Supply chain refers to the sequences of activities in the production and distribution of a commodity. Therefore, it is crucial to have the relevant skills and expertise to perform these activities effectively. If you are preparing for a supply chain interview, we’ve got you in mind. Here is a list of commonly asked supply chain interview questions and the best answer for each question.
1. Why Are You Interested in This Role?
The interviewer needs to know why you want the supply chain manager role.
Tip #1: Talk about your skills and experience in the supply chain
Tip #2: Show that you are the right fit for the job
I have thoroughly researched about your company and know all the activities which take place in here. According to the job post, I have all the qualities you are looking for, and I would like to use this opportunity to acquire more skills. I am also determined and I assure you that I will use my skills and knowledge to ensure the success of your organization.
2. What are the Roles of a Supply Chain Manager?
This question tests your knowledge of the duties of a supply chain manager
Tip #1: Highlight all the significant roles of a supply chain manager
Tip #2: Illustrate your expertise in these roles
A supply chain manager monitors and controls a company’s supply chain and logistics techniques and operations. The main aim of managing all these is to ensure the company operates efficiently and maximizes profits. They also have a critical role in creating and maintaining excellent rapport with distributors and vendors.
3. What Are the Qualities That a Supply Chain Manager Should Poses to Be Effective?
The interviewer intends to know the characters of an excellent supply chain manager
Tip #1: Mention all the fantastic qualities of a supply chain manager
Tip #2: Be eloquent and straightforward
An excellent supply chain manager must have excellent math skills, analytical skills, and the ability to understand the demand and supply concept. They should also incorporate data and keep track of orders, sales trends, shipments, and the ways to maximize profits and reduce losses. A supply chain manager should also have proper project management skills and know-how to use technology to accelerate supply.
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4. What Major Challenges Did You Face During Your Last Role? How Did You Handle It?
The interviewer needs to know if you are familiar with the challenges in the supply chain
Tip #1: Highlight a significant challenge you encountered
Tip #2: Illustrate the way you managed the challenge
The major challenge was planning and risk management, such as launching a new product, credit availability, consumer demands, political agendas, and global sourcing. These stressed me, and I did thorough research and came up with periodic and redesigned assessments. The assessments helped me since I was able to identify risks and control them. It also helped solve significant hindrances to our supply chain, and we were back to our feet within no time.
5. Describe Your Daily Routine as a Supply Chain Manager?
The interviewer intends to find out the schedule of a supply chain manager
Tip #1: Highlight your routine in the supply
Tip #2: Ensure the routine is appealing
I oversee the activities in line with tactical or strategic purchasing, planning, control inventory, material requirements, warehousing, and integrate orders. I also research and choose an appropriate transportation way which will reduce costs and ensure profits. I additionally view emails from suppliers, check and manage daily delivery complaints after that, check and approve documents
6. Describe Briefly About Your Supply Chain Experience
The interviewer wants to know your skills and expertise in supply chain
Tip #1: Mention all the relevant experience you have
Tip #2: Show that you have the right skills to handle the job
I have a degree in supply chain and over ten years of experience as a supply manager. I have a vast knowledge of every aspect of the supply chain and know about everything trending in the supply chain. I enjoy every role that I undertake in supply chain management because this is my field of expertise. With all the skills in the supply chain, I believe I am the right match for your company
7. What Is Kind of Strategy and Mindset Required for This Role? Example
The interviewer wants to know the techniques required for a successful supply chain manager
Tip #1: Highlight the strategies you incorporate in the supply chain
Tip #2: Show that your strategy is effective in ensuring success
A supply chain manager needs to have proper planning and management skills. He/she should plan the whole supply chain process while prioritizing the customers. The supply chain should link the suppliers, logistics providers, warehouse facilities, and distributors. This network should focus on achieving the same objectives and goals. It should also ensure it fulfills the needs of the customers and ensures maximum profits to the organization.
8. What Is the Biggest Challenge You Foresee in This Job?
This question tests the challenges that the supply chain faces
Tip #1: Highlight the significant challenge in the supply chain
Tip #2: Explain how to solve the challenge
The supply chain’s profit margins constantly face pressure due to the increasing cost in various aspects of the supply chain. The high-cost rise from various sectors such as:
- Increasing cost of fuel to transport goods either by air, sea or road
- Increased charges for transfer, storage, and product management due to complex international logistics
- High commodity prices also increase raw material costs
9. How Do You Stay Motivated at Work?
The interviewer wants to know your source of motivation.
Tip #1: Highlight all the things that motivate you in your work place\
Tip #2: Be straight to the point and confident
My primary motivation is the success of the company and also the teamwork from my workmates. They effectively distribute the roles among themselves, and each of them works passionately to see their task’s success. They motivate me to work extra hard and achieve the goal of the company.
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10. Describe a Time You Failed in This Role and The Lessons You Learned
The interviewer intends to understand your failure in your role
Tip #1: Give a circumstance in which you failed
Tip #2: Mention the ways you used to correct the failure
At one particular point, we had a massive demand for our products. The orders coming in were so many, and I hastily catered for them. However, during the rash, I miscalculated the cost, and we ended up losing some money. It came as a blow to me since I didn’t expect it, but I put all the strategies in place and recovered the lost money. I learned to be keen always and never to rush while handling orders.
