In the commercial services industry, your experience with clients may be widespread. Talk to the interviewer about any particular industry to which you may have more exposure. If you have a specialty - now is the time to discuss your expertise. Whether you have experience in the same industry as Talent Plus, or not, be sure to appear confident in your capabilities.
"I understand that the majority of business that is coming to Talent Plus, is related to human resources consulting and talent management. I have about four years of dedicated HR experience. The remainder of my work experience is with a wide range of clients and industries focused on recruitment. I feel that these experiences have equipped me very well for a position such as this."
"I have the most experience in HR within the healthcare industry. Approximately 15 years, in fact. I believe this experience will benefit me in this role with Talent Plus because I am well versed in best practices and protocols in one of your strongest client niches; healthcare."
When you feel torn between multiple projects or tasks, how do you decide which one needs your attention the most? Assure the interviewer that you can be diligent when it comes to assessing your priorities.
"I will determine which project requires my attention by the number of hours we are behind and then the project size. I am comfortable delegating tasks when needed, but I am also aware that these times will require an additional commitment of hours from me. Never have I under delivered on a deadline."
"Assuming that the projects have different stakeholders, I interview each to determine the value of increased productivity, morale or revenue, decreased costs, and the overall impact."
The interviewer wants to know how your education has prepared you for this job. A few highlights you can focus on are some of the relevant topics you learned about while attending your courses. How will they help you in this new role? What were some of the most exciting things you learned? Some ideas for you: - If you have experience working on group projects, share how you improved your listening and communication skills when working on a challenging project. - If you learned a new type of software or how to work a kind of equipment you will need to know in this new job, talk about what you know and how you will apply this new knowledge. While attending post-secondary studies, you likely learned some core skills that would be transferable to any position. Think about what you learned in your highest levels of education and how that knowledge applies (or will apply) to your work. Some of these skills could include: - Time Management - Creative Thinking - Proposal Writing - Public Speaking - Presentation Building - Independent Learning - Academic Research - Self-Motivation
"I am a big believer in post-secondary education. It adds a lot of value to those newer to the workplace. My post-secondary education was in Communication and Journalism. The courses in this program helped me to develop stronger business relationships through professional correspondence. I also learned persuasive writing skills which have proven to be incredibly helpful when working on client proposals, and in negotiations."
"I have a B.A. in English and Spanish. I graduated with a 4.0 from ABC College, and I also worked full time while going to school, so I not only learned in my courses but also learned a lot of time management skills and how I work best under some degree of pressure. Academically, I refined my writing skills as well as gave a keynote presentation to several hundred attendees, thereby working on my public speaking and presentation skills."
The interviewer wants to hear about a particular situation where you used good judgment to solve a work-related problem. Be sure to showcase your logic and reasoning abilities. Share a brief overview of the problem, discuss the pro/cons of each decision you could have made, and tell the interviewer why the solution you chose was the best.
"Just yesterday I had a customer who was upset because our sales associate would not refund a service that the customer had already used in full. She was outside of the 14 days return policy as well. I am the manager, so I stepped in to alleviate the situation. By showing the customer that I could meet her in the middle, she was able to calm down and reason with me. I did not refund her the full price; however, I offered her a $25 in service credit. I know this will cost my company mere dollars and, in the end, I had a happy customer again."
"I had a customer who was unhappy with his purchase (the service in question cost over $20k). He then was unhappy with the way in which the arbitration process was heading, and although my team all said just to let him be and have him work with our Director of Operations to resolve the issue, I knew that I could lose a customer over a one time issue. I mediated the call, allowed him to air his grievances, and assured him that we would work together to solve the issue."
Talent Plus believes that every person has talent. They say 'Talent's expression is dependent upon the opportunity to express it. It is the goal of Talent Plus to help its clients and their employees to express this talent to the mutual benefit of the individual and organization.' Culture fit is a critical factor when looking for a new position. Talk to the interviewer about the types of personalities that you best work with. Be sure to remain positive and avoid using this as an opportunity to speak poorly of previous colleagues.
"I best enjoy working with individuals who are driven, positive, energetic, and take accountability for their work. I do have the ability to work with a large variety of individuals; however, these are the ideal traits I would see in future colleagues."
"Some other great characteristics of co-workers: - Encouraging - Helpful - Engaged - Positive - Hard-working - Punctual - Reliable"
The interviewer would like to know that you have the confidence to lead a meeting successfully. Think about a time when you have driven a meeting - big or small. This example could be a phone meeting, a lunch and learn, or a large client presentation. Begin by telling the interviewer the reason for the meeting, who was involved, and what approach you took to prepare for the meeting. Finally, be sure to mention why you felt the meeting was a success! What did you do in that meeting to create a productive and positive outcome?
