Founded in 1969 in Los Angeles, California, Korn Ferry is a management consulting firm with over 100 offices in more than 50 countries. The company operates through four business segments: management consulting, digital executive search, recruitment outsourcing, and leadership development. It has one of the largest executive searches, specializing in recruitment services where organizations pay to get highly qualified employees for senior-level executive jobs. By 1992 the company had integrated a modern video conferring system for screening job applicants.
With many branches present locally and internationally, Korn Ferry offers many job opportunities and career selections. It employs over 8,000 professionals worldwide who help deliver services to its customers. Job applicants must answer specific questions for the firm to determine a candidate’s skills and abilities and if they are fit for the job opening.
This article documents common Korn Ferry interview questions and answers to give you an idea of how to prepare for an upcoming interview with the company.
1. Why Do You Want To Work For Korn Ferry?
My love for Korn Ferry goes way back, as I have always admired the company’s professionalism and the attention they give to its clients. The innovative solutions they provide to help meet customers’ needs are exemplary. The skills I’ve gained as a hiring manager fit well with the brand’s culture, where I can support the company in meeting its objectives.
2. What Role Has Your Past Work Experiences Played In Preparing You For This Vacancy?
My last role as a department supervisor prepared me adequately for this opportunity as I have gained invaluable technical skills in leadership where I’ve been assigning duties. That experience has helped solve challenges to ensure efficiency and timely completion of projects. The role also helped me develop other skills in time management, critical thinking, problem-solving, and how to bring together and manage people with different temperaments and personalities. With my previous background and exposure, I can competently handle this job opportunity.
3. Which Tools Have You Experienced Using To Help You Effectively Manage This Role?
As a human resource manager, I have used Salesforce to help organize employee data, including contacts, performance reviews, compensation plans, and documentation. Before integrating Salesforce, I wasn’t organized. But now, this tool allows me to track important data and collaborate with teams giving access rights to other management staff who get to access vital information.
4. Do You Have Any Experience Conducting Behavioral Interviews?
My role as a recruiter gives me countless opportunities to conduct different kinds of interviews. Behavioral interviews are important as they give insights into an applicant’s capabilities and exhibit how they have applied them in past work-related situations. I once was recruiting for a sales manager slot at an IT firm, where the HR manager wanted someone to inspire the team to achieve higher sales goals. During the interview process, I asked candidates about strategies they’ve used to motivate teams to achieve better results.
5. Which Recruitment Strategies Are You Conversant With?
My long-term experience as a recruiter has adequately equipped me after experimenting with multiple recruitment strategies. The first strategy involves a company website where you get to attract applicants who keep up-to-date with corporate affairs through the company’s official website. Other strategies include social media recruiting and networking. A worker’s referral program is another dependable way to get reliable and professional employees.
6. Share An Experience Where You Went Out Of Your Way To Get Information Or Complete A Task For Your Company’s Benefit?
In my previous role as a marketing assistant, knowing customers’ needs and preferences would improve our marketing strategies for reaching our target market. I had never done cold calling, but it was a practical way to meet new people while learning their thoughts about our company. The experience I gained was an eye-opener as I acquired marketing skills targeting specific markets.
7. How Would You Handle Employees Who Disagree With You And Feel Your Performance Reviews Are Targeting Them Unfairly?
As an assistant manager in the human resource department, one of my roles is to review work performance. Sometimes, employees have difficulty accepting evaluations, especially if the outcome is negative or if it affects their career progression. To mitigate this resistance, I always summon each person and have a one-on-one session with them where I listen to their grievances. I then explain how we achieve a rating and how a conclusion about their performance is reached. I also suggest how they can improve and get better ratings in the next review.
8. Share An Experience Where You’ve Had To Integrate A New Technology In Your Work Processes To Complete A Task?
As a marketing assistant, I’ve had to introduce many new processes since I joined the company when it launched operations. As a startup, I had to experiment and introduce strategies using different pilot programs. In one such instance, I had to create an online database for our sales team to use as a resource. It was new to me, so I had to conduct a comprehensive research.
