30 Questions and Answers Written by Professional Interviewers
Question 1 of 30
In your opinion, what are the benefits of air freight?
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Talk to the interviewer about why you feel air fright is a good option. Keep your answer brief and positive. The interviewer wants to know that you see value in their services.
"I feel that the biggest benefit of air freight is the fact that you can deliver any package to any place in the world, in record time. It is a huge benefit to business, the healthcare industry, and even personal needs."
"There are many benefits to air freight and, to me, one of the greatest benefits is that air freight allows for much smoother global trade."
Do you have experience working with a customs brokerage firm?
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A customs brokerage firm is a beneficial connection for importers and exporters. Mainly, they can push goods through customs in a timely and efficient manner. Talk to the interviewer about any exposure you have had communicating with a customs brokerage firm.
"I have communicated with customs brokerage firms many times in my current role, and I worked in a brokerage firm earlier in my career. I took, and passed, the US Customs Broker License Exam about three years ago."
"I have minimal experience working with a customs brokerage firm; however, I understand the importance of healthy relationships with brokerages. I have a strong service background and am confident that I can successfully manage these relationships if hired by Company ABC."
At Company ABC we take proper documentation very seriously. Do you consider yourself to posses strong attention to detail?
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Assure the interviewer that you see value in the details. Discuss how you ensure that you meet all the essential points in your day to day activity and documentation. You can also mention a previous colleague or supervisor who may have complimented you on these skills.
"I am a very detail driven person, and I fully understand the importance of accuracy in this line of work."
"My current supervisor often comments on my great knack for the small details. I am sure he will comment on that when you call him for a reference."
In the air freight industry, many things are time sensitive. How would you handle a customer who did not receive their parcel on time?
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Customers will become quite agitated and upset when their packages are not received, delivered on time, or when they feel a bit overcharged. How do you handle an angry or dissatisfied customer?
"I fully understand that parcels are incredibly important to your customers and I will try to be as empathetic as possible when it comes to the needs of a customer. Keeping a calm tone is always helpful when working with dissatisfied customers. I would help them to feel heard and let them know that I will help them as much as I can."
"If a customer did not receive their parcel on time, I would follow the company protocol and procedures while also maintaining an empathetic tone to the customer."
At Company ABC we have a strong reputation for making our customers happy. How do you ensure that your customers are always satisfied?
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Exceptional customer service is always valuable; however, it can be especially important for Company ABC since it is such a competitive industry. Assure the interviewer that you understand how vital excellent customer service is. Give an example of a time when you went over and above for a customer.
"We had a customer who had a package arrive three days late. When she called in to complain, she was irate and very worked up. I was able to diffuse the situation by listening intently. I offered her a refund on her shipping costs and asked her what she would like from us in the future. Simply feeling understood, and heard, was important to her. That same customer called my manager the next day and complimented me on my service. It was a great feeling."
"I ensure that my customers are always satisfied by asking them if they are happy with my service, after every interaction. It can make a big difference when they feel that you truly care about their overall experience."
