With 2015 right around the corner, it is important to remember that the field of operations management is becoming more popular than ever before – and thus the job market is going to be more competitive. If you want to be able to prepare yourself for a job interview in operations management, you need to be aware of the questions that you are going to get.
Keep in mind that these are not guaranteed to be the questions that you get during a job interview, nor are they the only questions that you are likely to get, but they should give you a decent idea of what to expect. The setup here is a little different, we will just provide you with an overview of the basic questions and tell you what the interviewer might be trying to learn about you.
Behavior questions that will address your business skills (analytical, teamwork, leadership etc.)
Remember that operations management is not just about doing your job well, it is about building unity with your own department, your own business, and other entities. Because leadership and teamwork are such vital components to performing well in operations management, you should expect this question to come around. It gives you a chance to elaborate on your professional skills and tell your potential employer a bit more about what makes you stand out from your competitors.
Why do you want to be in operations management?
This is an important question for most employers. Are you someone who heard that this might be an interesting field and can lead to a good paycheck, or are you someone who is passionate about the tenants of operations management?
Why do you want to work for this company?
You would think that this is a question that people would prepare for – but you might be surprised. Remember that you do not just want to talk about why the company is great, you also want to talk about how the company can relate to your professional goals or personal philosophies. Finally, you want to discuss how operations management relates to why you want to work for the company if at all possible (after all, this is why you are there).
Give an example where you used your interpersonal or technical skills to resolve a problem
Remember that these are the core values of what you are going to be doing during your stay with the company. It would be important to have a good, succinct example of how you were able to use these vital skills in your position. The interviewer wants to see how your skills are relatable to what they do and what your experience level is.
How might operations management play a role in the development of a firm’s overall corporate strategy?
Again, remember that this is a job interview. They want to see if your understanding of operations management lines up with what they believe. This does not mean that there is a ‘wrong’ answer, but it gives you a chance to tell them more about you.
What was the best management course you took?
This might not sound relevant at first, but it does tell the interviewer something about your passions. What you find interesting and where your professional focus lies. This is a question that can catch many applicants unawares, so make sure that you are adequately prepared.
How do you feel about managing [insert] employees?
This question can range from ‘senior employees’ to ‘employees with less education’. They want to see how you feel about managing specific types of people. This is a good chance to show that you possess the people skills and the critical thinking skills needed to be successful in this business.
These are just a handful of questions that you can expect when you apply for an operations management job. If you believe that we have missed some, make sure that you let us know in the comments. To learn more about a career in operations management and find out what else you have to know before a successful job interview, make sure to check out “Interviews with Masters of Operations Management”