Supply Chain Interview Questions

Top 23 Supply Chain Interview Questions and Answers Guide

I get a lot of messages on LinkedIn asking for mentoring and coaching request to help candidates prepare for next interview or what could be most prevailing Supply Chain Interview Questions. I hope most of you would agree if we have a list of comprehensive questions, it will greatly help us prepare? Assume tomorrow is your dream job interview. Apart from being excited, you must also be thinking what could be the possible supply chain interview questions and answers tips you can revise. Wonder no more! Here I have compiled a list of the REAL & must-read supply chain interview questions for freshers as well as experienced candidates.

Below is the list of REAL supply chain interview questions either I will ask in the interview or these questions someone asked me! In addition, you’re guaranteed to be asked a lot of generic job interview questions too – so check out this Blog for some tips on how to tackle these.

Why should I read this blog?

 

We would suggest you to read this blog because this blog gives an insight of the following:

  • Knowledge-based Supply Chain Interview Questions and Answers, which will turn out to be extremely helpful.
  • Commonly expected Technical Supply Chain Interview Questions
  • Personalized Interview Questions for Supply Chain Professionals Fresher’s, early-mid experience Executive, as well as Supply Chain Managers.

Here is the list of questions and answers

 

Q1) “I know we have several ways to understanding MRP. As a newcomer to procurement & supply chain, what technical skills, are needed? Can you describe an approach for setting safety stock levels and what should go into that? If they are”

 

I think this one is most frequently asked supply chain interview questions. Here is the brief explanation. Here Interview want to understand your supply chain technical competencies, your knowledge of supply chain planning and if you know how to calculate the safety stock?

 

Q2) “Have you an experience of both downstream (customer/client) and upstream (supplier), and what you did when visited”

 

Answer of this question can be found here.

Q3) “Is there a fixed of SKUs that a person can manage, directly or indirectly. Can you also gauge the capacity to work under pressure, tight timeline, sense of urgency and priorities, and how do you deliver cross-functional projects and capacity to influence stakeholders”

 

Difficult question, but article about 8 Habits of a Highly Effective Supply Chain Manager, could help you to formulate the response.

Q4) “What is your Insight on how to determine approved vendors/ suppliers/ manufacturers and how they would measure quality.”

 

The possible answer is it makes no difference what business you are in; suppliers and vendors play a key role in your company’s success. Having a formalized system in place to track and evaluate supplier and vendor performance is essential to the smooth operation and profitability of your company. Successful companies embrace their suppliers and vendors, viewing them as partners in helping to grow the business. Making sure that this is a mutually beneficial partnership will impact the price you are negotiating today and the quality of service you get in future. If a supplier/vendor is a key part or service to your operation invite that supplier or vendor to strategic meetings that involve the product they work with.

Common mistake companies make is to have a combative relationship with their suppliers and vendors. That is the opposite of what you want to do, which makes custom stainless-steel metal baskets, brackets and other parts. A lot of companies will actually have an adversarial relationship where they hire purchasing people who have on brass knuckles and try to beat up on vendors to get better prices or better terms. Instead of getting stuck on price, focus on the quality of service. A vendor can have the lowest price and the lowest quality of work, too. Your goal is understanding what value-add is a given vendor bringing to your company.

Q5) “What are the different materials and capacity planning levels you have been involved with and how?

 

As a manager, we have been suddenly confronted these days with an array of new systems to improve production efficiency. Well, this is dependent on the materials requirements, planning, or optimized production technology. My article on Supply Chain Planning – 5 Levels of Time Horizon and Complexity Hierarchy could be a good reference point.

Q6) How do you manage to leverage the conflicting Manufacturing/Planning/Financial objectives in past experiences?

 

The answer to this question in detailed explanation of MRP, MPS, SIOP and Supply Chain Planning – 5 Levels of Time Horizon and Complexity Hierarchy


 

Q7) What can you say about technology development projects, and are the results obtained considered effective enough?

 

Optimized production technology focuses on clearing up bottlenecks in the manufacturing process but can adversely affect non-bottleneck areas and is the system. A revolution is occurring in operations management. During the last few decades, three important approaches—materials requirements planning (MRP), kanban (JIT), and optimized production technology (OPT)—have invaded operations planning and control in quick succession, one after the other. Each new system has challenged old assumptions and ways of doing things. These innovative methods are completely changing not only manufacturing processes but also the operations management. Managers must decide which approach to adopt to meet current and future needs. Installing any one requires several years to train company personnel and millions of dollars of investment.

Q8) Have you contributed to innovate in either products or services supply chain to accelerate your company sales growth?

A good reference point to answer this question you should refer to my blog 10 Supply Chain Improvement Tools You Should Know About

Q9) Which training can you recommend to improve managers professional skills and capabilities?

 

The following blog will help you answer this question

APICS vs ISM – What Should You Choose?

Masters in Supply Chain Management – Top 6 Universities in the U.K.

APICS VS CIPS – What Should You Choose?