I had to join an online class to help me create a resource for posterity. I also had to use tools to help me manage different processes, including talent management, communication, screening, onboarding, and job portals. Specifically, I have used GoHire to speed up the hiring process by consolidating everything needed in one place to attract top talent. Hirevue has been useful in streamlining the hiring process. At the same time, UlltiPro is an excellent all-in-one human capital management tool. Though there are many other options available in the market, these are a sample that I’ve used.
9. How Would You Handle A Situation Where As A Recruiter, You Are Experiencing Challenges Finding Candidates For A Search?
I would step back and audit the methods I have previously used. To achieve success in finding candidates for a search needs a strategy before you begin. I would include different approaches in the strategy so that if one method flops, I use an alternative. If all else fails, I research other sources or reach out to other professionals to recommend qualified candidates who fit the job description. Another option would be advertising in print media, television, or online.
10. What Leadership Skills Do You Possess That Helped You In Building Lasting Work-Related Relationships?
Being in management for three years has enabled me to develop my leadership skills. As an HR manager, I’ve always handled employees and maintained healthy working relations. I’ve had to learn and understand different temperaments, which has helped me manage different personalities.
Understanding how personalities react to situations has helped pair staff that complements each other’s strengths while making up for weaknesses within a team. I also take time to understand employees’ career progression and where they are in their career paths. This information helps determine an employee’s capabilities, so I can assign tasks I know they can deliver. I have also teamed up with clients to develop their company’s hiring processes or create job descriptions for specific roles.
11. Share An Experience Where You Had To Overcome Insurmountable Challenges At Work?
Soon after graduating, my first job was as a supervisor, managing multiple teams in different departments. The greatest challenge was my inexperience. Though I was confident in my abilities, I had to learn and grasp concepts quickly. Learning on the job while knowing that other people’s success depended on my decision-making process scared me. The additional responsibilities taught me everything I should know about leadership and how to manage teams effectively. I had to forego many luxuries and spent most of my free time studying to sharpen my skills. I would report to work early and leave late in the evening. I spent my weekends and holidays working. I had to set goals for myself and my team and develop daily routines. Looking back, it was a learning curve that helped me develop my leadership skills during that season.
12. As A Head Of A Department, How Would You Handle An Employee Who Isn’t Meeting Set Goals?
The first thing would be to get information about them, including their academic background, working experiences, and career progression. Having background information about individuals gives insights into their strengths and weaknesses and how they can capitalize on their strengths while improving their weak points.
I would also engage them and find out their challenges and how I can support them. Then, we would tackle the issue from the source. If, for instance, it is due to inexperience, I encourage them to enroll in part-time classes or get them into a mentorship program. If they are overworking, I will request they take time off to rejuvenate and return when they are refreshed.
13. This Job Necessitates Plenty Of Traveling. Are You Comfortable Going On Job-Related Local And Overseas Trips?
One of my greatest hobbies is traveling. I love to go sightseeing and meet new people. I also adore interacting with locals and learning about new cultures. Since I am single, I have plenty of time to dedicate to my work. Going on work-related job assignments is a great opportunity for me to grow with the company while enjoying myself while doing it.
14. How Would You Handle A Dissatisfied Client Who Feels Like You Aren’t Doing Much To Deliver On Agreed Services?
One time, my responsibilities involved the recruiting process for an upcoming IT firm. While we were doing everything we could professionally and systematically, the client felt that we weren’t doing enough for them and that they weren’t getting their money’s worth. After many consultations, I realized that the main issue wasn’t how we were working but a lack of communication. Since we weren’t in constant communication, it created an opportunity for mistrust and misunderstandings. We amicably ironed out our differences, and I took it upon myself to freely volunteer information on the project’s progress from that time henceforth.
15. What Career Goals Do You Have For The Future?
In the next five years, I see myself in a top-level managerial position helping other young professionals reach their career goals. I can achieve that while working at Korn Ferry. I want to grow while contributing to this company because I’m passionate about this industry.
