20 MaRS Discovery District Interview Questions and Answers

Prepare for the types of questions you are likely to be asked when interviewing for a position at MaRS Discovery District.

MaRS Discovery District is a not-for-profit organization that supports entrepreneurs in the fields of health, life sciences, and technology in Toronto, Canada.

If you’re hoping to land a job at MaRS, you can expect the interview process to be pretty competitive. To give yourself the best chance of success, you’ll need to be prepared to answer some tough questions.

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of sample MaRS interview questions and answers to help you prepare for your interview.

MaRS Discovery District Interview Process

The interview process at MaRS Discovery District can vary depending on the position you are applying for. However, most positions will require at least one phone screening interview and one in-person interview. For some positions, there may also be a video interview component. The length of the hiring process can vary, but it typically takes 1-2 months to complete.

Overall, reviewers found the interview process to be fair and efficient. However, some reviewers noted that the questions asked could be more relevant to the role. Additionally, some reviewers felt that the process was too competitive and that the interviewers were not always respectful of the applicant’s time.

1. What is your experience with customer service?

MaRS is a customer service-oriented organization, so it’s important that you have experience with this type of work. Your answer should show the interviewer your ability to interact with customers and solve their problems.

Example: “I’ve worked in customer service for five years now, starting as a receptionist at my local library. I learned how to handle all types of situations, from helping people find books to answering questions about computers. As a librarian, I also had to help patrons who were having trouble finding information online or using the library catalog. This helped me develop my problem-solving skills.”

2. Why do you want to work at MaRS Discovery District?

This question can help the interviewer get to know you better and understand why you are a good fit for their organization. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention specific aspects of MaRS Discovery District that interest you or what drew you to apply for the role.

Example: “I want to work at MaRS because I am passionate about innovation in technology and science. I have always been interested in how new ideas and discoveries can change the world, and I think MaRS is an amazing place where these innovations can come together. I also love working with people, so I would enjoy being part of a team that encourages collaboration.”

3. How would you handle an angry client?

MaRS is a place where people come to solve problems and find solutions. Sometimes, these clients may become frustrated or angry with the process. Your answer should show that you can remain calm under pressure and use your problem-solving skills to help resolve the issue.

Example: “I have had this experience in my previous position as an IT specialist. I was working on a project for a client who became upset when we encountered some technical issues. I remained calm and explained what we were doing to fix the problem. The client understood our situation and appreciated my honesty. He even gave us another chance to work on his project after seeing how well we handled the first one.”

4. Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult situation and how did you overcome it.

This question is a great way to assess your problem-solving skills and ability to work under pressure. When answering this question, it can be helpful to highlight how you used your critical thinking skills to overcome the challenge.

Example: “When I was working as an intern at my previous company, we were tasked with creating a new marketing campaign for one of our clients. The client wanted us to create a campaign that would increase sales by 20% within six months. We had a team of five people, including myself, who worked on the project. After two weeks of research, we realized that there wasn’t enough time to complete the project in the allotted timeframe.

I presented my idea to the rest of the team, which was to divide the project into three phases. This allowed us to focus on each phase individually and meet the deadline. By dividing the project into phases, we were able to successfully complete the entire project.”

5. Are you comfortable working in a fast-paced environment?

MaRS is a fast-paced environment, and the interviewer wants to make sure you’re comfortable with that. This question also helps them determine if you can handle stress well. Use your answer to show how you thrive in a busy work environment.

Example: “I love working in a fast-paced environment because it allows me to get more done in less time. I’m used to multitasking and am confident in my ability to stay focused on what’s most important while still getting other tasks done. In fact, I find that when I have multiple projects going at once, I actually get things done faster than when I only focus on one thing.”

6. Describe the last project that you managed from start to finish.

This question is a great way to show your leadership skills and how you can apply them in the workplace. When answering this question, it’s important to highlight your ability to work with others and manage time effectively.

