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Port Jackson Partners Interview
Questions

28 Questions and Answers by
| Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.

Question 1 of 28

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?

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Port Jackson Partners Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    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?

      Port Jackson Partners 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.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "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?"

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "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."

  2. 2.

    We value diversity at Port Jackson Partners. When have you worked amongst a diverse group of people?

      Are you accustomed to working with a very large or diverse team of individuals? Assure the interviewer that you can handle an environment that offers diversity.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I have worked with diverse groups of people most of my career, including my time in University. I am most comfortable, and happy, in this type of environment because it offers a great learning opportunity."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "In my current role, I work alongside cross-functional teams regularly. Together, we manage our business and effectiveness. I enjoy the diversity component."

  3. 3.

    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?

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "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."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "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."

  4. 4.

    Would you say that you are a goal oriented person on the job? Why would you say that?

      Success in business consulting is most often measured in the achievement of goals for clients and for this question, your interviewer will ideally be looking to hear that you are driven by goals and that you have the ability to set them as well. In your answer, give your interviewer the sense that you are goal oriented by giving an example or two of a time where you set and worked towards a goal as part of a team effort. Explain your part in the achievement of the goals and your ability to stay focused on the end result.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "If hired for this position, one of the first things that you'll learn about me is that I am very driven to succeed in all that I do on the job. For me, personal drive definitely centers around goals and my desire to achieve them. I have the focus to set goals myself and to work towards goals that are set by my organization, my leaders or my customers and I would bring this ability with each client that I work with here at Port Jackson Partners."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I would definitely say that I am goal oriented in the work that I do on a daily basis. In project management, I work off of both time related goals and production related goals and these really drive my daily tasks and my delegation of responsibilities to other team members. If given the opportunity to come work for Port Jackson Partners, my clients would greatly benefit from my ability to both set and achieve goals with them."

  5. 5.

    What would you say is the key factor for an organization to consider when building an action plan for growth?

      Creating an action plan for growth can entail many steps and processes. As the clients at Port Jackson Partners will look to you to be an expert on the entire process, your interviewer is simply looking to take a dive into your mind to hear what you feel is the most important factor. No matter how you answer this question, be sure to speak passionately about why this factor is important and how you will help their clients understand this and put it to use.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "In my experience in going back and measuring the successes of past organizations that I have been a part of a growth plan for, the top determining factor in success was having and following a five year plan for growth. The development of a solid five year plan entails setting goals, establishing the resources needed to meet the goals and pinpoints any potential hurdles on the way to the goals. An integral part of the plan also includes timelines for adding resources along the way to ensure that milestones are met on time."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "To me, companies that seize opportunities in their market are best suited for growth into the future. For a lot of companies, seeing opportunity is a huge area for improvement and its a passionate area of mine where I could bring expertise the clients of Port Jackson Partners. As a consultant, the process of seeking out opportunity would involve detailed SWOT analyses, market research and surveying of staff. These processes will help clients see their best opportunities for growth, then further plans can be made to turn plans into reality."

  6. 6.

    Talk about a success story that you have in implementing an organization design change with an organization. How will your skills used here benefit the clients of Port Jackson Partners?

      Organizational design is a very broad field that looks at workflow, procedures, systems and structures that impact the overall business goals of an organization. Over time, changes in products and ways of doing business should require changes in the overall design of the organization, but companies are often slow to react to needed changes. Talk about an organization design project that you were a part of and describe the details of the project that you handled. Then, talk about your organizational design skills that you would bring to the table at Port Jackson Partners.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "With a background in HR, my org design work has most often centered around labor efficiencies with organizations. I have a lot of experience in evaluating work processes and gauging the appropriate labor needs that are necessary. Last year, I worked with a small plastics manufacturer that wasn't using their automation capabilities to their highest level. They were essentially paying many people to do what some of their machinery could actually do. While it did involve some difficult conversations and some difficult employment decisions, the organization was able to save a lot of labor costs on simple modifications to their processes."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "As you can see from my resume, I have a vast amount of experience in the transportation and warehousing industries. In my work here, org redesign has always been a focus to increase efficiencies and profitability. Last year, I helped a large trucking firm implement the UPS logistics philosophy in their routing that saved a lot money on fuel, maintenance costs and labor. If hired here, I think my corporate design experience in these areas would translate well to industries like manufacturing and healthcare."