"My employer asked me to lead a lunch and learn meeting to train 15 employees on our new client management software. I was already a subject matter expert on the software so it wasn't difficult for me to plan the lesson. The challenge was making the content entertaining enough to keep the employees engaged. I created a strong PowerPoint presentation that included pop quiz questions throughout. The presentation was a success, and my employer asked me to lead a follow up meeting a few weeks later."
"Just last week my boss had a personal emergency and could not make it in time for our monthly staff meeting. Everyone was already gathered, and so he called to ask me to take control of the meeting. I feel that I did a great job relaying the information and my boss was thankful for the way that I was able to step in."
Have you had an influential mentor in your management career? Talk to the interviewer about what type of influences have shaped your management style.
"The greatest influence in my career has been one of my Professors from University. Mr. Smith was my professor of Business Ethics, and I connected well with his teaching style. Even after graduating University, we kept in touch, and he has greatly influenced my coaching, teaching, and leadership style."
"The first CEO I reported to has been a tremendous influence on my career. That person helped shape my work ethic and passion for business early on, which has helped me become a better business partner along the way in my career. I wish to be someone who is fair, demanding and supportive. Someone who cares about the customers and cares about our people."
If money was no object, what kind of business would you start? The interviewer will be able to learn something new and unique about you through this question. Avoid answers that would include building a business that competes with the hiring company.
"If I had $50,000 to build my own business I would open up a community center in my neighborhood that offered inexpensive childcare, cooking classes, and other life skills programs. I am passionate about volunteering and see a strong need in those particular areas."
"I would choose to invest the $50,000 into an existing business in an industry that my spouse has an interest in. I love what I do for a career, but she has always wanted to be an entrepreneur."
The interviewer wants to know if your reactions to problems reflect maturity and professionalism. How you react will significantly determine how you fit with the team at Talent Plus. Perhaps your computer crashes, and you realize you may have just lost all of your hard work. Or maybe you are limited on time and have a deadline rapidly approaching. Demonstrate to the interviewer that you take a very methodical approach to problem-solving, rather than reacting in an impulsive way when a problem occurs.
"When a major problem arises, my first instinct is to take a step back and absorb what just happened. I then go into "
"I have taught myself to become much calmer with my first reactions when problems arise. Now, I will step back and review my options for solving the problem rather than allow myself to become frustrated."
The best way to discuss your salary expectations is to use your current earnings as an example. Be open, and honest. Transparency is the best choice when salary based questions arise.
"Currently, I earn a base salary of $45,000 per year plus a potential 20% annual bonus. Last year my earnings were $52,000, and I would like to stay in the same range or slightly higher."
"I am currently making $100,000 per year with two bonus opportunities. I am looking for compensation that is aligned with the role and provides an opportunity for growth."
A successful hire needs to feel like the right fit by both parties. Express to the interviewer that you think this position is a stable fit for your experience and your career goals.
"I feel that I am the right fit for this company because, from what you have described, my personality, skills, and drive are what you are looking for. The challenges that come with this position are all challenges that I welcome. I fully appreciate that your mission statement is, We are a compelling place for associates to work. We are a compelling place for clients to do business. We are a compelling citizen to have in any community.' I too am led by these values, and I am confident that this is the right fit for both of us."
"I am great at what I do, motivated, and I am an avid appreciator of your services. This mix creates a great match, in my opinion! Happy employees are more productive and; trust me, I would be thrilled to work at Talent Plus."
The interviewer wants to know that you are capable of maintaining a harmonious relationship with those who are considered your leaders. If your relationship with your boss wasn't fantastic, what efforts did you take to make it better? Here are some suggestions: - Try to understand what your boss values the most - Keep your cool, even when you want to lose it - Anticipate their needs and stay one step ahead - Take leadership opportunities to show your worth - Adapt to their preferences Some basic ground rules for a stable working relationship with your boss are open communication, proactive listening, and not taking things personally. Discuss the ways that you cultivated a healthy relationship with your boss.
"My current boss is a very particular individual. Over the years I have taken the time to understand her preferences, her stress triggers, and what she enjoys seeing in my work. I find that if I stay one step ahead and maintain a positive attitude, we can work productively together."
"I value having a strong working relationship with my boss. I want to learn what they do and take on as much work to help our team as possible. I scheduled regular update meetings with my boss and went the extra mile wherever I could."
The interviewer wants to know that you are capable of explaining complex ideas without being condescending to your co-workers or talking over their heads. Give the interviewer an example of how you break down information to make it more easily digestible for the average person. Think of a presentation about a complex topic, as a proposal to solve a challenging problem. The solution may seem obvious to you, but everyone else in the room is scratching their heads trying to figure out what you're talking about. When you can define key terms and phrases to make them more relevant to your audience, you have skill! Not everyone can do this. Prepare an example that demonstrates your communication skills and your ability to convey complex information in easy to understand terms.
