Updated on August 21st, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Question 1 of 31
How did you maintain a good relationship with your most recent boss?
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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."
Second Answer Example
"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."
Community Answers with Professional Feedback
"Open communication, I anticipate his needs in advance and stay ahead of his deadlines. We had an open and trusting relationship and shared both positive and negative experiences. I took opportunities to show leadership and ownership of projects to carry some weight and lighten his workload."
Lauren McCabe's Professional Opinion:
This is a fantastic response. You are conveying many attractive qualities to the hiring manager. I made slight edits – see below.
Lauren McCabe's Revised Answer:
"I maintained a good relationship with my recent boss by learning his work style and expectations. I anticipated his needs in advance to stay ahead of his deadlines. I learned how he preferred to communicate negative and positive aspects of the workload, and I was assertive lightening his load by taking on as many projects as I could."
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Strong time management is important at Talent Plus. How do you manage your time, even on the busiest days?
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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."
Second Answer Example
"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."
When a problem arises, what is your first reaction?
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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 "
Second Answer Example
"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."
If you had $50,000 to build your own business, what would you do?
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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."
Second Answer Example
"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."
Community Answers with Professional Feedback
"I love the hospitality industry and see myself staying close to it. With $50,000, I would start a consulting firm that provides basic marketing training to new Directors of Sales & Marketing. Too often, these roles are filled with strong salespeople, with little to no marketing experience. The firm would focus on techniques, report basics, finding your target audience, and activation/programming."
Rachelle Enns' Professional Opinion:
Very well thought out response! Nicely done.
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"I would open an animal rehabilitation center where animals can get aquatic care to strengthen muscles while at the same time giving the opportunity for special needs kids to participate in the care and interaction of rehabilitating an animal with similar needs."
Lauren McCabe's Professional Opinion:
Great answer. I assisted with sentence structure edits.
Lauren McCabe's Revised Answer:
"If I had $50,000 to build my own business, I would open an animal rehabilitation center. I want to use the center for dual purposes. I want to provide an opportunity for children with disabilities to interact with the animals and take part in their care. The center would provide multiple layers of healing and community betterment."
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6. As a manager, who has been your greatest influence? A person that has defined what type of leader you wish to be. Have you had an influential mentor in your management career? Talk to the interviewer about what type of influences have shaped your management style. Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an anonymous answer example: "my gm in sacramento. he was a visionary, and risk taker. he has a strong focus on talent, accountability, and guest experience." In response to the anonymous answer example, here is what Rachelle Enns said: This GM sounds like a solid influence! The buzz word 'visionary' is often thrown around so work on a backing statement. Please see below. In response to the anonymous answer example, here is a revised answer from Rachelle Enns: "My GM in Scottsdale was a great influence on me. He was a risk taker, and visionary who took a 15-year sales process, turned it on its head, and boosted annual sales by 90% company-wide. His focus on guest experience, hiring the right talent, and teaching accountability were all significant influences." Here is an anonymous answer example: "my belated boss who taught me to be patient when frustrated, silent when listening, and honest when talking." In response to the anonymous answer example, here is what Lauren McCabe said: Great response. I altered the wording slightly. In response to the anonymous answer example, here is a revised answer from Lauren McCabe: "My most recent boss was very influential in the shaping of my leadership style. I learned to be patient when frustrated, silent when listening, and honest when talking. These core values were highly effective for my boss, and I always admired those traits. I make a conscious effort to adopt those qualities in my everyday work."7. Tell me about a time when you took charge of a meeting. Was the outcome a positive one? 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? Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an anonymous answer example: "i set up a meeting with authorities to do a plan review. the meeting had several executives invited, including the authorities. in preparation of the meeting, i set an agenda, prepared presentations in advance and provided all invited attendees with a draft copy of the agenda and a summary of presentations to give an idea of the plans to be discussed and reviewed. all went well." In response to the anonymous answer example, here is what Lauren McCabe said: Great start. It is important to note why the meeting was successful due to your contribution. I provided a suggestion below. Feel free to tailor your response to be more specific. In response to the anonymous answer example, here is a revised answer from Lauren McCabe: "I was charged in preparing and overseeing a Plan Review Meeting where high-level executives and the authorities were in attendance. I created an agenda, organized the presentations, and dispersed meeting material. The meeting went extremely well due to my planning and organization. The meeting flowed smoothly and on time, which was vital for the attendees."8. What kind of people do you enjoy working with? 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. Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an answer example: "Some other great characteristics of co-workers:
- Reliable" Here is an anonymous answer example: "as a rule, i like to work with people who complement me, bringing strength to one of my less dominant talents. i'm focused at work (a taskmaster), so i like to have someone on the team who brings fun or maybe a little humor to the task at hand. i also believe in having similar values. they must have high integrity." In response to the anonymous answer example, here is what Rachelle Enns said: Rather than stating how existing team members should compliment you, try focusing your response on collaboration and what you will bring to their team. In response to the anonymous answer example, here is a revised answer from Rachelle Enns: "I enjoy working with people who are engaged, easy to be around, and value integrity. It's great to be on a team where everyone compliments the strengths or weaknesses of others. For instance, I readily compliment those who aren't as focused as I am, since I am a very engaged taskmaster type." Here is an anonymous answer example: "all people but most people that are interactive, willing to learn, motivated, and are not afraid to try. i also like the opportunity to bring the shy guy out of his shell at his own pace without making him feel uncomfortable or placed on the spot. with guests, the more difficult they are, the more i like to work with them to resolve their complaints." In response to the anonymous answer example, here is what Lauren McCabe said: Great start. You are offering qualities pertaining to both sides of the position. I offered alternate wording to give a bit more depth. In response to the anonymous answer example, here is a revised answer from Lauren McCabe: "I am a “people person” by nature; differing styles and temperaments create a more dynamic experience, so I am open to it all. I have found myself the most motivated and energetic when working alongside those with similar work styles (interactive, willing to learn, self-motivated, and not afraid to try new things). I am a lifelong learner, so when I met with similar energy, we tend to work very well together. Due to my confidence and disposition, I also like working with timid or less experienced employees; I want to mentor and train others to broaden their skills. I also appreciate “difficult” customers, because I like to problem-solve to turn situations around."9. Tell me about a time when you used good judgement and logic to solve a problem. 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. Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an anonymous answer example: "during an inspection, a food waste bin was found unattended. the team proceeded to explain in various ways why the bin was unattended, which lead to an unnecessary argument with the inspector. i asked what the issue was when i arrived, and the team tried to explain the same to me. i solved the problem by putting a lid on the bin, which addressed the inspector's concern and ended the debate." In response to the anonymous answer example, here is what Lauren McCabe said: Great. I added language to show (on a broader scale), how this example shows your viability as a candidate. In response to the anonymous answer example, here is a revised answer from Lauren McCabe: "During an inspection, one of the food waste bins was left unattended, sparking the interest of the inspector. When I arrived on-site, I had several employees speaking over one another in an attempt to explain why this occurred. I de-escalated the situation by remaining calm and logical. I simply put a lid atop the bin, which satisfied the inspector. I took the time to use the situation as a teachable moment for my staff. We talked about ways we can be proactive versus reactive in times of stress or confusion. We discussed the incident as a team and discussed ways to alternatively handle situations similar to that differently in the future."10. At Talent Plus, we value continued education and training. Tell me about your education. 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 Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an anonymous answer example: "currently doing my masters degree in food safety law. certified internal auditor in iso 14001 and 9001 management systems. hold various public health-related certificates including ten years experience in public health audits i further hold a diploma in web design, attended management college, and completed a course in environmental microbiology at emory university." In response to the anonymous answer example, here is what Lauren McCabe said: Great. I added your (perceived) purview of education and training as well as grammatical edits and ordering. In response to the anonymous answer example, here is a revised answer from Lauren McCabe: "I, too, value continued education and training. I have learned a multitude of job-related skills through years of working, but find courses and formal education essential in propelling my career to the next level. I am currently working towards my Master’s Degree in Food Safety Law. I obtained my BA in Web Design, attended Management College, and completed a course in Environmental Microbiology from Emory University. Additionally, I am certified in Internal Audit ISO 14001 and 9001 Management Systems. I hold various Public Health-related certificates, including ten years of experience in Public Health Audits."11. How do you determine priorities when you have multiple projects due? 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. Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an anonymous answer example: "i triage based on;
