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Seb Anthony

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I need help with an interview

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I am currently a Training Consultant with LTSB and I have applied for a role as Leadership Consultant.

The main thing I am struggling on is the 10 min presentation they want me to do.

They have given me a case study and asked me to answer the following questions:-

1. As a Leadership Development Consultant, how would you consult with this particular area of the business?

2. What typical Leadership Development centred solutions would you recommend to meet the business needs?

The case study is basically a list of Area Management Objectives which are

To embed a performance culture

To increase colleague productivity

To develop clear succession planning

To increase leadership capability

To appropriately resource the region

To transform colleague motivation and engagement

My problem is really what level to go into. The measurements are fairly basic (I can e-mail a copy if needed)

My thoughts are to assess where they are at the moment against the agreed measurements, do a gap analysis and create a plan to close the gap.

This won't obviously won't take 10 minsthough on the other hand coming up with a Leadership solution for each solution will take alot more.

My brain feels drained at the moment so if anyone can help talk me through this I will be eternally grateful
Howard Pearson

3 Responses

  1. some ideas
    HI Howard

    Can I say first of all – what a terrible brief! They are asking very indepth questions for a very short period of time.

    So in terms of approach you seem to have that is what would happen in reality – gap analysis approach.

    However, due to the constraints you have I think the first thing I would do is decide what they are actually looking for (based on the measurements you were given).

    You will then need to structure your answer to meet those needs and demonstrate you can
    – think corporately
    – deal with different types of people/different business areas
    – think logically and plan for the responses you might get from the different business areas

    I would be tempted to challenge question 2 – as the whole idea of being a consultant is to assess the needs of your customers (the Business areas) and work with them to identify suitable and effective solutions. Without knowing their needs how can you give recommendations? You would only be giving “vanilla” answers when the core role appears to more about consulting.

    I would probably spend some time on Q1 outlining your approach/how you would plan the interactions, what you would be looking for, how would you gain buy in, how would you quantify your findings etc

    Then spend some time on how you would then produce the appropriate training plan/solutions the different areas. Go over the point about not rushing to judge and giving generic recommendations just yet. But to make sure they know you have really thought about this and aren’t trying to “dodge” the what would you do question. I would create an example to talk through so Bus Area A might have X,Y Z issues/concerns/needs/business plans/requirement – for which I would then do the following:
    Prioritise
    Different aproaches
    pros and cons
    etc

    Hope this helps! Feel free to contact me if you want to discuss more!

    Julie

  2. Leadership Consultant job interview
    Howard
    What a cracking answer you have had from Julie.
    I would only add that they appear to have two criteria areas they will be assessing you against. Firstly, around process – how will you approach the client. Secondly, around content – do you know your stuff on leadership development methods.
    On the former I would be impressing on them that you aim to be client centred and business results led. You might suggest that you will ask the client to determine what success would look like (eg how will they know when there is a performance culture or when capacity is increased). In view of the time constraints I might pick one of the issues as illustrative of your approach and talk through how you would investigate the issue, challenge and support the client, advise on options and plan implementation.
    As to methods, I agree with Julie – challenge the premise of the question – but then give an example of what might work (based on a real sitaution if possible). I know the Lloyds tradition was for well-crafted accredited psychometrics and strong programme designs. TSB was more about move fast, get results. I suspect the current culture is a hybrid of that heritage. You might want to suggest interventions that would have a sustainable impact on the culture rather than just addressing today’s challenges. I might – if I was brave – suggest a workshop format where you set the group the questions and get them to undertake various activities to source solutions and improvements. Mentoring, Action Learning, managed ‘raids’ to other areas of the business to steal best practices, 360 degree feedback, etc. are all options. But whatever you suggest be prepared to justify it in ways that focus on the desired results.
    Very best of luck. If you get this right you will deserve the job!
    Graham

  3. yeh but, no but…
    While I agree with Julie 110% in principle about not giving solutions, in practice I have failed at least 2 interviews by NOT going into solution mode. Much as it goes against the grain, I think you have to give an indicative solution to demonstrate that you can do it, and are a practical person, not a theorist.

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