On a scale of 1-10, how skilled are you in communication? Why did you choose that particular rating for yourself?
Morneau Shepell Interview Questions
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?
"I rate my communication skills as a 9/10 as I will, on occasion, have times when I am not as clear as I would like to be. My supervisor and co-workers will attest to my clear and concise communication skills. Because I am an open leader, my team will let me know if I need to clarify anything."
"I will rate myself an 8.5 because I consider myself a strong communicator. It is the foundation of all success in business. I am always striving to be a better communicator, so I leave the rest of the scale as an aspirational measure."
Being successful in consulting and working here at Morneau Shepell requires the ability to work effectively with Type A personalities. What are your experiences in working with this personality and how did you make the relationships a success?
To first understand this question, it is important that you know that Type A personalities are exemplified by being competitive, motivated, organized and goal driven, among many other traits. These traits often lead to success in high level roles within organizations and your chances of working with this personality type are high. Think of a time you worked with a typical Type A personality and explain the methods you used to ensure that you had a sound and successful working relationship. Make sure that your interview walks away knowing that you can work effectively with difficultly driven individuals with high expectations.
"For the last six years, I have worked under your prototypical type A personality as my director. Being a self admitted type B, being under my new director was difficult at first. For me to be successful under her and for our relationship to flourish, I learned quickly that she liked me to regularly communicate timelines for projects and give updates when necessary as she was very time driven. As well, small talk and getting to know me personally wasn't a priority so our communications to this day are pretty succinct and to the point. In this role, I would feel very comfortable with working with high level type A's because of my firsthand experience."
"If you haven't been able to tell during my interview so far, I am a type A personality myself. My personality has helped me become very successful as a Financial Analyst. Having had formal training in the different personality types, I know that I need to take a meticulous approach when working with other type A personalities. My current team is loaded with type A's and regular communication is key in ensuring that expectations are clear and timelines are being met. If hired for this position, I would know my place in working with leaders from clients and I can easily be both cognizant of my approach and have the ability to put my desire to be in the lead aside with them when needed."
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.
"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."
"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."
What interests you in joining the business consulting world here at Morneau Shepell?
Anytime the question regarding why you want to join the company is asked, it is very important to do your research on the organization and the position you are interviewing for so you can match your skills and desires to the job. In your answer here, be sure that you also speak to the potential move to a consultative type role if this will be the first time for you with a consulting organization. Be sure to highlight your qualities that make you an ideal fit for the job.
"At this point in my career, I feel like I have really maxed out my capabilities in my current role as the IT Director with my current organization. Over the past two or three years, I've found so much fulfillment in my work when I've been helping others and providing education to them that I've narrowed my job search down to the IT consulting field. The prospect of helping other IT departments grow and become more efficient under my consultation is an adventure that I would love to embark on here at Morneau Shepell!"
"As I've grown in my role in the Training & Education department with my current employer, I've gravitated toward leadership development and succession planning with my organization and I'd like to bring these skills to work here at Morneau Shepell as this position fits right in that mold. Using my experience and knowledge, you'll quickly find that I have a great ability to work alongside and train the top level executives with your clients in a manner that is professional and effective at the same time. My experiences in both healthcare and manufacturing sound like they'd fit well with your client base as well."
How would you go about conducting a compensation analysis for executive level positions with our clients at Morneau Shepell?
Due to the fact that a lot of organizations do not include executive level positions in their salary grades or ranges, this position with Morneau Shepell may provide the need for you to conducts compensation analysis studies for clients. Talk to your interviewer about your experience in conducting compensation analyses during your career and walk through how you would do this executive level positions. In the end, reiterate the importance of how you would obtain buy-in on this process from the clients you would be working with.
"My first step to conduct the compensation analysis for the position would be to speak with leaders from the client and learn more about the position and the goals for the position and the eventual hire. This would enable me to effectively compare this position to currently existing positions. Then, I'd use market research that I have access to or could find to have a comparable salary. Fully understanding that executive level positions can vary greatly from industry to industry, I would use every detail possible to get the best analysis and final salary number possible. This process, when detailed to clients, would pain a clear picture for them to gain belief in the process."
Being successful in the consulting industry requires adaptability and the ability to learn a business fast. What would be your approach to help you learn the ins and outs of a new client?
Morneau Shepell contracts with businesses in different industries for their services and it is likely that your job would require you to learn the fine details of each business that you would work with. Demonstrate your ability to be flexible by giving examples of times you've had to do this during your career. As well, describe the approach that you would take to get the know the businesses you would be working with so you can apply your knowledge and expertise toward helping them.
"As you can see from my resume, I've been in corporate training and education for over ten years. In my current role, I have to use similar techniques working with different departments to try and tailor programs that meet their specific needs. I feel that my current approach of hosting an intake meeting with leaders would be effective in a consulting role with external customers. The current intake meetings that I lead are an opportunity for me to ask questions and learn as much as I can about my customers. In turn, it is an opportunity for me to lay the groundwork for the project and set expectations. Do you see this as an effective approach for this role?"