6. On a scale of 1-10, how familiar are you with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the rules of international shipping? Assure the interviewer that you have exposure to NAFTA and that you understand the important part that it plays in international shipping and air freight. Give yourself a rating from 1-10 and explain your answer. Here is an answer example: "I attended NAFTA training through the Global Training Center in 2015. On a scale of 1-10, I would say that I am a nine regarding my NAFTA knowledge. If you have additional training in international shipping, I am happy to participate as well. You can never know too much!" Here is an answer example: "I have had to study the details surrounding NAFTA and international shipping; however, I am newer to my career in air freight. I would rate myself as a 5 out of 10. I love to learn, and I am happy to study up as much as needed."7. At Company ABC we use a robust software system for parcel tracking. Do you have experience in tracking and inventory management software? Whether you have used the same software systems used at Company ABC, or not - it is crucial for you to demonstrate your ability to pick up new programs and technology. Talk to the interviewer about your technical skills. You can list the programs that you are most familiar in and be sure to talk about your level of expertise in each. Here is an answer example: "I understand that you use Software A for your parcel tracking. In my most recent position, we used a similar program. I have approximately four years' experience with Software B, and would consider myself an advanced user." Here is an answer example: "Although I do not have direct experience in inventory management software, I do have experience in customer management programs as well as team-based applications. I am technically savvy and am confident in my abilities to learn new software and programs very quickly."8. At Company ABC we always prefer to promote from within. Are you looking for a long term career in logistics and freight? Hiring new employees is a costly and time-consuming task. If on-boarded, do you see a long-term career fit with Company ABC? Assure the interviewer that you plan to commit to the company for as long as possible. Here is an answer example: "I have a keen interest in freight and logistics. I have some educational background in warehousing and logistics as well. This position is a long-term career plan for me, and I would like to stay with Company ABC as long as possible." Here is an answer example: "I appreciate that Company ABC promotes from within, whenever possible. I am most certainly looking to join an organization that will have me for the long term, and invest in my career progression at the same time."9. Are you aware of the basics when it comes to what you can and cannot ship by air? What would you do if a customer asked you to ship something illegal? When it comes to freight and logistics, there are stringent guidelines that must be followed by all employees. Assure the interviewer that you would never put Company ABC at risk by allowing an illegal shipment. Here is an answer example: "If a customer asked me to ship something illegal, I would first make sure that they were aware of the potential infraction. Some people may not know that you cannot internationally ship fruits, vegetables, cigarettes, or ammunition for example. Of course, if the customer insisted on an exception, I would turn them away. Under no circumstances would I put the company at risk." Here is an answer example: "I understand that many customers will knowingly, or unknowingly, try to ship illegal items. If a customer asked me to ship something illegal, I would provide them with the appropriate shipping guidelines and would refuse."10. Do you have experience with challenging shipments such as temperature controlled packages? Sensitive freight can be a tricky task. Talk to the interviewer about any experience that you have with packages that need extra care and attention. Here is an answer example: "I have shipped some challenging and sensitive freight including temperature controlled, live animals, and fragile items. I enjoy the challenge associated with sensitive freight. If I am unsure of how to appropriately handle a package, I will not hesitate to ask." Here is an answer example: "I may be newer to my career in air freight; however, I understand that packages such as temperature controlled shipments, or shipments containing live animals, can be a major challenge in the air freight industry. I am eager to learn more about the ins and outs of this business."11. Air freight is all about timeliness. How do you manage your time? What tools do you use to stay on task and meet deadlines? How do you prioritize when everything demands your attention at once? Think about the ways you manage your projects and daily tasks. Perhaps you set yourself a lot of reminders or utilize the calendar on your smartphone or Outlook. Sometimes a to-do list is helpful when you're managing your time because it can help you prioritize what needs to happen next. Paying attention to which tasks require the most time and which ones bring the most value are ways you can pick and choose what needs to happen in your schedule. What are some ways you have found work best for you to manage your time at work? Here is an answer example: "Each time my boss changes his schedule, I need to drop what I am doing and rearrange his meetings or travel plans. These changes happen quite often, so I very well know that a schedule made is not always a schedule kept. I stay ahead of these changes by remaining