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Mintel International Group Interview
Questions

30 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 30

In your opinion, is data a true asset for a business. Why or why not?

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Mintel International Group Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    In your opinion, is data a true asset for a business. Why or why not?

      Many companies still struggle with the idea that their data is a real asset when it comes to their business. The interviewer would like to know that, if a client asked you about the importance of their data, that you would give a well-thought-out and appropriate response. Share with the interviewer why data is indeed an asset.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Since acquiring data comes with a significant cost, I believe it is fair to say then that data is an asset. Data can give valuable insight into a company's operations, financial strength, future scalability, and more. By properly analyzing data, a company can open itself to millions in growth. For these reasons, I consider data to be a true business asset."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "It is interesting to me that this idea is still in question with some of the clients with which I work. I recently read a study claiming that 36% of businesses lack the tools needed to extract and analyze the information and data that they have. When a client asks me if their data is valuable, I always reply with a hearty 'yes!' It is expensive to gather data, but also more costly to never analyze your data."

  2. 2.

    What is your favorite data management tool at the moment?

      This question offers an excellent opportunity for you to discuss the tools that you use in the workplace, and also to learn about new tools of which you may not be aware. Discuss which data management tools are your favorite at this time and if you are comfortable, as the interviewer about theirs in return.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "There are many amazing tools available for data management, and new options coming out all the time. Right now, I appreciate Power BI from Microsoft. It is a powerful business analytics service, and I love the interactive visualizations and intelligence capabilities. I love to learn about new choices in data management tools. Could you share with me your current favorite?"

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Collibra is a tool that I currently use daily and one that has made my job significantly easier in many aspects. The tool is related more to data governance, allowing me to access and control data in a way I never thought possible. Are you familiar with the program? I would be happy to hear of any other recommendations you have as well."

  3. 3.

    Explain data visualization, and why it is important to a business.

      Data visualization is 'an effort to help people understand the significance of data by placing it in a visual context.' Since part of Mintel's focus is on business intelligence software for helping their customers to understand essential data, the interviewer needs to know that you see the significance in their business mission. Describe what you know data visualization to be, and why these services would be incredibly valuable to a business.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I understand data visualization to be the art of showing essential data in an easy to absorb way. It is crucial to a business because what good is having all the data and analytics from your company if you do not understand it? Once a company can visualize and understand their most important data, they can then use that to leverage further success, and make critical business decisions."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I explain data visualization as helping businesses to understand their data through the use of tables, charts, and other visual aids. Data visualization allows companies to transform their data into actionable insights, so it is incredibly important."

  4. 4.

    Explain what the difference is between Data Mining and Data Analytics, and tell me how you have used both in your recent projects?

      Data Mining and Data Analytics go hand In hand in the world of big data. Data Mining is used to find patterns among large datasets, while Data Analytics is used to test hypothetical models on particular datasets. Over some time, you acquire skills that companies see as valuable to their organization. It's these skills that set you apart in the market. As you hone these skills over time, you become good at many different soft skills that accompany the technical skills. Here's where you can use a combination of these skills to articulate a compelling message that explains the differences between Data Mining and Data Analytics.

      A fundamental question that might come from an interviewer is how much data do you analyze, and how do you manage that data without risking a security breach. Large scale big data projects use tools like Hadoop as a repository for this data. The hiring manager might ask what repository you use to store it, and what your level of confidence using this tool is.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Several different sources compile data Mining and Data Analytics data throughout a company. This data comes into the organization in many different forms from different formats, platforms, media, etc. It comes in different shapes, sizes, and venues like social media, social activity reports, customer surveys, emails, weblogs, sensors and bots related to the Internet of Things. I take this data and put it in the correct silos of a data warehouse, then break it down into data points that have relevant and usable data that the business can understand and use it to make business decisions. I was responsible for a data mining project that needed data to calculate operational expenses within the marketing group. They needed to know what it cost the marketing department to run lead generation campaigns, and what the customer acquisition costs were."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "To me, comparing and contrasting two things like Data Mining and Data Analytics is an exercise that I enjoy a lot. I'm very passionate about data in general. Let me give you an example of these two, and how I used them in my current and past projects. Let's examine the difference between the two, and my experience using both. The Data Analytics process goes into the following steps: Project Definition, Data Collection, Data Analysis, Statistical Analysis, Data Modeling, and Deployment. The Data Mining process is a little different. The steps are Problem Definition, Data Collection, Data Analysis, Statistical Analysis, Data Modeling, Verification and Validation, and Insights. Now for my experience: In a recent project, I collected data from our websites to look at patterns in user behavior and website traffic for all our pages. This data was helpful to the Search Engine Optimization team so they could focus on redeveloping pages that were getting inquiries and orders."

