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Proudfoot 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

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?

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Proudfoot Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    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.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "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."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "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."

  2. 2.

    Where have you seen common failures or breakdowns in customer service and how would you address these issues with the clients here at Proudfoot?

      When a consulting company like Proudfoot is called, it is likely that that organization has seen some failure in the service that they have been providing to customers. In this role as a consultant, you will be asked to help diagnose the issues and help fix them for your clients. For this question, your interviewer is first seeking to see what you have seen in your career as common failures in customer service. Second, and most importantly, your interviewer is looking to hear how you would go about solving the issue with clients. Make sure to be as detailed as possible in this aspect of your answer.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "In today's digital age where people are looking for results and looking for them now, time is a huge hindrance in providing excellent service to customers and I've personally witnessed timing issues and helped diagnose them for my employers. Most important is setting realistic time expectations with customers that you are able to deliver on every time. In some instances, this has been easily remedied with simple education between departments. In other instances, it has been solved through the creation and implementation of timing policies for customers."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Having consulted now for five years and having worked across many industries, the most common failures in customer service stem from staff that are poorly trained and/or poorly equipped to do their job. Assessing the competency of employees is my first step when consulting a new business and based off my assessments, I can make recommendations for education and training for the staff. Often, general customer service training suffices. At times though, this training needs to be very industry or product specific and I've helped create several specific training programs for employers."

  3. 3.

    For our clients here at Proudfoot 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?

      As a consultant to organizations in the midst of a change management process, accountability should be a priority for the leadership team and one of your tasks as the consultant is to help foster this with the entire staff. With accountability comes transparency, so be sure to focus on this aspect in your answer. Talk about why you feel that accountability and transparency are important and how you would make sure that the leaders you work with keep these things at the top of mind during their process.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "Having walked many organizations through some major change processes, one of my top priorities is always communication and transparency to staff. And you really hit the nail on the head with this question that both of these things lead to accountability for the organization. To help facilitate this process, my conversations with leadership would entail details on how to effectively communicate with staff and I'm a firm believer that this should happen from both the highest levels of leadership as well as from direct supervisors and managers of employees. I have experience developing communication strategies and actual presentations for leadership in this realm."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "In my experience, accountability for an organization during a change process is a tricky line to walk. First, employees want to know what is happening and the reasoning behind it. Second, customers, stakeholder and the general public may desire information as well. Then, you have to factor in what information can be shared for legal and/or competitive reasons and walk the organization through best communicating the changes to everybody. I have a great deal of experience in walking through this process of holding an organization accountable and would love to help the clients of Proudfoot do just this."

  4. 4.

    Customer service is our top priority at Proudfoot. What is your customer service philosophy?

      Because Proudfoot puts so much effort into their customer service reputation, the interviewer needs to be confident that your customer service values align with theirs. Be sure to research the Proudfoot website and take note of any keywords they use when it comes to their customers. Match your language with theirs.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I noticed on your website that you put a lot of value into your customers by actively listening to their needs. You also survey them regularly while staying on top of industry trends so that you can provide them with innovative new services. To me, customer service goes beyond friendliness and efficiency. You need to understand your customer's business needs and have the ability to analyze their future needs so that you can respond appropriately to their business landscape changes."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "As overused as this phrase may be, 'Service with a smile' has always been my customer service philosophy. Very few people can resist a great smile and a friendly interaction! Friendliness warms customers up, makes them more inclined to work with you, and also diffuses a conflict quickly."

  5. 5.

    If you were to join Proudfoot 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 Proudfoot.

      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."

  6. 6.

    As a consultant here at Proudfoot, 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!"

  7. 7.

    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 Proudfoot 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 Proudfoot. 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."

  8. 8.

    What importance do you feel that policy plays in the customer service experience? Do you have experience writing customer service policies?

      Organizational policies and procedures play a vital role in setting the stage for employees to carry forward excellent customer service. Make sure that you reiterate that to your interviewer while discussing why you feel that customized policies are important for organizations to have. If you have any direct experience in policy writing, be sure to talk about that as well because this role with Proudfoot may find you helping clients create and implement new policies and procedures.

      Ryan's Answer

      "For organizations that provide customer service, having distinct policies and procedures in place for employees to follow is extremely important. Just like a manufacturing company will have step by step processes for their assemblers and line workers, customer service associates and other employees need procedures to work off of to provide consistency to customers. With my current organization, I worked on a team that developed a customer service mission statement and customer service goals based on customer survey feedback. With those in hand, we developed a great set of procedures that employees still use to this day."

  9. 9.

    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 Proudfoot.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "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."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "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."

  10. 10.

    If you are hired for this position here at Proudfoot, what do you think the biggest hurdle for you would be from the start?

      For this question, you can showcase your research that you've done on both Proudfoot and the role you are interviewing for by being upfront and honest about what you feel would be the biggest learning curve for you if hired for the position and giving your plan for how you would approach this hurdle. In your answer, make sure that you highlight your skills and abilities in making a molehill out of a mountain on your way to success in this role.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "As you can see from my resume, most of my career experience is in the food industry. If fortunate enough to be hired for this position, the biggest area for learning for me would be the finance side of other industries like technology, telecommunications and healthcare. From day one, I would begin by thoroughly research the clients here at Proudfoot and speaking with as many industry experts that I know through business networking. While learning the ins and outs of other industries is the biggest learning curve for me, I see it as a great opportunity for me to become more proficient and effective in the work that I'd be doing for you."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "While this may sound funny to you at first, I think the biggest challenge for me from the start will be adapting to the great corporate lifestyle and culture here at Proudfoot. When I saw this position being open for applicants and I did my research, I was extremely excited to hear about the flexibility and openness to the ideas of your staff members. I've been working for six years in an environment that is very opposite of an open culture for new ideas and for me personally, it will feel foreign for me to bring new ideas to the team here and have them be accepted."

