Last updated on August 13th, 2019 at 07:45 am

We live in a global economy. Countries, let alone factories are interdependent. Goods need to reach their destination in time, and logistics managers bear the responsibility.

This career has been on the rise in terms of demand, and salaries. So you made a good career choice. The question is how can you succeed in an interview? We will try to find the answer in this article.

 

Logistics manager at work. The man stands next to a pile of boxes in the warehouse.Degree does not play a pivotal role in this case

Speaking from my experience in automotive industry recruitment, employers aren’t too concerned about the education of job applicants who apply for leading roles in logistics.

Logistics coordinator, or a logistics manager, should typically have a Bachelor’s degree. But they do not care much about the type of a degree.

It can be managerial, it can be from supply chain management, finances, or even other field. I actually witnessed people getting the jobs with no degree.

 

Skills that will be tested in your interview

The reason why degree doesn’t matter for many hiring manager is that the education can hardly prepare you for the hectic fashion of a typical warehouse. You will have to learn the job, you will have to test the waters first. And the learning curve will be steep.

Being aware of the situation, hiring managers are interested first and foremost in your skills, such as flexibility, ability to learn quickly, independent thinking, ability to make decisions on a go, communication skills, teamwork ability, leadership skills, and understanding for technical terms and the industry.

The questions they will ask you will help them to understand all these things. Let’s have a look at them.

 

Questions you will face in your logistics interview

We can basically talk about three types of questions. First one, simple personal interview questions, help the hiring managers to understand your communication skills, motivation, your experience and education, and basically they help them to get a good grasp of your personality.

Job interview in an office of an HR manager. We can see both them and the job candidate.

Second type, the behavioral interview questions (or situational questions), help them to understand how you’d deal with specific situations that happen in the workplace, such as disobedience of employees, conflict with your colleagues, meeting a tight deadline, experiencing a stop line, handling pressure, etc.

Your answers to the last group of questions, the technical group, serve as an indicator of your knowledge of logistics, warehouse, supply chain, and the entire order cycle.

Now we will analyze a few questions from each group. Let’ go!

 

Why do you want to work in logistics?

You should speak about things the employer will gain, if they employ you, rather than about things you will gain with this employment.

Say them that you believe to have good skills for the job, such as coordinating and leadership skills, understanding for the business they’re in (or at least interest for the field), that you believe you can be useful and bring value to your employer while working on the position of logistics manager (coordinator).

You can also say that you are eager to learn, and like the wide range of responsibilities of logistics manager, and basically consider it an interesting and challenging job.

 

Tell us something about your education and experience.

The key is to speak about relevant things. Since logistics managers respond for a variety of duties, you can nearly always find some correlation between your field of study and the job. Managing, organizing, planning, hiring, training, dealing with technical stuff–all of that is included in this interesting occupation.

Speaking about your previous experience (if you have any), pick the most relevant roles, or at least working duties that are somehow relevant to logistics. It can be anything that has a connection to order cycle, employee management, negotiations, or customer service.

 

What do you want to achieve in this position?

Once again, the key is to focus on the achievements from the point of view of the employer. That means: maintaining a smooth operations of the warehouse, improving the coordination of the transportation and delivery of goods, reducing the times between production and delivery, etc.

Speaking about these things, you send a clear sign to the employer that you care about their success, and aren’t in only for a quick buck, promotion, or personal achievements.

You can point out a thing or two about your personal growth, such as that you hope to learn a lot of things in the job, or become expert in this or that field. But the core of your answer should consist in the achievements that matter for the employer.

Special Tip: Download a full list of questions in a simple one-page long .PDF document, and practice your interview answers anytime later:

How do you imagine a typical day in work?

A line of people who wait for theinr interview in logistics. They look confident and ready to interview for the job. This is really hard to foresee before you start working in the company. Each company has their own problems and ways of distributing labor and responsibility in the warehouse and logistics in general, but most of the time you’ll take care of a variety of duties.

Sometimes a job description can give you a clue on the basic duties and responsibilities, so read it carefully.

One way or another, you should talk about planning and managing logistics, warehouse, transportation, and about optimizing and coordinating full order cycle. Liaising and negotiating with suppliers, manufacturers, retailers and consumers does also sometimes belong to the duties of logistics manager, but other employees may take care of that as well.