"Having worked in quality roles for most of my career in both the private and public sectors, I think my career experiences have shaped me well for this role. Transitioning to a consultative role would definitely be a transition for me and the biggest transition will be this need to work in many different industries. For me, researching clients, their business and their industry will be the first step to my approach in learning about them. I want to make a great first impression when I am face to face with a new client and that first impression starts with my knowledge. Then, my openness and ability to communicate would take over when I am working directly with clients. I know the right questions to ask for laying out quality initiative projects and I know the right things to educate clients on."
In your own point of view, what is the most important factor in influencing change for an organization?
As a professional in change management processes, your interviewer is looking to get some personal insight into how you will work closely with the clients of Morneau Shepell in this question. However you answer this question, be sure to speak with conviction as to why you feel your answer is the most important aspect to the change management process. However you answer, make sure not to discount other factors that influence change.
"In my experience, the biggest thing that I've seen derail change management for large organizations is a lack of support. When I say support, it is really buy-in and true belief from senior level leadership. Because of this, my initial steps in meeting with any client would be to meet 1:1 with all key stakeholders to gather their ideas and to ensure that they are buying into the change process. Only when that is achieved will I feel comfortable in moving forward with work with that client."
"While certainly a high level answer here, people are definitely the most important factor in the change management process for an organization. Change starts with people leading the charge and finishes with every person on board with new processes and ways of life. Because of this, my focus during a change management process is the people that will be designing the change and implementing the change in the end."
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.
"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."
"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."
In this role with Morneau Shepell, you will be asked to work with businesses across different industries. How would you go about best assessing training needs at an unfamiliar organization or industry?
No matter the level of work experience or personal training you have received throughout your career in the business education and training field, your interviewer knows that you will be facing new and unfamiliar situations in this job if you are hired. On this question, they are looking to hear how you would take a systematic yet unique approach with clients that you would be working with to assess needs in developing training programs for their staff. Use your expertise to talk about your approach and be sure your interviewer knows that you will put a personal touch to your work with each client.
"In this role, my first goal with any new client would be identifying the business need for them. I would do this utilizing many different channels and resources, such as conversations with leaders and current staff. This process would help me learn about the business in general and what overall thoughts are towards training needs. Following that, I would perform a gap analysis to see firsthand if reality is the perception of the staff and leadership of the organization. At that point, I can fully determine what training needs, if any, exist and start my recommendations from there."
"I think a lot of the skills in assessing training needs for the large healthcare organization I've worked with for the last six years will translate nicely to this role. My current methods of assessing are conducting one-on-one interviews with staff, holding focus groups, sending out surveys and conducting job observations are all effective in the right situation and I have a lot of great experience using these in needs assessments. Working with new businesses in different industries, a key component to my assessments will also involve me learning new jobs and I will do this through research of job descriptions and talking to leaders and staff with the clients I would work with."
How would you solicit feedback from people during the change management process and why is obtaining feedback important?
Reinforcement is an important factor during the change management process that is often overlooked. Communication is key and while you as the champion of change need to communicate in an effective manner, your collection and analysis of feedback from others is also very important. Explain to your interview why obtaining feedback from others is important and discuss ways that you have done this in the past. Express that this would always be an important process as you work with the clients of Morneau Shepell.
"Front line employees are the catalysts for change with just about any organization and I make a point to seek their feedback during the implementation of change processes. Last year, I was working with a large regional retailer that was rolling out new branding and customer service processes. In the weeks following the rollout of the changes, I spend a few days on the road visiting stores and talking to customer service associates. I ensured that the conversations were confidential and frank, making sure that employees knew that any feedback was good feedback. With some of the things I learned, we were able to put forth a couple of important post-implementation change activities. If hired for this position, this would be an important follow-up step with any client that I work with."
"In my work consulting through change management processes, it is important to solicit feedback from employees both prior to starting a project and during implementation of a project. I have found that soliciting feedback through conversation and/or surveys helps lead to get employees to believe in and feel a part of change management processes. Front-line employees know the processes and how change will impact their processes."
With your experience as a Human Resources professional, do you have any niche areas of the field that you'd be most interested in providing consultative services in?
As an organization that provides consulting services in Human Resources across many different industries, Morneau Shepell is looking to build a diverse pool of consultants to help clients in the many different areas of HR. For this question, your interviewer will be looking to get a sense of both where most of your experience has been in the field and also where your personal interest falls. Speak openly about both for your interviewer so they can have the best sense possible about where you fit among the needs of the company and their clients.
"As you can see from my resume, I have many years of experience as an HR Generalist and Manager where I developed a very broad spectrum of experience across payroll, hiring, performance and HR administration. In the recent four years, I have had a majority of focus in recruitment and retention for management level positions. If I were lucky enough to join the team here at Morneau Shepell, my best areas to work with your clients on would be recruitment and retention of staff. On top of those areas, I still have a great interest in performance management and I bring a great deal of experience in that realm."
