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Ace Hardware Corporation Interview
Questions

31 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Question 1 of 31
At Ace Hardware Corporation we always strive to provide the best products to our clients. How do you ensure a product is of high quality?
View Answers
How to Answer
The interviewer would like to know that you can determine the high-quality products from the lower quality products. Talk to the interviewer about your abilities when it comes to product discernment.
31 Ace Hardware Corporation Interview Questions
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  1. At Ace Hardware Corporation we always strive to provide the best products to our clients. How do you ensure a product is of high quality?
  2. Wholesale and distribution requires strong negotiation skills. How would you rate your negotiation skills from 1-10?
  3. Do you have any training in sales or business negotiation?
  4. At Ace Hardware Corporation we are always interested in finding new vendors and clients. Tell me about your experience in business development.
  5. Wholesale and distribution requires excellent organizational skills when it comes to purchase orders and inventory management. How would you rate your organizational skills from 1-10?
  6. At Ace Hardware Corporation we prefer to hire candidates with a post-secondary education. Take a moment to walk me through your post-secondary education.
  7. Market analysis is very important to us at Ace Hardware Corporation. What steps do you take to research the performance of a product before choosing to import it?
  8. What has been your best performing product in the past 12 months? Why do you think it has done so well?
  9. How do you feel that globalization has affected the wholesale and distribution industry in the USA?
  10. How familiar are you with NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement)?
  11. Many of our clients and vendors operate in other countries and time zones. Are you able to accommodate their needs by making yourself available outside of typical work hours?
  12. How do you properly vet potential new vendors?
  13. Many of our clients and vendors operate in other countries. Do you speak multiple languages? If not, how do you manage potential communication barriers?
  14. At Ace Hardware Corporation we are looking for sales professionals who can make an impact on our business immediately. How do you plan to do that?
  15. Tell me about a contribution you made to the last team you worked on.
  16. When you suffer a setback, how does that emotionally affect you and your work?
  17. Describe for me a time when you made the wrong career decision. How did you correct your misstep?
  18. How do you like to be recognized for your accomplishments?
  19. When have you had to change a major component of your project due to new information being presented?
  20. Where do you see yourself five years from now?
  21. What are your salary expectations?
  22. What career path interests you the most in this company?
  23. Would you consider yourself a creative person?
  24. Tell me about an error or mistake you made because of a breakdown in communication from you or one of your team members.
  25. What do you know about our company culture?
  26. How many days were you absent from work last year?
  27. Ace Hardware Corporation is asking for 8 years of industry experience and you have just 5. Why do you think you are qualified for this position?
  28. What questions do you have for me?
  29. How do you evaluate success among your team members?
  30. We have had concerns with employee theft recently. What would you do if you caught an employee stealing?
  31. How do you make tough decisions knowing they will affect your entire team?
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15 Ace Hardware Corporation Answer Examples
1.
At Ace Hardware Corporation we always strive to provide the best products to our clients. How do you ensure a product is of high quality?
The interviewer would like to know that you can determine the high-quality products from the lower quality products. Talk to the interviewer about your abilities when it comes to product discernment.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am very good at discerning low-quality products from the best quality products. I listen to my customers and have been in this business long enough to have a beat on who the reputable vendors are. If a product receives consistently low reviews, I do not hesitate to pull it from my inventory."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"In my current position, we have many processes in place to determine the quality and to ensure that only the best products are distributed to our vendors. In addition to our quality control processes, we also spend a lot of time listening to our customers to find out what they like, and what they are not as pleased with. Putting out a high-quality product is very important to me."
2.
Wholesale and distribution requires strong negotiation skills. How would you rate your negotiation skills from 1-10?
Give yourself a rating when it comes to your negotiation skills and also back your answer with an example of a time that you negotiated a problematic deal.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am very experienced in the art of negotiation and would give myself a 9 out of 10. In this past year, I negotiated some solid deals including a steep vendor discount on one of our most popular wholesale products."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am a skilled and experienced negotiator. I cannot recall the last time I closed a deal that I was unhappy with. For that reason, I would rate myself as a ten, on negotiation skills."