"I find that when there is a complicated concept to teach, visual aids are always the way to go. Did you know that 65% of people are visual learners and that presentations with visual components are 43% more persuasive? I took a course on creating effective info-graphics and will often implement those in my presentations."
"I use the K.I.S.S method...Keep it simple, silly! If you cannot explain it simply, you do not understand it well enough. I recently rolled out a complex compensation plan with many anomalies. I took the approach to share a broad overview and provide detail for reference. I often try to make analogies or share complex information in the form of a story."
The interviewer wants to know that you are well aware of the services offered at Talent Plus. Have you used them previously? Discuss with the interviewer any exposure you have had to the company. Keep your response positive and lighthearted.
"I have not personally used your talent management services; however, I have friends who have used Talent Plus for their business needs, and their reviews were always positive! They said you are great at identifying talents in people and maximizing their workplace performance."
"I have been a customer of Talent Plus before, yes! My current company consulted with you to map out our talent bench and strategy. My experience was very comfortable, and everyone was professional. This experience is one of the reasons why I applied for this role. I want to work for a company that has high standards, and I know first hand that you do!"
Your post-secondary background is on your resume; however, the interviewer is asking for you to go into further detail on your experience. This is a great time to brag a little bit about any scholarships, awards, or accolades you may have received during your post-secondary studies. Be sure to discuss how your education has prepared you for a position with Talent Plus.
"I would be thrilled to be considered for a management level position with Talent Plus. Although I do not have many years' experience in this type of position, I do have a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from Walden University online. I graduated with a 3.6 GPA. I am very proud of this grade because I worked full time during my studies and still graduated top of my class."
"If you do not have a formal post-secondary education: "I did not have the opportunity to attend University; however, everything that I have learned on the job has been incredibly valuable. I would be thrilled to join your management team down the road so if you feel there are gaps in my knowledge, I would be happy to consider attending any required classes or workshops."
Many companies will ask for a background check before employing you. This due diligence could include a criminal record check, a credit check, a drivers' abstract, and education verification. The request will vary from company to company so you should always be prepared to comply with all requests. If there is a mark on your record, this is the best time to disclose that information. If you have a clean record: "I can fully understand why Talent Plus would need to conduct background checks on all potential employees. I have a squeaky clean record and am happy to comply with any of your requests."
"I can fully understand why Talent Plus would need to conduct background checks on all potential employees. I have a squeaky clean record and am happy to comply with any of your requests."
"If you have a mark on your record: "I can fully understand why Talent Plus would need to conduct background checks on all potential employees. I did have a charge against me approximately six years ago for a DUI. I have gained my drivers' license back since then, but I thought I should disclose that to you ahead of time."
The interviewer would like to know if you are an engaged employee; offering suggestions and providing more profound thought when it comes to processing improvement in the workplace. Give an example of a time when you suggested an improvement in the workplace. It can be big or small! Did anything significant come out of your suggestion?
"Last year I made a recommendation for our office to incorporate a recycling program. We were going through a lot of single-use coffee pods. It bothered me how wasteful it all seemed. I presented a spreadsheet to my supervisor comparing the single-use pods vs. investing in a built-in coffee machine. The savings over two years were significant, and my boss has now presented my idea to our head office. It feels nice to be heard in the workplace, so I continue to keep my eyes out for opportunities for process improvements."
"I made some recommendations for change in our CRM system. The suggestions were surrounding how items received documentation and how outstanding tasks became highlighted. Our head office made the changes and a lot of people in our office commented on how much they liked the changes."
It is crucial that you research Talent Plus before your interview and be sure to learn about their business landscape. Who are their competitors? What are customers saying online? Check out some favorite review sites to get an idea of what the public is saying about Talent Plus vs. their competitors. Keep your answer positive and complimentary.
"After researching Talent Plus I found that you stand out from the many ways that you give back to your community. Your Chairman reads to kids in costume on Halloween, you have Christmas celebrations where you give back, and you even have Freedom Fest! These factors make your company a big stand-out to me because I am serious about working for an organization that is aware of their social impact and creating a great work environment."
"I believe that Talent Plus has superior services and products. Your competitors seem to scratch the surface with some, but your offerings are so much more robust such as the fact that you offer services from front-line staff to complete cultural development program options."
The interviewer would like to know that you are socially responsible and a team player - even outside of the workplace. Your answer can be as simple as babysitting your grand-kids every Sunday, to a standing-volunteer gig, to charitable contributions.
"I work a lot but, when I do have free time, I spend that with my grand-kids. It helps to give my son a bit of a break as he is a full-time single dad. In addition to this, I volunteer at the local drop-in center every Christmas to help feed the homeless. Giving back is very important to me, and I was pleased to see examples on your website that reflect the same mentality of giving."