  7. 7.

    How do you stay organized and on track when working on a long-term project?

      Working for Port Jackson Partners in the role you are interviewing for will require an innate ability to manage projects from conception to final implementation. For this question, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you have the ability to maintain organization to meet deadlines and customer expectations. Talk about your personal methods for organizing project work and give any examples that you have of your methods being successful. In the consulting and advisory industry, customer satisfaction and word of mouth are integral to success and growth of a business and effective project management is key in satisfaction.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I really pride myself on my ability to multitask and my ability to stay organized in key in multitasking. For me personally, organization starts with using technology to my advantage and I do this through the use of my Outlook calendar and tasks functions. I take time each day to update my tasks and project work and use my ability to prioritize tasks to ensure that the right things are being worked on. In looking to bring these skills to long-term project work with your clients, staying organized and on task will be extremely important for the success of both Port Jackson Partners and your clients."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "In my work, the ability to stay organized and on track comes down to having a plan of attack for each project and keeping track of the plan as milestones are hit. If you are familiar with the program Trello, it really helps me organize all of the components of the projects that I work on and give me the ability to track who is doing what, what deadlines are coming and what milestones have been hit. But even with a great program like this, I always have the ability to re-prioritize due dates and new tasks as needed with any project."

  8. 8.

    How do you get back on track when a schedule falls behind so you don't miss important milestone deadline

      In the world of project management, it is rare that a project goes from the planning stages through to implementation without a hiccup or two along the way. As the manager of the project, you are ultimately responsible for keeping the project on task and your interviewer is looking to hear how you will do that for the clients at Port Jackson Partners. One important thing to consider highlighting is your ability to monitor and track progress regularly so the train doesn't get too derailed off the tracks. As well, you can talk about your ability to think on your feet, problem solve and coach others to bring tasks back up to date.

      Ryan's Answer

      "As an experience professional in project management, I pride myself on my ability to consistently monitor the progress of the project and spot where we may be falling behind on items. At those times, I work closely with the person or individuals assigned to that task to ensure that the job gets back on track. At times, this has involved me intervening and taking care of things that I can or reaching out to other resources for help. Milestones and deadlines are the key to the successful completion of a project and one missed item can create a bad domino effect that pushes a project back. For me, not letting that first fallen domino touch the next is the key to staying on track."

  9. 9.

    If hired for this position at Port Jackson Partners, what would be the ideal project for you to lead?

      To fully understand the reasoning behind this question, your interviewer is looking to get a sense for what type of work you prefer to do, what your strong points are and where to best position you with clients if hired for the position. Prior to your interview, be sure that you research the clients of Port Jackson Partners and the typical projects that are led with them. Make sure your desires align in some aspect of the business and speak openly and honestly about your most desirable project.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "If I'm fortunate enough to come consult with Port Jackson Partners, my ideal project would be working with the leadership staff of a high profile employer on a corporate restructuring project that makes them more efficient and more profitable in a short amount of time. As you can see from my experience, I really thrive when working with high level leaders like CEO's and Presidents on what I would consider my greatest area of expertise."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Being passionate about manufacturing and technology, my ideal project would put me face to face working with a team of engineers and production staff to help implement the creation of a life changing product in the medical field. This area of manufacturing involves high cost materials and the need to produce items accurately and efficiently. My project management skills would thrive in this atmosphere."

  10. 10.

    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.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "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."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "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."

  11. 11.

    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 Port Jackson Partners 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 Port Jackson Partners and your clients would benefit greatly."

  12. 12.

    Sometime with our clients here at Port Jackson Partners, 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."

  13. 13.

    In what ways would our clients here at Port Jackson Partners benefit from your knowledge and services?

      This question is your chance to talk about the unique skills and knowledge that you would bring to Port Jackson Partners and that is exactly what your interviewer is looking to hear. In your answer, keep your focus centered on how clients of the organization will benefit from the things that you bring to their table because Port Jackson Partners is client focused in all that they do. To be effective with this answer, be sure to do your research on the clients at Port Jackson Partners and think about how your experience will be beneficial for them.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "As you can see from my resume, I have extensive experience in risk management in the healthcare industry. Having worked with some major players in the industry, your healthcare clients would benefit the most from the experience and solutions I could help provide them. Not to leave other industries out, I think my experience in the healthcare realm will also translate nicely to your clients in other areas of the private sector."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Having worked in accounting and tax law in a few different industries during my career to this point, I also have the unique experience of creating new organizational policies and procedures in my current role. In hearing more about this role, I think this experience would be very beneficial for your clients as I would be helping advise them in their practices and creating new policy would be crucial in that process."

