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Professional Services Interview Questions

33 interview questions and answers to help you prepare for an interview in the professional services industry.

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Question 1 of 33

This position with Company ABC requires strong research skills. What is the first resource you turn to when you need to research a person, business, or topic?

How to Answer

The interviewer would like to know that you can source information when and where you need it. In this industry, and with Company ABC, you must be in-the-know and on top of your client's needs at all times. Talk about where you first go for information when you need it the most.

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33 Professional Services Interview Questions & Answers

  • 1. This position with Company ABC requires strong research skills. What is the first resource you turn to when you need to research a person, business, or topic?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know that you can source information when and where you need it. In this industry, and with Company ABC, you must be in-the-know and on top of your client's needs at all times. Talk about where you first go for information when you need it the most.

      1st Answer Example

      "When researching, my go-to source is usually LinkedIn. This website offers me a plethora of information whenever I need it. I can research clients, their businesses, their backgrounds, and their competitors in one place. I find LinkedIn to be a very reliable, up-to-date, and convenient source."

      2nd Answer Example

      "For me, when researching, using a reliable source is key. For that reason. my resources will always be a legitimate news website or books published by known authors."

  • 2. At Company ABC we seek to hire those who can read between the lines in order to uncover our client's potential needs. Give me an example of how you have successfully done this.

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know that you understand the nuances that come with this job. When you work for Company ABC you must be able to think independently and out of the box at all times. This type of thinking will increase client happiness, sales results, and will help to expand your portfolio. Give one real-life example of how you helped a client by reading further into their potential needs.

      1st Answer Example

      "One example I can give is when one of my larger clients went through a corporate restructuring last year. I was able to help them fill in some gaps in their service needs as I saw potential shifts in their business. Because I have assisted many clients with restructuring projects in the past, I was able to foresee some of the roadblocks they may face and offered my assistance there. The client was very pleased with my proactive approach, and I was able to upsell additional services."

      2nd Answer Example

      "With each new client that I take on, I conduct a detailed questionnaire with my primary contact. I ask tough questions regarding the pain points in their business. From these answers, I can predict some of their needs faster than they can. I believe this is because it's harder to see your needs when you are directly in the middle of the scenario. Sometimes, it's easier for outsiders to uncover your business' most significant needs."

  • 3. In this role with Company ABC you will be required to make regular presentations to our clients. How comfortable are you with public speaking, and creating PowerPoint presentations?

      How to Answer

      If you know ahead of time that presentations are going to be a part of this position, feel free to bring a previously crafted PowerPoint presentation with you, on a tablet or iPad. Otherwise, be prepared with some examples that include the number of people you have presented to, what the range of topics has been, and what the outcome was.

      You can also make your answer very clear by rating yourself from 1-10 on your PowerPoint and public speaking skills. If you have any formal training in public speaking, be sure to talk about that as well.

      1st Answer Example

      "I am very comfortable with public speaking and would rate myself as an advanced user in PowerPoint. I have attended multiple Toastmaster classes to perfect my public speaking skills. In my current position, I will present to groups from 3 people to 90, ranging from 'lunch and learns' with my internal team to the entire department for my client. I receive consistently positive feedback on my presentations because I like to keep them engaging through the use of analogies and sharp visuals."

      2nd Answer Example

      "I am an intermediate user in PowerPoint and have no problem improving my skills to an advanced level. When it comes to public speaking, my experience is limited; however, enough to know that I do not suffer from stage fright. I would very much enjoy further exposure to public speaking and the delivery of presentations."

  • 4. We have many strong competitors. What makes Company ABC stand out, and how could we improve?

      How to Answer

      It is essential that you research Company ABC 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 Company ABC vs. their local competitors. Keep your answer positive and complimentary.

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  • 5. What do you know about our clients at Company ABC and the types of services we offer?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to know that you have put some effort into getting to know their business and the types of clients that Company ABC services. You can find this information online by combing through the company website or doing a Google search. Discuss with the interviewer what you discovered during that research. It is okay to ask the interviewer more about the services and clientele at Company ABC as well.

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  • 6. We have a very specific personality type that fits well with the strong corporate culture at Company ABC. Describe your personality in 3 words.

