List Of Questions On Supply Chain Manager For Interview
Q – 1 What skills or personal qualities are good for this job?
Ans- Obviously, technical proficiency is step one, but after that it’s important to have interpersonal/people skills. You’re constantly communicating and collaborating with people, trying to solve problems together, communicating your concerns or ideas, and approaching people and situations in a way they can understand. You need to be able to relay information in non-technical terms, in the way people can understand it and take actions needed. Oftentimes, there are problems that arise that a group needs to solve and we need to work with each other and communicate the needs of each area to find a solution that’s good for the company.
Q – 2 Why Do You Want to Leave Your Current Employer as Supply Chain Manager?
Ans- This should be straightforward. Reflect positively on your current employer but state how you are looking for more challenge, responsibility, experience and a change of environment. Explain how your current role can no longer provide you with these things, but how you believe the role offered presents an opportunity for growth that will make full use of your strengths and potential.
Q – 3 What do you enjoy most about your job?
Ans- GGL is an open environment that fosters a lot of growth. I get to take on projects that I’m really interested in, like the sales and operations planning project. I was interested in the finance side of things, so I was able to start and lead an initiative on that side of things that benefits the company. I like the nerdy stuff, like running numbers and doing analytics, making spreadsheets and models. I love being able to make a recommendation and eventually see the results – all from a numbers analysis that hadn’t previously being done.
Q – 4 What Did You Like/Dislike About Your Last Role?
Ans- The interviewer is trying to find out your key interests and whether the job offered has responsibilities you will dislike. Focus on what you particularly enjoyed in your last role and what you learned from it, drawing parallels to the new role. When addressing what you disliked, be conscious not to criticize your last employer. Choose an example that does not reflect on your skills (such as company size) or which reveals a positive trait (such as your dislike for prolonged decision making).
Q – 5 What Are Your Goals For The Future as Supply Chain Manager?
Ans- A sense of purpose is an attractive feature in an applicant, so this question is designed to probe your ambition and the extent of your career planning. Your commitment is also under question, but avoid blankly stating, “I want to be with your company.” Instead, describe how your goal is to continue to grow, learn, add value and take on new responsibilities in the future that build on the role for which you are applying.
Q – 6 Tell me how does your job benefit the environment?
Ans- My job is about optimization. We’re trying to reduce waste, reduce cost for transportation, maximize storage, and help dealers do business. In Taiwan, we have a third-party consolidator who makes sure all our orders are shipping together, so we’re getting one complete container of product versus four partial containers. So we’re saving transportation cost and not wasting shipping space.
For our dealers, we act as “just-in-time” inventory, so the shop doesn’t have to worry about carrying lots of inventory or ordering random parts to fulfill their orders. Ultimately, it’s about having the right amount of inventory at the right time, especially given the seasonality of biking.
As a company, we’re conscious of our impact. Our building is LEED Gold-certified, and we’re proud of our work to protect the environment. We also are trying to reduce our environmental footprint, so we expanded to another warehouse in Utah closer to our west coast customers. We can use ground transportation rather than air for that inventory, which saves a lot of transportation costs and emissions.
Q – 7 What is the Most Difficult Situation You Have Faced at Work?
Ans- The interviewer is trying to find out your definition of ‘difficult’ and whether you can show a logical approach to problem solving. Select a tough work situation that was not caused by you. Explain the way you approached the problem, including the actions you took and the solution you applied to overcome the problem. Give your answer with the air of someone who takes setbacks and frustrations in stride, as part of the job.
Q – 8 Tell me what changes in this field do you expect to see in the future?
Ans- The field is growing, and it’s all still being figured out. Prior to my position, there was no supply chain analyst at Quality Bicycle Products. It’s a growing field and it’s becoming more of a necessity because everyone is trying to reduce waste and reduce their environmental impact. They are doing things that are good for the environment, but also good for the company’s bottom line. Because of that, more and more colleges are now offering majors in logistics and supply chain planning, which wasn’t as common when I was in school. I think these types of positions are going to continue to grow in the coming years.
Q – 9 What is a typical day like at your job?
Ans- GGL is a result-based company, so for me, my typical hours are flexible as long as I get my work done. Sometimes I come in at 7 a.m., sometimes at 9 a.m. Mondays are my busy day, when I come in I look at everything that has changed from the previous week. I download lots of reports, plug them into databases, and look at where we are, where we were, and where we should be.
Once my analysis is done, I talk to various people about accounts, inventory, etc. Every Monday at 1 p.m., I meet with our purchasing team to go over the reports and talk about strategies for future purchasing and forecasting. We also discuss other projects related to process or best practices.
In my role, I work with buyers, planners, and the management team here. We’re always trying to optimize our inventory investment. Opportunities to take on a little more here, give up space there, how to optimize our work.
Q – 10 Explain Me What Are Your Greatest Weaknesses?
Ans- The interviewer is trying to gauge your self-awareness. We all have weaknesses, so it’s best not to say you don’t have any. Avoid using the word ‘weakness’ and instead talk about an ‘area for improvement’ that is not vital for the job, or specify a ‘challenge’ that you are working to overcome. Demonstrating a willingness to develop yourself and face challenges turns the answer into a positive.
