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Perficient

31 Interview Questions & Answers

1.
As part of the IT team, how do you approach your role in the implementation and roll out of new software and technical programs?
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The interviewer is asking this question to determine if the candidate is ready and willing to provide training and operational support to employees and users of new software and technical programs when they are being rolled out by the IT department. While it is the role of other individuals within the IT department to lead the development and/or selection of these programs, when it is time to roll them out to end users, these users will rely on the business process and operations staff for training, technical assistance, and best-practice information. The candidate can successfully answer this question by providing details on how they would develop and execute a training plan, and a stronger answer would include an example of how they have approached a similar situation in the past in one of their professional positions.

For example, "As a business process and operations professional, I understand it is my responsibility to assist with the training of staff and end users when a new software program or application is being rolled out. When faced with this type of situation at Perficient, I will do everything I can to ensure the software implementation goes smoothly, and that includes learning all the ins-and-outs of the software application, developing user manuals and process flows, hosting user training, and ensuring help desk staff has in-depth training so they can offer adequate support to users. I understand that effective training on new software applications is key to getting staff and users to adopt the new systems, and in my business process and operations role, I will do everything I can to ensure employees at Perficient feel supported."
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1.
As part of the IT team, how do you approach your role in the implementation and roll out of new software and technical programs?
The interviewer is asking this question to determine if the candidate is ready and willing to provide training and operational support to employees and users of new software and technical programs when they are being rolled out by the IT department. While it is the role of other individuals within the IT department to lead the development and/or selection of these programs, when it is time to roll them out to end users, these users will rely on the business process and operations staff for training, technical assistance, and best-practice information. The candidate can successfully answer this question by providing details on how they would develop and execute a training plan, and a stronger answer would include an example of how they have approached a similar situation in the past in one of their professional positions.

For example, "As a business process and operations professional, I understand it is my responsibility to assist with the training of staff and end users when a new software program or application is being rolled out. When faced with this type of situation at Perficient, I will do everything I can to ensure the software implementation goes smoothly, and that includes learning all the ins-and-outs of the software application, developing user manuals and process flows, hosting user training, and ensuring help desk staff has in-depth training so they can offer adequate support to users. I understand that effective training on new software applications is key to getting staff and users to adopt the new systems, and in my business process and operations role, I will do everything I can to ensure employees at Perficient feel supported."
Kelly's Answer #1
"As a business process and operations professional, I understand it is my responsibility to assist with the training of staff and end users when a new software program or application is being rolled out. When faced with this type of situation at Perficient, I will do everything I can to ensure the software implementation goes smoothly, and that includes learning all the ins-and-outs of the software application, developing user manuals and process flows, hosting user training, and ensuring help desk staff has in-depth training so they can offer adequate support to users. I understand that effective training on new software applications is key to getting staff and users to adopt the new systems, and in my business process and operations role, I will do everything I can to ensure employees at Perficient feel supported."
Kelly's Answer #2
"My current company recently went through a software upgrade that made a significant impact on daily staff operations, and because of the significant impact the upgrade had, I stepped in and supported the upgrade by hosting training sessions, developing user manuals, process flows, and best practice guides help sheets. By preparing these documents and offering the training sessions, I was able to help staff adjust to the upgraded software much more quickly, which prevented our overall operations from suffering. Helpdesk staff was prepared to receive a massive influx of calls once the upgrade went live, they found that their call volumes were light, compared to what they were anticipating. The ease of transition to the upgraded software has been attributed to the thorough training I provided to staff. This is only an example of when I supported a software rollout, as I have supported many in the past, and with my experience, I know I will be able to successfully support such rollouts at Perficient."
2.
Your client is Apple. The year is 1984. They just released the Macintosh computer. They want you to estimate the demand for this product over the next 20 years. What do you tell them about market demand and whether there's a market for this invention?
This question is typically asked by hiring managers that work complex projects, or do thorough interviews to select the right person for their environment. Given this is a multi-part question that requires an element of strong Technology and Business Knowledge. This mix required a well thought out response that addresses every part of this question. Let's examine some scenarios of how this could be answered, and how you can prepare for a similar answer. IT Consultants and Management Consultants might come across this question since it addresses the approach you would take, where you might be able to find this information, and some market analysis to determine product demand in the market. An example response might be that you used market intelligence data to research demand, consumer spending, demographics, and other related factors. Since this a hypothetical question by the interviewer, they will be looking for what you would do to obtain this information, and how you present it for review.