1. does it improve revenue (increase top line or reduce cost)
2. have a positive and lasting impact on the guest experience
3. ease of execution." In response to the anonymous answer example, here is what Rachelle Enns said: Your steps for determining priorities are clear. Great response! Here is an anonymous answer example: "i prioritize by the deadline, using calendar time blocks to complete tasks and meet deadlines and revisit other items pending as time permits in between priorities and meetings or at the end of the day. i always try to clear my inbox and task reminders for any future projects." In response to the anonymous answer example, here is what Lauren McCabe said: Great response. It is important to list how you do it, but why as well. Any employer would be pleased to know that you have created organizational systems for yourself in order to stay on-task. In response to the anonymous answer example, here is a revised answer from Lauren McCabe: "I am an extremely organized employee. I utilize tools and systems to stay on top of my workload. I prioritize projects by deadline and use a calendar-blocking system to stay on-task and on-time. I revisit ongoing items throughout the day in between priority projects and meetings. I make a conscious effort to keep my inbox clear, as to remain in the loop of project correspondence. I utilize task reminders as well, to track future project deadlines."12. 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. Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an anonymous answer example: "woodwork by renovating old furniture, we do a lot of charity events with my harley davidson club and go on long rides to explore new places. i also love visiting antique stores and auctions." In response to the anonymous answer example, here is what Lauren McCabe said: Fantastic! The interviewee gets a great sense of who you are and what you do to maintain work-life balance. I added language around that to add depth to your response. In response to the anonymous answer example, here is a revised answer from Lauren McCabe: "My hobbies and clubs help me maintain a great work-life balance. I remain focused and rejuvenated at work because I have a great life outside of work. I enjoy woodworking, renovating old furniture, visiting antique stores, and going to auctions. I also participate in a lot of charity events through my Harley Davidson Club and love going on long rides to new places."13. Looking at your resume, it seems there are certain skills necessary for this position that do not stand out. How do you think you will be able to compensate for these missing skills? Most job descriptions will have a long list of requirements. Hiring managers are aware that, to find a candidate that checks ALL of the boxes, can sometimes be impossible. If you are missing some of the "nice to have" or even the "must have" skills listed in the job description, do not fret! Be open about your shortcomings and discuss with the interviewer how you plan to compensate for those. Here is an answer example: "nice to have" Here is an answer example: "I bring full dedication to learning, and mastering, any skills I do not currently have. I will compensate for any lacking skills through additional research. Also, I am happy to take any coursework that you feel would help." Here is an anonymous answer example: "putting in the extra time to read and learn from materials available, listening to my piers from their experiences and by putting in effort to self educate myself. i wont be shy to ask for guidance and will speak up if any help is needed." In response to the anonymous answer example, here is what Lauren McCabe said: This is a great response. You are a resourceful, open employee. I assisted with grammar editing, and some alternate wording to enhance your response. In response to the anonymous answer example, here is a revised answer from Lauren McCabe: "I am a resourceful person who is very open to learning new skills. When I am dealing with a new process, task, or skill, I am unfamiliar with; I will educate myself with provided materials and utilize my peers as a resource. I am not a shy person and ask questions readily when in need of guidance. I will reach out when necessary and also do my due diligence outside of work to read and educate myself further."14. Considering your background is in an industry different from ours, what skills and characteristics do you have that qualify you for this position in this industry? There are many ways that you can be a fit for a position, even though you do not come with direct industry experience. Think about the variety of skills that you have and how those can benefit another employer, despite the industry. These are your transferable skills, and they can include sales abilities, customer service experience, and software capabilities. Here is an answer example: "Although my background is not in human resources or talent management, I have worked with many clients who have been in your industry. I bring excellent transferable skills that