Example: “The last project I managed from start to finish was an event that my company hosted for our clients. We had to plan everything from the venue to the food and entertainment. It took us several months to plan the event, but we were able to make sure that all of our client’s needs were met. The event went well, and many of our clients said they would be returning next year.”

7. What are some of the things you look for when hiring new employees?

This question can help the interviewer get a better idea of your hiring process and how you evaluate potential employees. Your answer should include some specific qualities that are important to you when looking for new hires, such as communication skills, teamwork abilities or problem-solving skills.

Example: “I look for candidates who have strong communication skills, both written and verbal. I also want to see that they’re willing to learn from others and ask questions if they don’t understand something. Another quality I look for is adaptability because working in a startup environment means things change quickly. Finally, I’m always looking for people with passion and enthusiasm.”

8. Do you have any experience managing teams?

This question can help interviewers understand your leadership skills and how you might fit into the MaRS Discovery District team. If you have management experience, share a few examples of how you managed your teams to success. If you don’t have management experience, you can talk about other ways you’ve helped lead or organize projects.

Example: “I’ve been managing my own freelance writing business for five years now, so I’m used to delegating tasks and setting deadlines. In my last position as an editor at The Toronto Star, I was responsible for hiring new writers and editing their work. I also trained new employees on our style guide and company culture.”

9. When was the last time you had to manage multiple projects simultaneously?

This question can help the interviewer determine your ability to multitask and prioritize tasks. Use examples from previous work experience that highlight your organizational skills, time management abilities and attention to detail.

Example: “In my last role as a marketing manager at a tech startup, I had to manage multiple projects simultaneously on a daily basis. One of my main responsibilities was managing our social media accounts, so I would check in with our team members who were responsible for writing blog posts or creating content for our company’s website. I also monitored our analytics reports to ensure we were reaching our target audience.”

10. Have you ever worked directly with a CEO/CFO, can you tell me about the role you played?

The hiring manager may ask this question to learn more about your leadership skills and how you interact with senior management. When answering, it can be helpful to mention a specific example of when you worked directly with a CEO or CFO and the positive impact you had on their business.

Example: “In my current role as an IT specialist, I work closely with our CFO to ensure all technology is functioning properly. For instance, last year we were having issues with our email servers, so I met with the CFO to discuss the issue. We determined that the problem was due to outdated software, so I recommended upgrading the system. The CFO approved the upgrade, which solved the issue and saved the company money in the long run.”

11. Give us examples of times where you were able to effectively communicate with clients.

This question is an opportunity to show your communication skills and how you can use them in a professional setting. When answering this question, it can be helpful to provide specific examples of when you used active listening or other communication techniques to help clients understand information or solve problems.

Example: “In my previous role as a software developer, I worked with many different types of clients, including small businesses and large corporations. One of the most important parts of my job was communicating effectively with these clients so they understood what we were doing for them and could give us feedback on our work. To ensure that all of my clients understood what we were working on, I would always make sure to ask questions about their expectations and explain any technical terms or processes.”

12. What is your experience with budgeting and forecasting?

MaRS is a large organization that requires its employees to be able to manage budgets and forecasts. Your answer should show the interviewer your experience with these processes, as well as how you plan for future expenses.

Example: “In my last position, I was responsible for creating monthly budget reports and quarterly forecasting reports. These reports helped me identify areas where we could save money or increase revenue. For example, in one of our quarterly forecasts, I noticed that we were going to run out of supplies before the end of the quarter. This allowed us to order more supplies ahead of time so we didn’t have to worry about running out.”

13. Have you ever worked on a team that wasn’t performing well, what did you do to improve performance?

This question can help interviewers understand how you handle conflict and your ability to motivate others. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a specific situation where you helped improve performance or resolve conflict among team members.

Example: “I once worked on a project with a group of researchers who were all working on different aspects of the same problem. The researchers weren’t communicating well with each other, which led to some confusion about what they were researching. I met with each researcher individually and asked them questions about their research so that I could better understand the entire project. This allowed me to create an outline for the project that outlined each step of the process. Each researcher then used this outline to complete their part of the project.”

