessary step in the analysis process and that you know how run an effective research campaign. In your example, walk through the steps you took to gain insightful knowledge on consumers.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Earlier this year, I consulted with an online retailer that was looking to expand its product line into new health and beauty products that were all natural. To get as quick of a turnaround as possible on a limited budget, I started an online survey research campaign. After a meeting with leadership of the retailer, we targeted women in specific age categories and used specific social media and email channels to obtain survey responses. Within a month, the retailer had great data to work off of to launch products that would hit the market and take off quickly."
Ryan's Answer #2
"During my time conducting market research, I have utilized many channels to conduct effective research. I've conducted focus group, utilized social media and have conducted phone surveys. One that comes to mind is a couple of years ago when I conducted focus groups for a new beverage that a large company wanted to release. I had a team of people finding people to participate in the groups. I started the focus group out with a blind taste testing to get initial feedback on the drink against its potential competition in the market. Then, I unveiled the product packaging and labeling to get feedback from the consumers. In the end, our client received great feedback that helped them tweak some things prior to the product launch."
3.
How do you get back on track when a schedule falls behind so you don't miss important milestone deadline
In the world of project management, it is rare that a project goes from the planning stages through to implementation without a hiccup or two along the way. As the manager of the project, you are ultimately responsible for keeping the project on task and your interviewer is looking to hear how you will do that for the clients at Mars & Co. One important thing to consider highlighting is your ability to monitor and track progress regularly so the train doesn't get too derailed off the tracks. As well, you can talk about your ability to think on your feet, problem solve and coach others to bring tasks back up to date.

Ryan's Answer
"As an experience professional in project management, I pride myself on my ability to consistently monitor the progress of the project and spot where we may be falling behind on items. At those times, I work closely with the person or individuals assigned to that task to ensure that the job gets back on track. At times, this has involved me intervening and taking care of things that I can or reaching out to other resources for help. Milestones and deadlines are the key to the successful completion of a project and one missed item can create a bad domino effect that pushes a project back. For me, not letting that first fallen domino touch the next is the key to staying on track."
4.
What would you say is the key factor for an organization to consider when building an action plan for growth?
Creating an action plan for growth can entail many steps and processes. As the clients at Mars & Co will look to you to be an expert on the entire process, your interviewer is simply looking to take a dive into your mind to hear what you feel is the most important factor. No matter how you answer this question, be sure to speak passionately about why this factor is important and how you will help their clients understand this and put it to use.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In my experience in going back and measuring the successes of past organizations that I have been a part of a growth plan for, the top determining factor in success was having and following a five year plan for growth. The development of a solid five year plan entails setting goals, establishing the resources needed to meet the goals and pinpoints any potential hurdles on the way to the goals. An integral part of the plan also includes timelines for adding resources along the way to ensure that milestones are met on time."
Ryan's Answer #2
"To me, companies that seize opportunities in their market are best suited for growth into the future. For a lot of companies, seeing opportunity is a huge area for improvement and its a passionate area of mine where I could bring expertise the clients of Mars & Co. As a consultant, the process of seeking out opportunity would involve detailed SWOT analyses, market research and surveying of staff. These processes will help clients see their best opportunities for growth, then further plans can be made to turn plans into reality."
5.
As a consultant here at Mars & Co, helping our clients set growth strategies through both short-term and long-term goals is important. Give an example of a time that you set both short and long-term goals for a growth strategy.
An effective growth strategy has a long-term plan, but the success of the long-term plan is reliant on short-term, tiered goals that help build towards the long-term goals of the plan. In your answer, explain that you know the importance of goal setting and the fact that short-term goals are important in the process. Then, discuss a time where you developed and met goals when helping an organization move toward strategic success.

