Running businesses is not an easy task. Promoters or business owners often find themselves as the busiest persons in the world, who have to literally work for all those extended hours, no matter if it is a Monday or a Sunday. Thus, business organizations are always on the lookout for assistants or we can say employees, who can help these business owners to carry out the different business functions in a smooth way.
Buyers, also known as purchasing agents, are the specialized professionals who buy inventories, office supplies, pieces of machinery, equipment, etc. for their employers. It is an important position and is directly related to the cash outflows of a company. Read out the interview questions mentioned below for a better understanding of the interview process:
21 Best Interview Questions To Study
1. A Company Must Always Follow An Appropriate Inventory Ordering System. Comment On This Statement.
This question tests your core working knowledge.
Sir, this statement is completely true. A company should always follow some established inventory management systems, such as Just in time (JIT) inventory, Materials requirement planning (MRP) system, etc. so as to order for an optimal level of inventory. It not only helps an organization to save its inventory holding cost but also promotes the effective utilization of working capital.
2. A Buyer Should Always Look Out To Maintain Excellent Professional Relationship With The Vendors. Can You Explain Some Benefits Of This?
This question checks your viewpoints in relation to maintaining an effective relationship with the vendors.
Sir, there are various benefits of establishing a favorable rapport with the vendors of the company, which are:
- Uninterrupted supply of the requirements of a company
- Acts as a guard against inflation and consequent rise in prices, as a supplier is bound by the terms of the agreement
- Better quality and lower inspection costs, as a long-standing supplier, often does not cheat by supplying inferior quality products
3. Describe About A Situation In Which You Purchased More Quantities Of Any Product Than What Was Mentioned In the Purchase Requisition Slip.
This is a situation-based interview question in which you are required to narrate a real-time incident when you failed to follow the issued requisition slip.
Sir, usually, I always follow the requisition slip by heart and strive to exactly meet the requirements mentioned in it. However, still, I remembered an instance, when I over-purchased 20% of the requirement mentioned in the purchase requisition slip. This happened due to a last-minute oral order from my senior, who asked me to send a revised purchase offer to the vendor after exceeding the quantities by 20%. However, it was a mistake from my senior, and since there was no written communication, I bore its brunt.
4. Suppose Our Company Requires You To Purchase A Few Items In Bulk. What Is The Best Method To Fulfill Company’s Requirement?
This question tests your understanding of the various material requisition methods.
Sir, in my humble opinion, floating tenders would be the best way to purchase a bulk quantity of any product at affordable and competitive prices. A tender usually contains all the terms and conditions, that define:
- The quality of the product required by the company
- The current supply requirements of the company
- The price range or bracket, which comprises the least price value on lower range and maximum price value on the higher range
- The situations on materialization of which, the contract shall stand null and void
5. There Have Been Cases When A Buyer Was Lured By The Major Vendors Of The Company To Approve There High Selling Prices, Ultimately Leading To A Direct Loss To The Company. How Will You Protect Yourself From Indulging In Such An Unethical Activity?
This is a personality assessment question, through which an interviewer wants to check your honesty and loyalty.
Sir, maybe it is true. But, I am a man of high morals and would like to seriously condemn such an unethical activity. By purchasing the supplies and other requirements at a higher price, a company is simply deteriorating its cash position by paying under the nose. I am strictly against any such activity and be assured I will never engage in it. I am here to make the processes economical and affordable, instead of leading my employer to a loss.
6. We Always Encourage Our Buyers To Consistently Research The Market For Innovation and Upgradation. Please Share The Advantages Of Conducting Such A Market Research?
This question requires you to state some benefits of market research from the context of buying.
Sir, consistent market research is really helpful in ensuring that an organization is using the latest technologies and the best alternatives. A buyer or purchasing agent of the company must understand the various requirements of the company and constantly look out for improved versions of the existing technologies used by the company. Adopting better alternatives will not only save the higher operating expenditure but also promotes productivity that will boost the profit of the company.
7. What Is An Item Rate Tender? How It Differs From A Composite Rate Tender?
This question requires you to differentiate between the two common types of tenders floated in the corporate sector.
Sir, an item rate tender requires the bidder to bid against each item mentioned in the tender, instead of bidding for a single time in the composite rate tender. An item rate tender thus involves multiple bids and is often used by the companies, which want to obtain rates for each and every item.
8. What Do You Mean By Inventory Forecasting? Can You Share, How You Do It?
This question requires you to share the manner in which you forecast the inventory of a company.
Sir, the best way to forecast the inventory requirements of a company is by analyzing the past data and understanding the trend followed. For example, if it can be established from the past data that a company requires new stock every 15 days then efforts must be made to replenish it within the current time limit.
9. How Will You Form A Strong Bond and Relationship With The Existing Vendors of The Company?
This question requires you to share the ways using which you will maintain a strong bond with the company’s vendors.
Sir, in order to do so, I always prefer to:
- Give regular gifts and rewards to the high performing suppliers of the company on special occasions
- Extend monetary incentives to the vendors upon satisfactory completion of targets
- Regularly be in touch with them and address all their issues, grievances and problems
10. As A Buyer You Will Be Required To Visit Showrooms and Warehouses Of Several Vendors. This Translates Into Consistent Travelling, Often To Far Flung Areas. How Comfortable Are You In This?
As a buyer, you will certainly be required to travel. This is a common expectation and you must answer this question positively.