organized and leaning on the company's internal applications and CRM to organize my files and the data that I need." Here is an answer example: "I manage my time through the use of calendar tools as well as setting priority tasks for myself, first thing in the morning. My time management skills are strong."12. Working in air freight can be a stressful job. How do you handle stress on the job? Are you someone who can handle stress on the job? How do you manage the stressful times? Talk to the interviewer about your ability to control pressure in the workplace. Here is an answer example: "I handle stress very well, and when you call my references, they will attest to this fact. When I am under pressure on the job, I focus on the task at hand and make sure not to get distracted. Staying on deadline is very helpful, and I will delegate when necessary to alleviate some stress." Here is an answer example: "If I am feeling stressed on the job, I will take a minute to go outside for fresh air, take a deep breath, and think about what it is that is stressing me out. Usually, the answer is that I put too much pressure on myself!"13. What is your current salary? A potential employer will often base their offer on your current salary. You should be transparent about your most recent earnings and be prepared to back up any salary requests. Here is an answer example: "I am currently earning a base salary of $78,000 plus a car allowance of $900/month and health benefits. I am looking for a competitive salary in my next position." Here is an answer example: "In my last position, I was earning $47K/year which I understand was low for my industry, level of experience, and educational background. In my next position, I am targeting a base salary in the $55K range."14. What unique qualities about yourself would you bring to our company? There are some things that your resume cannot do. Showing off your fabulous personality is one of them, for instance! Talk to the interviewer about some of your unique qualities and be sure to tie these qualities into how they will benefit the company, should they hire you. Here is an answer example: "I have a unique ability to strike up a conversation and build rapport with nearly anyone. This ability is a great help when it comes to customer service and sales. My up-selling percentages are always very high." Here is an answer example: Here are some ideas of unique qualities:
- Strong Presenter
- Experience Coaching Co-Workers
- Experience Training a Software or Program
- Successful Client Facing Experience
- Culture Fit
- Strong at Receiving Feedback
- Skilled in Providing Feedback
- Flexible Schedule
- A Specific Creative Skill
- Experience Developing New Process
- History in Taking Initiative15. Tell me about a situation in which you had to work with fellow team members who did not like you. You may sometimes come across personalities that do not mesh with yours, and that is okay! Talk to the interviewer about a time that you had to work with someone who may not have liked you. How did you handle the situation? Here is an answer example: "When I first started in my current role, I was replacing a very beloved manager who had retired. My new team was not happy about the change, and they initially set out to give me a hard time. I addressed it within the first week, acknowledging that I had big shoes to fill. I believe that the team respected this honest approach and slowly everyone came around once they realized that I had their best interest in mind." Here is an answer example: "The most recent experience I can think of was when I was attending University and had to work on a group project with a few very competitive individuals. Our personalities did not mesh well because I am more of a collaborator, wanting all of us to succeed. When I realized that it was a sink or swim type of situation, I began to make decisions that would offer me the best experience and the best grade. It was a learning experience for sure."16. What leadership qualities do you possess? The interviewer wants to know if you naturally take on a leadership based attitude in the workplace. You don't have to be interviewing for a leadership or management role to be asked these types of questions. Choose three qualities, and share your perspective on why you feel you have each of these qualities. Here is an answer example: "My strongest leadership qualities include my ability to actively listen, give strong feedback gently, and the fact that I am always looking for opportunities to teach and coach others." Here is an answer example: Choose from this list if you are coming up short. Some great qualities of a leader are:
- Being someone who people naturally want to follow
- Exceptional interpersonal skills
- Strong relationship building skills
- Taking ownership for the team's errors and mistakes
- Excelling at motivating others
- Providing kudos to your team
- Knowing how to select and hire the right people to join the team
- Having a vision for the future17. What causes you to feel dissatisfied on the job? Everyone will have particular triggers that cause them to feel dissatisfaction on the job. Talk to the interviewer about any factors that may deflate or discourage you in the workplace. Here is an answer example: "I can feel dissatisfaction on the job when I am not feeling heard or when there is not mutual respect among the team members. I work best in more harmonious situations where there is little drama or gossip." Here is an answer example: Try turning your answer into one with a positive spin! Rather than focus on the negative, focus on what keeps you happy in your job.
