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Palladium Group Interview
Questions

27 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brunner

Published August 23rd, 2019 | Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.
Question 1 of 27
At Palladium Group, 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?
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How to Answer
As a consultant at Palladium Group, an expectation from clients is for you to bring a sound leadership style to their team and a working knowledge of effective growth and strategic planning processes. While trying to avoid formal labels, talk about your leadership style as a consultant and explain why your style would most benefit clients. Try to focus on keywords that your leadership style brings, like collaboration and support.
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Top 25 Palladium Group Interview Questions with Full Content
1.
At Palladium Group, 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?
As a consultant at Palladium Group, an expectation from clients is for you to bring a sound leadership style to their team and a working knowledge of effective growth and strategic planning processes. While trying to avoid formal labels, talk about your leadership style as a consultant and explain why your style would most benefit clients. Try to focus on keywords that your leadership style brings, like collaboration and support.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Having worked with and led large teams in the development of formal growth plans for organization, I see my role as a consultant and my leadership with clients as being team-based and collaborative. My job is to lead transformational change within the organization because we will ultimately be trying something new with them and implementing change into the future. From my style of leadership comes improvement through a team based effort and I really think the clients here at Palladium Group would benefit greatly from my style."
Ryan's Answer #2
"As a consultant, I'd definitely employ a very democratic approach with your clients. They will be looking for me to provide the blueprint and the road map for success for them and then I would look to delegate and leave responsibility for implementing on them. My approach would be educational, resourceful and would preach teamwork among the entire project team. When I've utilized this approach in the past, it was very well received and helped lead to the success of several large projects."
2.
Talk about a time that you successfully educated another individual or group in your area of expertise. What made your educational experience effective?
The role that you are interviewing for with Palladium Group will likely involve providing education to clients in your area of expertise. For this question, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you are comfortable and effective in providing education by having you talk about a time that you have done so. In the example that you provide, try to point out some key items to making business education successful like developing a plan/goals, respecting differing viewpoints/opinions, making it hands on and making it fun.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Probably the aspect that I love the most about my current job is being the lead for training new hires into our department. Because of my years of experience and my innate ability to effectively orientate new employees, my director asked me to take this duty about four years ago. My approach with any new hire is to customize their training based on their knowledge and experience so the training is effective for them. What works for one person may not work for another and I always need to be fluid with this. I also prioritize the need to make orientation and training a hands on experience for the new hire because classroom learning can only take a person so far in the learning process."
Ryan's Answer #2
"As you can see from my resume, I've spent the last seven years working in the corporate tax field. While in this job, I worked very independently for a private organization, so I've been out of the training and education side for a while now. During my first job out of college as a CPA though, I was very adept at providing education to the clients that I worked with on a daily basis. What I learned in that experience was the importance of putting material out there in a manner that the person being trained understood. As well, talking to clients and understanding my client's wants and needs were very important for me to be able to best educate them. I really believe that these skills would enable me to hit the ground running with Palladium Group and your clients would benefit greatly."
3.
An often difficult part about working for Palladium Group and our clients is the need to be fluent and adaptable to the cultures of our clients. Why would you say that you'd be able to handle this aspect of the job with ease?
In the business consulting world, organizations work with clients that all have different backgrounds, leadership styles, cultures, industries and motivating factors. Consultants hired to come in to these organizations have to possess a chameleon-like ability to ingrain themselves in a new company's culture. For you to be successful in the role that you are interviewing for, you must possess this same ability. In your answer to this question, be sure to point out your fluidity to adapt to new situation in your work by giving an example or two of a time you had to do this to give your interviewer a sense of your ability to be flexible with clients.

Ryan's Answer #1
"During my career to this point, I've been very fortunate to say that I've worked for one employer for over ten years and the experience that I've gained with them is a huge asset to me personally. But even though all of my relevant work experience is with the same employer, I've worked under six different department managers during my time there and each person had their own unique management style and expectations of me. As well, my organization has undergone three mergers in my time there and each merger brought a new and bigger organization to light with new values and culture. Whether it was a manager change or an organization change, I always prioritized openness and asking questions to get to know new processes better. I would bring this approach with each and every new client that I would work with in this role."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I would liken this role as a Client Manager to working with my customers in my current job. I approach each new customer with an open slated mind while getting to know their motivations, their needs and their expectations of me to help me get a better understanding of how I can best suit them. If hired for this position working with your clients here at Palladium Group, this approach would be vital because of the variety of businesses and industries that I would be working with."
4.
Outside of work, what type of creative activities do you like to pursue?
A genuinely creative minded person will have outside activities aside from what's happening in the workplace. Tell the interviewer about the variety of ways in which you express your creativity.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Outside of work I like to attend dance classes and I also attend the odd paint and sip wine nights at a local wine shop. I also enjoy reading as a way of nurturing my creative side."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I think it's important to exercise creativity in a variety of ways. This reasoning is why I am involved in a variety of things such as team sports, reading, and art classes."
5.
Market research is very important to our clients here at Palladium Group. 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 Palladium Group 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."
6.
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."
7.
As a consultant here at Palladium Group, 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!"
8.
Sometime with our clients here at Palladium Group, 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."
9.
As a successful program manager, what do you feel are the common causes of project failure?
To successfully advise clients at Palladium Group, you'll be relied upon to be an expert on where failures most commonly occur over the entire scope of a project. While the reasons are plentiful, speak to your own firsthand experience on where you feel the top one or two areas are that cause projects to fail. During your answer, speak to how you actively prevent those causes from harming a project as your potential clients will rely on you to do so.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In my time as a successful program manager, I've seen the biggest breakdown of individual project come down to one simple item and that is a poorly defined project scope. From the start, the goal and the work needed to obtain the goal needs to be clear, concise and attainable. Because of this important factor, I take the time to get all key stakeholders involved in the scoping process. This includes writing a from scope statement for the project. Further on down the line as the project moves along, I use the scope statement as the basis for any major decisions or deviations from plan."
Ryan's Answer #2
"For my work as a program manager overseeing many project, success comes down to leadership and communication and these are also the two biggest culprits when a project fails. To foster these sensitive areas, I always keep open lines of communication to my project managers and promote a communicative atmosphere for them with their teams. As well, I have an effective leadership style with my teams that resonates throughout the life of each project. These skills would be very desirable for the clients that I would potentially be working with here at Palladium Group."
10.
If you were to join Palladium Group 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 Palladium Group.

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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