Sir, I understand that mine is a field job and I will be required to make frequent visits to vendors, their showrooms, their factories, offices of transport operators, etc. I am open to traveling and will never hesitate in it.
11. Name The Three Best Inventory Management Software.
This question tests how much are you aware of the latest technology prevailing in your industry or job sector.
Sure, sir, These are:
- Zoho Inventory
12. Summarize Your Job Profile Into Three Short Points.
This is a tricky interview question wherein you are required to express your job role using three short pointers. Be crisp, and always go for the primary duties.
Sure, sir, I will like to use these three points:
- Understanding the company’s buying requirements
- Identifying and locating the appropriate suppliers
- Processing the purchase order, by receiving the delivery of goods and handing them over to the concerned manager
13. What Are Some Best Qualities That Every Buyer Must Possess?
This question tests how much you understand your profession.
Sir, In my opinion, an ideal buyer must always be:
- Honest and
- Committed to the welfare of his/her organization
14. There Are Always Times When Corporate Employees Fail To Deliver As Per The Expectations. This Failure Crushes Their Confidence and Makes Them Lethargic As Well As Non-Productive. How Do You Handle This Stuation?
Success is often a result of hard work, patience, and a bit of luck. When a combination of these vital elements works in tandem for an individual, one often finds oneself in a good space and enjoys success. However, stars don’t always align, and all the corporate employees have to face their own share of failure as well.
This usually depletes their confidence level and makes them feel unwanted or unfit for the job role. With this state of mind, employees are no less than burdens for the companies as they always deliver sub-standard performances. Thus, an interviewer is always interested in knowing the various strategies that you adopt to manage your workplace failures.
15. I Can See From You Resume That You Have Been Associated With Several Companies. Can You Describe Your Best and Worst Senior?
This is a tricky interview question, wherein you are required to share the basis using which you segregate your good and bad seniors. It is true that a good senior will always help us, motivate us and even support us in difficult times, whereas a bad senior would always bully, embarrass and discourage us. Hence, in an ideal response to this question, just share whatever basis or reasoning you follow to separate your bosses into good and bad. Further, while narrating the bad part, don’t get carried away.
16. Purchasing Agents Have To Perform Several Business Tasks In A Single Day. All These Tasks Usually Have A Deadline Attached To them. Can You Share Your Prioritization Technique?
A company needs a variety of supplies, equipment, machines, etc. to carry out business on a daily basis. As a buyer, you will be responsible to manage and fulfilling these buying requirements of the company, which will require you to be on your toes and perform several tasks in a single day. For timely execution, it is necessary that you always order or arrange these tasks using an effective prioritization technique. Hence, just share how you order your tasks, be it on the basis of difficulty level, time consumption, or any other logic.
17. What Motivates You To Work As A Buyer For A Corporate Player?
We all need some motivation to get up daily, work daily and be the best in our daily operations. This motivation is dependent and largely influenced by a variety of factors, such as our financial conditions, desires, personal living situations, etc. An interview is always interested in understanding these factors, for the purposes of personality evaluation as well as ensuring that you will be a perfect match for the company’s ethical culture. Further, it is always recommended to share an original response.
18. This Job Requires A Lot Of Research and Travelling Besides Establishing Professional Vendor Relationships. When Done For A Long Time, This Can Lead To Stress and Anxiety. How Do You Manage This Issue?
Employees usually live in a crazy world. There are just so many expectations, desires, and personal ambitions that it is so easy to feel lost and less devoted to the basics. This slowly, but steadily, builds up stress and non-believers are often quick to fall into the trap.
It is an established fact that a stressed employee is never able to contribute productively to the organization and always misses his targets and goals. Thus, an interviewer, through this question, requests you to share the ways using which you are able to manage your stress levels. Meditation, Positive pep talk, Yoga, and Deep breathing are some of the best ways to manage workplace stress.
19. There Are Several Companies In Need of Buyers For their Organizations. What Prompted You To Apply With Us?
It is common for us to apply to different business organizations with a view to enhance our selection chances. Not all of these companies are our number one choice, and we join a few due to the lack of alternatives. Thus, an interviewer asks you this question, so as to check your level of seriousness and commitment towards the business organization. To prepare a perfect reply, just browse the official website of the company and note down all the relevant facts, historical information, and achievements of the company. Compile all the information to prepare a structured response.
20. What Are Your Salary Expectations?
It is common for the interviewers to enquire about your salary expectations during the interview session itself. To be relevant and not sound greedy, it is always preferable to conduct a deep analysis of the industry to which you belong. Like in the instant case, you must research and identify the salaries offered to the purchasing agents, who have a work experience similar to you. Post this, calculate an average salary and base your expectations on it.
21. Do You Have Any Questions For Us?
This question marks the end of your big day and after answering this question, you will be allowed to leave the interview venue. So, this question can be viewed as the last opportunity that you have to impress your interviewer. Hence, always ask a few relevant counter questions in response to this interview question. Your response must represent your doubts, which you have in regards to the business organization, such as the rules followed, the work timings, the incentives offered, etc. Read out the model questions mentioned below for a better understanding:
- What are the various benefits offered by the company upon achieving the stipulated or assigned target?
- Please share all the anti-harassment policies that are implemented by the company so as to protect its employees from possible instances of harassment, teasing, and bullying.
- What is your own experience in this company? Can you share a few disadvantages of working here?
Download the list of questions in .PDF format, to practice with them later, or to use them on your interview template (For Buyer interview):
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