Ryan's Answer #1
"A couple of years ago, I helped a healthcare organization on the west coast develop a growth plan that entailed building one new hospital and three new clinic locations over the course of five years. As the liaison for the entire plan, I knew that goal was aggressive, yet very achievable, if the right short term goals were set. In working with high level leadership and then with specific department leaders, goals and timelines were set for obtaining funding, building permits, staffing plans and ribbon cutting from the start. Even to this day, I stay in contact with the leaders on a consultative basis to ensure that any hiccups in the short-term goals help meet the long-term goals. In the end, the success of a long-term goal is always reliant on many smaller short-term goals."
Ryan's Answer #2
"During my time in manufacturing, I've quickly learned the importance of both short-term and long-term goals in achieving growth goals over time. Hitting short-term goals leads to success in the long-term and I utilize both long and short-term goals when developing growth strategies. This is best shown with my current organization when we developed a fiscal growth strategy to increase overall revenue by 25% over the course of three years. We looked in many directions to help this, but our main focuses were in increased production and reduced waste. By casting such a wide net here, short term goals for each aspect of the project were vital to the end result of increasing by revenue by over 35% in that time frame. What a success!"
6.
In the organizational design work that you have done in the past, how have you involved senior leadership with the organization's that you've worked with?
As a consultant with Mars & Co, walking a client through an organizational design change must involve buy-in and involvement from the highest level of the organization. Talk about your previous experiences in working with and including senior leaders in the planning and decision making processes surrounding the redesign of an organization. Be able to speak confidently and knowledgeably as to why it is so important to include them as well. Speak to their importance during the design process, transition planning, transition implementation and follow up after implementation.

Ryan's Answer #1
"On a recent organizational redesign for a retail outfit, I worked closely with the CEO, CFO and other senior leaders right from the start of the project. During the planning stages, I teed up several staff communications that came out from the CEO as it was very important that staff were made aware of the pending changes from the highest level of the organization. The leadership team gave valuable input during the planning stage that really helped me to guide the course for them for the entirety of the project. I am comfortable and familiar with working with all levels of an organization and I feel that the clients here at Mars & Co will greatly benefit from that if I'm hired for this position."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Major change processes like an organizational design change often involve many emotions for the employees of an organization. To help manage emotions, I've always considered the best remedy to be up front, honest communication from the leaders of the organization. Throughout my entire body of work in the consulting role with a company, I ensure that leaders give regular updates to staff. If needed, I help draft communications and write speeches for town hall meetings and don't hesitate to assist leaders with these items."
7.
Sometimes with our clients here at Mars & Co, we have to think outside the box when helping them develop a strategic plan. Do you have an example of a time where you thought outside of the box in developing a strategic plan?
In today's day and age, conventional thinking can only get organizations so far as they develop strategic plans for the future. With competition, demand and needs for success keeping people focused on day to day routine in their work, it is oftentimes necessary to think outside of the box when looking to develop a strategic plan. Talk about a time that you used a unique and unconventional tactic in the development of a strategic plan. Why do you consider that method thinking outside of the box?

Ryan's Answer #1
"As the leader of the strategic growth committee of my employer right out of college, I felt that it was important to solicit feedback from employees as we looked to create and implement our first ever strategic plan. I created an idea box where employees were prompted to write down any ideas anonymously for what they though would be helpful in creating an outward looking success strategy. I communicated to employees through email, team meetings and a company newsletter. After three months, our committee went through every suggestion in the box and brainstormed which ideas could be implemented into our strategy. In the end, we felt that we received many great thoughts and ideas that we likely wouldn't have come up with on our own."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I personally believe that way too many organizations only look internally when developing a strategic plan when they should also be soliciting feedback from customers, stakeholders and/or the general public as well. Last year when working with a regional grocery retailer, I utilized public focus groups to really delve into the minds of consumers to aid in creating a strategic plan. While wanting to get as much relevant information as possible from the focus groups, a great deal of thought was put into the questions that were asked of the focus group."
8.
If you are hired for this position here at Mars & Co, 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 Mars & Co 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 Mars & Co 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 Mars & Co. 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."
