We live in a global economy. Companies depend on each other, and billions of tons of goods are transported from one place to another, each single day. Yet it’s not a magic. Someone has to drive the trucks, and someone else unload the goods and ensure they are undamaged. It will be your role as a Supply Technician.
Nothing fancy, nothing you’d brag about over a couple of beers. Yet it is an important part of the entire logistics chain, and a decent job which pays more than $40,000 annually in the US (average numbers). Let’s have a look at some questions the hiring managers will use while interviewing you for the job, and trying to understand whether you are a good match.
Why do you want to work as a supply technician?
As I already said this is no fancy job title, and it would make no sense saying that you’ve always dreamed about having this job. Therefor I’d focus on your strengths, skill and abilities that make from you a good candidate for the position.
You have good communication skills, can stay focused on the shift. And because you are in a good shape, and prefer not spending all your day sitting in front of a computer, you are not afraid of carrying some weights from one place to another. People consider you responsible and well organized.
What’s more, you see bright future for the logistics industry (or for the company where you apply for the job). Hence you consider this a safe job, and one of the best you can get, considering your education and experience. That’s the reason why you want this job, at least at this stage of your career.
Have you done anything in logistics or warehouse before?
If you worked in a similar place before, describe what you did, the tools you worked with (scanners, etc), and also the type of goods you received and inspected. Try to speak positively about your former roles, and be ready to explain why you left your last job.
If this is your first job application in the field, ensure the hiring managers that you read the job description carefully, and understand the job. Maybe you haven’t done it before but you are a quick learner, a hard worker, and see no reason why you’d not handle it after the initial training.
Previous experience is a plus, but as long as you show confidence in your ability to handle the job, they won’t send you home just because you lack experience.
What do you look for when inspecting delivered goods?
This depends partially on the place of your work, and goods, because obviously you’d look for different things when receiving computers than when receiving bricks.
But there are some similarities, something you should always check, things that indicate that something may be wrong with the delivery. For example:
- Whether the packaging isn’t damaged.
- Whether they delivered the right quantity of items.
- If each package is labeled properly.
- Whether different packages with the same items resemble each other, in both size and weight.
- Any signs that indicate that something might get broken on the way.
Ensure the hiring managers that you want to pay attention to details, and won’t just blindly scan one package after another and routinely throw it out of the truck.
You may carry heavy loads in this job. Do you feel ready for it?
Simple “yes, I feel ready” may not be enough. Try to explain why you feel ready. Maybe you had a similar job in the past, one where you carried heavy loads. Or you worked on a construction site, or did something similar, basically a job which demonstrates your ability to carry weights.
You can take your answer one step further, saying that you are actually looking forward to this aspect of the job. Trying to look good and stay in shape, you find it appealing to do some workout directly in the job. Maybe you can even cancel your gym membership because of it, and save some money along the way :).
Imagine that you are receiving a delivery. Inspecting the packages, you see some damages, and it s clear that driver caused these damages. How will you proceed?
Do not get caught in a trap here. You should not get involved into arguments with the drivers. It’s not your job to consider who made the fault, or to blame someone.
Say that you will simply mark the damaged packages, make a report, and accept only stock that arrived undamaged. You may also contact the warehouse manager immediately, so they know that they need to make some arrangements, to get the necessary material, because the original delivery is damaged.
But what happens with the driver or with the items you refused is not your business. You focus on your part of the job, and the rest is for managers to decide.
This is a repetitive job. How do you plan to motivate yourself?
I’d suggest you to say that you prefer repetitive jobs. At the end of the day, not everyone likes challenges, or necessity to think about stuff in work.
You prefer to have your routine, the exact set of tasks you do with each and every delivery, and a manager who tells you if something’s wrong. And once your shift ends you can forget everything, leave the place with a clear mind, and enjoy your life outside of the warehouse. This is what you enjoy and prefer, and see no reason why you’d lose motivation.
Alternatively you can refer to your goals, the reasons why you get up and go to work. Maybe you try to provide for your family, or save money to build or buy a house. You can’t afford losing your job, and know that it would happen if your productivity dropped heavily. If nothing else, this conviction helps you to stay motivated and to try hard, even on a low day, when you do not feel great.
This warehouse (manufacturing plant) operates 24/7. How do you feel about working on a night shift, or on the weekend?
Each job has some pluses and minuses. For jobs in a warehouse, the biggest minus are the shift patterns and a necessity to (sometimes) work on weekends.
Try to show some flexibility. Surely you do not want to work each Sunday, or do only night shifts. But you understand the same is the case for your colleagues. Hence you do not mind working at night or on weekend, as long as the shifts are evenly distributed.
What’s more, you know that you will get an extra pay on holidays and night shifts, which serves as an extra motivation to do them, at least sometimes.
Other questions you may face in your supply technician interview
- Imagine that one of the drivers starts to argue with you, claiming that you damaged one of the packages while unloading it. How will you react?
- Employee safety is very important for us. Name three things you will do in work to protect your safety and safety of your colleagues.
- What is your experience with office software and inventory databases? Have you ever worked with these things?
- Tell me one thing about yourself you wouldn’t want me to know.
- What do you consider your greatest strength, and your biggest weakness, when we talk about a job of a supply technician?
- What are your salary expectations?
Conclusion, next steps
Interview for a job of a Supply Technician belongs to easy job interviews. They do not expect any superior intelligence or years of experience from you. What’s more, most warehouses are understaffed, and they constantly look for new employees.
As long as you show some enthusiasm for the job, clearly demonstrate that you understand what you will do in work, and do not remain silent when they ask you their questions, they will typically hire you, and give you a chance to prove your words in work. I hope you will succeed in this interview, and wish you best of luck!
May also interest you:
- Warehouse worker interview questions – Questions you may get while applying for any manual job in the warehouse, including the supply technician. Learn how to answer them.
- Supply chain manager interview questions.
- Stock clerk interview questions.