11. Define Supply Chain Management
The interviewer wants to know your understanding of supply chain management
Tip #1: Define supply chain management
Tip #2: Be brief and eloquent
Supply chain management is the accurate monitoring of every sector of a supply chain: raw materials, finance, and data from the beginning to the end. In creating and fulfilling the demand, the supply chain ensures a stable flow of goods from production to delivery. Thus supply chain gets in touch with everyone from suppliers until they get to customers
12. What Are the Major Objective of Supply Chain Management?
The interviewer intends to know the primary goal of a supply chain
Tip #1: Illustrate the primary objective of a supply chain
Tip #2: Be straight to the point
The supply chain majorly ensures it creates efficiency in the production and supply of goods while minimizing wastes and maximize profits. It majorly does this by ensuring customers get the right products at the right time and the correct standards.
Supply chain targets utilizing every raw material, time and puts all the strategies to cut costs. All these minor goals lead to an ultimate goal that is to achieve success.
13. What Makes Up a Supply Chain Management?
This question tests the things which comprise a supply chain
Tip #1: Explain the basics of supply chain
Tip #2: Only mention the major things
A supply chain primarily comprises integrative and collaborative practices and the channel partners. The partners are suppliers, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, and customers who together contribute to the success of a supply chain.
The supply chain manager has to work closely with the suppliers, ensure accurate track of demand, and work on distributors and wholesalers’ services. He then needs to ensure consistent communication with everyone that makes up the supply chain, including the customers.
14. What’s Your Understanding of Compliance Labels?
The interviewer is testing your proficiency in compliance labels
Tip #1: Define compliance labels
Tip #2: Assure the interviewer that you are familiar with the term
The compliance label focuses on the standardized procedure of the company concerning the product. It’s very significant, especially for a company that imports and exports its goods. The government must check and ascertain that a product is in line with its regulations and correct standards, safe for the consumers.
15. What are The Roles of Logistics in the Supply Chain?
The interviewer intends to know your view on the role of logistics in the supply chain
Tip #1: Give a clear role of logistics
Tip #2: Ensure to stick to the critical point
Logistics refers to the process that involves the transportation of goods and services from a particular place to the leading destination. It also monitors the entire process of managing how a company gets its resources, stores them, and transports them to their final destination. It also entails assessing and identifying potential distributors and suppliers and evaluating their efficiency and accessibility.
16. Define Advance Shipping Notice
The interviewer wants to know your view of an advance shipping notice
Tip #1: Explain the concept of advance shipping notice
Tip #2: Illustrate its importance in the supply chain
An advance shipping notice refers to a notification that customers receive concerning the pending deliveries of their order and contains all the relevant information they need. It tells them that the supply chain manager has received their order and their goods are on the way. The notice is mainly through an electronic format and is a famous EDI document.
17. What’s Your Understanding of Anti-Dumping Duty?
The interviewer wants to get your definition of anti-dumping duty
Tip #1: Define anti-dumping duty
Tip #2: Show that you are familiar with anti-dumping duty
Anti-dumping duty refers to the import duty imposed on a good when the tax on the imported goods is substantially lower than the settled price in the exporter’s market country. This leads to a deficit in the local market of the importing country. Anti-dumping duty, in the end, lowers the international competition of local companies which manufacture similar goods.
18. Explain the Meaning of Less Than Truckload
This question majorly tests your knowledge of less than truckload
Tip #1: Highlight the meaning of less than truckload
Tip #2: Explain its significance in the supply chain
Less than truckload is where a truck owner and a shipping company enter into a contract. The shipping company doesn’t pay the truck owner the whole amount. The cost of transportation relies on the mass of the goods and the distance it’s supposed to cover. Less than truckload ensures economies of scale, which reduces the freight cost. Its more reliable for smaller shippers and significantly reduces the overall costs.
19. Explain the Safety Points Considered During Warehouse Transportation
The interviewer intends to understand the safety points a company should consider in the process of warehouse transportation
Tips #1: List all the safety points under consideration
Tip #2: Explain the importance of maintaining these safety points
Warehouse transportation faces certain risks hence a company must put the following safety points into consideration:
- Clear off every sharp object
- Manage any loose floor which can result in tripping
- Wipe off spills immediately they occur
- Ensure all fire exits are working properly
- Correct use of garbage cans
- Store all items in their proper places
- Wires and cords must be placed in a safe place away from the walking space
20. Define Dead Weight Tonnage
This question tests your understanding of deadweight tonnage
Tip #1: Define deadweight tonnage
Tip #2: Explain its importance in supply chain management
Deadweight tonnage is the difference between a ship’s laden and unladen weight. It means a company will subtract all their items on the ship from the ship’s weight. A supply chain manager must know the deadweight tonnage to calculate expenses and minimize losses.
These questions and answers will certainly help you to ace your next interview. Most supply chain jobs require a supply chain manager to travel both locally and internationally from time to time. It’s also a well-paying position but requires an individual with relevant skills to ensure effective supply chain management.