qualify me for this position. These skills include my advanced abilities in talent retention, data analysis, as well as my proven background in team leadership." Here is an answer example: "I bring many transferable skills to this position and industry. My talents and skills revolve around helping people and making companies profitable. Customer service, problem-solving, and data analysis can cross any industry, and I am a pro at all three." Here is an anonymous answer example: "although i have not been involved with statistics in any previous positions, i do have extensive prior experience in all departments of the organization such as culinary arts, food and beverage operations, restaurant management, housekeeping and also majored in entertainment technology in college. my skills at leadership and dealing with authorities will transfer well into this position." In response to the anonymous answer example, here is what Lauren McCabe said: Good start. You provide previous areas of exposure, but need to add more direct skills and characteristics that can be deemed as transferable skills. See my suggestion below. In response to the anonymous answer example, here is a revised answer from Lauren McCabe: "I have had years of exposure in many aspects and departments of business, including Culinary Arts, Food and Beverage Operations, Restaurant Management, Housekeeping, as well as my degree in Entertainment Technology. These arenas have given me many transferable skills in Leadership, Organization, and Interpersonal Relations. I am ready to take on a new opportunity to immerse myself in Statistics and will utilize my years of employment and training to become successful in this position."15. 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? Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an anonymous answer example: "9/10 - i keep my team appraised of all information and share experiences, lessons learned, and relevant information on a daily basis. my team is also aware that i am available to them 24/7 and can reach me at any time." In response to the anonymous answer example, here is what Lauren McCabe said: Great response. I made additions to include communication loops and how you maintain accountability. In response to the anonymous answer example, here is a revised answer from Lauren McCabe: "I rate my communication a 9 of 10. I have an open-door policy with staff, to remain approachable and available if they ever need me. I keep my staff abreast of pertinent information throughout the day to keep things running smoothly. I also provide performance reviews and 360 feedback, so we are all accountable for the highs and lows of our work. I am open to feedback as much as my staff is; this mutual respect and communication loop is particularly successful."16. Tell me why you are the right fit for Talent Plus, and this position. 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. Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an anonymous answer example: "i am the best at what i do in my current position, and my skills, positive attitude, drive, and passion for our company will transfer well into this new position. i believe i can motivate and lead a team and achieve targets set both for the team and myself as a leader. the added responsibilities will set the bar for me as a welcomed challenge." In response to the anonymous answer example, here is what Lauren McCabe said: Good start – you elude to your fit for the position, but do not neglect the fit you are on an organizational level. Researching their Mission Statement and Story on their website will help you better prepare for how you want to market yourself in an interview. See my suggestion below. In response to the anonymous answer example, here is a revised answer from Lauren McCabe: "I strongly believe I am the best person for this position for many reasons. In a broader sense, I am the type of employee who can provide exemplary customer service, which would be a great reflection of the company. Talen Plus prides itself on superior service for each of its customers, and I ensure my quality of work every day. As it stands, I am the highest achiever in my current role, and I have a multitude of transferable skills and qualities that will please my superiors and work team. I have the positive attitude, drive, and passion to learn this new position and exceed expectations. I am currently a “big fish in a small pond,” and I hope to take on a new role where I can truly learn something new, master new skills, and enhance my skills as a leader."17. At Talent Plus, we provide services to a wide range of businesses. Which industry or business type do you have the most experience with? 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. Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an anonymous answer example: "entertainment, hospitality, food, and beverage operations, culinary arts" In response to the anonymous answer example, here is what Lauren McCabe said: Great. I made your response a complete sentence. In response to the anonymous answer example, here is a revised answer from Lauren McCabe: "Though I am open to working with an array of new industries, I have the most experience in Entertainment, Hospitality, Food and Beverage Operations, and Culinary Arts."18. Sometimes the services and packages offered at Talent Plus can be confusing to new clients. How do you explain complicated concepts to those who may not understand? 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. Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an anonymous answer example: "first, you should find out how best they learn. some like learning visually; others prefer to listen. in either case, i think it's important to try and relate it to something they understand.