The key is to show them that you like to be busy, and are ready to take care of variety of tasks (or learn to take care of them).

 

Describe a situation when you were under pressure in work

The amount of pressure you’ll experience depends partially on you, and partially on the level of organization in the factory. In any case, you will face some deadlines, and you may experience pressure (from the buyers, suppliers, superiors, subordinates, from yourself…).

The key is to narrate a situation (a real or a fictive one) when you managed to handle the pressure. It can be anything from work or school. The key is to show them that you can keep focused on the task at hand, and prioritize your work, to meet the deadlines. Show them that you do not crack under pressure.

Special tip: If you would like to see great sample answers to this question, and to all other tough questions you may get in your logistics interview, have a look at our Interview Success Package. You will find four sample answers directly on the product page, so it makes sense to check it out even if you do not want to purchase anything… Thank you!

 

Describe a conflict you had with your colleague

You’ll work with people of all intelligence levels in your job. It won’t be always easy to instruct them, and the conflicts will pop up, at least from time to time.

As a good manager you should know how to address a conflict, in a constructive way. What is more, the conflicts should have no impact (or minimal impact) on the relationships in the workplace, or on your own feelings in work.

While narrating a situation you experienced before, try to show the hiring manager that you are not afraid of criticism, that you can admit making a mistake, and that you do not necessarily exercise your power of authority over other employees. Show them that you are a good superior…

 

Describe a situation when you reached a goal and tell us how you achieved it.

In logistics, everything is a team effort. Any goal you speak about (graduating from the college, achieving a milestone in your employment, quitting smoking, or anything else) you should give credit to other people who helped you on your way.

Show the employer that you understand the importance of teamwork, and do not want to do everything on your own. Show them that you have the right attitude to work, and that other people enjoy working with (under) you.

 

Describe a time when you struggled to communicate something to your boss, colleague, or to a customer. How did you manage to get your message over?

Two Asian interviewers lead a meeting with the job applicant. All people are beautifully dressed.You’ll talk to people from all departments of the company. Finances, marketing, management, HR. Suppliers and customers, people more intelligent than you and far less intelligent.

Tell the hiring managers about a situation when you went out of your comfort zone and changed your language so other people would understand you. You can talk about using presentations, demonstrations, pictures and illustrated charts, while trying to get your message over. It is your attitude that matters, and the right attitude is this one:

I do not expect the others to always understand me. But I will do my best to convey the message in a way that is easy to understand for them.

 

Other questions you may get in your logistics interview

  • What’s your experience with automated warehouse systems?
  • How do you schedule shifts for your team members?
  • What would you do if one of the operators did not come to the shift?
  • How do you feel about firing someone? What would you do if your best friend (who happens to work under you) came to the work drunk?
  • Describe a time when you dealt with an angry customer.
  • Describe the biggest failure of your professional career.
  • A supplier we’ve been cooperating with for a long time suddenly raises their prices by ten percent. How will you react?
  • Why did you leave your last job? / Why do you want to leave your present job?
  • Why should we hire you, and not one of the other applicants for this job?

 

Conclusion and next steps

Interview for a job of a logistics manager (coordinator) belongs to difficult job interviews. Not only will you compete with many other people for the position, but you will have to answer a variety of questions in an interview.

Practice with the questions from our article, and think about a good answer to each question. And if you struggle to figure it out, have a look at our Interview Success Package, where you will find multiple great answers to all difficult interview questions.

Thank you, we wish you good luck!

Matthew

 

May also interest you:

  • Leadership interview questions – An essential skill for every good manager, your leadership skills will be tested in an interview for virtually any managerial job. Are you ready to demonstrate them in an interview?
  • Product manager interview questions – Learn how to convince the hiring managers that you have in you what it takes to become a great product manager.
  • Body language in an interview – What do your gestures and movements say about you? Can we control our non-verbal communication?
Matthew Chulaw

Matthew Chulaw

Matthew has been working in international recruitment since 2008. He helps job seekers from all walks of life to pursue their career goals, and to prepare for their interviews. He is the founder of InterviewPenguin.com website.
Matthew Chulaw

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