  14. 14.

    Have you ever developed an acquisition strategy for an organization? Why would this be important to our clients here at Port Jackson Partners?

      For clients that are just beginning the potential acquisition process, an effective strategy is imperative to help them outline what they expect to gain from an acquisition. This strategy provides the basis for all other steps of the acquisition process by outlining what the end goal will be. As a consultant with Port Jackson Partners, their clients will rely on your expertise in this area so be sure to speak about the experience you have and how that will help the clients that you work with.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "In the last year, I have helped two organizations think out and write their acquisition strategies that they would use moving forward. For one regional grocery retailer, I worked with their CEO and CFO to learn that their desire to enter new markets was their overall goal. With that strategy in mind, we began to search and evaluate potential organizations in adjacent regions to where the retailer currently had a foothold. As of today, they have successfully acquired one struggling regional chain and opened six new stores that are flourishing."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "A well thought out acquisition strategy is crucial for an organization to have as they look to venture out in new markets and territories. I consider this planning process as one of my fortes that I'd be able to bring a wealth of expertise to with your clients. A couple of years ago, I consulted a mid-sized automotive dealership that had aggressive dreams of growing their number of dealership. In that industry, there just isn't much room for expansion so merging with or acquiring new dealerships was a priority. In my leading of the process for developing a strategy, the leadership team identified new brands as a top priority. With that as our starting point, our analysis of competition in the area showed struggling numbers at two competitors. Within a year, a deal was struck for my client to obtain the local Toyota/Lexus dealership."

  15. 15.

    What impact do you feel that the digital revolution has had in the mergers & acquisitions field?

      Any way you slice it, the digital revolution across the world has significantly increased both the needs and the abilities for organizations to acquire others. From your point of view, talk to your interview about where you've seen digital and online formats impact different mergers and acquisitions and make it clear to your interviewer that you will be able to work effectively with their clients in making this a part of their plan.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "The internet and other digital avenues has surely increased acquisitions in the fields I've been working in over the past ten years. In retail, internet sales from companies like Amazon has certainly put smaller retailers at risk. I recently worked with a large clothing retailer in acquiring several small companies to bolster their product line. The acquisitions were a win-win situation for both buyer and seller and the selling company was able to sell their business prior to having to close down shop or even filing for bankruptcy."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "The digital revolution has impacted both organizational mergers and acquisitions in many ways. What is happening now that didn't happen years ago is companies purchasing tech companies that they can help use to grow their own business in a unique way. As an advisor to your clients here at Port Jackson Partners, these type of growth opportunities would always be at the top of my mind."

  16. 16.

    Change management is an important aspect of consulting our clients here at Port Jackson Partners. Have you participated in a change management process during your career?

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  17. 17.

    A career move to a consultant with Port Jackson Partners may find you working on new challenges that you haven't faced during your career. What's been the most challenging project you've led up to this point in your career?

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  18. 18.

    Being successful in consulting and working here at Port Jackson Partners 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?

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  19. 19.

    At Port Jackson Partners we value continued education and training. Tell me about your education.

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  20. 20.

    What experience do you have working with corporate governing boards? What role have you seen them play?

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  21. 21.

    Do you have experience in engaging a corporate board during a change management process?

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  22. 22.

    Talk about a time you had to work with a very difficult person. What was the situation and how did you handle it?

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  23. 23.

    Here at Port Jackson Partners, you may be asked to work on the corporate governing structure and its effectiveness for a client. How would you measure the effectiveness of a board of directors?

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  24. 24.

    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?

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  25. 25.

    When a problem arises, what is your first reaction?

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  26. 26.

    As a consultant here at Port Jackson Partners, 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.

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  27. 27.

    A key component to success here at Port Jackson Partners is building solid relationships with new clients. How do you effectively get to know new people and lay the groundwork for a long lasting relationship?

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  28. 28.

    At Port Jackson Partners, 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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