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Questions To Expect In A Procurement Job Interview

Procurement is an area that involves and requires very specific skills and expertise. Employers want candidates who can do the job and give great results.  If you’re on the market for a new procurement job, you may be prepping for an upcoming interview.

Let us look at top questions you should expect in your next procurement interview;

General questions

These questions help the employer identify what you are looking for, your understanding of the job description, and whether you would be a good fit for the company’s culture.

The answers are not necessarily “deal breakers,” but can help set a tone for the interview and aid the employer in gauging your overall potential.

Examples include;

  • What motivated you to apply for this job?
  • Tell us about yourself
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • What’s your ideal corporate culture? And why?

How do you define and approach purchasing—and procurement as a whole? 

The answer to this question makes it immediately clear how much you know about purchasing as a function of procurement, and speaks to your existing skill set. The employer wants to gauge your views and knowledge on cost reduction strategies, risk management, supplier sourcing and evaluation and supply chain management and dealing with internal and external stakeholders.

What do you like the most about procurement?

Did you get into procurement for the money or are you genuinely passionate about the job? Your answer will determine if you are a serious candidate or not. Procurement is also a broad industry and based on your response the employer will see whether your fit for a managerial position or better at handling transport logistics matters.

Which commodity/category have you sourced in the past?

The employer basically wants to get more insight into your expertise. Do you have the right experience? It will also tell if you are enthusiastic about the job specifications.

How do you manage supplier relations?

If the job requires you to be working closely with suppliers, this question can reveal how empathetic, adaptable, and capable you are in maintaining positive supplier relationships and building “win-win” solutions. It also provides a reliable foundation for future questions about specific interactions and how you overcame challenges or generated significant cost savings for an employer.

What is the most difficult lesson you have learned during your time in procurement?

You need to be specific and give examples. Your response will reveal how well you can tackle the challenges that crop up on the new job.

Describe your top accomplishments

Your answer should make it clear how you can put the skills you have used in the past to help strengthen the organization in the future. Maybe you restructured the purchasing process that helped reduce spending costs, whatever it is give relevant examples rather than just stating.

In the end,

The worst thing you can do in any interview is give generic answers. Be specific and provide relevant examples. Show the employer that you are capable of handling the job.

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