Top 20 Proposal Manager Interview Questions & Answers 2021


Proposal Manager Interview Questions & Answers

Introduction

Who is a proposal manager? And what do they do? Let us have a look at this. A proposal manager is the individual in a business responsible for responding to requests for proposals (RFPs).

Below Are The Top 20 Proposal Manager Interview Questions And Answers. Also, there are sample answers that will guide you on how you are supposed to respond to the questions.

1.     Why Are You Interested In This Role?

Here, the interviewer is asking you why you need this job. Talk about what made you apply for it and show them that you are interested in it.

Sample Answer

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Why Should We Hire You? 5 Best Answers

“As I believe that I have all the qualifications and experience needed for this role, I felt that I should use my skills and experience to better performance in your company. Having researched your institution, I saw a great performance in the procurement sector. I would not hesitate to say that I want to be part of this team and make it excellent. Also, I would say that I want to better my skills too by learning from you. I believe that I am young and energetic and I still have a big room to learn and sharpen my skills. Having thought in this perspective, I believe that it will be beneficial to your institution and me as well.”

2.     What Are The Roles Of A Proposal manager?

When your interviewer asks you about this question, they want to see whether you know what you are expected to do if you are employed. Talk about the prominent roles that a proposal manager should play.

Sample Answer

“To my knowledge, a proposal manager is expected to;

  • Facilitate discussions to bid or not to bid
  • Collaborate with the capture management team
  • Identify client priorities and win themes
  • Create and execute a proposal project plan
  • Conduct market and competitor research
  • Hold kick-off and debrief meetings
  • Act as point of contact for prospects
  • Gather and send follow-up and clarifying questions to the buyer
  • Manage the proposal team (anyone contributing to RFPs)
  • Ensure proposals and presentations are brand compliant.

Those are the key duties and responsibilities of a proposal manager.”



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3.     What Are The Qualities That A Proposal manager Needs To Be Successful?

The interviewer wants to know the qualities that you, as a proposal manager, should have to work effectively in this role. Talk about the qualities that you have needed for this role.

Sample Answer

“As a proposal manager, integrity and honesty should be the first priority. There are a lot of decisions that should be made in an honest way. I should also have good communication skills since this post involves a lot of communication with suppliers and other departments of the company. I should also be able to work both individually and in a team to ensure effectiveness while working. Having the ability to detail focus is also important to avoid errors when dealing with tenders, bids, and proposals. Having all the above qualities, I believe that I will use them to better the sector in your company.”

4.     What Significant Challenges Did You Face During Your Previous Role? How Did You Manage Them?

When you are asked this question, the interviewer wants to see how brave you are to face challenges in the field and how you should solve them. Would you please talk about the challenges you encountered from your previous work and how you could solve them?

Sample Answer

“In my previous role as a proposal manager, I encountered some challenges, but I was able to face them and solve them. I must say that I had a challenge of a lot of pressure in the job. Working in this role, I had a lot of pressure from suppliers inquiring about tenders and proposals. Others will want to bribe you to gain a certain favour. This is dishonesty and should not be tolerated at all. In this role, proposal managers face the challenge of being intimidated by corrupt individuals who would not like to follow the right procedures to win bids and tenders. All I had to do is stand strong with integrity and transparency.”

5.     Describe Your Daily Routine As A Proposal manager

The interviewer will ask you this question to see whether you know what you are expected to do daily—starting from the first, mention all the activities that proposal managers should perform every day.

Sample Answer

“First thing that I am expected to do is going through paperwork to see what activities we have for the day.  I would start to read emails and reply to voice messages. After that, I would use software to make sure all stakeholders have seen the new RFP from the customer. Then, I would go through edits of the proposal from the day before. After that, I would use the same software package to check the receipt of proposals sent to clients the day before. Again, I would use the same software to post quarterly results automatically. Then, I would use that same software package to create a template for responses to RFP’s for a new product line. After having lunch, I would customize the template to make sure it meets the cost accounting requirements of a major customer. That would be a perfect day at work.”

6.     Describe Briefly About Your Experience

Here, your interviewer wants to know how experienced you are in performing this task. Talk about the previous experience that you have in this role.

Sample Answer

“As indicated in the curriculum vitae, I have six years of experience working in this role. In my entry year in this field, I worked as an intern in a government ministry. After working for a year as an intern, I was privileged to secure a position as a proposal manager in the same ministry. I have worked in this role for the other five years. I believe that I have the full capacity to work in this role as far as experience is concerned. ” 

7.     What Kind Of Strategies And Mindset Is Required For This Role?

Your interviewer expects you to tell them about a proposal manager’s attitude in this question. Talk about the positive attitudes one should have in this role.

Sample Answer

“Firstly, a proposal manager understands the specific industry as well as the general nature of business contracts. They should also be able to gather the information needed to respond to an RFP. They should also be in a position to maintain leads, resumes, project descriptions, and text libraries in their marketing database. Lastly, they should be responsible for the language of a proposal, working with attorneys when necessary, and keeping all stakeholders in the loop at every stage of the creation of a proposal.

8.     What Is The Biggest Challenge That You Foresee In This Role?

The interviewer wants to know whether you are aware of the challenges you may face in this role. Talk about the biggest challenge that you think, if not looked at, can become a significant barrier to the proposal managers.

Sample Answer

“Having worked in this industry for a while, I must say that there are challenges that I foresee. With advanced technology, we should ensure that we are coping up with the rapidly growing technology. Many things are advancing in this industry and they may make the proposal sector grow slowly if there is no advance in technology. So, we should advance with technology in this industry to ensure that we can work efficiently by responding to proposals quickly as we can and making sure that everything is conducted as it should be.”