For example: "I feel happiest and most content in a positive environment where I feel appreciated. I also greatly value opportunities to develop myself professionally."18. Do people see you as a trustworthy and honest individual? It is easy to say that you are trustworthy and honest, but it's best if you can back it up with a review or words from a previous supervisor. Here is an answer example: "I am an honest and trustworthy individual, and you will be able to hear that directly from my supervisor when you call for a reference. I hold honesty and trustworthiness as fundamental virtues." Here is an answer example: "In my 20-year career, my supervisors have always commented on my level of honesty and how much they appreciate that I am reliable and trustworthy. I believe that I am a trustworthy and honest individual."19. Tell me about your most significant work experience that relates to this position. This question is an excellent example as to why it is essential for you to review the job description, in detail, before your interview. Have you ever held a similar position to this one? Can you draw any similarities between this role and another job that you have had? Here is an answer example: "Three years ago, I worked for Company X in a very similar position. It required less team supervisory experience but additional educational components. The role also involved shift work and the ability to lift up to 50 lbs on a regular basis. These factors prepared me for a position like this one." Here is an answer example: "The position that most relates to yours would be the role in which I currently work. This position with Company ABC offers more growth potential; however, the roles sound quite similar."20. Considering your background is in an industry different from ours, what skills and characteristics do you have that qualify you for this position in this industry? There are many ways that you can be a fit for a position, even though you do not come with direct industry experience. Think about the variety of skills that you have and how those can benefit another employer, despite the industry. These are your transferable skills, and they can include sales abilities, customer service experience, and software capabilities. Here is an answer example: "Although my background is not in your precise industry, I have worked with many clients who have been in your industry. I bring excellent transferable skills that qualify me for this position. These skills include my advanced abilities in Excel, my outstanding cold-calling abilities as well as my proven background in team leadership." Here is an answer example: Here is a list of skills that can be transferable to any industry:
- Exceptional communication
- Experience learning new procedures and software
- Public speaking
- Delegating work
- Training others
- Building customer relationships
- Developing supplier or vendor relationships
- On-boarding and recruitment
- Supervisory experience
- Running meetings
- Committee Organization
- Clerical skills
- Research and Reporting21. When entering a new job, describe how you build relationships with your new coworkers and supervisors. Due to a wide variety of personalities, relationships can take time to form. How do you ensure that you have a strong line of communication with your co-workers and supervisors, right from the start? Here is an answer example: "I understand that some relationships come quickly and others take time to nurture. When starting a new job all that I can do is be my true self and let my personality, integrity, and reliability speak for itself." Here is an answer example: "I prefer to build relationships by making others feel they are important to me. When meeting new people, I will ask a question related to their area of expertise, and try to learn something from them."22. What career path interests you the most with Company ABC? This question is where it is essential to have completed some research on Company ABC before your interview. Be sure to envision where you can see yourself fitting, and growing, with the organization before your interview. Do some research on what a career path could look like with Company ABC. Here is an answer example: "What interests me most about Company ABC is that there are so many options when it comes to career growth. Ideally, I would like to earn my way into an xx role, then an xx position. Eventually, an xx or xx position would be ideal. Of course, I understand that this will take many years of dedication and hard work." Here is an answer example: "It appears there are a lot of career path opportunities with Company ABC such as A, B, and C. Do you have a specific career path in mind for me, or for this particular position?"23. When have you had to think quickly in response to sudden change? Sudden changes will occur in the workplace from time to time. Assure the interviewer that you are capable of responding quickly, and professionally, to sudden changes in the workplace. Here is an answer example: "I can think quickly on the job, and I do respond well to sudden change. Last week I was asked to tweak a presentation with just 30 minutes notice. The changes were significant, but luckily I work well under pressure. The presentation went well, and our clients were delighted." Here is an answer example: "In my current position, my schedule is often changed with very little notice. I can adapt and change my schedule around to accommodate my employer, as much as possible."24. We value our company culture at Company ABC. In your opinion, why is it important to develop relationships with coworkers? This answer may seem obvious to you because enjoying your time with coworkers is sometimes the best part about the job! If you aren't a naturally social person, this question may seem more challenging to answer.
Talk to the interviewer about how you develop relationships with coworkers when you start a new job. Think about what is important to you about these relationships. Do your co-workers motivate you when you feel overworked? Do your coworkers give you a reason to show up to work when your boss has been giving you a hard time? Here is an answer example: "I value my relationships with my coworkers because we support each other and make each other laugh when the work environment becomes intense. I have a coworker that I eat lunch with every day. We've helped each other out by simply listening to what's going on in each other's lives. It's nice to have colleagues who understand you on a personal level." Here is an answer example: "All of the colleagues I have worked with have shared a very respectful relationship with me. We have similar goals, and we exchange knowledge to accomplish those things to the best we can. Each of us has a part in the company's success, and we utilize communication to make it happen."25. A career in air freight requires a great deal of patience. Do you consider yourself a patient person? How do you increase your patience level in challenging situations? The interviewer would like to know if you consider yourself a patient individual. Impatience can cause a lot of stress and anxiety in coworkers, so it is vital that you can showcase your ability to remain patient and professional in workplace situations.
