Can you prepare a presentation for a hypothetical project?
This is a question that you can ask during the invitation to interview, with the intention of seeing the final product during the scheduled time. It’s important to give the candidate plenty of notice to prepare this and not ask for too much from them, as they’re less likely to complete large tasks that require a longer period of time.
A short 10-minute presentation should be more than enough to give you a view of the candidate’s presentation skills. This may also show a project or hobby that they’re passionate about, as they can use this as the basis for their presentation.
Make your expectations clear as to what you want to see during the presentation, as this makes the candidate feel more at ease and ready to show off their skills. Be reasonable with the amount that you’re asking them to do and how long they have to prepare.
How do you deal with rigid deadlines?
Much of the professional lives of those working in procurement is spent working to a deadline. While some of these can be flexible, you also need to assess how the candidate tackles a tight deadline that won’t change.
Through their timeline, they should build in time in the run-up to the deadline for any unexpected delays. This is also an opportunity for the candidate to elaborate on past experience that they have had, further helping you to decide if they’re a good fit for the company.
Do you believe that all opinions should be heard in team meetings, regardless of how well researched they are?
This can be a tricky one for candidates to answer, so you may want to ask it once they’ve had a chance to settle in and break the ice. This is a good litmus test to work out if the candidate can express a ‘grey’ opinion, rather than one that’s solely ‘black’ or ‘white’.
Ideally, the candidate should be able to come to some sort of verbal compromise, valuing well researched opinions while also being mindful of the feelings of those around them. As a person, you want them to think about the most efficient way to source a solution while also working well within a team.
If you have a candidate that shows a disregard for other co-workers or a reluctance to direct a conversation effectively, then you may want to consider how they will work within the organisation.