"Volunteering and charitable acts are important to me. I spend time volunteering at the local drop-in center every Sunday."
Working in the commercial services industry can be challenging for a few reasons. You are working with businesses who have tight deadlines, varying business hours, and multiple departments with different needs. Briefly talk to the interviewer about the challenges you foresee in this role with Talent Plus. Remain positive and complete your answer by commenting on your abilities to meet these challenges.
"This position sounds very exciting, and I understand that all roles come with their challenges. If I had to comment on potential challenges, I think the biggest one will be to learn this new industry and the language that comes with communicating with your clients. I am confident; however that I will meet your expectations as I am a quick and diligent learner."
"As in many industries, I believe that the biggest challenge in business is competing with all of the global e-commerce based organizations. They have less overhead and thus, can offer lower pricing. With that said, I do believe that Talent Plus does a great job when it comes to building value for your customers."
Because Talent Plus 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 Talent Plus website and take note of any keywords they use when it comes to their customers. Match your language with theirs.
"I noticed on your website that you put a lot of value into your customers by actively listening to their needs. Your mission even includes the statement; 'We are a compelling place for clients to do business.' 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."
"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."
Assure the interviewer that you are a person of integrity who will take responsibility for any shortcomings in the workplace. Briefly explain to the interviewer that you will handle Talent Plus customers with great care.
"I understand that Talent Plus has put a lot of work into building these long-term client relationships. If one of your clients complained about my communication with them, I would take full responsibility for my actions and issue an apology. I would also be open to feedback to avoid future incidences. Rest assured, in my 15 years of employment, I have not had any clients complain to my employer about my work ethic or delivery of service."
"Constructive feedback is difficult to swallow at times, but it's helpful for me to remember that everyone receives constructive feedback from time to time. I will always do what is required of me to renew a client relationship."
Questions such as these are why it is essential that you research Talent Plus, before your interview. Dive deep into what they do, who their competitors are, who their clients are, and the impact their services have on their customers. Keep your answer as brief as possible and ask for clarification if you need it.
"From my understanding, the primary service offered by Talent Plus includes talent management services for businesses to grow their customer satisfaction rates, increase productivity, reduce turnover, strengthen employee engagement and sustain excellence and profitability. You service large businesses in sectors such as healthcare, hospitality, retail, automotive and more. Without your services, many businesses would suffer."
"I feel that I have a good understanding of what you do at Talent Plus, from my research online, and on your website. I know that you work with a variety of clients, spanning industries such as healthcare and retail, to improve their talent management strategies. With that said, I would love to hear more about it from your perspective."
Engaged employees are always the most productive. Assure the interviewer that you are capable of being an involved team member by assisting, in some way, to the end goal of the corporation.
"My most recent employer had an extreme interest in giving back to the community. So much so that we, as a group, logged our volunteer hours and it was treated as another KPI. We would review our community contributions on a quarterly basis. Our goal was always to hit a minimum 500 volunteer hours per quarter which meant that everyone would volunteer one day per month. It was a great initiative and one that I happily participated in."
"Everyday! The corporate goal is always my primary driver, in my current position. To be successful in my position I need to always be in tune with what my employer is trying to achieve, and be an active participant."
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.
"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."
"In my current role, I work alongside cross-functional teams regularly. Together, we manage our business and effectiveness. I enjoy the diversity component."
It's impossible to know where you will be in 5 years but you need to assure the interviewer that, given all possible circumstances, you could see yourself as a long-term fit for the position at Talent Plus. After all - they are in the talent management and retention strategy business!
"Ideally, five years from now, I would love to see myself growing into a more prominent leadership role within your organization. My career interests align very nicely with your company's goals which helps me to see a great long-term fit here."
"5 years from now, I would like to supervise or manage a team of my own with Talent Plus. I feel like I am progressing in my career at a rate that will make this a possibility."
The interviewer would like to know more about the types of tools you use to stay on task and meet deadlines. Discuss how you prioritize when everything demands your attention at once. Think about the ways you manage your projects and daily tasks and how those will help you to succeed in your role with Talent Plus.
"I manage my time by exercising the idea of 'time-blocking'. This approach means that I won't incessantly check my email; instead, I will allow myself to return emails in 30-minute time blocks, four times per day. Setting calendar alerts and personal deadlines for myself has also helped a lot."
"Very carefully! I prioritize deadlines and work that need to be done. Then work backward from there. When necessary, I utilize my resources and team to pitch in and contribute."
In 1989, Dr. Hall formed Talent Plus with former student Doug Rath, along with Kimberly Rath and Sandy Maxwell. The creation of Talent Plus has allowed the study of talented people - and the relationships necessary to help that talent grow - to continue.