9.
Talk about a time you had to use conflict resolution skills in a business setting. What was the situation and the outcome and how did you positively influence that outcome?
In this role with Mars & Co, chances are great that you would be working with employees at clients who don't see eye to eye on things and you will quickly become the mediator between them with your expertise. Prior to interview, think about the conflict resolution skills that you possess and highlight those with an example of a time that you used them. At the end of the day, ensure that your interviewer walks away from your conversation knowing that you can be trusted with their clients in this respect.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In my current role, I was asked to work with two sales managers that were not seeing eye to eye in future planning processes and I was asked to step in and intervene on the situation. My approach to this situation was to first meet individually with each manager to get their perspective on the situation and, lo and behold, both managers felt disrespected by the other. With that in mind, my approach to coaching their relationship focused on empathy and the ability to see things from each other's chair. I held an open forum where each could talk about times they felt disrespected by the other and I think it was really eye opening for each. At the end of that single conversation, both realized that they were in competition with each other and both agreed to work hand in hand for the betterment of the organization in the future."
Ryan's Answer #2
"To me, conflict in the workplace is best settled when both parties understand and acknowledge the perspective of others and come to a mutual agreement to plan for differences. It is foolish to think that every relationsihp within a business setting is going to be 100% perfect, so these agreements are necessary. I did this recently with two nurses that were working side by side in an Emergency Department setting. From the start of them working on the same shift together, conflic began immediately and hard feeling only festered from there. As a facilitator between them, I promoted open dand respectful ialogue abetween them about what bothered each person in their relationship. It became clear that each had their own unique upbringing in the healthcare world and differing perspectives on ideal care for patients, even when each of their philosophies fell under the expectations of the department. By promotiing this, I was amazed to hear the two nurses work out a plan for handling each others differences without being prompted by me."
10.
In the change management process, talk about the importance of providing a clear vision to staff of an organization. How do you think this is best done?
The change management process is often most difficult for front-line staff at an organization. A big reason for resistance to change is that people aren't seeing the big picture, or reasons, for the change and what positive outcomes will happen with the change. Explain to your interviewer why you feel that providing a vision is important and talk about the need for it to come from leadership within the organization. Then, give any examples of providing a vision that you've been a part of during your career.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As I've worked with organizations on their change management processes, I've always felt it was important that communications were clear from the start of a change process. When people are left in the dark, they naturally can't understand why changes are being implemented and they become defensive and resistant to change. Last year, I worked with a manufacturing company that was implementing new equipment that would reduce their staffing needs and change the jobs of many individuals. To roll this out to employees, I helped the leadership team prepare a detailed video and presentation that outlined the entire vision of the project. What really hit home with the staff was the dire need to take this direction based on competitors cost of goods and the fear of being driven out of the market."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Humans are curious and change is only accepted when people understand why change is happening and what the end result will be with the change. For one particular employer that I spent time with, a good portion of five years was spent acquiring smaller businesses and expansion in both product line and region size was happening rapidly. Upon working with our senior leadership, I helped develop a vision document and accompanying slide show to show the future state of the organization ten years down the road. When staff saw the aggressive growth plans of the organization and the potential great things we all could accomplish, buy-in became much more clear from everyone."
11.
What roles are you comfortable assuming in working as part of a larger team?
Coming to work for a consulting business requires the ability to work as part of a larger team on the projects you will be heading. Teamwork in this setting requires versatility and your interviewer will be looking to hear that you have that versatility in your answer to this question. Many times, you will be taking the bull by the horns and leading the way. Other times, you will be the worker bee researching behind the scenes. You may be tasked with being the organizer of projects behind the scenes as well. Make sure that you highlight your ability to be flexible when working as part of a team here.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I am really comfortable working in any role within a team and I think my experiences throughout my career demonstrate this well. At many times in my career, I've been the legwork of team operations and have easily taken direction on projects and been able to hit pre-established deadlines. As well, I've lead many projects and have shown my ability to lead others in a team effort and the ability to delegate tasks and set milestones for projects. If hired for this position, you can be rest assured that I have the ability to be a key team players with your clients in helping better their business."