9.     How Do You Stay Motivated In Your Work?

Here, the interviewer wants to know what it is that keeps your morale when you are working. Talk about the achievements that make you happy when you achieve them.

Sample Answer

“Nothing motivates me more than achieving the goal of my employer as far as requests for proposals is concerned. After having a lot of pressure at work, I will have something to smile about at the end of the day. Having positive results after a big load of work motivates me to work again and again. This is what makes my morale high at work.”

10.    Describe A Time When You Failed In This Role And The Lesson You Learned

The interviewer wants to know whether you are brave enough to learn from your failures. Talk about events when you failed in your role but still, you were able to learn from it.

Sample Answer

“In my previous workplace, I must say that I failed, but I learned from my mistake. Due to work pressure, there can be mistakes made. I accidentally released the right package to the wrong customer. This happened due to the wrong labeling of packages.  I could see the disappointed face in the client’s face. However, I introduced bar codes that can identify packages without any confusion when scanned after that incident. Since then, a similar mistake has never happened after that.”

11.     Why Do You Feel You Are The Most Suited For This Role?

The interviewer wants to know why they should consider having you for this role and not any other candidate. Talk about the unique experience, skills, and abilities that you have.

Sample Answer

“Despite having the academic qualification, this post requires a person who understands well the daily operations of the proposal cycle. It is not an entry-level position. I have gained six years of experience from a very busy government ministry. I hope that you will consider my experience as an added advantage to me.”

12.    Could You Share With Us Your Greatest Achievements?

Here, your interviewer wants to know what most outstanding achievements you have in this field. Talk about any awards and promotions that you have received in this field.

Sample Answer

“Achievements are always the greatest motivators. I must say that promotions and awards make you feel that your efforts are being appreciated. After being an intern, I must say that securing a proposal manager role was an achievement for me. After that, I was awarded as the staff of the year. This was the biggest achievement in my entire career. It came along with a certificate of award and a gold-coated medal. I was also awarded for bringing change in the supply sector by introducing technology which eased the hard and tiresome work.”

13.     What Are The Standard Steps In RFQ Process?

The interviewer wants to know whether you know the main phases of the RFQ process.

Sample Answer

  • Establish the project’s boundaries.
  • Identify key stakeholders and advisors.
  • Talk to stakeholders and define your project needs.
  • Write the RFP.Create a draft of your scoring criteria.
  • Circulate the RFP.Review responses.
  • Research novel technologies as necessary.
  • Research the vendor track records.
  • Scrore the response and select a vendor.
  • Negotiate and sign a contract.”

14.    What Information Should Be Included In RFQ?

The interviewer wants to know whether you are aware of the information and details that should be in the RFQ.

Sample Answer

“ A request for quotation should have the following details

  1. Organizational background
  2. Short project description
  3. Project requirements and project objectives: 
  4. Project budget
  5. Milestones and deadlines
  6. Questions and required information: 
  7. Contact information and deadline for submissions.”

15.    What Is The Purpose Of Request For Quotation?

The interviewer wants to know whether you know the benefits of an RFQ.

Sample Answer

“Request for quotation purpose is to;

  • Find the vendor best suited to the needs of the organization – CastinG  a wide net and letting the unknown companies compete against the familiar ones will increase the likelihood of finding just the right vendor for your current needs.
  • Accountability and good governance – Due to its open nature, the standard RFP process encourages fairness and transparency while minimizing the likelihood of corruption or favoritism.
  • Needs assessment – The process of writing an RFP gives you an opportunity to interview key stakeholders and bridge the gap between the vague aspirations that launch a project and the concrete, measurable requirements that guide it to successful conclusion.”

16.     Mention Three Questions That You Can Ask In RFQ

The interviewer wants to know which questions can be asked in a request for a quotation.

Sample Answer

“The top questions that can be asked are;

  • What policies do you have regarding price volatility?
  • Can you suggest alternatives that meet our requirements?
  • How much time does your company need to respond to unplanned requests or additional requirements?”

17.     Give Examples Of The Selection Procedures For Consulting Services That Use The RFP Procurement Method

The interviewer wants you to give them examples of the selection procedures for consulting services that use the RFQ method

Sample Answer

“These examples are;

  • Quality and cost-based selection
  • Quality based selection
  • Fixed budget selection
  • Least cost selection.”

18.    Tell Us About What You Know About Us.

Before you go for an interview, you should research the hiring company. You should know a bit about the background history of the company and what it does.

Sample Answer

“I must say that I did a detailed background of your company. Baltore Store Company Limited was started in 2001 by Levi Campus, who was once a governor in this county. The company offers storage services for perishable goods. In the year 2007, it was awarded as the biggest tax-paying company in the county. This is a great achievement for you, I must say. ”

19.     What Can You Do For Our Company In The Next One Month?

The interviewer wants to see what you can do for them at your entry-level if they give you the job. Talk more about learning and adapting to their routine in the first month.

Sample Answer

“At my entry month, I will be focusing more on learning from the company and trying to fix my strategies. When you are new in a place, it is good to observe first and then act accordingly. Observing the company’s routine will help me know what strategies I should bring in to ensure effective working. In addition, I will also be teaching and training my team on how to use my strategies especially use of technology in this sector.”

20.     What Is Your Biggest Fear In This Role?

Your interviewer wants to know what you would not like to happen to you while working. Talk about your fears in your career.

Sample Answer

“As a proposal manager, my greatest fear is failing in my role. I mean, this is a crucial post that may determine a lot about the procurement of the company’s stuff. I wouldn’t want to be a failure in this role. That would put me off.”

Conclusion

You should answer the interview questions with confidence and be as straightforward as you can. Avoid giving irrelevant information to your interviewers. With the above approach, your chances of securing the position are pretty high. All the best.

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