3.
Do you have any training in sales or business negotiation?
Talk to the interviewer about any additional training that you have received in sales and negotiation. Be sure to highlight your biggest take-away's from that training.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have a great deal of on-the-job training when it comes to sales, business, and negotiation techniques. In addition to this, I have formal sales training from Dale Carnegie as I took the 'Sales Effectiveness' course in 2015."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I have on-the-job training in sales and business negotiation; however, no formal training. With that said, I am happy to take any related training that you feel would be helpful. Do you recommend any specific courses at this time?"
4.
At Ace Hardware Corporation we are always interested in finding new vendors and clients. Tell me about your experience in business development.
Opening your business to new clients and vendors is a vital part of your success in the wholesale and distribution industry. Talk to the interviewer about your abilities when it comes to networking and developing business.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am a strong business development professional and am always on the lookout for potential new vendors and clients. Currently, I spend much of my time cold calling on potential new connections. In my most recent position, I was able to expand our business' profitability by 24% by merely calling on former connections and asking for referrals."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"In my current position, I manage some of our company's largest accounts. What I do is a balance of account management and business development as there is always an up-selling piece to what I do. The past three years, I have grown my account base by 20-40%. In addition to this growth, I brought on an average of 8 new enterprise clients every year."
5.
Wholesale and distribution requires excellent organizational skills when it comes to purchase orders and inventory management. How would you rate your organizational skills from 1-10?
Assure the interviewer that you are capable of maintaining strong organization of your inventory and orders. Rate your organizational performance and support your rating by providing an example.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I would rate my organizational skills as a 9 out of 10 because my previous manager has told me that my organization is exceptional. Because of my organization, I was able to reduce our back-orders by 63% last year alone."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Organization is everything. When I am organized, I can ensure that deadlines are met, and resources are being used to their utmost efficiency. I would rate myself as a 10/10 because I greatly appreciate a well-organized warehouse."
6.
At Ace Hardware Corporation we prefer to hire candidates with a post-secondary education. Take a moment to walk me through your post-secondary education.
Take the interviewer briefly through your post-secondary education. You can highlight any of your best classes, top achievements, or recognition that you may have received while earning your degree.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I completed my Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Global Marketing in 2009. I am proud to say that I graduated top of my class!"
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I value post-secondary education and appreciate the idea of continued education. I was unable to complete my degree, for financial reasons, but I do hope to return to online courses in the future. The courses that I did take were all related to business, finance, and organizational behavior."
7.
Market analysis is very important to us at Ace Hardware Corporation. What steps do you take to research the performance of a product before choosing to import it?
Market research is a skill that you must possess in order to be able to properly assess the best products to be bringing in for distribution and wholesale purposes. Talk to the interviewer about the way in which you research before committing.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"My methods of market research include performing social media polls and surveys. I also perform multiple focus groups every year. Rest assured, I will be bringing powerful market research skills to Ace Hardware Corporation, if hired."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am new to the distribution industry; however, I would say that the best way to research the performance of a product would be to test it in a small market before conducting a wide scale roll-out."
8.
What has been your best performing product in the past 12 months? Why do you think it has done so well?
Talk to the interviewer about the best product that you are responsible for distributing. In your opinion, why did it do so well? Keep your answer brief and be sure to avoid giving away any trade secrets or breaking any confidentiality agreements in place with your current employer.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"My best performing product this year has been (product XYZ). I knew that it would do well because we tested its performance in a small focus group before committing to its distribution. It has surpassed our expectations, which is great."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I believe that best-performing products are the ones that are correctly branded and marketed. You need to do the initial research before committing too soon to a marketing strategy. My most successful product this year was (product name) because we spent more time working on the marketing and distribution strategy than usual."
9.
How do you feel that globalization has affected the wholesale and distribution industry in the USA?
