During an interview for supply chain jobs, knowing the right questions and answers is important for the employer and the candidate. Whether you have an upcoming interview for a supply chain position or are facilitating the interview yourself, asking and discussing the right questions helps determine whether the candidate is the right fit for the position.
These types of questions usually start the interview out. Even though the employer has this basic information from the candidate’s resume, it’s a good way to develop a rapport between the interviewer and the interviewee.
As the employer, you can ask questions about the relevant experience from past jobs and education. It also gives you a chance to learn more about gaps in employment, why the candidate is seeking new employment and other similar information.
If you’re the interviewee, be sure to give more than what’s on your resume and cover letter. These questions give you a chance to go into more detail and talk about other things that you left off of your resume and cover letter.
There are three reasons why you left your previous job – either you quit, you were laid off, or you were fired. If you quit your position, you’re going to want to mention why you quit. Make sure that you emphasize the positive reasons for quitting instead of highlighting any negative reasons if there were any. For example, explaining that you’re looking for new challenges, new experiences or are looking for a different way to pursue your dream job.
If you were laid off, talk about the circumstances. Employers tend to understand that being laid off is often beyond your control, whether it was because your company had to make major cut backs due to the loss of a client or because there was a change in direction of the company’s strategy, to name a few reasons. Some of the most talented and skilled employees have been laid off at one point or another.
If you were fired, you’ll want to be very careful with how you answer the question. You’ll want to explain any extenuating circumstances, but do so without trying to put the blame for your firing on someone else – this won’t look good. In fact, avoid putting the company that fired you down in any way. The hiring manager isn’t going to want to hire someone who might speak ill of the company should they be fired. If you were fired because expectations or requirements changed after you came on, explain this. Make sure you explain what you learned from the experience.
After those basic questions are asked, the interview typically goes into technical knowledge. Asking about specific methodology, terminology and other industry knowledge lets the employer know that the candidate has the technical knowledge to get the job done. Questions about what certain terms mean, how much different materials cost and other similar questions that are relevant to the specific job are to be expected.
The next most common supply chain interview questions are ones that test how the candidate would act in different scenarios. These are great questions to ask because they help show how well the candidate can think on their feet.
There are two types of scenario questions: ones that are completely hypothetical and ones about how candidates actually handled similar situations. Asking how a candidate handled working with a difficult colleague and how they got through a difficult situation are ways to see how the candidate got through a real-life issue.
It’s also helpful to ask questions about how the candidate thinks they would react to a situation they have not encountered before. Questions about emergencies or other scenarios specific to the position are important to ask too.
When you’re preparing for an interview, most people will tell you to practice and prepare answers to possible questions ahead of time. While this does ensure you come up with good answers to some of the trickier questions, it does have one negative consequence — it can leave your responses feeling pretty robotic.
Interviewing successfully for a supply chain position requires more than good answers. Most supervisors are looking for personable, genuine employees. How can you convey your positive personality and also come up with good answers?
Once the employer has asked all of their questions, there should be an opportunity for the interviewee to ask their interviewer some questions of their own.
The candidate will want to figure out whether the job is the right fit for them, too, during the interview. As the interviewer, you should be ready to answer questions about the company itself, about the company’s culture and even questions about salary and benefits.
During an interview for a supply chain position, asking the right questions and giving the right answers helps determine if a candidate is the right fit for the position. If you find, as the employer, that you cannot find the right candidate, you may need extra help.
Contact us at Optimum Supply Chain Recruiters to start the process of finding top talent for any open supply chain positions in your company.