ZS Associates is a professional services and management consulting firm with footprints in the private equity, technology, and healthcare industries. Its headquarters are in Evanston, Illinois. The firm mainly offers three products and services: technology, software, and consultations. All in all, it has still managed to create a name for itself over the centuries.
ZS Associates has created several job opportunities for different professionals, thanks to its employee base of over 10000 employees in roughly 25 offices worldwide. However, do not be fooled that you will find it easy to land a job at this institution as it mainly employs the best. Therefore, this article will look at some of the questions that you should expect in case you have an upcoming interview to make the process easier. Take a look at the following:
1. Why Do You Want To Work With Us?
I want to work for the best of the best since ZS Associates is on the list of some of the renowned consulting, technology, and software firms in the US and around the world. Working here will give me the level of experience I am yearning for in my career. Also, I need new challenges which a firm of your reputation will easily offer. I would love to bring out the best of me and find my way through several obstacles. Lastly, I have met many of your employees in different forums and workshops and can’t stop marveling at how good they are at their work.
2. What Do You Know About Us?
You are a consulting and professional services firm founded in 1983 and headquartered in Evanston, Illinois. You mainly focus on software, technology, and consulting, mainly working with the healthcare, private equity, technology, travel and hospitality, communications, and financial services industries. You made it to the list of Forbes’s best management and consulting firms in 2019 owing to your impressive record and performance that you have continued to defend.
3. Why Did You Choose Consulting?
I chose consultation, which is one of your main offerings, for several reasons. First, it allows me to develop extensive soft and hard skills needed when dealing with businesses and different institutions. I am also an ambitious worker who fancies careers with faster growth opportunities, where consulting falls. Lastly, consulting is one of the surest avenues of working with large companies and helping them solve a range of technical issues, which would be an excellent addition to my experience.
4. Have You Ever Led a Team Before?
Yes. I have been elected team leader and also independently assumed the role in several projects. My roles usually include communicating goals, being an excellent example to others, checking and managing the project’s progress, organizing and allocating resources, and delegating tasks to team members. I once led a team on a product improvement project where we explored all the creative ideas and settled on one that promised the highest levels of returns.
5. Have You Ever Failed On Your Career? What Did You Learn?
I was once tasked with leading talks between my company and an investor to convince them(the investor) to inject funds into our idea. I put up a team to write a good proposal, but they did not deliver well due to the unfavorable timeline, making the talks futile. When looking back at the occurrence, I realized that I did not motivate the team or influence them to deliver fast given the tight circumstances but instead just gave them a task that I didn’t even bother following up. This experience taught me the difference between a leader and a boss, and I decided to be the former.
6. Why Do You Think You Are The Right Choice For This Job?
I have over ten years of experience in business consultation and have even worked with several renowned organizations. I have met several renowned experts who have widened my knowledge of consultation, which I believe I can apply here. Also, I am currently in need of new challenges that your institution will offer, thus pushing me to perform and prove myself. I am therefore quite positive that I make a good option for this job.
7. Consultation Requires The Involvement Of Several People And Factions. How Well Can You Work With Others?
After seven years of experience in this field, I understand the importance of collaboration in consulting. Fortunately, I have worked with several teams in my former workplaces, which has helped me build my teamwork skills. I know how to get along with others, rally them towards common objectives and even motivate them to be at their best for the sake of the organization. I also have essential people skills that generally come in handy when working with others on different projects.
8. Mention Something That You Are Proud Of But Is Not Captured In Your Resume
I am a talented painter, a hobby that has helped me earn some income on the side. I have done all the painting projects in my house, which people marvel about. I started painting at a younger age and managed to turn it into a serious hobby, which even won art awards at some point in my career.
9. What Is Your Greatest Achievement?
My most outstanding achievement was stopping thousands of people from losing their jobs when the company planned to let off due to financial difficulties. We asked for some time from the company’s executive board to look into the issue, which we were granted, albeit half-heartedly. We then looked into the company’s operations one by one, identifying wastages and unnecessary expenditures that were threatening the company’s well-being before tabling a report and hoping that the board of directors would consider it instead of firing some of our most hardworking employees. Luckily they agreed to implement the report, saving thousands of jobs.
10. What Motivates You In Your Job?
I usually have personal and team goals to achieve, which pushes me to work harder and ensure delivery. Teamwork means that everyone must be at their best to deliver, which I usually strive to achieve. I also set extra high success standards in all my undertakings which help me stay on the right track.
11. Mention An Experience Where You Showed Leadership At Work
I have heard the opportunity to showcase my leadership skills and abilities lots of times at work. At one point, I offered to be the team leader when nobody else wanted to. Despite being the lesser experienced and qualified member of the team, I believed in myself and put in the extra work, which allowed me to steer the team to success. Most people thought I would give up in between and were shocked when I managed to pull something successful.
12. Have You Ever Had a Conflict With a Colleague? Tell Us About The Experience
I once had a colleague who always lagged whenever we worked on projects. I talked to him and gave him several chances, but he didn’t improve. Instead, he kept underperforming and negatively affecting our progress. Afraid that he was becoming a demotivating factor to other team members, I asked my supervisor to identify a department he would fit well in instead of reporting him to the senior managers. This created bad blood between us as he felt degraded. I decided to approach him and politely explained that it was the best I could do because reporting to the managers could have seen him on probation or, even worse, made him lose his job. Luckily, he understood, and we buried the hatchet.