Kelly's Answer #1
"Given the date is 1984, the data would have to come from a number of different sources to present findings that would be able to tell you whether or not your product would be in demand or would have a market for it. I would start by obtaining data from consumers currently using computers, and what their experiences has been. My subjects would be a test panel with participants ranging from entry level users to experienced users. I would present the new Macintosh model to the panel to get a holistic perspective from all the users on the MAC's different layout, graphics, size, pricing, operating system, and software. This would give me an idea of their openness to a new type of computer, and if they were willing to try one out."
Kelly's Answer #2
"Early in my career, I've had to do a similar product demand assessment. In this particular case, our leadership asked my team and me to test market a new product to estimate demand for the product. When I look at such an initiative, I offered my objective advice and expertise in line with corporate strategy, and how the product will play a role in their current product mix and expected presence and market share. Estimating market demand is a skill I possess, and I know what approach and market research are needed to execute a new product introduction. Here are some questions and considerations that will need to be part of the planning process in order to be able to understand projected sales volume, demand, and consumer interest.

1) How big is your market - 10, 000, 100,000, 1,000,000+ consumers?
2) What geography will you be selling your product in - Local, regional, national or International?
3) What technology will be used to produce this product?
4) How will you arrive at a price point that consumers will pay?
5) How will you estimate sales for year 2, 3, 5 and beyond - This will depend on projections, and whether or not pricing and costs stay the same, go up or down.
6) Who will your customers be by demographic - Age, income, profession, marriage status, spending habits, etc.
7) What will the product availability look like in the short and long term?
8) Brand Awareness - Do you plan on executing Marketing, PR, and Branding for the product?
9) How many of the new products will be used for test purposes?
10) Monitor what your market share is versus your competition in order to see if it's worth staying with that product.
11) How will the product be sold - Direct to Consumer, Retail, Wholesale, Dealers, etc.
12) What will production time and product availability look like?"
3.
Describe a situation where a project you were managing failed. What did you learn about this failure, and were you able to salvage or turn it around?
As much as we don't like to think about it, sometimes projects fail, and in some cases for reasons beyond our control. Hiring managers realize things do go wrong and projects have to get back on track and show a successful outcome quickly. The more complex the project, the higher the chances are that the project might fail. This question focuses on your ability to bounce back from failure, and what you did to turn it around. Give some thought as to how you might explain why the project failed, and outline the steps you took to turn it around. It is important to list what exactly happened, what lessons were learned, and what you do now to safeguard future projects from failure.

Kelly's Answer #1
"I was a consultant managing a project with five other team members, and our goal was to develop a loan application app to qualify a buyer for a mortgage. I noticed that we were not able to meet deadlines or present mock designs of the app when the client requested it. I later found several flaws in our methodology and approach which led to delays and cost over-runs. I had to take a step back a re-evaluate exactly what went wrong, and quickly make corrections. Here's what I did to turn it around, and the educational journey it took me through.

1.) Take a step back and evaluate how you arrived at this point
2.) Temporarily stop the project
3.) Figure out why the project is failing
4.) Set up a turn-around (war) room
5.) Draft an agenda to go over findings, from quantitative reports to team member interviews
6.) Re-assignment of team member tasks and roles
7.) Gather all notes and project collateral
8.) Set clear objectives, and ask each team member to provide you a work list with specific tasks they are responsible for on the project, and their understanding of the team goals"
Kelly's Answer #2
"A failed project can be humbling, and eye-opening at the same time. If not managed and executed properly, it can go horribly wrong. That's why when I put together a team for a project; I religiously follow a methodology that works flawlessly. I've learned to become good at this methodology after a failed project a few years ago. It also made me good at spotting where projects go wrong, and where I needed to make immediate changes. Let me break down what I learned about the failed project, and what I did to turn it around:

