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Interview questions

Inventory Manager

For the interview

A positive opener to start

Why did you choose to become an Inventory Manager?

What is your best memory of being an Inventory Manager?

Behavioral Questions

  • Tell me about a time you made a good decision or change during your role.
  • This answer will give you a good idea of a candidate’s experience with making decisions, and let you know what you can anticipate from them in your business.
  • Tell me about a time you made a mistake at work.
  • Here, you’re looking for how they minimise damage from the mistake and how they learned from this.
  • Can you give me some examples of how you stay ahead of the team when ordering inventory?
  • Forecasting and predicting future needs is part of the Inventory Handler role. Knowing that your candidate can do this is essential.
  • Can you give me an example of a time when you have gone above and beyond in your role
  • This answer will assess a candidate’s ability to exceed targets, and allow you to assess whether this is right for your team.

Soft Skills

  • When making multiple orders or organising multiple deliveries in one day, how do you stay organised?
  • Keeping your inventory organised is important for the entire flow of the business. Therefore, this is an important Inventory Manager interview question.
  • Are you comfortable explaining the inventory situation to people outside of your team?
  • This will test a candidate’s communication skills and ability to turn difficult concepts into easy to understand facts.
  • What do you think are the most important skills for an Inventory Manager?
  • Here you’ll get an idea of a candidate’s confidence areas.
  • How much experience do you have with working with other roles in the logistics department?
  • This will let you know how compatible a candidate is with your team, based on their past experience.
  • Are you able to train new team members to match your ways of working?
  • This question is more relevant for senior team members.

Hard Skills

  • What formal inventory management training have you completed?
  • This gives you an idea of how well trained the candidate is for this role, and if any additional training will be needed?
  • What size business are you most familiar with working?
  • Here, you will get an idea of a candidate’s past experience with small or large businesses, as different skills are needed for both.
  • How much experience do you have working with international suppliers?
  • This will let you know whether a candidate will need specific training or onboarding with international suppliers.
  • Which types of inventory have you handled in previous roles?
  • Different inventory involves different skills, here you’ll get an idea of how a candidate’s previous skills match your current business needs.
  • Have you received any warehouse safety training?
  • Most warehouse workers will need some safety training, this will let you know whether your candidate needs any.

Operational / Situational Questions

  • Imagine you are offered the role of Inventory Manager in our business, what would your first steps be?
  • A candidate should mention familiarising themselves with your suppliers, the team and the business layout.
  • Imagine you are expecting a big order and it is delayed. What do you do?
  • This gives you an idea of how well a candidate manages a crisis.
  • Can you tell me how you would handle a difficult supplier?
  • Not all suppliers will be easy to work with, here you get an idea of how a candidate deals with this.
  • Tell me how you would deal with a stock shortage in the industry?
  • This can happen from time to time, so a candidate should be able to deal with this.

Best interview questions for a Inventory Manager

Inventory Manager Interview Questions

Inventory Managers are organisation experts who can file, store and keep track of how much stock a warehouse or company holds at any given time. It is up to them to ensure a company never runs out or carries too much stock.

The best skills to look for in an Inventory Manager are as follows:

• Excellent mathematical skills
• Exceptional organisation
• Great team working ability
• Skilled at solving problems
• Strong knowledge of warehouse procedures

Interviewing an Inventory Manager

To ensure your customers never experience a delay, or your warehouse staff are not overwhelmed with stock, a good Inventory Manager needs to be on board. This individual needs to be skilled in shipping and delivery procedures, and hyper-organised.

The best way to make sure this is the case is during the interview process. So, we’ve collated a guide for which questions should be asked.

Please note:
The following Inventory Manager questions are designed to be used at the start of the interview process. For later-stage interviews, more specific and detailed questions will be needed.

How to open the job interview

Before you get to the more challenging questions, you should consider asking the candidate some easier, more pleasant questions. This will help to settle their nerves and give you a better overall opinion on their skills and personality.

Find some example opening questions below.

For the interview

A positive opener to start

Why did you choose to become an Inventory Manager?

What is your best memory of being an Inventory Manager?

Behavioral Questions

  • Tell me about a time you made a good decision or change during your role.
  • This answer will give you a good idea of a candidate’s experience with making decisions, and let you know what you can anticipate from them in your business.
  • Tell me about a time you made a mistake at work.
  • Here, you’re looking for how they minimise damage from the mistake and how they learned from this.
  • Can you give me some examples of how you stay ahead of the team when ordering inventory?
  • Forecasting and predicting future needs is part of the Inventory Handler role. Knowing that your candidate can do this is essential.
  • Can you give me an example of a time when you have gone above and beyond in your role
  • This answer will assess a candidate’s ability to exceed targets, and allow you to assess whether this is right for your team.

Soft Skills

  • When making multiple orders or organising multiple deliveries in one day, how do you stay organised?
  • Keeping your inventory organised is important for the entire flow of the business. Therefore, this is an important Inventory Manager interview question.
  • Are you comfortable explaining the inventory situation to people outside of your team?
  • This will test a candidate’s communication skills and ability to turn difficult concepts into easy to understand facts.
  • What do you think are the most important skills for an Inventory Manager?
  • Here you’ll get an idea of a candidate’s confidence areas.
  • How much experience do you have with working with other roles in the logistics department?
  • This will let you know how compatible a candidate is with your team, based on their past experience.
  • Are you able to train new team members to match your ways of working?
  • This question is more relevant for senior team members.

Hard Skills

  • What formal inventory management training have you completed?
  • This gives you an idea of how well trained the candidate is for this role, and if any additional training will be needed?
  • What size business are you most familiar with working?
  • Here, you will get an idea of a candidate’s past experience with small or large businesses, as different skills are needed for both.
  • How much experience do you have working with international suppliers?
  • This will let you know whether a candidate will need specific training or onboarding with international suppliers.
  • Which types of inventory have you handled in previous roles?
  • Different inventory involves different skills, here you’ll get an idea of how a candidate’s previous skills match your current business needs.
  • Have you received any warehouse safety training?
  • Most warehouse workers will need some safety training, this will let you know whether your candidate needs any.

Operational / Situational Questions

  • Imagine you are offered the role of Inventory Manager in our business, what would your first steps be?
  • A candidate should mention familiarising themselves with your suppliers, the team and the business layout.
  • Imagine you are expecting a big order and it is delayed. What do you do?
  • This gives you an idea of how well a candidate manages a crisis.
  • Can you tell me how you would handle a difficult supplier?
  • Not all suppliers will be easy to work with, here you get an idea of how a candidate deals with this.
  • Tell me how you would deal with a stock shortage in the industry?
  • This can happen from time to time, so a candidate should be able to deal with this.

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