Ryan's Answer #2
"From a very young age in my career, I've always been a natural leader in a team based environment. My excellent communication skills, honesty, critical thinking and decision making skills have proven time and time again that I can lead others in the most effective way possible. And while being a leader comes naturally to me, I can easily let others take the lead on projects."
12.
For our clients here at Mars & Co that are working through a change management project, accountability is of utmost importance for the entire organization. How would you help ensure accountability from the leadership team?
As a consultant to organizations in the midst of a change management process, accountability should be a priority for the leadership team and one of your tasks as the consultant is to help foster this with the entire staff. With accountability comes transparency, so be sure to focus on this aspect in your answer. Talk about why you feel that accountability and transparency are important and how you would make sure that the leaders you work with keep these things at the top of mind during their process.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Having walked many organizations through some major change processes, one of my top priorities is always communication and transparency to staff. And you really hit the nail on the head with this question that both of these things lead to accountability for the organization. To help facilitate this process, my conversations with leadership would entail details on how to effectively communicate with staff and I'm a firm believer that this should happen from both the highest levels of leadership as well as from direct supervisors and managers of employees. I have experience developing communication strategies and actual presentations for leadership in this realm."
Ryan's Answer #2
"In my experience, accountability for an organization during a change process is a tricky line to walk. First, employees want to know what is happening and the reasoning behind it. Second, customers, stakeholder and the general public may desire information as well. Then, you have to factor in what information can be shared for legal and/or competitive reasons and walk the organization through best communicating the changes to everybody. I have a great deal of experience in walking through this process of holding an organization accountable and would love to help the clients of Mars & Co do just this."
13.
A key component to success here at Mars & Co is building solid relationships with new clients. How do you effectively get to know new people and lay the groundwork for a long lasting relationship?
The fast paced world of business consulting requires the ability to build relationship after relationship with all of the clients that you will potentially be working with. For this question, your interviewer will be looking to gain insight into how you build relationships with new people from the first time you interact with them. In your answer, talk about how you gain and build trust with new people and explain how the little things in your initial interactions go a long way toward building long lasting working relationships.

Ryan's Answer
"I am a firm believer that success in any role I've played in my career was due in part to the relationships that I've built in those roles. Whenever I have the chance to work with a new colleague or a new customer, my approach is to create an initial connection with them to build trust. After that point, my interpersonal skills take over through active listening. I use my listening skills to learn about the motivating factors and needs of the person that I will be working with and this helps mold that respect and trust between us even more. I think this approach would be very critical in working with new clients on a regular basis here at Mars & Co and I'd love the opportunity to bring these skills to the table for you."
14.
Strong time management is important at Mars & Co. How do you manage your time, even on the busiest days?
The interviewer would like to know more about the types of tools you use to stay on task and meet deadlines. Discuss how you prioritize when everything demands your attention at once. Think about the ways you manage your projects and daily tasks and how those will help you to succeed in your role with Mars & Co.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I manage my time by exercising the idea of 'time-blocking'. This approach means that I won't incessantly check my email; instead, I will allow myself to return emails in 30-minute time blocks, four times per day. Setting calendar alerts and personal deadlines for myself has also helped a lot."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Very carefully! I prioritize deadlines and work that need to be done. Then work backward from there. When necessary, I utilize my resources and team to pitch in and contribute."
15.
Talk about a success story that you have in implementing an organization design change with an organization. How will your skills used here benefit the clients of Mars & Co?
