Even if you have the greatest resume to have ever been printed on paper, you still need to nail your interview if you are interviewing for a supply chain manager position. Whether this is a full-time position or you are interviewing as a consultant, these are five of the questions that we believe you are going to be asked during your interview.
“Give an example of a time where you solved a crisis/problem”
If you are a supply chain manager, you are dealing with unexpected problems every day. Your potential employer needs to be sure that you are able to handle issues that range from contract disputes with vendors to supply chain disruptions. You may get more specific questions, such as how did you handle bad weather delaying a shipment or a supplier not meeting shipping deadlines? Remember that you want clear, systematic explanations when giving your answer. Even if you are asked about a situation where you were not able to solve the issue, at least show that you gathered something from the experience.
“Tell us a bit more about your process improvements”
Companies have to be competitive at all times, which means that they have to move materials in a timely, low-cost manner. As a supply chain manager, you are constantly analyzing operations to avoid delays and save money. If you are giving an answer to this question, make sure that you discuss the analysis tools or the types of reports that you used to identify weak areas and find solutions.
“Give us an example of how you handled communication barriers”
Remember that as a supply chain manager, you are communicating with people in your own organization and parties throughout the supply chain. You may have to deal with language barriers and people who are in different time zones. Chances are that you will get questions to ensure that your recipient understood the message and they want to know how you are able to handle communication barriers. They may also ask if you have dealt with an unhappy service provider or angry customer before.
“How do you handle being out of stock?”
Of course, the natural implication that you should not be out of stock in the first place is built in here, but what happens if you are out of stock? Just having a predetermined answer is not going to work here, the company is likely looking for a situational response. How are you going to identify the shortage, do you have pending or outstanding orders? And what steps would you take to rectify the situation as quickly as possible?
“Handling a global perspective”
If you are a good supply chain manager, chances are that you are comfortable with cultural diversity and have a global view. You may receive questions about how you handled cultural differences or how you managed to work with people from other countries. There may even be questions about new international trade regulations or world events during your interview. They are not necessarily looking for someone who brushes up on the news, but they want someone who can relay the impact of current events into the field of their operations.
You should not expect these to be the only questions you get during your supply chain manager interview. However, if you want to be prepared for your interview, we can help you with that. We have experienced professionals who have been both the interviewer and the interviewee – they will be able to help you narrow down the important factors that you should emphasize during your job interview.
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