  11. 11.

    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."

  12. 12.

    What do you believe to be the number one quality that most influences the overall customer experience?

      As a consultant in the customer service arena, you will be considered to be an expert on customer experience and customer satisfaction to the clients that you work with. While this question is certainly open ended, your interviewer is looking to hear that you have passion and belief in your answer because there is indeed no right or wrong answer to this question. Be sure to prepare for your interview ahead of time and be able to speak openly and passionately about what you believe is the most important factor for a satisfied customer.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "As I've worked in customer service my entire career in retail sales and in dining, I truly believe that the best customer experience is provided by happy and engaged employees. If employees are satisfied with their work and believe in the product that they are selling, they are able to speak to customers intelligently and wisely about the product and they do it with a big smile on their face. This factor is what helps keep customers coming back time and time again."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I'm a firm believer that a positive customer experience, no matter the business or industry, comes from the basic human need of trust. Any customer of any business is inherently putting their trust in the company, the product and the associate that they are working with that the will receive a quality product and quality service. In projecting this out to those that provide customer service, there are many factors to building trust with customers. Being knowledgeable, being friendly and considering the needs of the customer are of utmost importance to gain trust. These factors are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to building that trust."

  13. 13.

    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?

      As a consultant with Proudfoot, walking a client through an organizational design change must involve buy-in and involvement from the highest level of the organization. Talk about your previous experiences in working with and including senior leaders in the planning and decision making processes surrounding the redesign of an organization. Be able to speak confidently and knowledgeably as to why it is so important to include them as well. Speak to their importance during the design process, transition planning, transition implementation and follow up after implementation.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "On a recent organizational redesign for a retail outfit, I worked closely with the CEO, CFO and other senior leaders right from the start of the project. During the planning stages, I teed up several staff communications that came out from the CEO as it was very important that staff were made aware of the pending changes from the highest level of the organization. The leadership team gave valuable input during the planning stage that really helped me to guide the course for them for the entirety of the project. I am comfortable and familiar with working with all levels of an organization and I feel that the clients here at Proudfoot will greatly benefit from that if I'm hired for this position."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Major change processes like an organizational design change often involve many emotions for the employees of an organization. To help manage emotions, I've always considered the best remedy to be up front, honest communication from the leaders of the organization. Throughout my entire body of work in the consulting role with a company, I ensure that leaders give regular updates to staff. If needed, I help draft communications and write speeches for town hall meetings and don't hesitate to assist leaders with these items."

  14. 14.

    Being successful in consulting and working here at Proudfoot 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.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "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."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "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."

  15. 15.

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

      At some point in any person's career, they have to work with a colleague or customer who is extremely difficult. Rather than looking to hear the fine details as to why this person was difficult, your interviewer will be looking to gain insight into how you personally handled the situation and others like it to ensure that a sound relationship was fostered even when you faced difficult circumstances. In your answer, some key things to focus on are your ability to be tolerant, understanding and a great communicator in these situations.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "In my current role, I have a customer that flies off the handle very easily if things don't happen just right and I learned this from my first interactions with him. In seeing this happen from the start, I have always maintained a calm demeanor when he was upset and showed empathy by asking questions about his expectations and how to fix situations for him. To this day, I expect difficulty from him when we work together and the years we've had a working relationship together have better prepared me for more clients like him in the future."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "A couple of years ago, a close colleague of mine had a very abrupt turnaround in her attitude and performance on the job. She was very curt and abrasive in conversations when she was normally very talkative and friendly on the job. After noticing some concerns in her work, I approached her with an open mind and asked her what was going on to cause these things to change. I showed concern and approached her as a friend and this approach prompted her to tell me about some issues happening in her personal life. By taking this approach, rather than getting upset or even made with her, I showed her that I cared and valued her as a person and my approach helped her open up and turn her life at work back around to the positive side."

  16. 16.

    Philosophically, why do you feel that a focused effort on pricing is important to the bottom line of an organization?

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  17. 17.

    In this role with Proudfoot, how would you evaluate a new client's financial position?

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  18. 18.

    What importance do you feel market research plays in product pricing? What research methods are you familiar with that you could help bring to our clients here at Proudfoot?

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  19. 19.

    In your own point of view, what is the most important factor in influencing change for an organization?

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  20. 20.

    Have you ever had any formal training in Lean Six Sigma that you could bring to Proudfoot and our clients?

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  21. 21.

    What sourcing experience would you bring to the clients here at Proudfoot? What role do you feel it plays in the overall success of a great supply chain management program?

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  22. 22.

    Based on your work experience, where do you feel your strongest skills in supply chain management would benefit our clients here at Proudfoot?

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  23. 23.

    This role will put you face to face with leaders of our clients and have you coaching them on how to coach performance related issues. What insight will you bring to the area of performance evaluation and development?

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  24. 24.

    At Proudfoot, 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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  25. 25.

    A key component to success here at Proudfoot 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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  26. 26.

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

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  27. 27.

    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 Proudfoot?

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  28. 28.

    How did you maintain a good relationship with your most recent boss?

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