Talk to the interviewer about your thoughts on globalization and how it has affected the wholesale and distribution industry. Keep your answer factual rather than make guesses.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Globalization has greatly helped our industry to become more profitable; however, in some ways, it has negatively affected the quality of the product. Now, more than ever, we have products that are made faster and cheaper - causing them to be more disposable to the consumer. It has caused us to have to be much more careful when it comes to the products we choose to import and distribute."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Globalization is a two-sided coin. I feel that it has been great because it offers more options when it comes to manufacturers and materials sourcing. On the other hand, more guidelines need consideration when making decisions. Also, the quality of the product can more easily suffer."
10.
How familiar are you with NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement)?
As a wholesaler and distributor, one must be familiar with NAFTA and the rules surrounding the agreement. Talk to the interviewer about your familiarity with the agreement. Avoid giving a personal opinion on the NAFTA agreement.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have worked with NAFTA for the past 12 years and am very familiar with the regulations and processes. In my current position I am the NAFTA subject matter expert, often helping my colleagues navigate the regulations."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am new to the wholesale and distribution industry, so my knowledge of NAFTA is limited. I have conducted some research in preparation for this interview and will continue to broaden my knowledge base on this topic."
11.
Many of our clients and vendors operate in other countries and time zones. Are you able to accommodate their needs by making yourself available outside of typical work hours?
Assure the interviewer that you are dedicated to your success with Ace Hardware Corporation and that you can accommodate a flexible schedule. Have you worked an irregular schedule before? If so - be sure to draw on that experience.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"There are no limitations to my availability. I can make myself available to work a variety of hours including evenings and weekends. If a deal is to be made - I can be relied on to be present."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am happy to address a clients' needs outside of regular work hours when it is an urgent need, or there is a deadline present. I would never leave a client hanging; however, a stable balance between work and personal life is also important to me."
12.
How do you properly vet potential new vendors?
Assure the interviewer that you can adequately discern between great and unreliable vendors. How do you ensure that you are only doing business with appropriately vetted vendors?

Rachelle's Answer #1
"If you do not properly vet your vendors you can fall victim to a bad product, short orders, and even fraud. Our company has a series of steps for all vendors to go through including company background checks and references."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Every company has their processes in place before taking on new vendors. I plan to follow the processes of Ace Hardware Corporation to a tee."
13.
Many of our clients and vendors operate in other countries. Do you speak multiple languages? If not, how do you manage potential communication barriers?
Communication barriers can be present when you are working with vendors and clients across the globe. Assure the interviewer that you are capable of managing any communication barriers.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"If I have a client with a strong language barrier, I will often suggest that we communicate primarily through email as it's much easier to discern needs through written communication. I do speak English fluently as well as conversational Mandarin which had helped me as a wholesaler in the past."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I do not speak any other language aside from English. With that said, when I work with clients in a different country and they do not speak English, I will utilize an online translation service such as Google translate."
14.
At Ace Hardware Corporation we are looking for sales professionals who can make an impact on our business immediately. How do you plan to do that?
Ace Hardware Corporation wants to be sure that they are hiring the best people in the business so that they can be a step ahead of their competitors at all times. Assure the interviewer that you are engaged in this process by discussing the ways you feel you could make an impact immediately after being hired.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I plan to make an impact on the profitability of Ace Hardware Corporation through aggressive cold calling on potential clients. I also have some great ideas to bring in regards to vendor management."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I come with an already strong portfolio of clients and plan to begin there. You have a great product at Ace Hardware Corporation so I am confident that the response will be solid. In addition to this, I plan to contact your past client list and reactivate some dormant accounts."
15.
Tell me about a contribution you made to the last team you worked on.
It is essential to show the interviewer that you are a team player. Talk about a time that you were recently expected to achieve a goal in a team setting. How did you go above and beyond to ensure that your contribution was felt?

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Last month our company asked upper management to complete a full inventory audit. There were 4 of us in total and so we broke the audit requirements into shifts. These shifts had to take place when the warehouse was closed. In the end, there was one additional shift that nobody wanted to take. I volunteered myself to do that shift to show my dedication to my job and my co-workers. The gesture was appreciated, and the audit was completed on time."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"My most notable contribution was my ability to analyze and predict market trends, and then create a successful marketing strategy. Before me, there was no one with a true marketing background on the team."
View All 31 Ace Hardware Corporation Questions and Answers
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