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VWR International Interview
Questions

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

Would you consider yourself a creative person?

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VWR International Interview Questions

  1. 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."

  2. 2.

    At VWR International 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."

  3. 3.

    What questions do you have for me?

      It's always a great idea to have questions ready for the interviewer. Review the company website and other online resources to ensure the questions you are asking are not mundane, or redundant. The last thing an interviewer wants to hear is a list of items you could have found the answers to from merely watching a video on their company site!

      Here are some sample questions:

      - When would you like to have this position filled?
      - How long has this role been vacant?
      - Is this a replacement search or a newly created role?
      - What is your favorite part about working here?
      - What is the company's primary goal for this position in the next 12 months?
      - Is there anything from my background and experience that I can clarify for you?
      - What do you see as the biggest change in this industry over the past 3 years?
      - Is there any reason why you would not hire me?

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Thank you for asking - I do have a few questions. What is top of mind when it comes to filling this role? Also, what types of career growth opportunities would follow this position? And lastly, do you have internal candidates who are also interviewing for this position?"

  4. 4.

    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 VWR International 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."

  5. 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. 6.

    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."

  7. 7.

    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."

  8. 8.

    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."

  9. 9.

    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."

  10. 10.

    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."

  11. 11.

    When you suffer a setback, how does that emotionally affect you and your work?

      Everyone handles the stress and disappointment of setbacks differently. Discuss with the interviewer how you typically cope with delays in the workplace.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "Experiencing a setback is always disappointing, and can be a bit disheartening, but I understand that it happens from time to time. If I experience a major setback, I will take a few moments to debrief with my manager and discuss what I could have done differently. Then, I move on!"

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "Setbacks can be trying, but I find that you have to learn how to lose before you learn how to win. While I never enjoy a setback, I use them as a stepping off point to something even better."

  12. 12.

    At VWR International 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."

  13. 13.

    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?"

  14. 14.

    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."

  15. 15.

    At VWR International we are looking for sales professionals who can make an impact on our business immediately. How do you plan to do that?

      VWR International 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 VWR International 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 VWR International 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."

  16. 16.

    Where do you see yourself five years from now?

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  17. 17.

    At VWR International we prefer to hire candidates with a post-secondary education. Take a moment to walk me through your post-secondary education.

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  18. 18.

    Market analysis is very important to us at VWR International. What steps do you take to research the performance of a product before choosing to import it?

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  19. 19.

    How do you feel that globalization has affected the wholesale and distribution industry in the USA?

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  20. 20.

    How do you properly vet potential new vendors?

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  21. 21.

    Many of our clients and vendors operate in other countries. Do you speak multiple languages? If not, how do you manage potential communication barriers?

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  22. 22.

    Describe for me a time when you made the wrong career decision. How did you correct your misstep?

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  23. 23.

    How do you like to be recognized for your accomplishments?

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  24. 24.

    When have you had to change a major component of your project due to new information being presented?

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  25. 25.

    What career path interests you the most in this company?

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  26. 26.

    What do you know about our company culture?

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  27. 27.

    How many days were you absent from work last year?

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  28. 28.

    VWR International is asking for 8 years of industry experience and you have just 5. Why do you think you are qualified for this position?

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  29. 29.

    How do you evaluate success among your team members?

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  30. 30.

    We have had concerns with employee theft recently. What would you do if you caught an employee stealing?

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  31. 31.

    How do you make tough decisions knowing they will affect your entire team?

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