      How to Answer

      This question is a high-stress question if you are not prepared to discuss your personality, and characteristics. Rather than freezing up during your interview or saying something you regret, take a few minutes to jot down some ideas before your meeting.

      Review Company ABC website and see if you can source any recurring keywords in their job postings or 'About Us' section. Any recurring themes or keywords will give you a great idea of the type of personality and characteristics that Company ABC is looking for.

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  • 7. We have a healthy yet competitive culture at Company ABC. How do you track your personal successes and metrics? How often do you look at your KPI's?

      How to Answer

      When working in the professional services industry, your results matter! No matter your job function, you should always be prepared to discuss your career-related successes. Talk to the interviewer about your recent achievements and show Company ABC why they should hire you!

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  • 8. At Company ABC we do everything to ensure that our clients are satisfied. What is your client service philosophy?

      How to Answer

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

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  • 9. Are you currently interviewing with any of our competitors? Why do you want to work for Company ABC over any of our competitors?

      How to Answer

      Every interviewer wants to know that you are specifically interested in their company. One way you can show your keen interest is by discussing howCompany ABC stands out to you, ahead of their competitors. If you asked whether you are interviewing with their competitors or not, you should answer in a direct but diplomatic way.

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  • 10. This position requires a competitive yet collaborative individual. How do you plan to make an impact in your first 90 days with Company ABC while setting a strong groundwork of trust with your new team members?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to hear more about your plan of action should you be accepted for the position with Company ABC. Think about the skills gap that you could fill or any internal struggle that Company ABC is trying to resolve by hiring someone like you.

      Discuss the ways you know you will make a fast impact but also address how you will ensure acceptance by your new team members.

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  • 11. When have you had to change a major component of your project due to new information being presented?

      How to Answer

      Being able to swivel the focus of your project is a necessary skill for your success in most careers. Talk to the interviewer about a time when a significant change occurred on a project. How did you handle the implementation of the new information?

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  • 12. Tell me about a project you completed recently that was ahead of schedule.

      How to Answer

      Is it essential for you to meet and exceed work-related deadlines? Assure the interviewer that you can remain focused on a project and accomplish your goals ahead of schedule.

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  • 13. What is the most competitive work situation you have experienced? How did you handle it? What was the result?

      How to Answer

      Think back to the times when you were racing others to achieve the best sales, working towards a promotion, eagerly trying to win a new contract or other situations that pushed you to rise above your peers.

      Be sure to tell the interviewer that you rose to the challenge and were excited to see what you could achieve! Tell the interviewer about how you kept yourself calm while pushing yourself to be the best. It is a definite plus if you have cheered on your competitors and helped them along the way. Finally, be sure to mention your successful outcome.

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  • 14. If you could start your career over again, what direction would you take?

      How to Answer

      A hiring manager will be able to tell a lot about your personality by learning about your other career interests. If you could do anything over, what would you do, and why?

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  • 15. What type of manager brings out the best in you?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to see that you are self-aware and understand the type of manager or employer that brings out the best in you. Some individuals prefer a close working relationship with a lot of accountability while others prefer space and autonomy. If you are unsure of the management style of the interviewing company, try to leave your answer as open as possible. You can certainly ask the interviewer to describe their management style.

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  • 16. How do you handle communicating bad news to a fellow worker or subordinate?

      How to Answer

      One of the toughest parts of communication can be delivering bad news to people that you work with and for whom you care. Whether it is providing a less than positive work review, or terminating someone - it doesn't come easy. Assure the interviewer that you can handle this type of task in a clear, concise, and professional manner.

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  • 17. How would you describe your relationship with your customers or clients?

      How to Answer

      Do you value your client and customer relationships? How do you nurture them to ensure that they are happy and continue to come back? Talk to the interviewer about your strategy for building strong customer and client relationships.

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  • 18. How do you explain complicated concepts to those who may not understand?

      How to Answer

      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 heads trying to figure out what you're saying. When you can define key terms and phrases to make them more relevant to your audience, you have skills! 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.

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  • 19. Outside of work, what type of creative activities do you like to pursue?

      How to Answer

      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.

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  • 20. Tell me about a time when you took on a new course to study in order to improve your own work performance.