  5. 5.

    Could you name a few data cleansing best practices that you follow, and how this has helped you become a better Data Consultant?

      A lot of companies ask their technology employees about why data cleansing matter to them. The answer is simple. Good quality data will help a company identify potential customers, provide better customer service, run better quality sales and marketing campaigns, and know how much they are spending and tracking to determine ROI's.

      Data Consultants should have expertise with a variety of business intelligence tools like Informatica, Power BI, Cognos, and Microstrategy. All these tools help the company manage data so it can be used within the company for many purposes.

      What the hiring manager is seeking out of this question is the best practices that you follow. Everyone seems to have a way of doing things their way, and because it's their way, it's not necessarily the best way. This is precisely why the hiring manager wants to hear about your best practices method. Has your method made you a better consultant? The best practices method that you share should convey a message of progressive learning and experience gained in the field while being given more responsibilities for larger and more complex projects. Don't forget to list the best practices and the data cleansing strategy that you use as well.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "In my eyes, data cleansing practices are an essential part of my job duties and responsibilities. At a high level, I start with a data cleansing strategy, so I know what the goals and expectations are for the data cleansing initiative. Here is a list of best practices that I follow that has helped me become a better data consultant.

      1. Develop a data quality plan - (Create data KPI's, know where data errors occur, determine where the data is coming from, and perform root cause analysis on data health).
      2. Standardize customer contact data - (Check essential data at the point of entry and create a standard operating procedure).
      3. Validate and verify the accuracy of data - (Use manual, web, and email verification).
      4. Identify duplicate entries - (Manual and automated systems).
      5. Append data for accuracy - (Company name, contact first name and last name, title, phone, email, location, revenue, product lines, company stock, etc.)."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Since data is so important to an organization, I make the extra effort to understand how data impacts every part of our organization. The fact is that data drives many aspects of a business's operation, and if you don't understand it, you won't know how to plan a strategy around data expectations. As part of my data cleansing duties, I like to sort out the information required so I can do a proper analysis. This is an essential part of the process because it allows me to find anomalies and perform process improvement techniques to remove repetitive information and data quality errors."

  6. 6.

    In your opinion, what makes you a great problem solver?

      Employers want to know that you have a systematic approach to problem-solving. Consider the skills and qualities that help you successfully face problems. Perhaps you have a keen eye for detail. Maybe you can see opportunity when others can only focus on the issue. Share your strengths as a problem solver, and your ability to come up with innovative solutions.

      Strong problem solvers are:

      - Systematic thinkers
      - Open minded
      - Okay with being wrong sometimes
      - Always researching and exploring
      - Able to identify the core problem
      - Ready to reverse engineer a challenge to avoid future issues
      - Able to come up with multiple avenues that work well for all stakeholders
      - Are do-ers and not worriers

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am a great problem solver because I can compartmentalize all aspects of a problem before studying it. I also like to bring more experienced team members in to add to the solution. I will never try to be a hero and solve a complicated problem without tapping into the resources around me."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I believe I am a great problem solver because I am sure to gather as many facts as possible, I look at the problem and its potential solutions from multiple angles, and I am not afraid to make a creative decision, that might seem off the beaten path."

  7. 7.

    How does data drive a business' success?

      Data-driven decision making is becoming a more important topic every year. Companies can leverage data analytics to determine:

      - Productivity
      - Competitive analysis
      - How, when, and where products are used
      - Customer demographics
      - Pattern analysis
      - Business growth

      Talk to the interviewer about the ways that you feel companies can best use data to drive the success of their business.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "When I take a hard look at the many uses of data, I see that data can be collected in a plethora of ways to determine the success of a new product launch, competitive analysis, or patterns that occur, which may not be seen by the human eye. In my career, I have the most experience using data to help drive employee productivity and onboarding solutions which can save a company thousands of dollars."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Data can drive every aspect of a business' success if approached and utilized correctly. In my experience, I have seen that companies underutilize what a full data analysis approach can do for them. Analytics programs should be set up for marketing, sales, employee productivity, product efficiency, competitive analysis and more."

  8. 8.

    Do you feel that you are currently paid what you are worth?

      The interviewer would like to know if you feel undervalued in your current role. Many employees will look for new work if they think that they are underpaid and underappreciated. Of course, this potential new employer wants to ensure that they will make you a competitive offer that will entice you to join their organization, and stay there. Talk to the interviewer about your current compensation and whether or not you feel it is fair. Be sure to have researched your answer to back you up, versus throwing out a random number and hoping it will stick.

