Supervising employees can come with all sorts of challenging situations! Have you ever had to let someone go for theft? Have you ever had an emotionally challenging situation such as an employee passing away outside of work or a life-threatening illness? Have you ever had an employee who did not understand right from wrong? These all make solid examples for this question. Begin by telling the interviewer a high-level overview of your scenario. The key is explaining how you worked through the scenario to make the best of the situation. Explain what steps you took to work through the problem and how that scenario helped you become a better supervisor.
Warehouse Supervisor Interview Questions
What was the most difficult employee situation you found yourself in? How did you overcome the problem?
What does quality work mean to you?
Quality work means consistently achieving expectations while having a positive, ethical working environment. It means putting your best foot forward every day to ensure the success of the organization.
"Quality work means consistently achieving expectations while having a positive, ethical working environment. It means putting your best foot forward every day to ensure the success of the organization."Rachelle's Answer
This is a nice definition of quality work! Be sure to keep your language as 'I' vs. 'You.' I have provided an example, below.
"Quality work means consistently achieving my expectations while maintaining a positive, ethical working environment. It means putting my best foot forward every day to ensure the success of the organization."Was this answer helpful? Yes (1) or No (0)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
Tell me about a recent vendor dispute you have had, or a conflict you have had in your previous work. How did you handle the problem?
Think about the last time a contractor or employee did not carry through on their promises or meet your expectations for quality of work. These situations make great examples for this question! Provide the interviewer with what work the contractor or employee was supposed to be doing for you, and share what the outcome of the contractor's or employee's work actually was (...or, perhaps lack thereof if they failed to complete the project altogether). Next, share how you reached out to the contractor or employee either via phone to talk about the issue or on-site to talk face-to-face. Discuss how you professionally and graciously told the contractor or employee the issue and expressed your disappointment. Share what remediation you requested. You may have asked for the project to be re-vamped. You might have asked for your money back to move on. Or, you may have asked for the project to be started all over again. Finally, be sure to mention that you enjoy working with contractors and employees & typically don't have any issues with them. The challenging ones are few and far between, and you try to work with all of them on a pleasant and professional basis to maintain a positive image for the company.
Do you have supervising experience?
Be open and honest with the interviewer sharing what supervising experience you have. If you have experience with interviewing, making hiring decisions, writing performance reviews, mentoring, coaching, or having to let employees go, be sure to mention these things as well! Your response will help the interviewer understand what type of training you will need to be successful in the role.
How would your former employer describe you?
The interviewer wants to hear that your past employer will describe you in a positive manner. Think about the positive things your former employer has said about you in the past. Instead of listing these things, tell the interviewer what each person has told you. For example, you might say, "John has told me that I am a hard worker, and he has told me that he really likes how I am always happy to be at work!" These concrete examples will be sure to impress the interviewe
"John has told me that I am a hard worker, and he has told me that he really likes how I am always happy to be at work!"
"My manager will describe me as an energetic leader and a great motivator who brings a passion to the workplace that translates to other team members. My manager will say that I demonstrate great leadership qualities without ego and has a hunger to learn. My manager will say that I bring positive energy to the team."Rachelle's Answer
Fantastic, and highly detailed response. This description should make anyone want to hire you :) Be sure to tie the line now between these descriptors and the needs of the new hiring company.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
How well do you get along with your superiors? How often do you like to communicate with them?
You get along with them great! Interviewers need to hear that you are a team-player supporting leadership and that you communicate well with people at all levels of the organization. Begin by telling the interviewer that you get along great with company leadership, and you trust their expertise to make great decisions! Next, share how often you are accustomed to communicating with your superiors. You may talk with them daily, or you may only communicate with them quarterly. Whatever your communication scenario, openly share it with the interviewer.
What is the largest amount of employees you have supervised?
This one should be easy! Simply share the largest group you have supervised at any one time. Be sure to mention which employer this was with and how long you had a team this size.
"200+ employees. On average, about 100 for the duration of 5 months."Rachelle's Answer
Good! If you want to add more detail, also consider including the varying job titles of these employees.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
What leadership roles have you had in the past?