1.) What did I learn from the process
2.) How did it affect me and the team
3.) What were the key issues that caused the failure
4.) I found that the key issues were.....Complexity, External Influence, Financial, Organizational, Technology, and Scheduling"
4.
Listening to our clients is absolutely essential to understanding their business and technology needs. Tell me about a time when you're listening skills helped exceed their expectations in the delivery of the project?
It's easy for a client to overlook small details, that's why they hire IT Consultants so they can stay in the know. IT Consultants typically take a deeper dive into a clients operation from a technology and business perspective. One of the biggest reasons that clients look to IT consultants is to look at their organization from an outsider's point of view. Having a vantage point into client operations, and how they do things tells the client that another pair of eyes sees things they might have missed. It's important to recognize that a client is relying on your expertise to give them a perspective that an internal employee would normally not see. Some of the areas you might want to address with the client is how they run their operations, and even have them rate their current level of expertise with all their technologies. This will reveal a few things. One of the most important is where you need to navigate and lead the interview discussion. Asking questions like what do you like and dislike about your current operations. Offer up that you like the challenge of solving problems, and working in different types of environments, and perfecting your craft.

Kelly's Answer #1
"I've worked with many clients at different levels of an organization, including executive level management personnel. Being a good listener is an absolute requirement, and getting the opportunity to collaborate with clients and help solve their problems is very rewarding for me. It's important for me to show clients that they are getting the highest value possible for their money. When I have conversations with clients, I sometimes find that they don't know what they don't know, and I find that this is a good base level start because you're starting from scratch and identifying problems as you walk through their environment from top to bottom. My basic qualifiers start with technology, and how they use it. Here's a basic outline of questions I posed.

1. What platform do you run your ERP or enterprise software? Windows, UNIX, Linux, etc.? The reason I ask this questions is after I find out what they are using, it's easier for me to suggest a software solution. After explaining the pros and cons of their current set up, I recommend a solution that will help solve their problem.
2. What database are you using to store your data? SQL Server, Oracle, Sybase, BD2, etc. The reason I ask this question is to see if they are up to date with current versions, and the capacity of data and where it resides. I also ask whether their data is On-Premise or in the Cloud. Depending on the responses, I would be able to make suggestions on efficient ways to work with that data."
Kelly's Answer #2
"My prior work has taught me that asking the right questions at the right time is very important. When I do discovery with a client, there are a number of questions that I ask to arrive at a few core problems they are facing. Let me give you an example of what I ask, and why.

1. Walk me through your current process, and highlight an area where you are experiencing pains and challenges? The reason I ask this is to build trust with the client, and get them to talk extensively about their problems, and how you can propose a solution.
2. Is it your belief that a software application will be able to solve these problems for you? I ask this question to see if they think they need a software solution, or is it just a process fix that can be achieved by process and productivity improvements, along with process re-engineering."
5.
Getting team members on the same page and committed to common goals has its challenges when you encounter differing opinions. Tell me about a time when you were able to influence team members to be more committed to a project?
Team participation can be cause a rift between team members when the team does not see the same goals and expectations that everyone else sees. There are also personalities you have to contend with, along with miscommunication and different work styles. In order to get everyone to communicate and work together, there needs to be a common goal everyone if working together to achieve. The interviewer wants to see how you handle pressure managing different personalities, and how you get everyone to work together despite everyone having their own agenda and working style. It helps if you mention to the interviewer that you communicate to each member the importance of their job role, and that you make each team member feel important, and that their contribution is valuable.

Kelly's Answer #1
"I've found that tapping into an employee's commitment and resonating with them at many levels builds trust and shows that I am genuinely interested in their success. This approach has helped me garner support for my teams, and it has allowed me to paint a picture that they are part of something bigger than themselves. Presenting the challenge to the team, and having them step up shows accountability and the impact they can make on the team. Recognition for work performed is a big part of everyone participating and knowing they will get recognized not only by their manager, but by senior leaders as well."
Kelly's Answer #2
"Participation of any sort takes commitment and dedication. My consulting style has always been to make a connection with the team so they can see the importance of their contribution. Convincing the team to believe in the company mission, vision, and goals is important. The tact I take is highlighting the credit they will receive and attracting attention for their quality work. I pay close attention to these areas as they are important to foster team building."
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