      If you think you receive what you are worth: 'I feel that my current employer pays me fairly; however, I would like to see an increase in pay with an increase in responsibilities.'

      If you do not feel you are currently paid what you are worth: "I know that I am underpaid compared to my industry colleagues. My company is small, and they do what they can, but this is part of why I am seeking a new position."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I know that I am underpaid compared to my industry colleagues. My company is small, and they do what they can, but this is part of why I am seeking a new position."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Initially, I was paid my worth, when I first accepted my role. However, since then, my team has grown exponentially, and I have not received a raise. I have researched the scope of my role and believe that if I were to start in my same role today, I could ask for approximately $20K/year more than I currently receive."

  9. 9.

    When have you shown a willingness to learn a new method?

      The interviewer would like to know when you have shown a willingness to learn new work methods. With changes in technology and policy, most professionals will need to alter their way of work from time to time. It is a great skill to have when you can approach a problem in a new way.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "When our company came under new management last year many new methods and policies came into place. I was able to learn many new approaches to our challenges in sales and customer management. I quite enjoyed the process, and it brought a sort of fresh air to my daily routine."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Our company switched to an SAP system last year, which I was not familiar. I enrolled myself in a 4-week evening course at our local community college so that I could quickly learn the system without it affecting my performance at work. It helped a great deal, and my employers were impressed with my willingness to learn."

  10. 10.

    Research is an integral part of the brand development process. What is your analytical experience as it relates to brands?

      Mintel is looking for candidates with some level of brand analytical experience. Your experience may be related to any phase of the process, as long as it is relevant to brand development or brand evaluation.

      Some areas brand analytics come in to play is in identifying target audiences, developing creative and selecting channels. Also, brands go through continuous evaluation through customer surveys. These are examples, and your brand analytics experience may include other areas.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am excited about the possible opportunity to put my brand analytical skills to use to meet the brand development needs of Mintel's clients. My previous projects have allowed me to gain extensive experience in evaluating and monitoring clients' brands. Through my analyses, I have been able to identify opportunities for clients to improve their brand positions. My brand analytical experience helps me identify what measures need to be looked at to make careful brand development decisions."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "As an active team member on a brand development team, I was tasked with making recommendations on target customers and providing analytics to support them. While working towards developing my recommendations, I learned the importance of 'telling a story' through the analyses. The ability to look at 'the numbers' and build a 'story' is an important skill to have in the brand development process as it can help Mintel's clients make the necessary strategic brand decisions."

  11. 11.

    Our company markets Business Intelligence (BI) solutions. Can you tell me your definition of BI, what the benefits are and what trends are occurring in the BI marketplace?

      This query is a typical opening question during an interview for a sales position in the Business Intelligence (BI) industry. It also allows the interviewer to see a demonstration of your sales presentation skills. Answer the question as though you were speaking with a prospective BI customer.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Business Intelligence (BI) software helps organizations collect, categorize and analyze data to make faster and better business decisions. Data can come from within the company or be external and include market statistics, social media information, and economic data. The market is growing exponentially due to the proliferation of information available to businesses from applications like Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tools, as well as the overall growth of the internet. A key development in the BI market is better user interfaces which make BI applications easier to use and more productive to users outside of the Information Technology department. Our company's products have all these features."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Many organizations are adopting the use of Business Intelligence (BI) applications due to the proliferation of information they have to analyze daily. BI tools make it easier to sort through the data, reach conclusions and make critical business decisions quicker and with more confidence. Data sources which companies have available to them include internal ones such as CRM and ERP applications and external sources including macroeconomic data, market statistics, and social media information. With the development of better, more intuitive user interfaces, business people from across the organization can now leverage BI applications to analyze the data they have at their disposal and act on the information in a more timely manner."

  12. 12.

    Have you ever trained a client on how to implement the data they receive in a customer survey?

      Survey and research findings are wonderful to have, but can still leave a company feeling paralyzed until they know what to do with that information. The interviewer wants to see if you have experience walking your clients through the best ways to implement the data you have helped them to obtain.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have trained many clients on how to take the data they have received from surveys and research, and make it work for them. The projects I have assisted with include the development of customer loyalty programs, rewards programs, and new customer acquisition initiatives."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "While attending university, I helped a few of my fellow students during group work to better understand how companies can leverage their people-powered data, to benefit the bottom line. I look forward to working with Mintel and learning more about how to help my clients create programs and tweak their services to reflect better what their customers are saying."