Organizational design is a very broad field that looks at workflow, procedures, systems and structures that impact the overall business goals of an organization. Over time, changes in products and ways of doing business should require changes in the overall design of the organization, but companies are often slow to react to needed changes. Talk about an organization design project that you were a part of and describe the details of the project that you handled. Then, talk about your organizational design skills that you would bring to the table at Mars & Co.

Ryan's Answer #1
"With a background in HR, my org design work has most often centered around labor efficiencies with organizations. I have a lot of experience in evaluating work processes and gauging the appropriate labor needs that are necessary. Last year, I worked with a small plastics manufacturer that wasn't using their automation capabilities to their highest level. They were essentially paying many people to do what some of their machinery could actually do. While it did involve some difficult conversations and some difficult employment decisions, the organization was able to save a lot of labor costs on simple modifications to their processes."
Ryan's Answer #2
"As you can see from my resume, I have a vast amount of experience in the transportation and warehousing industries. In my work here, org redesign has always been a focus to increase efficiencies and profitability. Last year, I helped a large trucking firm implement the UPS logistics philosophy in their routing that saved a lot money on fuel, maintenance costs and labor. If hired here, I think my corporate design experience in these areas would translate well to industries like manufacturing and healthcare."
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27 Mars & Co 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. What kind of people do you enjoy working with?
  2. Market research is very important to our clients here at Mars & Co. Talk about a time that you used market research to conduct an effective analysis.
  3. How do you get back on track when a schedule falls behind so you don't miss important milestone deadline
  4. What would you say is the key factor for an organization to consider when building an action plan for growth?
  5. As a consultant here at Mars & Co, helping our clients set growth strategies through both short-term and long-term goals is important. Give an example of a time that you set both short and long-term goals for a growth strategy.
  6. In the organizational design work that you have done in the past, how have you involved senior leadership with the organization's that you've worked with?
  7. Sometimes with our clients here at Mars & Co, we have to think outside the box when helping them develop a strategic plan. Do you have an example of a time where you thought outside of the box in developing a strategic plan?
  8. If you are hired for this position here at Mars & Co, what do you think the biggest hurdle for you would be from the start?
  9. Talk about a time you had to use conflict resolution skills in a business setting. What was the situation and the outcome and how did you positively influence that outcome?
  10. In the change management process, talk about the importance of providing a clear vision to staff of an organization. How do you think this is best done?
  11. What roles are you comfortable assuming in working as part of a larger team?
  12. For our clients here at Mars & Co that are working through a change management project, accountability is of utmost importance for the entire organization. How would you help ensure accountability from the leadership team?
  13. A key component to success here at Mars & Co is building solid relationships with new clients. How do you effectively get to know new people and lay the groundwork for a long lasting relationship?
  14. Strong time management is important at Mars & Co. How do you manage your time, even on the busiest days?
  15. Talk about a success story that you have in implementing an organization design change with an organization. How will your skills used here benefit the clients of Mars & Co?
  16. How would you solicit feedback from people during the change management process and why is obtaining feedback important?
  17. Rate your communication skills from 1-10 with proper examples backing your given rating.
  18. If you were to join Mars & Co 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?
  19. In your own point of view, what is the most important factor in influencing change for an organization?
  20. Talk about a time that you successfully educated another individual or group in your area of expertise. What made your educational experience effective?
  21. At Mars & Co, our clients are looking for us to come in and provide sound leadership in their strategic planning and growth planning processes. What leadership style would you bring to our clients?
  22. In what ways would our clients here at Mars & Co benefit from your knowledge and services?
  23. Our clients here at Mars & Co expect top notch work from our consultants. How do you ensure that your work is error free when conducting research and/or data analysis?
  24. Would you say that you are a goal oriented person on the job? Why would you say that?
  25. A career move to a consultant with Mars & Co may find you working on new challenges that you haven't faced during your career. What's been the most challenging project you've led up to this point in your career?
  26. If hired for this position at Mars & Co, what would be the ideal project for you to lead?
  27. Tell me about a time when you used good judgement and logic to solve a problem.
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