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Purchasing Manager Interview
Questions

39 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated August 30th, 2018 | 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 39
What tools do you use to keep track of progress on your projects?
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How to Answer
You may get several questions around time management and prioritization. The key to answering these questions is showing that you have daily time and prioritization period, that you use it, and that it is accommodating to changes. A good answer to this question might also project you as someone who stays in command of his job.
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1.
What tools do you use to keep track of progress on your projects?
You may get several questions around time management and prioritization. The key to answering these questions is showing that you have daily time and prioritization period, that you use it, and that it is accommodating to changes. A good answer to this question might also project you as someone who stays in command of his job.

Rachelle's Answer
"I am a power user of [insert project mgmt SW here]. I've also used [insert names of SW] on Mac/PC in the past and could be up to speed quickly if you use them"
Anonymous Answer
"I have used MS Project and Smartsheets in my previous roles at work and B-school during my MBA to keep track of multiple projects and assignments and also to complete a group project on Project Management. If you use this software, I would be able to get up to speed quickly."
Rachelle's Answer
Try adding in how you plan to quickly learn their software, if you are not familiar with the systems they use. I have reworded this answer a bit for you.
"I am experienced with MS Project and Smartsheets, having used them in my previous roles and while obtaining my MBA. If you use either of these systems, I will be able to get up to speed quickly. If you have other systems, I am happy to learn them in a short amount of time."
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2.
What type of experience do you have in creating budgets?
This question clarifies your ability to handle scale and scope. If your experience in on smaller budgets, include how your models have the ability to scale.

Rachelle's Answer
"At X company I was responsible for creating and managing a budget of $. I have been doing it on a regular basis as a part of my job and I am pretty good at projections."
3.
What are your career goals?
This question is asked to determine if your career goals align with the career path that the company offers. It's important to think about how the position you are interviewing for will fit into your long term goals even as you apply for jobs

Rachelle's Answer
"I plan to be a PM for the next three to five years and then move to either a more specialized commodity role or a higher leadership role in the purchasing area. Ultimately, which role and when will be determined on where I can add the most value to the organization."
Anonymous Answer
"I aim to be a Supply chain manager for the next couple of years, having gained extensive experience in Procurement, Strategic Sourcing, Inventory Management, Operations, and Logistics. After that, either I'll take up a leadership position in Supply Chain or Procurement depending on where my skills can add the most value to the organization."
Rachelle's Answer
It sounds like you have an excellent career plan laid out for yourself! If possible, try personalizing your answer to the company with which you are interviewing. This will help the interviewer to picture you growing with their organization. I have provided an example, below.
"In this role with , I plan to utilize my extensive experience in procurement, strategic sourcing, inventory management, operations, and logistics while showing my value as a supply chain manager. My long term goal is to earn my way into a leadership position at within the Supply Chain or Procurement departments; wherever you see fit."
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4.
How would your former employer describe you?
This question allows you to indicate that you are both technically competent as well as a good person. It also gives you an opportunity to project yourself as a good employee and a team player.
This question focuses more on your relationship with your superiors than on your points of improvement. The interviewer wants to know how you interact with your superiors and how you talk about them.
While answering this question try to avoid any sort of negative remarks about your superiors and also if there has been any remark about your performance from their side try to elaborate it here in a positive manner. Don't get carried away and start talking about their behaviour towards you etc.

Rachelle's Answer
"I believe that he will describe me as the employee who always came to work on time and did his work with full dedication. I have always been ready to go to that extra mile for the greater good of the company. I think thats what he will say about me but then of course you have to contact him to ask more."
5.
How do you prioritize your work?
The key to answering this questions is showing that you have daily time and prioritization period, that you use it, and that it is accommodating to changes.

Rachelle's Answer
"My priorities are the organization's priorities and can change based on this fact. I have to manage short-, mid- and long-term initiatives and prioritize my work according to them. Prioritizing is part of my daily planning process and I adjust as needed to serve the organization."
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