Purchasing agent interview questions and answers

Interview Questions for Purchasing Assistants:
  • How would you increase sales of a particular product? …
  • Can you describe a time when your recommendation secured a contract? …
  • What is the most important skill you have acquired in your career so far? …
  • Can you describe how you would select new goods for your company?

Purchasing Assistant Interview Questions

What makes you the right person for this job?

Interviewers ask this question, or some variation of it, to assess your understanding of the position. Your answer should demonstrate how your skills, experiences and other qualifications align with the jobs responsibilities and the employers expectations. You can describe the unique traits and strengths you bring that showcase your value. When preparing for interviews, you can draft your answer by reviewing the job description and identifying the employers candidate requirements or preferences. Incorporate those keywords into your response to show your alignment with the role.

Example: “I believe I am an excellent candidate for the purchasing agent role at your hospital. I have several years of healthcare experience performing this job, so I am already familiar with some of the industrys best vendors. I enjoy working in this field because I know that the work I do helps ensure the hospital runs smoothly and provides excellent care to its patients and their families.

Through my experience, I have demonstrated a proven record of strong communication and negotiation skills. These skills helped me lower vendor costs by 25% over the last two years in my most recent role. I also attribute this success to my relationship management skills, as I scheduled regular phone calls with our vendors and suppliers to keep everyone on track and build a strong rapport with them.”

Describe your negotiation tactics and skills.

One of the primary duties of a purchasing professional, such as a purchasing manager, is negotiating with suppliers. Interviewers ask about your negotiating skills and experience to ensure that you are prepared to take on this responsibility and handle it effectively. In your answer, you can describe some of your preferred negotiation techniques for different situations and your ability to build strong relationships with suppliers or vendors. When possible, you may provide an example of when you utilized your negotiating skills successfully.

Example: “I always enter the negotiation process with a fair-minded approach. My goal is to come to a solution that benefits and satisfies both of us in some way. I understand that it is not always about finding the lowest price possible, which may not always be possible to achieve financially for the supplier. I believe this tactic demonstrates my respect for the suppliers, which helps me build and maintain these relationships in the long term.

I prepare for negotiations by developing a plan that outlines my purchasing goals, along with a backup if the vendor cannot meet our requests. This preparation helps me feel more confident entering the conversation and understand where I can find compromises when needed. While I make sure to communicate my goals clearly, I also take time to stop and listen to the supplier and their needs. These tactics help ensure were all on the same page to avoid misunderstandings, making the process run smoothly.

How do you imagine a typical day in this job?

Look at the job description for some help. In my experience, daily job of a buyer can vary a lot, depending on the industry, the number and variety of items they purchase, and also on the price per item.

Some buyers spend the entire day on the phone, and at their computer. Other purchasing agents will travel to meet the suppliers in person, do the quality check on place, and try to negotiate the best deals directly in the company.

Anyway, tell them that you imagine doing a lot of work, and are not afraid of making cold calls, visiting suppliers, and negotiating the best conditions of the deal. Show them that you like to be busy in work.

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