Many management roles also require budgetary responsibilities, and the interviewer would like to know that you take that responsibility seriously. Are you one to actively look for ways to save your employer money? Perhaps you do this by streamlining a process, minimizing the need to hire by doubling up on tasks, or ensuring that you procure the best price from vendors. Be sure to include a tangible result, success, or achievement, when giving your reply.
"In my current position, I changed vendors for a few products and supplies because they were offering a better price. With some, I negotiated better interest rates and asked our service providers to be more competitive. In the first year of joining Company ABC, my cost-saving actions saved them just under $60K."
"While working for Company XYZ, I worked very hard to wear many hats so that my employer did not have to hire out certain tasks. For example, I offered to manage the social media accounts because I am good with that. As the assistant manager, it wasn't in my job description, but I knew I could to it, so I offered."
"I saved my previous company nearly $1M in the last two years of working there by sourcing a new production partner from China. They offered the same great product at a much more competitive price, and also offered drop-shipping to a range of clients. I love to seek out new opportunities to present cost-savings to my employer."
"I had a rep that was using more travel budget than any other person on my team, and it was determined that she was not booking through our travel center. After speaking with her, I learned that she didn't like to stay at chain hotels, and her airline bookings were scheduled for off-hours that dramatically increased pricing. When I showed her how much more money she was spending than the rest of the team and how much time she could save by delegating her travel plans. This effectively cut costs by more than 50% the next quarter, and it was never a problem again!"
This example shows your keen eye for detail and the fact that you have a thumb on the beat of everything around you (what your team is doing). Great solution!
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