  13. 13.

    What is pervasive business intelligence, and what does it mean to you?

      Pervasive business intelligence, or Pervasive BI as it's often referred to, is a business' practice of empowering employees by allowing open access to information, and essential responsibilities around decision making. This practice is known to generate beneficial results for companies and also supports a positive company culture. Mintel knows that by making it easy for you to find information, the better you will be able to do your job. Talk about the term Pervasive BI, and what it means to you.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "To me, pervasive business intelligence means that information is widely spread through a group of employees, allowing them to have access to business data and intelligence, freely. I believe that PBI is an excellent practice as it fosters a positive workplace culture and helps employees to feel empowered."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I was recently reading an article on pervasive business intelligence, where a popular survey showed that over 80% of senior employees and leaders wanted data and business information to be more accessible to them, in the workplace. The concept may be a new conversation to many, but it's an important one."

  14. 14.

    Explain Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM) and Customer Experience Management (CXM).

      EFM and CXM are terms often used in the relationship management and management consultancy industries. Show the interviewer that you are familiar with these terms by breaking them down briefly. If you have exposure to a particular type of EFM or CXM software or tool, be sure to mention that experience. If Mintel suggests a specific resource in their job posting, do some research to familiarize yourself.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Enterprise Feedback Management gives a company the ability to collect and manage customer feedback, then use those results in various ways. This tool gives companies the ability to be actionable as it relates to customer experience. Customer Experience Management lets a company oversee every customer interaction, allowing for fast improvements and exceptional service. I see in your job posting that you are asking for experience in Verint and Wootric. I have around three years of experience with each and consider myself an advanced user. I look forward to using these critical tools at Mintel."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "EFM tools allow a company to increase its efficiency by collecting and evaluating customer data and feedback. A CXM will take that data and provide real-time insight related to every customer interaction. When a company has deep insights, they can better service their clients, earn more revenue, and gain a larger customer base. The software and tools which I am most experienced include Medallia and ForeSee. I was pleased to see that you use these tools at Mintel as well."

  15. 15.

    How do you build rapport with your clients?

      The interviewer would like to know your methods when it comes to getting to know your customers and building trust with them. When you have a great relationship with the stakeholders, you will be more successful in your work and more likely to stay longer-term.

      Some ways that you can build rapport with your clients include:

      - Do what you say that you will
      - Ask them questions about themselves
      - Use the same jargon and industry terms they use
      - Set clear expectations, on both sides, from the start
      - Remember their names
      - Show your extensive knowledge base
      - Always be presentable in looks and actions

      Rachelle's Answer

      "The fastest way to build rapport with my clients is to always deliver on time and a better product or service than they initially expected. When a client can trust that you have their back, they will give you more business and tell others about you in return."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "To build client rapport, I ensure always to do what I say that I will. My clients need to be able to rely on me, and feel 100% confident that I will deliver over and above their expectations at all times."

  16. 16.

    When have you significantly contributed to obtaining a corporate goal?

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  17. 17.

    Performing market research helps us determine the direction a company should take to promote their products and services. What is a key point within this scope that research uncovers?

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  18. 18.

    Tell me about one area of business-to-business market research that can be done to help improve a company's revenue and profitability?

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  19. 19.

    Walk me through your experience in databases, predictive modeling, and business intelligence. In which of these areas are you best versed?

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  20. 20.

    Part of our business is in big data, which is continuously changing as new technology and products enter the market. How do you keep up-to-date on these changes?

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  21. 21.

    Great data visualization will present data in a convincing way. How do you improve human perception when presenting data?

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  22. 22.

    What is your approach to working with a large amount of information/data?

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  23. 23.

    Do you have experience presenting research and survey findings to groups of stakeholders?

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  24. 24.

    What do you know about Mintel's competitive position within the data analytics industry?

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  25. 25.

    Do you have experience giving product demonstrations, and closing new accounts?

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  26. 26.

    What does the term 'people-powered data' mean to you?

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  27. 27.

    We often conduct large scale research projects for entire industries and produces periodical reports for widespread distribution. How have you leveraged data from such reporting and for what purpose within your field?

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  28. 28.

    How could a business use the data visualization services of Mintel to prospect and generate new leads?

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  29. 29.

    In your opinion, what is the most exciting collaboration between data analysis and artificial intelligence in the past year?

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  30. 30.

    Brand development is a continuous process. At Mintel, we help our clients with brand tracking efforts. Describe your experience with the brand tracking process.

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