16. Communication Is A Key Component To Being A Successful HR Manager. How Would You Describe Your Communication Style?
I prefer face-to-face communication to emails or phone calls. Direct interaction helps me interpret actions, gestures, or facial expressions that are impossible from a phone call or an email that may be deceptive. Sometimes, actions communicate louder than words. You can get plenty of feedback by examining someone’s reaction to information.
17. The Nature Of This Job Involves Tight Schedules With Short Turnaround Periods For Some Projects. How Do You Intend To Cope In Such Circumstances?
One of my greatest motivations is working to meet deadlines. To complete tasks on time, I am always willing to work long hours, including weekends, as long as the job gets done. I also exercise my time management skills by prioritizing tasks to handle assignments, starting with the most urgent. Collaborating to complete critical projects is also a good way to nurture relationships at work while networking within a team.
18. In Your View, What Is Success?
Success is my ability to impact others by helping them develop and grow their passions into successful careers. People don’t struggle as much when they are in touch with the God-given gifts which they use to serve others while making a living. This way, people enjoy their jobs instead of just enduring them.
19. How Do You Inspire Ideas In Others Or Make Everyone Participate In Meetings?
Usually, most people are always willing to contribute but are often reluctant for fear of rebuff. To solve this, I always customize my approach in group sessions. For instance, I always try to direct a question to a specific person and ensure that everyone gets a chance to contribute to the meeting’s agenda by the time the session comes to an end.
20. What Are Your Thoughts On Mass Layoffs At Work? Do You Have Any Personal Experiences?
I was very excited when I got a job immediately after graduation in a company I had always wanted to join. I was very enthusiastic and dedicated myself to my work wholeheartedly. Two years later, the company adopted an overall expansion process which failed to take off as planned, leading to massive financial constraints. Unfortunately, the company had to restructure and lay off staff. Unfortunately, new entrants like me were the first casualties. Though disappointed, I took the experience positively as I had gained plenty of experience. Since I had a great relationship with everyone, my manager wrote me a great recommendation that helped me get a better job promotion after only two weeks of job hunting.
21. What Do You Identify As Your Greatest Strength?
I am a good communicator. I listen and empathize with people before speaking or airing my views about a topic. Most of my colleagues and seniors have pinpointed that to me. People confide in me about the challenges they’re facing. I have since joined a psychology and counseling course so as to assist more people as soon as I graduate.
22. What’s Your Initial Reaction To Problems?
A practical way to handle a problem is to remain calm, no matter the pressure. Emotional maturity and professionalism are two skills that I have had to cultivate as a leader. When my team notices that I am calm, they relax and know everything is under control, even when things are chaotic. Maintaining composure in a crisis makes it easier to brainstorm and find effective solutions.
23. How Will Korn Ferry Clients Benefit From Your Expertise?
One of Korn Ferry’s missions is to sustain its growth by solving clients’ greatest challenges. I hope to emulate this by examining clients’ needs and offering solutions to their challenges. I first understand a client’s expected outcome and objectives whenever I have a task. By interacting with the client, I am always better placed to offer a more practical solution.
24. One Of Your Roles As A Consulting Analyst Is To Generate Presentations. What Experience Do You Have In Creating Document Presentations?
To excel as an analyst, I strive to translate data and present it in a simple yet easy-to-understand format. Usually, I summarize information and package it in a colorful, easy-to-follow presentation—my skills in handling Ms. PowerPoint and Google Slide help create charts and diagrams. I’ve also learned to make videos by creating short documentaries and training clips.
25. In Your Observation, What Would Be The Most Difficult Part Of Working For Korn Ferry?
One difficult part is adapting to customers’ expectations and aligning myself with the client’s needs. I intend to achieve this by exercising flexibility and adjusting as per the client’s preferences. Asking practical questions, researching their brand, and understanding what they want to achieve with a project, is a practical ways to understand what they expect from a project.
The interview process at Korn Ferry varies depending on available positions and a candidate’s skill set. Generally, most interviews involve a phone screening with a recruiter, followed by a formal face-to-face interview with the hiring team. It may also include an online assessment. The whole process can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks. If you are preparing for an interview at Korn Ferry, we hope the tips shared here give you the much-needed insights to handle the whole process with confidence.