13. Have You Ever Had To Handle Several Projects Simultaneously? How Did You Manage?
An employee in my department resigned abruptly, leaving a considerable chunk of work unfinished. We were only two and had divided the work equally. Therefore, handling the remainder of the work fell on me since the organization couldn’t recruit a new person in time to meet the deadline. I took up the remainder of his task and, since it was needed first, halted mine and finished up on the former, tackling the most challenging constituents first before coming back to mine. I managed to finish just in time even though I had to work overtime and even carry some work home.
14. Have You Ever Been Under Pressure At Work? How Did You Manage?
I have been under pressure several times while working on different projects. However, the most remarkable was when the top management pushed back a project’s deadline by two weeks, citing unavoidable circumstances. I had also been asked to assume additional roles for some time since my immediate manager was on sick leave. I, therefore, had to juggle management and a tight deadline. I have to admit that I had a hard time but managed to complete the work by prioritizing tasks and working overtime, at times leaving the office at 9 pm when everybody else had gone home. I also asked for help from some of my colleagues who had finished their parts.
15. You Have Mentioned In Your Cv That One Of Your Strengths Is Keeping Up With Industry Trends, Information, And Publications. Have You Come Across Our Work Anywhere?
I have come across your work several times in my reading escapades. I am well aware that you usually publish blogs, articles, and even videos on your website and other publications such as Pharmaceutical Executive and Forbes. I particularly enjoy your articles on airline revenue management, which I find detailed and well-written. I have also seen your employees get quotes on publications such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
16. Can You Mention Some Of Our Competitors
You have five main competitors offering similar services. These are GlobalData, McKinsey & Company, Accenture(US), Axtria, and My Sigma. However, you still rank first in several areas, such as the net promoter score, Custer service, and pricing score, which explains why you are the best at the business consulting game.
17. Can You Mention Our Core Values
Your website talks of three values that guide the firm’s operations. These are treating people right, getting it right, and doing the right thing. The first value entails treating everyone with respect and dignity and creating a favorable and welcoming work environment that offers people a sense of belonging, while the second value means finding the right solutions to problems and achieving high-quality work delivery. The third value, which is doing the right thing, stipulates observing high ethical standards during work and interaction and observing dignity when dealing with work and clients.
18. How Do You Normally Embrace Diversity In The Workplace?
I believe that all human beings are equal. Therefore, I dont discriminate against anyone based on race, skin color, country of origin, religion, sex, or orientation. I also usually ensure that teams are as diverse as possible and consider everyone when there is an opportunity. I am well aware that ZS Associates is one of the world leaders in embracing diversity.
19. Do You Know Some Of The Industries We Target?
From my research before this interview, I gathered that you usually deal as strategic and long-term advisors to select industries. Your products and services are tailored to benefit the private equity, travel and hospitality, medical technology, financial services, telecommunications, industrial and business services, health plans, and high-tech industries. However, they are generally grouped into technology, medical services, and private equity.
20. Can You Research Independently?
I love finding more information about different things, phenomena, and fields. I can adequately research on my own and come up with conclusive studies. I enjoy anything that educates me or helps me find gaps in a subject. I am therefore willing to hop onto any project that requires independent research if I get this job since it is one of my greatest strengths. I also understand its importance in consultation as one cannot come up with adequate strategies or offer conclusive advice before proper research.
21. We Have Offices In Different Parts Of The World. Are You Willing To Relocate?
Yes. I am highly flexible at the moment, given that I have not started a family yet. I have also been cleared from my former workplace, making me free. I am ready to relocate if I get a chance. However, I would ask for maybe a week or two to bid my friends and parents goodbye and get my travel documents and accommodation arrangements in order.
22. What Would You Change About This Organization If Given a Chance?
First, I would like to congratulate the founders, employees, and board of directors for their excellent job with ZS Associates, making it one of the most inclusive and high-performing professional services and management consulting companies. Therefore, it would be an insult to quickly point out a defect that requires immediate change. I may only liaise with experts to find out if we can increase the number of industries the company is currently serving and the availability of seeing up shop in other parts of the world.
23. Mention Some Of Your Strengths
I consider my abilities to quickly adapt to changes and blend well in teams my greatest strength. The former saves me from decreased production when trying to get used to the new changes and ensures that the employer does not spend considerable amounts on training and mentoring. The latter plays a vital role in organizations such as ZS Associates which embrace diversity and heavily rely on teamwork. I am optimistic that I can join any of your teams and blend on well, immediately contributing to the overall team production.
24. Describe a Time You Disagreed With Your Supervisor. How Did You Handle The Situation?
One of the reasons I enjoyed working in my former workplaces was its conducive environment for offering feedback. A superior once asked me to spy on another employee, following suspicions he did not want to disclose. Knowing that it was against the law, I politely informed him that I would be in contravention of the national law and office policies, which could attract heavy repercussions. I decided to hold my ground and speak sense to him. He even apologized later, saying that he didn’t think it through.
25. Have You Ever Had To Deal With An Upset Client?
I have dealt with several upset clients in my career, which has helped me better my customer service. I have a simple way of handling such situations. I usually wait for the client to calm down before finding out what is wrong. I then apologize whether he is wrong and look into the issue. I will refer them to my supervisor or superior if I cannot offer the needed help.
These 25 recommendations are the most common questions in ZS Associates interviews if you have been shortlisted. Even though we have mainly majored in direct and behavioral questions, you should also anticipate test case scenario questions used to tell just how good you are at the position you are interviewing for.