10 Amazing Online Lean Six Sigma Courses for Supply Chain Professionals

13 Operations Management Books Every Supply Chain Professional Should Read

Top 6 Online Logistics Courses That Can Benefit Aspiring Logistics Professionals

The 12 Great Online Supply Chain Management courses For The Modern-Day Supply Chain Professional

20 Best Supply Chain Blogs and Websites You Should Follow

Q10) How have you supported your company improvement in cost efficiency through long-term supplier’s relationships?

 

The following blog will help you answer this question

10 Must Have Customer Supplier Relationship Areas – How Many You Have?

6 STEPS TO INTENSIFY BUYER SUPPLIER RELATIONSHIP

Q11) “Does every professional require a basic Knowledge or two about MS Excel and SAP”

 

The Supply Chain Management environment requires plenty of artistic vision, brainstorming, and inventiveness. However, if you are a professional in supply chain management, then you should know the Excel Tips & Tricks mentioned in this blog. The use of Excel Tips & Tricks forms a major part of this daily picture. A good portion of your job as Supply Chain Professional goes into evaluating data, examine budgets, and statistics. All these activities imply spending a considerable period of useful time on the Excel spreadsheet environment.

Q12) “Why do we need supply chain management?”

 

Supply chain management (SCM) is the active management of supply chain activities to maximize customer value and achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. It represents a conscious effort by the supply chain firms to develop and run supply chains in the most effective & efficient ways possible. Supply chain activities cover everything from product development, sourcing, production, and logistics, as well as the information systems needed to coordinate these activities.

Q13) “how can you add value to a business with your experience and competencies?

 

Following blog will help you answer this question

11 Vital Components of Material Management Technical Competencies to Master

18 Targeted Inventory Reduction Strategies for Supply Chain Professionals

How to Create a Supply Chain Strategic Plan that Will Work for (Nearly) Any Business

Q14) Why forecasting is important and What type of forecasting methods candidate knows?

The following blog will help you answer this question

5 Quick and Remarkable Tips to Improve Forecasting Accuracy

Importance of Demand Forecasting in Supply Chain- 9 Authentic Reasons

24 Excel Tips & Tricks to Becoming a Supply Chain Nomad

 

In above 14 questions I have tried to give you some example of how to answer Supply Chain Interview Questions. Fo the remaining list of question below I encourage you to do your research and try to find the answers for these Supply Chain Interview Questions.

Remaining Supply Chain Interview Questions that need Answers

 

Q15 “Which type of distribution network have you worked on? What are the challenges? What improvements have done by you on this network?”

Q16) “What are the criteria for slow moving and non- moving stocks analysis being used in the previous company?”

Q17) “What can you say about Sourcing Methods? Types of Raw Materials you have sourced? Have you ever gone with imports or has he been managing local purchases? “

Q18) “Do you use an ERP or are you proficient with MS Excel, what type of Logistics methods are involved in transporting the materials, and how do you ensure timely deliveries of supplies?”

Q19) “Have your finance impact your decisions?.”

Q20) “How would you help controlling procurement spend”

Q21) “What are the major KPI’s for the Supply Chain you have encountered cross-functionality between Logistics, warehousing, Procurement and Demand & Planning forecasting “

Q22) What was the last Supply Chain book/article you read. What was it about and what did you take-away from it?”

Q23) “What is S&OP and why to follow S&OP sequence?”

CONCLUSION

 

Well, I hope we all enjoyed the Supply Chain Interview Questions, and have learned a thing or two about supply chain. My desire is to give every Supply Chain Professional a better view of what they will possibly face in their next supply chain interview. I hope I have done justice to most of the Supply Chain Interview Questions asked. If you have more Supply Chain Interview Questions or additions to make, feel free to add them. I am open to learning, and welcome new ideas too!!

 

Recommended Reading

101 Great Answers to the Toughest Interview Questions, 25th Anniversary Edition

Interview: The Art of the Interview: The Perfect Answers to Every Interview Question (Interview Questions and Answers, Interviewing, Resume, Interview Tips, Motivational Interviewing, Job Interview)

SUPPLY CHAIN ANALYST: SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGER: SUPPLY CHAIN SPECIALIST: LAST-MINUTE BOTTOM LINE JOB INTERVIEW PREPARATION QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

 


 

2 thoughts on “Top 23 Supply Chain Interview Questions and Answers Guide

  1. Doc……great pointers.
    My last question would be:

    Having read Dr M’s post my last question to you is:
    With all the Excel/data/erp/wms etc analysis and studying, HOW MUCH TIME WILL YOU BE SPENDING IN THE “COAL-FACE?”.
    Too often I have found during my “consulting phases” that their is a HUGE GAP IN TERMS OF KNOWLEDGE RE FLOOR LEVEL ACTIVITIES.
    With one client I insisted that 3 directors “spend the morning on the floor INVOLVED in activities”.
    They soon enough got the “wake-up” call….

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