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Gavilon Grain Interview

31 Questions and Answers by
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

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?

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Gavilon Grain Interview Questions


  1. 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."


  1. Tell me about an error or mistake you made because of a breakdown in communication from you or one of your team members.
    • On occasion, mistakes will happen, and communication will become broken. Talk to the interviewer about a time that this occurred in the workplace. How did you resolve the situation?

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I recall one instance where I misread an email from one of my subordinates. The punctuation was incorrect, and I read it in in a dire tone rather than in a positive one, as it was intended. After a tense conversation, the employee clarified her intention, and it seems I was mistaken. She and I agreed to exercise verbal communication on a regular basis to avoid a similar situation from happening again."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "We recently had a missing link in communications to one of our vendors, who we signed on to provide a large service. They were not aware of a change in the agreement which cost the company wasted time, resources and money. We were able to identify the breakdown in communication and change the process to ensure it does not happen again."


  1. 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."


  1. Market analysis is very important to us at Gavilon Grain. 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 Gavilon Grain, LLC, 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."


  1. What are your salary expectations?
    • The best thing that you can do when asked about your salary expectations is to be open and honest about what you are currently earning, and where you want to be in the future.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I can share with you what I am currently earning, and where I would like to be in my next position. Currently, I am earning a base salary of $78K plus an annual bonus opportunity of an additional 10%. Last year my earnings were $85K, and I'd like to earn a bit above that in my next position."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I am currently making $100,000 per year with two bonus opportunities. I am looking for compensation that is aligned with the role and provides an opportunity for growth."


  1. Would you consider yourself a creative person?
    • Talk to the interviewer about any interest that you have in creativity and how you have implemented that desire in the workplace. Even if you do not consider yourself to be a 'creative person,' there is a significant change that you have made creative minded decisions in your career.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I do consider myself to be a creative individual. One example of this would be the telephone sales scripts that I crafted for our inside sales team. They were lively and effective, and sales increased by 23% in the first 90 days of implementation."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I am someone who alternates back and forth with the right/left brain, but I will always consider myself a very creative person. I admire the creativity and unconventional thinking in business and arts."


  1. 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."


  1. 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."


  1. At Gavilon Grain we are looking for sales professionals who can make an impact on our business immediately. How do you plan to do that?
    • Gavilon Grain, LLC 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 Gavilon Grain, LLC 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 Gavilon Grain, LLC 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."


  1. Where do you see yourself five years from now?
    • It's impossible to know where you will be in 5 years but you should assure the interviewer that, given all possible circumstances, you could see yourself as a long-term fit for their position.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "Ideally, five years from now, I would love to see myself growing into a more prominent leadership role within your organization. My career interests align very nicely with your company's goals which helps me to see a great long-term fit here."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "In 5 years I would like to be seen as an authority in our industry. I would like to be well-connected and trusted when it comes to my work here."


  1. We have had concerns with employee theft recently. What would you do if you caught an employee stealing?
    • Some businesses have trouble with employee theft, and they need to make sure that they are hiring someone who is honest and trustworthy. Talk to the interviewer about the steps you would take if you caught a co-worker stealing.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "When I work for an organization, I tend to take pride in the work we are doing. With a focus on delivering value to a company wherever possible, I would feel obligated to report a co-worker stealing from the company. I will refer to any policy or guidelines available and speak to the manager in charge of the department where theft is taking place."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I would most likely confront the employee first. Sometimes perception can be wrong, and I would not want to accuse someone of theft falsely. Upon confrontation, if my suspicions are validated, I would then alert my supervisor."


  1. When have you had to change a major component of your project due to new information being presented?
    • Being able to swivel the focus of your project is a necessary skill for your success in most careers. Talk to the interviewer about a time when a significant change occurred on a project. How did you handle the implementation of the new information?

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I had a large project last month that was nearly complete when the client called to say that the dimensions provided were incorrect. Because of this, our team had to re-do the entire proposal. It took us an additional four days of work but, in the end, the client was delighted with our work, and it resulted in new opportunities with them."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "All of our products are thoroughly tested after the design and prototype phase. We were certain that the design would hold up to the endurance testing, based on the components used, but it did not. We had to go back and adjust the entire product design to determine the cause and correct the fault."


  1. At Gavilon Grain 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."


  1. At Gavilon Grain 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."


  1. 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?"


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