Today’s top employers are increasingly conducting behavioral based interviews designed to assess core competencies deemed important to possess in order to be successful in the job. The interviewers may ask a series of questions designed to discover and assess past performance, which is considered to be a predictor of future success.
When you go on your next supply chain interview, you will likely be asked to answer questions with specific and detailed responses about the situations or tasks in which you were involved in your previous roles, the actions you took and the results. The questions sometimes start with the phrase “Tell me about a time when….”. The best way to prepare for these types of interviews is to focus on your most relevant and important accomplishments that relate to the core competencies they’re seeking for their position (often times these competencies are outlined within the job description).
Before The Interview
Before you ever go on an interview, you must first research the company and be fully prepared to answer the questions “What do you know about our company?”, “Why do you want to work here?” and “Why are you the best person for us to hire for this job?”
Conduct Company Research
Review the company website and look for information about their history, products and services, mission statement, values and vision, as well as financial performance. If you can, speak with others that currently work there or have worked there in the past to gain more information about the company, culture and management.
Understand Job Responsibilities
Understand the job you are applying for, the duties, skills, experience and other requirements. Ask your supply chain recruiter to clarify any questions you are unsure about and also to outline what they are looking for in a successful candidate.
Know Your Accomplishments
Commit to memory 5 to 10 of your top accomplishments and be prepared to discuss the related situations (e.g. projects, problems, etc.), your actions and final results for each. Focus on quantifying results with numbers, metrics, percentages or dollar amounts for each accomplishment.
Dress to Impress
Find out the appropriate interview attire for the particular position and company where you will be interviewing. Ask your supply chain recruiter for advice. When in doubt and you can’t find out, overdress for success (business attire e.g. suit and tie) as this is better than under dressing.
Prepare for a Phone Screen
Don’t underestimate how important a phone interview is, it’s the first step to determine if you move onto the next round.
Arrive 10-15 minutes early to make sure you have time to find the lobby or office, freshen up, read over your notes and relax a little. If you know you are going to be late due to unavoidable circumstances (traffic tie ups due to a wreck on the freeway, plane arriving late, etc.) make sure you call the hiring manager or his/her assistant immediately to apologize and to ask if you may still attend the interview or how you may reschedule.
Prepare a List of Questions
Prepare questions related to the job and company ahead of time. This shows the interviewers that you’ve come well prepared and are genuinely interested in learning as much as possible about the opportunity, company, challenges, etc. We do not recommend “winging it” by not preparing any questions to ask because this will leave the impression that you’re not genuinely interested in the opportunity.
Consider “role playing” with someone that will objectively help you in discussing your experience, strengths and accomplishments. If you have any weaknesses or negative experiences such as a termination, practice how you would explain the situation during a job interview. Know that employers are typically wanting to find out how you learned from a negative experience so be honest and maintain a positive attitude.
Bring Necessary Documents
Take a copy of your resume, job history with names of companies, all employment dates and references with you so that you can appropriately fill out an application form if asked before your interviews.
Make A Good First Impression
Your supply chain interview start the moment you drive into the company parking lot and end the moment you drive off the company property. When you get to the interview location and enter the building, be extremely courteous to everyone that you meet along the way: the security guard, receptionist, administrative assistants, those you meet in the building lobby, hallway, elevator or even in the restroom. You will be continuously evaluated on your dress, demeanor, body language and how you treat others while you’re on premise, and those observations are often times communicated to the interviewing team (positive or negative).