Have you been a supervisor or lead before? If so, that's great! Simply share where you worked, your job title, a brief overview of your day-to-day duties, and something you liked about each leadership role.
If you haven't been a supervisor or lead before, no problem! Just think outside the box! Have you coached a little league team? Have you been a math tutor? Did you lead a project in your last job? Were you assigned to run a new process? Or, maybe you are the leader of a boy scout troop! Simply share where you have led a group of people including your usual responsibilities. Be sure to mention that you enjoyed the experience, and you look forward to translating your experiences into the Warehouse Supervisor job.
"I was recruited to help initiate and run a sales office, build strategic partnerships with local organizations, and help the office develop a book of business. I enjoyed running a sales team, conducting B2B sales, and interacting with merchants and vendors. I also worked for a company where I launched its first fulfillment center. I was responsible for scheduling, managing, and training our team of fulfillment associates. I also managed the workflow throughout all departments. In my current position, I am responsible for the safety, quality, customer experience, and productivity of my department. Some of my responsibilities included meeting productivity requirements, meeting SLAs, process improvements, ensuring proper allocation of resources, and running operations at cost."Rachelle's Answer
Terrific overview! You offer good flow in your response and highlight the most critical parts of each role quite well. To add to your reply, consider including detail on the teams you have led (how many people, job titles) and any pain points that you repaired as a leader (ie: turnover or low morale). Then, you could also discuss what you believe your leadership style/approach was in each of these roles.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
What cost cutting measures have you enacted in the past? Which ones were the most successful?
Managing costs is a big part of the Warehouse Supervisors job! What have you done to save the company some money? Think about 1 or 2 things you have done to save the company money that were successful, and share them with the interviewer. Talk about how you identified the cost saving measure, what steps you took to implement it, and how much money it ended up saving the company!
Have you ever been caught stealing, or better yet, have you ever stole anything?
If you have been criminally charged with theft, you have an obligation to share this information during an interview when asked. If the charge was many years ago, be sure to explain how you have changed as a person and that you would never steal again.
For everyone else, no way! The interviewer needs to hear that you have sound ethics and morals, and they need to know you can be trusted with the supplies in the warehouse. Simply tell the interviewer that you have never stolen anything, and your moral compass leads you in the right direction!
"I have never stolen anything, and my moral compass leads you in the right direction! I have moral standards that I live my life by, and have a responsibility to myself, my company, and customers to maintain my integrity."Rachelle's Answer
Great! It seems you have a high level of integrity. Just a few small tweaks that I have recommended, below to help with the flow.
"I have never stolen anything. My moral compass leads me in the right direction! I have moral standards that I live my life by. I have a responsibility to myself, my company, and customers to maintain high levels of integrity in any situation."Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
Give us an example of an emergency situation that you faced. How did you handle it?
Has there been an emergency situation you have handled? How about a very urgent problem you have solved? Or, what about that time you had to drop everything to get something done at the last minute for someone else? These will all make sufficient examples for this question. Simply share your situation with a high-level overview. The interviewer is truly interested in how you reacted! Next, share how you worked through the situation including what steps you took and the final outcome. Be sure to mention that you did not allow the situation to ruin your day, and you simply did what needed to be done!
What mistakes have you made while being a leader for a group in the past? How have you learned from them?
We all make mistakes, and it is okay to share your mistakes during an interview! The key is sharing what you learned from the mistake, how you grew from the experience, and how it made you a better leader today. Begin by sharing a mistake you made while being a leader for a group. You might share that you jumped into work without getting to know your team. You may share that you forgot to send a reminder email for a very important meeting and half the group was late. You might share that you placed an order for the wrong materials and it set your group back by one week. Openly share your whoopsies with the interviewer. Next, share how guilty you felt when you realized your mistake, and mention what steps you took to ensure the mistake never happened again. Finally, discuss how going through that experience has made you a better leader.