that could be through the use of examples, references to pop culture, etc. it's also important to be patient. repetition, or time between conversations, can reinforce a concept." In response to the anonymous answer example, here is what Rachelle Enns said: Wonderful! Solid response. Here is an anonymous answer example: "using various illustrations, graphic aids, or similar. some people learn in different ways and seeing a drawing sometimes resonates easier than using only words." In response to the anonymous answer example, here is what Lauren McCabe said: This is a great response. I added some language to support your response. In response to the anonymous answer example, here is a revised answer from Lauren McCabe: "If a customer were having a difficult time acclimating to their service packages, I would utilize various methods to build understanding. Illustrations, graphic aids, verbal explanations, in-person meetings, or customer-related examples may help. Some people have different learning styles, and having the ability to explain the information in different ways can be helpful."19. At Talent Plus, we look to hire those who will be a long term fit. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? 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! Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an anonymous answer example: "advanced in a supervisor position or even managerial leadership position within the company." In response to the anonymous answer example, here is what Lauren McCabe said: Good. Having a shared value to find a company you want to stick with, is highly favorable. In response to the anonymous answer example, here is a revised answer from Lauren McCabe: "I am seeking an employment opportunity to plant roots and build a long, stable career. I have strong aspirations to join advanced-level leadership in the coming years."20. We value diversity at Talent Plus. When have you worked among 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. Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an answer example: "In my current role, I work alongside cross-functional teams regularly. Together, we manage our business and effectiveness. I enjoy the diversity component." Here is an anonymous answer example: "my current position requires me to deal with all levels of management, not only on a business position ranking level but also with a culturally diverse team of nationalities from more than 135 different countries." In response to the anonymous answer example, here is what Lauren McCabe said: Great. I added some depth to your response to speak to general values and business practices. In response to the anonymous answer example, here is a revised answer from Lauren McCabe: "Diversity in the workplace and company-wide is essential to making a business successful. In my current position, I interface with employees at all levels of management. Additionally, our staff is comprised of individuals from over 135 different countries. This wonderful juxtaposition of employee rank and nationality has been extremely rewarding. I am pleased to have had the opportunity to work amongst such a richly diverse group of people."21. When have you contributed to an effort to obtain a corporate goal? 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. Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an answer example: "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."22. Do you fully understand what we do at Talent Plus? 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. Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an anonymous answer example: "from looking online, i understand that you work with a variety of clients and different groups to improve their talent management goals and to place the right persons in positions for long and short term benefits for the company as well as for the individual." In response to the anonymous answer example, here is what Lauren McCabe said: Good. You’ve done your research, so be prepared for some follow-up questions like the ones below. In response to the anonymous answer example, here is a revised answer from Lauren McCabe: "“What are the ways you build rapport with clients?”
“What do you think pillars of success are for employees of Talent Plus?”"23. We value accountability at Talent Plus. If a customer sent a formal complaint about an interaction with you, how would you handle it? 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. Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an anonymous answer example: "i would acknowledge the interaction with the customer, and try my best to recall the conversation to understand better what went wrong and how i can do better should similar conversations come up with others. i would also call the customer and apologize and then offer to rectify the mistake by turning the experience into a positive outcome." In response to the anonymous answer example, here is what Lauren McCabe said: I altered your response slightly, see below. In response to the anonymous answer example, here is a revised answer from Lauren McCabe: "If I received a formal complaint from a customer, I would reflect upon things I can do differently and how I may rectify the situation. I would contact the customer to not only acknowledge their feelings, but express apologies and ways I plan on resolving the situation. It is disarming when the person at fault devises various solutions, and I would have every intention in doing so."24. Customer service is our top priority at Talent Plus. What is your customer service philosophy? 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. Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an anonymous answer example: "be friendly, make eye contact, listen and acknowledge the customer during interaction and keep in mind that the customer is always important." In response to the anonymous answer example, here is what Lauren McCabe said: I love the simplicity and authenticity of your response. I made very minor edits. In response to the anonymous answer example, here is a revised answer from Lauren McCabe: "My customer service philosophy encompasses friendliness, making eye contact, listening intently, and always remember that the customer is valued and important."25. At Talent Plus, our primary work is to cater to other businesses. What do you foresee as the biggest challenge working in the commercial services industry? 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. Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an anonymous answer example: "i am not familiar with the full scope of this industry; however, i believe i can meet and exceed your expectations as i learn fast, put in the overtime and will learn to understand the language to communicate with your clients." In response to the anonymous answer example, here is what Lauren McCabe said: I got the impression of what you are trying to convey. I wrote an alternative response that does not focus on your lack of experience. In response to the anonymous answer example, here is a revised answer from Lauren McCabe: "As a new employee to the industry, I will have many unforeseen challenges as they arise. I will address the learning curve by putting in the effort to acclimate and absorb as much knowledge as I can. I envision working overtime and asking a lot of questions to feel prepared and confident."26. Talent Plus values philanthropy and community giving. How do you choose to give back to others? 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. Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an answer example: "Volunteering and charitable acts are important to me. I spend time volunteering at the local drop-in center every Sunday." Here is an anonymous answer example: "i get involved with any charity or community service work. my passion is animals, and i volunteer whenever i have free time at the sanctuaries and clinics." In response to the anonymous answer example, here is what Lauren McCabe said: It is great that you are already involved in philanthropic efforts. This will help you stand out! In response to the anonymous answer example, here is a revised answer from Lauren McCabe: "I am currently involved in a variety of charities and community service activities independently and via clubs. I have a passion for animals, and I volunteer at local sanctuaries and clinics."27. At Talent Plus we have many local competitors. In your opinion, what makes us stand out from the crowd? 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. Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an anonymous answer example: "my existing company is utilizing your team to profile the best of the best, and for me that says it all...we always go for the best. your business ethics and support is evident in the talent acquisitions made in some key positions within our firm." In response to the anonymous answer example, here is what Lauren McCabe said: This is great “insider” feedback. I assisted with minor edits. In response to the anonymous answer example, here is a revised answer from Lauren McCabe: "My current employer is working with Talent Plus, and the company always employs the best of the best. I have been extremely impressed by the business ethics and support received by Talent Plus, and I have witnessed firsthand the superior manner in which Talent Plus works with its clientele. The stellar reputation matches the output because Talent Plus has made some great talent acquisitions within my firm."28. At Talent Plus we seek to hire those who think outside the box. When was the last time you made a suggestion for workplace improvement? What was the outcome? 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? Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an anonymous answer example: "a recent renovation job required many new projects to be accomplished at the same time, and our team was not familiar with utilizing software tools available to manage the project. through setting up a simple spreadsheet, i illustrated the advantages of obtaining the correct software to streamline time lines. this gave all project managers an overview of the project assigned to our team in more clear details" In response to the anonymous answer example, here is what Lauren McCabe said: This is a well-rounded response. Great job! There were very minor grammatical errors I assisted with. In response to the anonymous answer example, here is a revised answer from Lauren McCabe: "A recent renovation job required many new projects to be accomplished simultaneously, using project management software tools that were unfamiliar. To remedy this issue, I created a simple spreadsheet that clarified the project assignments for all the project managers. This streamlined and simplified the details, freeing the entire group of confusion and time wasted. Everyone was accepting and thankful for my spreadsheet because it allowed everyone to get into gear."29. Due to the nature of Talent Plus' business and services, we may ask that you complete a full background check. Are you willing to comply? 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." Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an anonymous answer example: "absolutely. please feel free to research whatever is necessary." In response to the anonymous answer example, here is what Lauren McCabe said: Great! In response to the anonymous answer example, here is a revised answer from Lauren McCabe: "Absolutely, feel free to research whatever is necessary."30. Many of the management and higher level roles with Talent Plus require a Degree in Business or similar. Please walk me through your post-secondary education. 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. Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an answer example: "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."31. We have a wide range of services at Talent Plus. Have you ever used any of our services? 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. Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an answer example: "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!" Here is an anonymous answer example: "no, i have not, to be honest. but a majority of my colleagues have and have had great things to say about your company." In response to the anonymous answer example, here is what Lauren McCabe said: Good, but I rephrased your response. In response to the anonymous answer example, here is a revised answer from Lauren McCabe: "Though I have not personally utilized Talent Plus’ services, many colleagues within my firm have, and through that collaboration, I witnessed many beneficial outcomes."
Author of Talent Plus, Inc. Answers and Questions
Rachelle Enns is a job search expert, executive headhunter, career catalyst, and interview coach. Utilized by top talent from Fortune companies like Microsoft, General Electric, and Nestle, she helps professionals position themselves in today's competitive digital marketplace.
Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume and Executive Resume Solutions, two companies focused on helping job seekers get their edge back. She helps everyone from new graduates looking for their first placement, to CEO's who want more out of their career.
Rachelle coaches students to executives on how to master the toughest interview questions and how to handle the most bizarre interview situations; all with confidence and poise.
Rachelle trains other career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers, globally. A big part of her job is also spent coaching HR professionals on how to bring the human touch back into their interview and hiring process.
First written on: 05/31/2018 Last modified on: 08/21/2018
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