How to Screw Up a Procurement Job Interview

Last month, Charles Dominick of Next Level Purchasing ran a great post on 5 [Common] Ways to Screw Up a Purchasing Job Interview that is a must read for anyone looking for a new Supply Management Job (which, if recent satisfaction surveys are to be believed, is the majority of professionals in the space). Charles’ must read advice indicated that the following WILL screw up your interview:

  • taking an interview late in the process
    as all future candidates are compared to the one once that candidate is identified
  • not being prepared for the most common interview question
    which, succinctly, is tell me about yourself
  • not distributing eye contact
    when being interviewed by multiple people
  • saying anything negative
    as you will not be seen as the proactive team player they want to hire and
  • using slang inappropriately
    as there is no guarantee that an interviewer is going to understand what you mean, and if you say you are hotter than a fox in a forest fire for the job, and the interviewer isn’t familiar with that phrase and a strong PETA advocate …

In addition, the following will also screw up the interview:

  • not dressing appropriately
    even if the company has a very laid back atmosphere in the workplace, don’t show up in shorts, a Hawaiian shirt, and sandals (as they need to know that you can make a good impression in front of a supplier)
  • over-stating your skills, experience, or knowledge
    as you will be interviewed by the best and brightest and they will find you out
  • not knowing the market for the common Procurement categories
    if the job is in the electronics component division and you know nothing about the state of the semiconductor market, that’s not going to look good when they ask if you have any ideas to control costs in that market
  • not knowing what the company does
    if they are an engineering company that primarily makes electronic components for personal entertainment and the automotive sector, but you only know them for their video game division, that’s not going to look good when they ask how you plan to reduce costs in the automotive division
  • not knowing the competition
    and this is doubly damaging if you walk into the offices with the product or logo of direct competitor anywhere on your person