If you want to stand out, don’t answer the top 10 procurement questions! Part II!

As per yesterday’s post, if you Google “top procurement question”, you get a bunch of links to articles about top procurement interview questions and how to answer them, including this Slideshare that has some decent questions and answers, but not questions the doctor would actually ask other than to see how sharp you were (at detecting hidden intent), and definitely not answers that showcase the true range of your Procurement capabilities — which is what the doctor would want to know (as he’d only interview for a senior position and only if a company wanted a true leader, which most companies, despite the talk, still don’t want — but that’s another book). In our last post, we took the first five one by one. In this post, we’ll take the last five one by one.

Question: What Do You Know About Us?

Suggested Answer What Googling that Sh*t told you.

Problem: Of course it’s important to know what the company does, what it’s (stated) values are, etc. — and any good candidate is going to know that. So how do you expect to stand out?

Real Answer: I know that you do … and that you are committed to … but I also know that this presents a number of challenges for a Procurement organization, including … What ones are you experiencing now, how are you addressing them, and what ones will this position get to tackle? With respect to … I feel I could be a big help because of my experience with …


Question:
Why Do You Want To Work With Us?

Suggested Answer Honest answer that addresses the organization’s values and vision.

Problem: Every candidate and their aloof disinterested cats can bullsh!t a 100% acceptable response to this question and it often plays little into day to day responsibilities where the rubber meets the road.

Real Answer: I love your value and vision and the products you make, but most importantly I love the work that I expect I will be doing on a daily basis. I can’t wait to apply my skills in X, learn more about Y, and tackle new territory in Z. There’s just so much to do that I feel this is just a starter role and I can have a career at your company, and maybe even your job someday when you are promoted to COO or CEO (as all good CPOs should be).


Question:
Why Should We Hire You?

Suggested Answer An answer that links your skills, experience, education, and personality to the job itself.

Problem: Again, every candidate and their aloof disinterested cats can bullsh!t a 100% acceptable response to this question and it often plays little into day to day responsibilities.

Real Answer: An answer that links your skills, experience, education, and personality to the job AND showcases the innovation you can bring.


Question:
What Kind of Salary Do You Need?

Suggested Answer Turn it Around, because she who plays chicken first loses the negotiation.

Problem: Salary is only one aspect of the picture.

Real Answer: It depends on the overall benefits package. I’m looking to stick around, so what do you have for health/disability benefits, retirement savings matching, continuing education, work-life balance, etc. Don’t just turn it around, say you expect your worth, but you’ll consider the full picture.


Question:
What Questions Do You Have For Us?

Suggested Answer Any question that will allow you to demonstrate how you might make an impact.

Problem: Actually, this is the only question the doctor does not have a problem with, if you take the right approach, and the question is broad enough for you to do that! Just be sure to use all the tips and tricks outlined in the last nine points to emphasize you want to understand better how you can help and prepare yourself to hit the ground running, tomorrow even.

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