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What was the greatest cost-cutting measurement you accomplished at your previous employer?

14 Answer Examples

By: Rachelle Enns

How to Answer

The interviewer would like to know about your previous success with cost-cutting. Every company wants to run as lean as possible, and they want to see that you are conscious of this factor as well. Assure the interviewer that you are capable of understanding the importance of this practice and give a strong example of a time when you have done so.

Professional Answer Examples
General
Answer example

"The greatest cost-cutting measurement that I accomplished at work was through new suggestions for theft prevention. Since we implemented some of my suggestions our loss, due to theft, has decreased by 12%."

Admin
Answer example

"My biggest cost reducing plan was to source new suppliers for our office supplies. By doing some extra research, I was able to bring costs down by 20% in less than one year."

Manager
Answer example

"I have been able to present cost-cutting suggestions many times to my previous employer. The one that I feel had the biggest impact was when I suggested additional warehouse staff. We had three various shifts and still an average of 100 hours of overtime per week. I presented to my employer that we hire one more warehouse employee for each shift, keeping the hours to just 120 regular vs. 100 hours of overtime pay (@1.5x) This recommendation saved the company $31,000 per year. They implemented this change across 15 warehouses the following year, amounting to nearly half a million dollars in savings per year."

Marketing
Answer example

"Cutting costs for clients is always the primary goal in marketing; however, our agency often gets forgotten. We were spending an exponential amount of funds on recruitment, only to have many junior marketers leave us for larger agencies after just one year. For that reason, I made a plan and presented it to our department head. The plan entailed a bonus structure for tenure that would peak at the 24th month of employment, resulting in further employee engagement and, at the very least, doubling average tenure. We just implemented the plan last month, but I am confident in its effectiveness."

Retail
Answer example

"Retail stores are known for having a lot of paper waste such as tissue, bags, plastic, etc. I came up with a new way of packaging our products that utilizes less paper. In a world where we are all very concerned about the environment, this solution will be widely embraced by our clients. Our head office is currently performing a cost analysis on the changes."

Sales
Answer example

"My most prominent cost-saving measure comes regarding productivity on my team. I was able to craft email copy that I saved as a template and could send out a dozen emails at a time, all personalized, to targeted audiences to set appointments. I was able to do this multiple times per day, while also making calls, and doubled my productivity. I shared this tactic with the team, and it was implemented across the board. While I was not in a managerial role, I was able to roughly double productivity, thereby preventing the need for new hires and surpassing our financial targets for KPIs and financial metrics."

Teacher
Answer example

"It's no secret that schools are on tight budgets. We were going through a great deal of paper, which is a cost that adds up. I came up with the idea to implement an app where parents could log in and print their forms, paperwork, and any additional paper-based communication sent back and forth. We are currently testing its effectiveness but so far, so good."

Kitchen Manager
Answer example

"I have been able to present cost-cutting suggestions many times to my most recent employer. The one I am most proud of was implementing a food-tracking software program. Once implemented, I was able to check exactly where my food costs were on a nightly basis. If we were high, say 5% over where we had to be for the week, I could easily track the data to find out if that was because sales were soft, or perhaps we were over-ordering product. Within 6 months of this software implementation, I saved us nearly $14K by avoiding food waste."

Accounting
Answer example

"When I worked as a Business Analyst for my last company, we were outsourcing auditing expertise to a company that was constantly trying to find ways for us to spend more money. When I realized we were spending a million dollars a year on a team that did minimal work apart from running a few queries and providing advice, I started educating myself on query management. I quickly proved to my manager through parallel testing that I could do the work and we could eliminate that expense for the company. We saved the company one million dollars a year by handling control and queries in house."

Treasury Assistant
Answer example

"Fortunately, I have never had to resolved cash flow issues. I believe my high degree of meticulousness ensured such situation would rarely occur as I always review my work numerous times before submission to ensure the information is accurate."

Chef
Answer example

"I have been able to present cost-cutting suggestions many times to my previous employer. The one that I feel had the biggest impact was when I made a suggestion for additional warehouse staff. We had 3 various shifts and still an average of 100 hours of overtime per week. I presented to my employer that we hire one more warehouse employee for each shift, keeping the hours to just 120 regular vs 100 hours of overtime pay (@1.5x) This recommendation saved the company $31,000 per year. They implemented this change across 15 warehouses the following year, amounting to nearly half a million dollars in savings per year."

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Written by:

Ryan Brown
Ryan Brown, is the creator of MockQuestions. He has over ten years experience creating interview questions. His website has helped over 10 million job seekers in their interview preparation.
Rachelle Enns
Rachelle Enns is an executive head-hunter and job search expert. Utilized by top executives from Fortune 100 & 500 companies like Fitbit, Microsoft, General Electric, Nestle, and more, she helps professionals position themselves in a competitive marketplace. Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume, a company that focuses on helping job seekers get their edge back. Renovate My Resume creates stand-out resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles and professional summaries for new grads, all the way to corporate executives. Rachelle spends much of her time training career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers. She also holds interview workshops for students and interns, globally. For great tips and tricks, follow Rachelle on Instagram @_rachelle_e or @renovatemyresume.
First written on: 01/05/2017
Last modified on: 01/22/2019

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