"I was managing a project for one of our bigger clients earlier on in my career, and I was so eager to please them that I told them we could finish the project within 2 weeks. I thought this was doable, but it ended up taking 3 weeks, and they were not happy. Looking back, I should have been more conservative in my estimate to the client. Experience taught me the value of “under promise & overdeliver”, so I took this experience and used it to become better at managing expectations of clients during projects I oversee. I realized that the client would not have been upset if I was clear about the timeline in advance, but they will be disappointed if you promise something and then do not deliver."Rachelle's Answer
An excellent example of how overpromising a client can end up hurting you in the end. This would have been a tough lesson to learn, especially with such a big client. How did you repair the situation? That would likely be a follow-up question from the interviewer, so you may want to consider including that detail upfront. One other small point - I recommend sticking with 'I' language vs. swapping to 'You' language in the end. I have provided a slight revision, below.
"I was managing a project for one of our bigger clients earlier on in my career, and I was so eager to please them that I told them we could finish the project within 2 weeks. I thought this was doable, but it ended up taking 3 weeks, and they were not happy. To repair the situation, I...(describe your actions and the result). Looking back, I should have been more conservative in my estimate to the client. Experience taught me the value of “under-promise & over-deliver” So I took this experience and used it to become better at managing expectations of clients during projects I oversee. I realized that the client would not have been upset if I was clear about the timeline in advance, but they were undoubtedly going to be disappointed that I promised something and then did not deliver."Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
Why do you want to work for our Warehouse team?
What is it about this particular warehouse that excites you? Does it have a great reputation? Do you like the greater cause that the organization supports? Are you fond of the products this warehouse supplies? The interviewer wants to hear that you are excited, so pick an aspect of the warehouse that you naturally like. Your passion and excitement will automatically come through when you tell the interviewer something you are truly interested in!
What experience do you have in a warehouse?
Now is the time to share your related work experience! Begin by telling the interviewer which warehouses you have worked in, your role in each warehouse including your day-to-day duties & job title, and be sure to mention how long you worked at each facility. As a bonus, share something that you really enjoyed about each job. Sharing these insights will help the interviewer place you into a part of the warehouse that you will enjoy!
"I worked for similar company. I was their Outbound Operations leader who was responsible for scheduling, managing, and training our team of fulfillment associates, as well as managing the workflow throughout all departments. In my current position, as an Inbound Area Manager, I am responsible for the safety, quality, customer experience, and productivity of my department. Some of my responsibilities include meeting productivity requirements, meeting SLAs, process improvements, ensuring proper allocation of resources, and running operation at cost. I have a total of 3 years experience."Rachelle's Answer
Excellent response! The detail you offer is fantastic, and this information will help the interviewer to picture you handling the tasks of this Warehouse Supervisor with ease. Well done.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
Tell me about a time when you had to think strategically.
What complex projects have you worked on? What large problems have you solved? These things make great examples for this question!
Complex Projects: Provide the interviewer with a high-level overview of the project you were working on, and dive into all of the components of the project you were juggling. Next, share how you thought through all of the project components, organizing them to ensure the project was completed on time and successfully. Finally, be sure to share how successful your project truly was.
Problem Solving: Provide the interviewer with an overview of the problem you needed to solve. Share that you thought about all of the possible solutions elaborating on the pros and cons of each. Finally, share which solution you ultimately selected as well as why it was the best solution in the long run.
What is your greatest strength? How does it help you as a Warehouse Supervisor?
How do you handle stressful situations?
Do you have an understanding of lean six sigma?
How do you stay organized?
Automation plays a huge role in any warehouse, what new technologies have you witnessed and how do you plan on staying informed for even newer technologies in the future?
Do you work well under pressure?
Tell me about your education. How has it prepared you for a career as a Warehouse Supervisor?
Why do you want to work for our company?
How do you prioritize your work?
How do you keep your warehouse employees motivated and to stay focused on the companies objectives?
If hired, how do you intend on making a difference with our company?
Why should we hire you?
Do you work well on a team? How would you define teamwork?
What is your greatest weakness? What are you doing to improve it?
When have you negotiated a better deal with a vendor?
Where do you see your career in five years?
What do you already know about our warehouse, and our company?