"Having been an HR professional for over ten years, I feel like I would bring a great amount of experience and knowledge to your clients here at Morneau Shepell. My preferred niche to work in is total rewards, including comp and benefits. I have a multitude of experience in the administration of benefit plans, payroll systems and new compensation policy implementation. I think that this experience would pay off well for clients that are in need of a reset in these areas."
Have you had the opportunity to fully design a training program? If so, what were the keys to it being successful?
Depending on your career experiences up to this point, you may or may not have developed a formal training program. If you have, your interviewer will be looking to hear about a successful program you saw through the whole design process was on. Talk in detail about the keys to it being effective. On the flip side, if you are looking to break through into the business education consultant side of things and don't have direct experience designing a program, use your career experience and your knowledge of training programs to discuss your strong points that you would bring to the role and your willingness to become successful in this role.
"After a few years of our customer satisfaction surveys dropping regarding customer satisfaction, I put together a training program for our sales staff that focused on the customer experience. The program was designed to help promote an empathetic approach from our sales staff when working with their customers. My process for designing the program started with a simple survey to our sales staff on their perspective of what impacted the customer experience and how they demonstrated empathy. After results were received, there was a pretty significant gap that likely had a huge impact on the satisfaction of our customers. With goals then set for the training, I designed a fun and interactive experience for our sales staff that involved some role playing, a video and slides with direct feedback from our customers. When we held the training during a monthly sales meeting, I could see a lot of eyes open in the room and our Director of Sales and Service, who I worked very closely with during the creation of the program, really helped hammer home key points with his staff. I received a lot of compliments from our staff following the training. Being only six months out from that training, I'm eagerly awaiting results after we send out the next customer satisfaction survey."
"As you can see from my resume, this would be my first venture into designing training programs, but I think my experience in my supervisory and management roles make me a great fit for this position. I have a lot of experiencing in coaching individuals on a 1:1 basis and also facilitating training for my staff. I have an innate ability to speak in front of a large group and lead by example while making training and education both interactive and fun. While actually designing programs would be a new effort for me, I feel like I'm ready for the challenge and would use my knowledge and training in effective business processes to be successful in this role."
For many of our clients here at Morneau Shepell, the ability to effectively negotiate executive compensation is key. What negotiating skills will you bring to our clients and what would you say your overall philosophy is regarding negotiating salary?
The process of handling the executive compensation process often involves negotiating. As Morneau Shepell gets called upon to consult with their clients, the negotiation process is likely to be a key talking point for you with clients. Talk about the skills you have developed through your career and explain how these skills would be beneficial for the clients of Morneau Shepell. As well, talk at a high level about your philosophy and practice regarding high level salary negotiation.
"As an HR professional that has sat at the negotiating table of offers to CEO's, Presidents and other high level executive position, I'd bring a strong working knowledge of executive compensation to your clients. My negotiating are most often predicated on the total rewards package. Many high levels executives get lost in the one number surrounding yearly salary when benefits like pension, travel expenses and healthcare coverage get overlooked. These benefits can also be deal breakers so I always include details on these benefits in compensation conversations and negotiations."
"The approach I've always taken with C-Suite executive offers is to make it a win-win situation for both the candidate and the organization. In the eyes of executive level candidates, the importance of fair compensation is important so market comp research is something I prioritize. Then, I know how to fairly negotiate for extra skills, abilities and duties that my candidate may be doing above and beyond others in a similar position. This enable me to paint the clear picture that an offer is fair and balanced for both the candidate and the organization."
At Morneau Shepell 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?
"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."
"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."
Many of the management and higher level roles with Morneau Shepell 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 Morneau Shepell.
"I would be thrilled to be considered for a management level position with Morneau Shepell. 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."
"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."
Change management is an important aspect of consulting our clients here at Morneau Shepell. Have you participated in a change management process during your career?
In what ways would our clients here at Morneau Shepell benefit from your knowledge and services?
Have you ever experienced a time when a person or group were disruptive during a training session? If so, how did you handle that situation?
Talk about a time you had to work with a very difficult person. What was the situation and how did you handle it?
At Morneau Shepell, 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?
If you came to work for Morneau Shepell, an expectation of the job would be facilitating training for staff with our clients. What do you feel are the keys to being an effective trainer?
At Morneau Shepell, we always seek to provide the best service possible to our clients and one way we do that is through constant evaluation of our programs. What familiarity do you have with training evaluation and why is this important to do?
How do you stay organized and on track when working on a long-term project?
What experience do you have in managing and maintaining different human resource information systems?
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?
HR is a continually changing field in every industry. If hired here at Morneau Shepell, how would you ensure that you stay up on new trends in the field to best help our clients that span across multiple industries?
For our clients here at Morneau Shepell 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?
Would you say that you are a goal oriented person on the job? Why would you say that?