14. Tell me about a time when you had to make a decision without all of the information available.

This question can help interviewers understand how you make decisions and whether or not you have the ability to think critically. In your answer, try to explain what information you did have available and how you made a decision based on that information.

Example: “When I was working as an assistant manager at my previous job, we had a lot of employees who were out sick for long periods of time. This meant that there weren’t enough people to cover all of our shifts. One day, one of our servers called in sick, which left us with only two servers to cover both lunch and dinner services. I knew that if I didn’t hire another server, we would be short-staffed for the rest of the week. So, I decided to call in some extra staff from other locations to fill in until we could find more permanent replacements.”

15. Describe a time where you tried something new and failed, what did you learn from it?

This question is a great way to see how you respond to failure. It’s important to be able to learn from your mistakes and not let them hold you back. When answering this question, it can be helpful to talk about something that happened in the past but also discuss what you learned from it and how it helped you grow as a professional.

Example: “When I first started my career, I was working on a project where we were trying to create an app for people with disabilities. We had a lot of ideas, but none of them seemed to work out. After a few weeks, we decided to scrap the idea and start over. While it was disappointing at first, I learned that sometimes you have to try things multiple times before they work out. Now, I know that if something doesn’t work after several tries, it might not be worth pursuing.”

16. What kind of personality do you think works best in this type of position?

This question is a great way for employers to learn more about your personality and how it fits with the company culture. When answering this question, try to be as honest as possible while also showing that you can work well with others.

Example: “I think my personality works best in this type of position because I am very outgoing and friendly. I enjoy talking to people and making them feel comfortable. I find that I am good at solving problems and helping others solve their own problems. I like being able to help someone who may not know where to start when looking for information or resources.”

17. What do you think makes a successful salesperson?

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your sales skills and how you apply them in a professional setting. Use examples from your experience that show your ability to sell ideas, products or services to clients.

Example: “I think the most important quality of a successful salesperson is their ability to listen to what their client needs. I always make sure to take notes during meetings with potential customers so I can refer back to them later when making my pitch. Another skill I use is active listening. When a client tells me something they want, I repeat it back to them to ensure I understand exactly what they’re looking for.”

18. What would be your strategy for selling our services to large companies?

MaRS Discovery District is a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship, so the interviewer may want to know how you would help their company attract clients. Use your answer to highlight your sales skills and ability to generate leads.

Example: “I have experience working with large companies in my previous role as an account manager at XYZ Marketing Agency. I helped develop marketing strategies for several Fortune 500 companies that resulted in increased brand awareness and revenue. In my next position, I plan on continuing this work by helping MaRS Discovery District attract more clients.”

19. If hired, what would be your approach to improving our social media presence?

Social media is an important tool for businesses to connect with their target audience. Employers ask this question to make sure you understand the importance of social media and how it can help your team achieve its goals. In your answer, explain what steps you would take to improve your organization’s social media presence. Show that you have experience using social media platforms or tools to promote a brand.

Example: “I think social media is an excellent way to reach our target audience. I would create a plan to use social media to share content that educates people about MaRS Discovery District. For example, we could post videos on YouTube about different research projects happening at MaRS. We could also use Instagram to share photos of events hosted by MaRS. These are just a few ways I would use social media to increase awareness of MaRS.”

20. What is your experience with using Salesforce?

MaRS uses Salesforce to manage its clients and projects. Your answer should show that you have experience using the software, but it can also be a chance for you to explain why you prefer one platform over another.

Example: “I’ve used Salesforce since I started my career as an IT professional. It is a great tool because it allows me to keep track of all of our client information in one place. The system makes it easy to create reports and monitor sales performance. However, I do find that some of the features are too complex for users who aren’t familiar with the program. For example, when I was working at my last job, we hired a new employee who didn’t know how to use the reporting feature on Salesforce. She ended up creating her own spreadsheet to record data instead.”


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