All businesses based on tangible or intangible commodities need to have a healthy and efficient distribution channel (which makes sure that the company can supply its goods and services to their target consumers) to sustain in the long run. This part of the business is entirely managed and controlled by the operations counterpart, especially logistics. The demand for labor in supply chain management tends to be moderately high at all times, and grabbing that opportunity may seem like a walk in a park. The candidate knows how to create an extraordinary impression on the interviewer. Now you may ask, how can I impress the interviewer during my logistics Interviewer? Well, we are here to do just that. Throughout the length of this article, we will discuss some common questions and tips and tricks which will propel you towards excelling in your interview in the logistics field.
Logistics Interview Guide
Opportunities for jobs in the logistics field span across several industries, and as there are more job prospects, the competition is getting even steeper every day. Especially in the US, where businesses grow at a greater rate, new jobs in the operations pop up every day and what you must do to jump on the bandwagon is to give your best in their logistics interview, which is the only hurdle between you and that ‘well-sought job of yours in the operations management. Under normal average circumstances, the interview kicks off with some regular questions, and this is how you should answer them:
- Very briefly introduce yourself to the panel.
To be very brief, I could describe myself as (e.g., curious, hardworking,) and someone who is a thorough communicator, which I believe is almost a prerequisite for any logistics jobs because, in my perspective, communication acts as a catalyst for maintaining productivity at work, especially in a field such as this.
(you can also introduce your hobbies, what pivotal work you have done up until now)
- Why have you chosen logistics to build your career upon?
Make sure to cover 2-3 points in this regard such as,
- It is a recession-proof career prospect because supply management is critical for every company to ensure its consumers have access to its products. Thus, if the company even sustains losses, it must continue to fuel the logistics department.
- Chances of unemployment in this department are minimal, as logistics is substantial for all businesses, regardless of their sector or industries. This creates new vacancies for logistics every day!
- High pay rate. (Make sure to clarify why you need a high wage, e.g., I want to raise finances for my own business, support family, etc.)
- Do you have any experience in this field? / I see if you have substantial experience in operations, could you stress upon what have you learned throughout your career?
If you have experience, make sure to cover 1-2 points about what did you learn throughout your career, for instance:
- Logistics is a very physically demanding job because working in supply chain management could mean working on the factory floor or delivering goods and services on the frontline.
- Logistics is a thought-provoking career. It is a hands-on job. It motivates one to develop more interesting and innovative ideas to minimize workload and increase efficiency at work.
Your interview does not end here! In supply chain management, the interviewer delves deeper into the subject matter to check the candidate’s capabilities in terms of theory in supply chains. Well, right here, we got you covered! Check out what other questions can come your way during your interview below.
Logistics Interview: Subject-Related Questions
Below we will cover 15 common and pertinent questions in every other logistics interview and answer the same with a unique factor that will make you stand out as a candidate. For each question, a potential answer will be given for reference, which needs to be personalized as per the interviewee’s convenience to make it sound more natural and unique.
- How would you make sure optimum success in the stock inventory every day?
Stock inventory can be of many types, for instance: raw materials, finished products, spare capacity, MRO goods, etc. one-way optimum success in inventory management is to make sure everybody on the floorspace knows their jobs very well and are well communicated about the product they are working on. When everybody works in a coordinated manner, efficiency in the factories/warehouses tends to be high, making sure no information is left out or misinformed, which could lead to wastage of inventory. Nowadays, with the advancement of technology, many SMEs and other businesses can use applications to track their inventory daily.
- Explain supply chain management in your words. (Try to make this answer sound as natural as possible)
Supply chain management known as SCM is the process that leads raw materials to transform into final products ready to be sold in the market.
(Add your own points if you want to otherwise its good to keep it simple)
- To make improvements to the delivery process, what changes do you think should be implemented.
Delivery is the final profit center, and it must be the firm’s paramount interest. Now to make improvements, Logistics must also have good knowledge of the route taken during delivery. Any sudden natural calamities or vehicle breakdown can lead to delay delivery. Therefore, the logistics must account for the extra time for an emergency. It is also important that the operations management clearly communicates with the delivery team to inform them about when the consignment must reach its destination. This allows them to have a sense of time and goal. Usage of the internet and technology can also be implemented to complete the delivery of consignments.
(Give real-world examples eg: use of drones to deliver pizza)
- While managing foreign trade management, what do you think could be the main implications and challenges that the team may face?
- Logistics with import and export of goods and services is a part of foreign trade management. It often tends to be complex and difficult because foreign trade includes various legislations when batches are transported overseas.
- One of the main challenges is to be on time while commuting the consignments from one location to another. This often occurs due to unprecedented halts due to bad weather, hijack threats overseas, delays in green signals.
- Trust between firms and international agents is very important in foreign trade management. The US has recorded several robbery cases of luxury/valuable goods while being exported to another country. The firms need to carry out thorough research before dealing with an agent overseas.
- What is the difference between transportation and fleet management?
- Fleet management is a direct term that covers vehicle financing, telematics, maintenance, etc.
- Whereas, transportation is a broader term which covers all the process which needs to be completed to locomote a batch of a particular commodity from one area to another.
- Given that you are promoted to be the logistics coordinator, what actions would you take when you determine the consignment you were coordinating is damaged or hampered.
(If you have experience then answer like)
- I previously did perform the role of logistics coordinator.
- When you coordinate a consignment, which is delivered in a damaged condition is often really embarrassing when you have less control over the wrongdoings of your colleagues.
- When I was in such a position, I apologized for my wrong coordination and appealed for training from my colleagues so that such an error is avoided in the future.
(If you have never been in such a situation, try to tell what you would do)
- What is a bill of lading and what does it imply?
- A bill of lading is different for each and every cargo because it consists of every important information about the package.
- A bill of lading is extremely crucial and cannot be manhandled because without the bill the cargo has no identity.
- It includes information such as:
- The number of units in the cargo
- Name and address of the shippers and the receivers
- Government clearance certificate
(And many more)
Logistics interviews can be tricky, but it’s nothing but smart work when you have a good grasp on the type of questions that can come your way. The questions covered above are the most common questions that are asked in almost every logistics interview. But the question remains, is this enough? Partially, during your interview, make sure to be confident in your answers because as a logistics person, the interviewer will also test your mental capabilities (for instance, how do you perform in a pressure test, confidence level) and thus, it’s highly substantial for you to meet his expectations to stand out compared to other candidates. Also, you would need to have strong knowledge about supply chain management as logistics jobs are very technical in nature. The interviewer leans towards testing the candidate’s theoretical knowledge. Again, we have you covered. Check out our next page for knowing how to prepare for the logistics theory-based questions, which could come in handy for your interview!
Also read How to be Detail-Oriented in the Interview?