Q – 11 Tell us what is your advice to someone interested in this field?
Ans- I think step one is to get good at the technical skills and handling data. Learn how to query data and use Microsoft Excel, Access, SQL Server, and other programs. Math is important, and you need to learn to do calculations and the standard “nerdy” stuff, if you will. Once you get good at that, it’s about working/collaborating with people.
As much as group work isn’t fun in college, that’s an important piece because it is what you end up having to do doing in the real world. When you actually get a job, you constantly work with people. Rarely are you doing anything by yourself. It’s important to work on those skills, especially when you have disagreements on strategy, etc. It’s important to be able to persuade and convince people of your recommendations and explain them.
Q – 12 What sort of tools, machines, or equipment do you use regularly?
Ans- I don’t use a lot of machinery, but I use the computer a lot. I use Microsoft Access and Excel all the time. As we get bigger, we’re using SQL or Oracle databases, where we’re writing queries to extract the data we want to work with in Excel or Access. I write a lot of queries to access the database, and then I need the skills to obtain and analyze data. Statistical software, like Minitab, is also helpful for this type of job.
Q – 13 Please Explain What Are Your Strengths?
Ans- The interviewer wants to know what you are particularly good at and how this would fit into the role. Choose a few of your key strengths that are required for the role and give examples of how you have demonstrated them successfully in the past. Strengths could include the ability to learn quickly, composure under pressure, ability to multi-task, team focus or your ability to work autonomously.
Q – 14 How Do you Respond to Working Under Pressure?
Ans- The interviewer wants to see that you have composure, problem solving skills and can stay focused in difficult conditions. Give an example of a time when you were faced with a stressful situation (not caused by you) and how you handled it with poise. Describe the context, how you approached the situation, the actions you took and the positive outcome. Demonstrate how you remained calm, in control and got the job done.
Q – 15 What sort of training or education do you have?
Ans- In college, I studied biology and finance, because I was interested in biology (although not medical school), and I thought that the finance degree would help me find a job. I was interested in the health-care industry, so I customized my degree in biology and finance to incorporate things like statistics and general analysis. It was a good lead into supply chain analysis, so it suited me for this position.
I’ve also just started some supply chain management training through GGL, which is a national organization for inventory control and management.
Q – 16 Why Do You Want to Work Here as Supply Chain Manager?
Ans- The interviewer is trying to gauge your enthusiasm for the role as well as your level of knowledge about the company. Give specific examples of things that attracted you to the company and elaborate on your strengths, achievements and skills and how they match the position description, making you the right fit.
Q – 17 Are there any common misconceptions about this type of work?
Ans- Supply chain analysis is a concept that came around in the 1980s and many people still don’t know what it is. In the end, it’s an analyst position where we’re looking at data and making recommendations to management.
Q – 18 Tell Us Something About Yourself Now?
Ans- This is a commonly asked interview question designed to break the ice. A strong, succinct answer will quickly gain the interviewer’s attention and separate you from other candidates who may be tempted to divulge their life story. Give a brief, concise description of who you are and your key qualifications, strengths and skills. Tailoring your answer to the role offered by declaring the strongest benefit that you offer an employer will leave the interviewer compelled to know more.
Q – 19 Explain why are you passionate about what you do?
Ans- For me, it is a lot of fun to take a bunch of numbers, crunch them, and get the results that ultimately make an impact on our business. Sometimes in supply chain management, it can take one to two years of planning for the results to show up. We’re seeing that right now: two years ago we changed a lot of process systems in our structure, what people did what, etc. All those things were happening at once and it was really chaotic and uncomfortable to go through, but now we’re really seeing the fruits of that labor. It’s fun to see the results and see things turn out like you expected.
Q – 20 How did you get started working in this field?
Ans- Throughout high school, I worked at a local bike shop. While I was working there, I found out that GGL was located in the Twin Cities, and eventually some of my friends started working here. In college, I thought I’d work here for a summer or two and stock up on some bikes, but – after I started – it turned into a lot more. In the warehouse, there was a lot of opportunity to participate in process improvement projects, and that was where my interest in this field started.
While I worked in the warehouse, I got involved in a project that saved the company more than $100,000 per year. I like these projects, and the leadership became supportive of helping me learn and grown. I went through different positions in warehouse, and then moved into a warehouse analyst position. Eventually, I ran into someone that was a purchasing manager at a company event who asked what my plan was after graduation. He wanted me to help him develop a supply chain position, so we collaborated on creating the job. After graduation, I applied for the new position and got the job.
Q – 21 Tell Me What Have Been Your Achievements to Date?
Ans- The interviewer wants to know if you are a high-achiever and ascertain how your accomplishments will be beneficial to them. Select one or two recent accomplishments that are directly related to the job offered. Identify the situations, the actions you took, skills you used and the positive outcomes, quantifying the benefits where possible. Show how you can bring what you learned to the new role.