Patience is indeed a virtue but can be challenging to maintain when it seems that situations continue to push your buttons. Show the interviewer that you possess the ability to keep your cool in challenging conditions. Here is an answer example: "I do consider myself a patient person. I would rate myself an eight /10 for patience because I certainly have room to grow, but I do have a very long fuse. If I need a boost of patience in a challenging situation, I will take a step away, count to 10 and then return to the situation. I recently read a book, 'The Power of Patience' by M.J. Ryan which also gave me some excellent new methods for coping under stress." Here is an answer example: "I was once managing a group that could not quite get along, and it tested my patience a bit because it prevented us from staying on track and focusing on the goals. I went above and beyond in helping the group get along by scheduling lunches as a team and helping to mediate situations that needed it."26. If you were hired to work for Company ABC today, what would you accomplish first? When you start a new position, it is essential to set a goal on how you will make a positive impact quickly after being hired. Tell the interviewer what your impact goal is, should you be the successful candidate. Here is an answer example: "When we were speaking earlier, about sales targets in this position, you mentioned that most new sales professionals hit their KPI's after 120 days. If hired today, my goal would be to exceed my KPI's after the first 90 days. I plan to make a positive impact very quickly." Here is an answer example: "If hired today, I would start with analyzing all quantifiable data from the last month, quarter, and year to identify any bottlenecks or shortfalls in productivity. I would make corrections from there. Perhaps this will be in the form of creating better processes, implementing new applications for productivity, or simplifying the vendor process. This work will, of course, coincide with your biggest pain-points at the moment."27. When planning, how often do you create alternative scenarios to help you adjust to changing situations? Being able to problem solve and think outside the box when it comes to changing situations is a valuable skill set. Talk to the interviewer about your ability to create a variety of potential scenarios. You may never need to take on these scenarios; however, it's great for the interviewer to know that you can adapt your plan on the fly. Here is an answer example: "I feel that it is essential to create alternative scenarios in all situations. One cannot guess what will happen in the end, so it is great to prepare for all possible outcomes." Here is an answer example: "Alternate scenarios are great to have, but I prefer to stay focused on my desired outcome. So long as my team is on board with the goals we have yet to achieve, I am confident that we will always reach Plan A."28. In your opinion, what makes you a great problem solver? Employers want to know that you have a methodical approach to problem-solving. Consider the skills and qualities that help you successfully face problems. Perhaps you have a keen eye for detail. Maybe you can see opportunity when others can only focus on the issue. Share your strengths as a problem solver, and your ability to come up with innovative solutions. Here is an answer example: "I am a great problem solver because I do not allow stress to cloud my judgment and mute my creativity. I am a keen observer with a great memory which allows me to recall unique solutions or ideas." Here is an answer example: Strong problem solvers are:
- Systematic thinkers
- Open minded
- Okay with being wrong sometimes
- Always researching and exploring
- Able to identify the core problem
- Able to reverse engineer a challenge to avoid future issues
- Able to come up with multiple avenues that work well for all stakeholders
- Are do-ers and not worriers29. Why should we hire you at Company ABC? If you can't think of ways that you are unique, ask a few friends or family members what they feel sets you apart from other people. Their observations may help you understand how you are perceived.
Perhaps you already know what sets you apart! This example could include any industry accolades, exceptional achievements, additional industry related training, a second language, or how involved you are in the community. Don't be afraid to brag about yourself a bit. In an interview, you are your most influential advocate. Here is an answer example: "You should hire me because I am unlike anyone else you have interviewed before. When I started with my current company, I was the youngest salesperson they had ever hired. That didn't stop me from becoming the #1 sales person in the company within six months. I am dedicated to my craft and engaged in this industry to the point where I commit myself to taking at least one business development or leadership related workshop every business quarter. I am a competitive achiever. You won't be disappointed when you hire me." Here is an answer example: "You should hire me because I'm qualified and passionate about your cause. I am excited about the idea of delivering value to your organization and will hustle for the opportunity to go above and beyond for your customers."30. 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. Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an answer example: "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."
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