A procurement recruitment expert advises candidates applying for procurement and supply chain jobs to prepare for interviews with a ‘mind shift’ that will transform the process from a one-way interrogation to a two-way dialogue.

Carole Boyle of Strategic Sourcerormakes recommendations of value to all candidates, whether they are applying for permanent roles or as procurement interims. She writes: “Rather than putting the pressure all on yourself, consider the interview a two-way conversation for you to gauge your potential employer. There’s an inherit sense of confidence that comes with knowing what you want in any situation.”

The five key questions are:

  1. What’s the best way of describing the ‘day-to-day’ of this role?

This helps to clarify whether the routine you’re used to can match that of the new role and whether it suits you. You should have a clearer understanding of the projects you’ll be executing and who you’ll be working with on a day-to-day basis.

  • How would you describe the company culture?

This helps interviewees get a handle on the workplace atmosphere. What does the firm value and aim to achieve with the people they appoint? Asking about the company’s back story can also yield valuable information about its leadership and mission.

  • What defines success in this role?

This is a fundamental question that candidates should ask, probing what the hiring manager is seeking and whether it aligns with your professional priorities. Are you expected to be a change agent, and if so, are you ready for the challenge?

  • What are the opportunities for further growth?

This shows interest in what lies beyond the current role. If the answer seems vague, try enquiring about the tenure of other employees. How were they able to advance their careers with the firm?

  • What does the interviewer enjoy most working for the company?

The answer will provide insight into what motivates them and what the company values and nurtures.

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