      How to Answer

      Once you are in your career, it certainly doesn't mean that you need to stop learning. There are many job-related courses available. Talk to the interviewer about the last time you took advantage of these available courses.

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  • 21. Tell me about your most significant work experience that relates to this position.

      How to Answer

      This question is an excellent example as to why it is crucial for you to review the job description, in detail, before your interview. Have you ever held a similar position to this one? Can you draw any similarities between this role and another job that you have had?

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  • 22. Have you ever broken a confidentiality agreement?

      How to Answer

      Companies will have confidentiality agreements for a variety of reasons. These could be to protect their trade secrets or to ensure that you do not bring clients over on the occasion that you leave their company. Talk to the interviewer about your thoughts on confidentiality agreements.

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  • 23. Do you prefer to work in a team based position or individually?

      How to Answer

      In which situation are you the happiest and most productive? Talk to the interviewer about your preference when it comes to teamwork or working individually. Be sure to avoid pigeonholing yourself into one particular scenario (IE: I only like to work by myself).

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  • 24. When do you feel your leadership skills are most effective?

      How to Answer

      When you have a great relationship with the individuals you are leading, your leadership skills will be the most effective.

      Show the interviewer that you recognize a great relationship starts with clear communication, trust, and honesty. Tell the interviewer that you spend time genuinely getting to know your team.

      For instance, perhaps you like to understand what activities they have going on both inside and outside of work, their kids' names, or if they have any pets. Building a relationship with your team will ensure that you can frequently and genuinely ask them how they are doing. The more comfortable they are, the better chance they will come to you for help in the workplace when they need it.

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  • 25. How do you evaluate success among your team members?

      How to Answer

      When you are leading a team, it is imperative to be aware of the level of success that each team member is experiencing. One underperforming team player can drag down the entire group. Talk to the interviewer about how you can stay aware of each team members' success.

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  • 26. How do you balance life and work?

      How to Answer

      It is essential to keep a healthy work/life balance to prevent burnout. Talk to the interviewer about how you can maintain that appropriate balance for yourself.

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  • 27. What sources do you look to when you need to solve a complicated problem?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to know that you can think outside the box, or even ask for help when you are stuck on a complicated problem.

      Maybe you look to a mentor or boss for advice. Perhaps you have handbooks, manuals and systems you turn to for help. Offer some relevant examples based on your industry. If you work in the medical field, you may turn to textbooks, online research, colleagues or even patient's history to find the right solution. If you work in customer service, you may ask the customer what they need to find the best way to solve the problem.

      Show the interviewer that you are knowledgeable and equipped to handle these types of scenarios.

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  • 28. How would you prefer to be compensated?

      How to Answer

      Are you looking for a compensation structure based primarily on salary, commission, or a blend of both? Discuss with the hiring manager your compensation preferences.

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  • 29. What would you do if a client asked you about a product or service and you were unsure of the answer?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to know if you are an independent thinker. Explain that you would take the time to try and figure out the answer, but you are not afraid to ask questions if you need to.

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  • 30. How would you rate your performance in this interview so far?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer is looking for your honest thoughts on how you feel about your interview performance. Be truthful and transparent, even if you think that the interview could have gone better.

      If you feel that your performance in the interview is going well: "I believe that this interview has been informative, and I am happy with my performance. Is there anything that I can clarify for you from this conversation?"

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  • 31. How do you motivate others on your team?

      How to Answer

      You don't have to be a manager or a team leader to motivate others. Offering a listening ear or providing words of encouragement can make a world of difference to your coworkers. Sometimes, just being a positive influence and showing up consistently can also make a difference.

      If you have worked in a leadership role, think of ways you helped set clear goals or helped individuals cultivate a new skill. Reflect on your experience and share some ways that you have helped encourage others to keep up the good work!

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  • 32. What is your long-range career objective?

      How to Answer

      Onboarding new employees is a time consuming and costly endeavor, so the interviewer wants to make sure that this role will be a long-term fit for you. Be open with the interviewer about your dreams within this company, on a long-term basis. Share what promotions you hope to eventually receive and discuss what you wish to learn from being a part of their organization. The key to answering this question is to express to the interviewer that you plan to be employed by the company for many years to come.

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  • 33. How do you manage your time?

      How to Answer

      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.

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